Fireclay vs. Cast Iron Sinks: And the Winner Is...
You love the clean look of a clean, white farmhouse sink. Yet, you live a busy lifestyle and you need a vessel that's capable of keeping pace.
Your kitchen should be a stress-free place where you're free to make memories. While many traditional farm sinks might look great, are they durable enough?
While traditional cast iron might be the former design choice for most home interiors, modern fireclay is quickly gaining steam as an ideal alternative. Today, we're exploring the fireclay vs cast iron debate in full, sharing key distinctions between the two to help you make a smart decision for your home.
Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks
There's something undeniably classic about cast iron kitchen sinks. This material is heavy, rugged, and built to stay in your kitchen for decades. Yet, it isn't without its drawbacks.
When the iron is cast, it's covered in a durable enamel coating. At first, this coating is bright white, and shiny. However, it can be difficult to keep it that way.
Over time, the enamel can wear off or chip, which could lead to rust. These spots are especially noticeable due to the dark color of the iron underneath.
In addition, the weight of a cast iron sink is another consideration to keep in mind. As it is so heavy, it can be cumbersome to move, position, and place. Some homeowners might even find that they need to install special under-mounting mechanisms to support their new sink.
Due to their size and weight, these are also some of the most expensive sinks on the market. For years, this left homeowners in a difficult position: Invest in a cast iron sink and deal with the challenging upkeep, or shelf their plans for a farmhouse look altogether?
Thankfully, there's a modern solution to this age-old question. Enter, fireclay.
Fireclay Kitchen Sinks
Just like their cast iron predecessors, fireclay kitchen sinks are charming, classic and add instant farmhouse appeal to any interior.
The main differences? They're lighter, less expensive, and easier to install.
The fireclay material is formed when a clay-based ceramic is fired in a kiln at hot temperatures. During this process, a protective glaze is actually fused to the clay, rather than poured on top of it as with cast iron.
As a result, fireclay sinks are stronger and more durable. They're also designed to maintain their sleek appearance for a longer period of time. This means you don't have to worry every time you drop a piece of silverware into the basin!
Another benefit of fireclay is its flexibility. The material used in these sinks can be poured into any shape of mold you can find. As a result, you'll have greater creative control over your kitchen aesthetics!
For instance, you can choose a clean, smooth apron-front fireclay sink, such as our 30-inch Yovanny model. This look is ideal when you want the shape and function of your sink to take center stage.
Or, you can add a decorative touch, as evidenced by our 30-inch Ulan model, which features an eye-catching, three-dimensional vine motif. We also offer fireclay sinks with fluted designs, fluid waves, checkered patterns, and more!
Looking to add the perfect simple embellishment? You can also find fireclay sinks with an attractive top lip, shown in our 30-inch Kenner model.
Fireclay vs Cast Iron: Key Comparisons
Now that we've discussed the primary features of each of these sink materials, let's look at how they compete against each other in certain categories.
Fireclay is lighter weight and easier to install than cast iron. For these reasons, it's also more economical. Plus, you'll spend less on maintenance and upkeep over the years with a fireclay sink.
As long as you keep your basin wiped clean every day, this is a fuss-free option. You won't have to spend a ton of money to keep it looking beautiful for a lifetime.
The strength of cast iron cannot be overlooked. This is a workhorse material capable of holding up under the weight of a sink full of heavy dishes. However, fireclay wins out in this category due to its long-term usability.
As the years go by, your once-pristine cast iron will begin to show obvious signs of use. While your fireclay might do the same, it's still more resistant to breaks, scratches, and nicks than most types of ceramics. Moreover, if you do damage your sink slightly, the material underneath is the same color, so it's less noticeable.
You'll need to avoid abrasive cleaners and harsh tools when you're cleaning either fireclay or cast iron. Yet, the maintenance requirements for cast iron exceed that of fireclay.
Any time you get a scratch, you'll see it immediately due to the distinct iron color. As a result, you're bound to be more cautious and careful using this sink. You're also likely to invest in plenty of repair kits, along with sandpaper, epoxy, and other DIY tools that promise to restore your sink to its original condition.
With fireclay, as long as you give your sink a good wipe-down at the end of the day and keep your cleaners mild, you shouldn't have to worry about such minor repairs.
Want a sink that's as bold and beautiful as the paint on your walls? With fireclay, you aren't limited to the trademark white porcelain enamel that defines a cast iron sink.
Rather, you can customize these sinks in a variety of colors that range from baby blue to green apple! This is a sweet, unexpected way to tie your decor together and help your investment stand out.
Find the Perfect Fireclay Sink Today
As you search for the perfect kitchen sink, you have more options today than ever before. However, not every material is created equal.
This is especially the case when it comes to fireclay vs cast iron. While both sinks will give you the age-honored look you want to achieve, fireclay wins out as being more durable, less expensive, and easier to maintain.
Looking to upgrade your existing sink? We'd love to help. Check out our full selection of kitchen sinks, including our fireclay models. Then, contact us to get started and let's connect.
- Kirsten Lee