Understanding Sound Dampening in Sinks
It used to be that washing dishes was an unavoidably loud procedure. The clanging of dishes, the drum of water hitting the sink – it was loud and there was nothing you could do about it. However, more and more sinks are offering special sound-dampening features to make the experience quieter and more enjoyable. If you’re not familiar with the whole concept of quiet dish washing, read on and see if these sinks are worth the trouble.
The Issue with Sound
Much of the loudness that comes from washing dishes is caused by the streams of water splashing against the bottoms and walls of a metal sink. Stone and porcelain sinks are very dense and can naturally absorb sounds, but metal sinks are thinner and can literally turn into a drum that just amplifies the sound. These new styles of sinks are designed to allow you all of the benefits and luxuries that come from a stainless steel or metal sink, without having to deal with the extra sounds that they can create.
Using Special Coating
The primary method for sound dampening that most manufacturers use involves spraying a special coating on the bottom of the sink. Every manufacturer uses a different formula for these compounds, with some using a combination of stone powder for the natural sound-controlling properties, while others go with different chemical compounds. The end result is a material that is able to essentially stop the soundwaves from vibrating through the metal of the sink – decreasing the volume and spread of the sound but not stopping it completely.
The Power of Padding
Another method that many manufacturers use involves placing special sound-reduction pads at key points on the sink. These pads are often made of rubber, which is very good at absorbing sound, though some may use metals or plastics. You can usually see these pads near the drain, which is where the water from the faucet of most sinks is going to be hitting. It can also appear on the sides of the sink to help eliminate the sound that comes from water splashing on its inner walls. This type of soundproofing is usually seen on larger, single bowl sinks since their bigger walls tend to amplify sound more because they have more space.
One of the biggest side benefits of these soundproofing tactics is that the sinks end up being more resistant to building up condensation on the outside parts that you don’t see inside the actual cabinet. The under-sink cabinet usually ends up being pretty cool, temperature-wise, so when you put hot water into the sink it can cause water to build up and make the whole area damp. Since there is usually less airflow and no direct sunlight to evaporate the water, this can lead to mold forming on the wood, rust forming on the pipes, or even the area becoming and attraction for insects. The coating helps the sink keep a consistent temperature so that the condensation never forms in the first place.
The Final Word
When you look at everything a sink with additional soundproofing can do, it definitely feels like the list of positives is pretty long. However, if you aren’t bothered by the extra sounds that come from water hitting the sink, then it might not be something you actually need to pay for. If you do buy a sink with soundproofing, make sure the manufacturer uses a nontoxic coating so that you aren’t inadvertently bringing anything harmful into your home.