If you are in the market for a sink grid then you might have run into about 50 varieties of shiny stainless steel items that look exactly alike. But which is the best one for your kitchen and your sink?
What Is A Sink Grid?
Just to make sure we are all on the same page, a sink grid is a metal piece that sits on the bottom of your sink. It looks a bit like a grill, aside from a hole that goes over your drain. The grid covers the entire bottom of the sink and anything in the sink rests on it, instead of on the floor of the sink.
A sink grid is someone known as a “sink rack” or ” sink bottom grid.”
What’s The Purpose Of A Sink Grid?
Sink grids have a few purposes. First of all, some sink materials are prone to scratching. This can happen with stainless steel and ceramic sinks, and can be worse with some finishes than others. A grid means that anything metal that goes in the sink will stay away from the bottom and prevent unsightly wear.
Also, the bottom of a sink can get pretty gross. When your cut some raw chicken and then put a knife in the sink, you might wash the knife soon after, but did you wash the bottom of the sink? A flat bottom sink means a lot of area for exposure to germs, as well as easy spreading of those germs. A sink grid reduces the surface area while increasing airflow and decreasing drain times. This slows down the spread of germs and bacteria.
Downsides Of A Sink Grid?
As you might already know, the inside of a sink gets gross, but it’s easy to clean. A sink grid can get gross, but it’s not that easy to clean. This is a major downside as the sink grid is basically a set of corners and edges that can collect grime and food stuff over time. Your plates and other items won’t tough the unclean portion of the sink grid — the feet in particular — but they’ll be dirty and you’ll know they are.
An easy fix for this would be getting a sink grid that fits in your dishwasher. Throw it in there, clean and then do heated dry and it’ll be entirely clean and ready to go back in the sink.
The Best Sink Grid
Sink grids, as a product, haven’t really seen great deals of innovation. That is to say that most sink grids are practically identical to one another with the main differences coming with style, finish, and fit. Small attributes, like the size and prominence of the rubber feet at the bottom become large differentiators when the products are so similar.
Before making any recommendations, it’s worth understanding that most sink manufacturers make sink grids for their models. So if you have a Vigo sink, it could get a Vigo sink grid for it. In fact, some models would have included one if you bought it direct or from an authorized reseller. Other major sink manufacturers, like Elkay, Rohl, and American Standard do the same.
The best sink grid will be one that fits your sink well, it made of materials that will last, that looks nice, and is easy to clean. This usually means that the manufacturer’s model will be the best fit and the best looking, but they tend to be expensive (think about $125-250). Aftermarket sink grids will be much more affordable, about $45 on average. You’ll need to be very careful when measuring an non-manufacturer grid in order to ensure the best fit with your sink.
Elkay Stainless Steel Bottom Grid
Elkay is a brand that I know and trust. They make all sorts of products, including a number of sizes of stainless steel sink grids. Their models are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and have scratch-preventing rubber feet. Their prices are pretty reasonable too, with grids around $50.
If you want a major brand name that offers a number of sizes and reasonable prices then Elkay is probably the best option.
American Standard Prevoir Bottom Grid
American Standard (the toilet and sink company) makes sink grids as well. These are made specifically for American Standard sinks but will fit any rectangular sink if you measure properly and find the right model. Like the Elkay, they are made of stainless steel, but American Standard has fewer rubber feet so they grids look a bit nicer.
Sink Grid Alternatives
If you want to protect the bottom of your sink from scratches, but don’t want something that is metal or hard to clean, then you can get a sink mat. These items are normally made of PVC or silicone and they are affordable, non-metal, food-safe items that you can easily remove, disinfect, wipe clean, and/or put in your dishwasher.
If you don’t want to commit to a metal grid, there are other ways to protect your sink.
OXO Good Grips Sink Mat
OXO’s silicon sink mat is a soft, rubbery mat that sits at the bottom of your sink. It’s dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. It’s also a nice grey that matches most stainless steel sinks quite well. The design of the mat means water can flow freely and small food stuff (rice, etc.) can get to your drain with minimum obstruction. It’s even heat safe so you don’t need to worry about pouring boiling pasta water down the drain.
Note, the above is a newer model. I owned the previous model (this one) which was a rigid plastic, always looked slightly tattered, and was raised in the center. It served its purpose but I never really liked it. This newer model looks to be quite an improvement.
Rubbermaid Antimicrobial Sink Protector Mat
Rubbermaid makes a sink protector mat that is another solid sink grid alternative. I haven’t owned this one, but it’s under $10 and Rubbermaid has always been a reliable brand for me. This one uses Microban for anti-microbial properties and is also dishwasher-safe. Despite the name of the company, the mat is made of plastic, not rubber.