Product Type: Blanco Siligranit Kitchenware
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Even the kitchen sink.................. ......
Blanco Siligranit Metra 5S Sink
Member Name: yackers1
Blanco Siligranit Metra 5S Sink
Advantages: Tough, durable, heat resistant, scratch resistant, easy to clean, no water marks
Disadvantages: The lack of "flex" can create some issues - as per the review
In my experience the kitchen is the most abused room in the house and it really does suffer for it. The time had come to replace the kitchen in my property, it looked like it had not been touched since the eighties, and we had come to the conclusion that durability was the way forward. How it looks is obviously important as well but durability was the driving feature, and everything had to be the most durable it could whilst still being at least slightly pleasing to the eye.
Up until we decided on a new kitchen I had never considered the sink, I mean how many people automatically think of their "dream" sink when having a new kitchen is discussed? In my mind there were far too many other important things to consider, such as the layout, the cupboards, the floor, the tiles etc. etc. The sink was right at the bottom of the list of priorities, until we went to the kitchen designers that is.
We spent ages with the designer (and I am embarrassed by the actual amount of time spent) talking about sinks, the material, the size, the colour, the style etc were all discussed at length and the final decision was made to purchase a Blanco siligranit sink.
****Who is Blanco?****
Blanco is a German company that was founded in 1925 and manufactures kitchen ware. Blanco does make a few products although it specializes in sinks and taps. Its' ethos is to "offer its customers the best in terms of design, function and innovation".
****What is siligranit?****
Siligranit is an alternative to stainless steel and according to the Blanco website "it is stain resistant, scratch resistant and heat resistant. It's also very hygienic and easy to clean - and it won't fade after years of use".
Blanco's claims are pretty impressive and only a real long term test will prove them all to be honest or not, especially the "won't fade after years of use" claim, but based on my ownership I can confirm siligranit is a strong and durable material that is a more than adequate material for a kitchen sink.
****Blanco's range of siligranit sinks****
I bought the Blanco Metra 5S sink which is 860mm x 500mm, however there are over 20 different types of Blanco Siligranit sink available and the range includes single bowl, dual bowl, corner sink style, bowl and strainer combo and many other combinations. Sizes vary from a tiny 600mm x 500mm right through to a huge 1,200mm x 620mm. With a large range of sizes and styles there is something that is likely to appeal to all tastes.
The Blanco range is available in ten different colour schemes including jasmin, white, cognac and anthracite amongst others. Whilst the range isn't vast there appears to be something that will suit the majority of colour schemes. One thing I would point out is that the actual colours in the brochure are quite different from the real article. My alumetallic sink looked awful in the brochure but in real life I think it is the best colour.
According to the manufacturers blurb silgranit can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees centigrade. Obviously I have never been able to test this out although heat has never been an issue during my ownership of a siligranit sink, so full marks here. That said, heat was never an issue with my old stainless steel sink.
There is nothing worse than finishing cleaning the kitchen sink only for the tap to dribble and leave water marks, and stainless steel is renowned for highlighting these. There is also the added issue that if these water marks are left they can taint the stainless steel and are almost impossible to get rid of, and the problem is even worse in hard water areas like the one where I live.
Siligranit doesn't suffer from the same problem as stainless steel. Water marks will obviously show if left but wipe them away with a cloth and the silgranit shines like new, so full marks here.
The silgranit sink is far more resilient than a stainless steel alternative. Stainless steel, whilst strong is renowned for scratching easily and looks absolutely awful until the whole surface area has been "scratched in and dulled down", which takes many months.
Prior to buying the sink I was skeptical about the scratch resistance although the salesman soon put my mind at ease with a first class demonstration that involved removing a large set of key from his pocket, selecting the largest single key and vigorously scratching at the display sink whilst saying "you wouldn't want to be doing this to a stainless steel sink now, would you?" I did ask for a comparison test to be done by pointing at the nearest stainless sink and asking for the demonstration to be repeated but the salesman declined.
Even though I am not a thug or have a destructive nature I even had an attempt at vandalising and defacing the show sink with my own key, but I also failed. My other half declined the offer, but I could easily see she was suitably impressed as was I.
Stainless steel sinks will bend and contort with day to day use, and whilst this is not always such a bad thing there are times when you may wish that stainless steel sinks weren't so easy to bend. Siligranit sinks do not bend or contort. Again, I was skeptical but with a big grin on his face the salesman jumped on the display sink and gently swayed from side to side and up and down on it commenting "Now a stainless steel sink wouldn't be able to take this much punishment". Another first class demonstration and I was beginning to be won over by this type of sink.
The salesman confirmed that any cleaning product can be used on silgranit without having a detrimental effect. My other half and I were then "treated" to a story about how the salesman left some rusty kebab skewers in a light coloured siligranit sink overnight creating an awful mess but his wife simply applied some bleach and a bit of elbow grease and the rust stains came right out leaving the sink as good as new.
The texture of the siligranit sink is such that it is a doodle to keep clean. I have to admit that I haven't had the need to use any really powerful cleaning agents on my siligranit sink, although the various antibacterial sprays and other domestic fluids have not had any detrimental effects to my sink or marked it in any way.
Whilst siligranit is available in many different and "unusual" colour schemes it is not available in a finish as shiny as stainless steel. There is something about a fresh and new stainless sink that is so pleasing to the eye, although this doesn't last that long so I will leave it up to the reader of this review to decide whether this is a disadvantage or not.
Since the siligranit sink has no give you have to be careful when putting crockery etc. on the draining board. If you're a bit heavy handed or things slip out of your hands (it's easily done when your hands are covered in Fairy Liquid or something similar) they are liable to break (in the case of plates, cups etc.) or bend (in the case of pots and pans) as the full force is transferred through the item dropped. This does not happen with stainless steel sinks because the stainless steel will bend and absorb a lot of the impact as the object hits it. In addition, you have to be more careful when putting things in to the sink for exactly the same reason.
****Price and availability****
Siligranit sinks are more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts but given the features of the siligranit sinks this isn't unreasonable in my opinion. Prices start from £239 for the 600mm x 500mm single bowl entry level model. The all singing all dancing Modus M90 will set you back £769. All other models are priced somewhere in between, obviously depending upon style and size.
I bought my Blanco sink from a kitchen design store in Norwich, Norfolk however I would recommend looking at the Blanco website to see where your nearest Blanco supplier is.
I was looking for a durable sink to go in my new durable kitchen and I have discovered an ultra durable product. I have to admit that I am a siligranit convert and as long as it is around I won't go back to stainless steel sinks ever again. I can't recommend them highly enough.
Prior to owning a siligranit sink I was skeptical over the salesman's claims but after the scratch resistance and durability demonstrations, along with the fact that everyone who worked in the kitchen design shop owned a siligranit sink (or so I was told), I thought it would be worth a punt. After all "no guts no glory", and all that.
This was a gamble that certainly paid off. In my experience the siligranit sink is strong, durable, scratch resistant, heat resistant (although I can't really say it deals with this any better than a stainless steel sink) and exceptionally easy to keep looking clean and like new. I haven't tried any industrial strength cleaning products on it, but then I have never had the need to.
I appreciate that they are expensive, and a lot more than stainless steel sinks, but you really do get what you pay for and a siligranit sink represents excellent value for money.
Summary: I will never go back to stainless steeel