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I found some hard black pads with a honeycomb pattern stuck to the bottom of my sink. Some of them are starting to disintegrate and fall apart. Wondering what the purpose of these are and if I need to be concerned about their deterioration and if this is something that needs to be replaced?

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2 Answers 2

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These are sound-dampening pads:

A sink with sound-dampening pads applied

(Image from https://www.instructables.com/Easily-Soundproof-a-Stainless-Steel-Sink/)

They aren't strictly necessary, but as the name suggests, they do help reduce how much sound the water makes as it hits the sink. If you remove the old ones and find the change in sound annoying, you might want to replace them.

You can buy new ones in any home improvement store or online, either sold specifically for sinks, or any rubber mat with an adhesive backing.

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  • Thanks Abe. Could the sink have come with these already attached or is this only an after-market modification that someone would make?
    – Guy
    Mar 17, 2023 at 16:08
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    @Guy Of course it can come with it attached, because someone would just rip a piece from their stock and stick it on instead of sending it out separate.
    – Nelson
    Mar 17, 2023 at 16:13
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    @Guy - every sink I've ever owned/worked on has had this.
    – SiHa
    Mar 17, 2023 at 16:36
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    Here in Eastern Europe we got them some ~25 years ago. Older homes don't have them. Quite a pleasant difference when one glues a single 10x10cm patch (the more is better, but not decisively better, the first 10x10cm remove 95% of the noise). For one reason or another, one also gets less splashing.
    – fraxinus
    Mar 17, 2023 at 17:02
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    @RayButterworth "Dampening" can refer to either (see the first sense in merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dampen), and is by far the more common term when referring to sound-reducing materials. Mar 18, 2023 at 3:35
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Seconding Abe's reply, these are sound dampeners. When we got our stainless steel sink it had them attached. One fell off pretty soon and I noticed more noise so I glued it back in place using regular Elmer's type glue.

I think they're mostly used for stainless sinks, our previous porcelain sink didn't have pads. Performance won't be harmed by removing them or not reattaching any that fall off other than more noise when you're running water in the sink.

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