What do you get when you buy a SoLuna copper sink versus one from a “big box” store like Lowe’s or Home Depot or a Sinkology brand sink from Amazon? You get a lot more for your money, and we have summed up the details for you to see for yourself.
Copper sinks are made in different weights (gauges), styles, finishes and there are vast differences in quality and pricing amongst different brands. We have been selling our brand of Soluna copper sinks for close to 20 years and as one of the largest retailers in the US, our philosophy has always been long-term with a commitment to quality and value. A copper kitchen sink is a big investment and well worth it if you choose your sink carefully.
For this article, we purchased a farmhouse sink from two of the major big box stores and a sink from Amazon to conduct a side-by-side comparison. In our testing and evaluation, we found several issues with their copper sinks that you should be aware of.
What first jumped out at us is the hammer patterns on the sinks. The purpose for hammering copper is both structural and aesthetic. Hammering copper creates a stronger surface area than copper that is not hammered. With the Lowe’s copper sink, you see sparse, shallow and inconsistent hammer pits on their sink.
The Sinkology brand from Amazon has a similar “washed out” look. The sink arrived with several scratches on the rim and as you can see, it is similar in nature to the Lowes sink.
Our SoLuna copper sinks have a consistently tighter hammering pattern that produces a harder and more durable copper sink with an appealing look that displays skill and quality.
While examining the Lowe’s copper sink, the finish rubbed off in many places (below) while handling it during our testing.
This sink by Sinkology had an inconsistent finish as well.
Over the course of time and normal wear and tear, one can conclude that the initial appearance will not hold up.
How the finish is applied to a copper sink is very important. Sinks made in India where most of the cheaper copper sinks are made have a finish that is not applied in the same way as our SoLuna copper sinks. The SoLuna patina process has been developed by generations of coppersmiths with years of experience applying specific techniques to achieve high-quality results. Most of our competition offers just one patina, but our SoLuna copper sinks are offered in four finishes (below, from L to R): Matte Copper, Café Natural, Dark Smoke, and Rio Grande. The SoLuna copper sink finishes are deeper, richer and more luxurious, and are virtually maintenance free.
Copper farmhouse sinks typically require structural supports attaching the bottom of the apron to the sink well. The Lowe’s, Home Depot and Sinkology copper farmhouse sink supports were welded at only a few points with a shiny weld material, suggesting an alloy of some type. This minimal approach to welding can result in the failure of these supports during shipping or installation in your kitchen. In the photo below, you see damage to the supports in the Home Depot’s sink that was crushed and bent during shipment to us, resulting in a damaged, hard to repair front apron.
The Sinkology sink also came with a bent support tab and cracked weld.
In contrast, the supports on our SoLuna copper farmhouse sinks (below) are copper rod TIG welded along the entire length of the support where it attaches to the apron and to the well of the sink. SoLuna copper sinks display superior craftsmanship, and thicker copper is evident—the result is a sink built to last a lifetime.
The apron front side lengths are very important for proper installation and need to be long enough to provide options for different cabinetry and how the sink front will be placed. Many of our customers want the apron front to be mounted slightly beyond the edge of the countertop. In order to accommodate this, our experience is that a minimum of 3” is required to provide the greatest number of options. The Sinkology sides are only 2” and this scrimping on quality can make a big difference.
How a drain hole is constructed is important to drain fitment and drainage without “pooling water”. Here is a picture of our drain and the Sinkology drain.
The Soluna drain on the left is (shown with our Fernanda “X” drain pattern) is designed so that when the drain is installed, the top of the drain is flush with the bottom of the sink and there are no gaps. This prevents water from pooling in the bottom of the sink. In contrast, the Sinkology sinks have a “tapered” drain. The drain flange will never be flush with the bottom of the sink in this configuration and water will be allowed to pool at the bottom.
Another measurement of quality is the actual weight of the copper sink. The Lowe’s farmhouse sink (33” x 22” x 9”) weighed 33 lbs. The Sinkology sink weighed 31 lbs. Our similar model SoLuna farmhouse sink at the same size weighs 38 lbs. and our Fernanda copper sink weighs 51 lbs. Our Fernanda sink in the same size is 65% heavier than the Amazon sink!
Copper thickness is measured by gauge. The smaller the gauge of the metal the thicker the copper. All our SoLuna kitchen sinks are made from 14-gauge copper, the thickest available on the market for copper kitchen sinks. Although many of our competitors (including the sinks we purchased to do this comparison) claim their sinks are made of 14-gauge copper, the true weight suggests a much lighter and thinner 15-16 gauge.
The thickness of copper will have a significant effect on how well the sink wears over time. Thicker copper is especially important for kitchen sinks that see a lot of action and heavy use every day. So, always check the gauge and weight when shopping for copper sinks. A thicker gauge will be more expensive at first, but it will outlast thinner copper sinks and prove its value through longevity.
A lighter/thinner gauge copper sink such as those we purchased for this comparison produce a tinny, hollow sound when water flows from the faucet into the well of the sink. Often lower quality sinks are insulated with foam blocks to help dampen the loud, drumming sound.
When testing these sinks for sound, we found a significant difference. Our SoLuna copper sink generated a low frequency, softer sound, signaling a more substantial, thicker product. Both the Lowe’s, Amazon and Home Depot copper sinks generated a higher, tinny sound when tested under the same conditions. These lighter weight sinks will likely need insulation around the well(s) under the sink to muffle the noise.
Copper Sinks Online has close to two decades of experience working with customers from across the globe that come to us for initial questions before their copper sink purchase, and because of our quality, knowledgeable service, they buy from us.
What is interesting is how many phone calls and emails we receive from customers of Lowe’s, Home Depot, somebody selling sinks on eBay, Amazon or another online competitor after they purchase a sink there. They come to us after they are unable to get answers to their questions – or even get somebody to respond to their problem. The last thing anyone wants is to buy something from a company who cannot really support or provide knowledgeable information and answers about the products they sell.
Here is an example of a Home Depot customer coming to us for service and expertise a few months later:
Subject: “Please Help Me”
Message: “I bought this copper sink from home depot about 2 months ago, last night I notice a black spot on the left sink, I tried to clean with ketchup, and got all light color, no darker like the right sink, what should I do now?” — M. T., from CA
If this customer purchased a SoLuna copper sink from Copper Sinks Online, our staff would have educated this person in the care and maintenance of a copper sink. We suspect the staff at Home Depot simply could not help her, so she came to us for help and answers.
Our sales staff is truly knowledgeable and can assist with questions or concerns, and can help coordinate faucets, sinks, lighting, and accessories for your project. Part of our customer service also includes offering our Guides & Information section of our website as a reference tool for those considering a copper sink purchase.
You can buy any SoLuna copper sink with confidence knowing they are lead-free and crafted by the most talented coppersmiths in the world. Our artisans take pride in their work and skill that has been handed down through their generations in Santa Clara, Mexico (recognized as the leading “copper crafts” center of the world).
SoLuna copper sinks have set the standard for artisan quality copper sinks. We have a proven track record, having sold our sinks to tens of thousands of satisfied customers.
A SoLuna copper sink may cost a little more initially than some of the cheaper sinks that you will find in the marketplace, but it is clear our copper sinks are vastly superior, and our customer service is second to none.
A kitchen sink is often the focal point and an important “tool” in the kitchen, and at our affordable prices, superior quality and great service, there should be no reason to accept anything less than genuine SoLuna copper.