Fireclay sink vs cast iron sink, a tough choice to make for every home designer out there. When you plan on designing your kitchen, the sink is one of the most essential and significant items to start with. Selecting the perfect sink that serves as an aesthetic centerpiece is a must. Not to mention that it has to be comfortable and workable as well.
This post is dedicated to enlightening you with everything you need to know. By the end of this 8-minute read, you will have learned which material best suits your style and why. Stay with us while we walk you through all the things you need to consider for the perfect pick!
Fireclay Sink Vs Cast Iron Sink
Whenever we think of sinks, fireclay sinks and cast iron sinks are bound to cross our minds. Both sinks have their own merits and demerits, along with their individual stylish characteristics. Here I’m going to give you a clear concept of which sink should be your kitchen companion based on your demand and kitchen design. So let’s dive in for a better insight.
Let’s start with answering these questions first – What is fireclay? How is it different from regular mud? How is it prepared, and what’s the procedure?
We all have heard of firebricks. In the case of firebricks, the brick is first given a brick-like structure, and details are added using mud. Then it goes through a high temperature, which provides it with a solid body. And after that, we get our firebricks as the end products. Manufacturers follow the same procedure in making fireclay sinks.
The only difference in making firebricks and fireclay is the mud. The mud that the manufacturers use in making fireclay sinks are from the depth of the earth. Component, density, and behavior of that mud are very different than the ordinary clay used for bricks. The fireclay also contains a high aluminum margin, and the mud is whiter in color.
So to sum it up – The mud amalgamates with an aluminum mixture for thickening. Then it gets the shape of a sink. After the molding, it heats at an extremely high temperature for solidification.
Colouring, detailing, and polishing gives it a stylish look. And after all these steps are carried out flawlessly, we achieve our desired fireclay sinks. Now let us jump to the merits and demerits of a fireclay sink;
Merits of Fireclay Sink
- Gives your kitchen a classic vibe.
- Easily customizable.
- Easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Has outstanding durability.
- We can give it our desired shape and structure effortlessly
Demerits of Fireclay Sink
- Fireclay is a bit more expensive than porcelain sinks.
- Some might be vulnerable to stains if not appropriately maintained.
- Offers only a limited number of colors to choose from.
- Substantial impacts can leave scratches on the sink.
Cast Iron Sinks
Here is the next set of questions that we’ll be answering – What is cast iron? Is normal iron and cast iron the same thing? If not, then what is the material used in cast iron? How is it made? And lastly, what is the process of making a cast iron sink?
Well, cast iron is a type of iron used in making day-to-day cookware and tools used in the kitchen. But the difference is that a cast iron is a mixture of two elements – Carbon and iron. A cast iron sink contains a higher level of carbon mixture than the iron used in making cookware.
The day to day cookware and tools go through a melt-and-mold process to get to their desired body. After that, it goes through a beating process at the blacksmiths’ for perfect shaping. Then that hot piece of iron sits in the water for cooling and solidification.
Now let us come to the making process of cast iron. First, the iron goes through a melting and molding process to get a sink like structure. Due to the carbon mixture in the iron, it makes it easier to mold it. Then it hits the hammering phase for a perfect sink-shape. After all this, it is finally ready for polishing. And then it results in the cast iron sink we all have been waiting for.
Let us come to the merits and demerits of cast iron sink now;
Merits of Cast Iron Sink
- Durability and build quality are exemplary.
- Its steel has an enamel coating that retains rust.
- The sink has an enamel coating for heavy-duty work.
- It comes in a variety of colors. So an option of customizing the sink is available.
Demerits of Cast Iron Sink
- As it is a solid iron frame, it is a massive sink.
- If the enamel coating wears off, the sink can get rustic.
- For an upfront investment, it’s expensive and difficult to install.
- You will require under-mounting support for the sink.
Fireclay Sink Vs Cast Iron Sink: Which One To Go With?
After understanding both the sinks’ making procedure, you now have a crystal clear concept on both the fireclay sink and cast iron sink. Now let us differentiate and separate the two for your ease of choice.
Difference in Durability
The fireclay sink has excellent durability. It might not be equivalent to a cast iron sink, but it is strong enough to sustain a long-term, heavy-duty workload. Manufacturers make the sink out of clay; therefore, it’s rust-resistant by default.
As the surface color and building material have the same color, it does not highlight small scratches and damages. So, you won’t notice the minor injuries that easily.
On the other hand, cast iron sinks are indeed reputed in durability due to their solid iron body. It’s rust-resistant, enamel-coated, and is the perfect sink for heavy-duty work.
But there is an ‘if.’ If the enamel coating wears off, the sink can get rusty. You will be able to notice Scratches and deep spots without concentrating. Why? Because the surface color and material that it consists of is different.
Difference in Resistant to Rust
As the core element of a fireclay sink is mud, it is automatically a rust-resistant kitchen sink. So you won’t be needing additional countermeasures.
In the case of a cast iron sink, it almost always has an enamel coating to make it rust-resistant. But if the coating wears off, it loses its resistance.
Difference in Customization
To cope with your classic or colorful kitchen, fireclay sinks have a wide variety of sinks for you in the market. There are absolutely no color limitation issues. Thus it gives you a countless number of colorful sinks for your perfect kitchen.
Cast iron sink generally comes in a white porcelain enamel color. But nowadays there are a few other options in the market for you. Even so, the possibilities have a moderate boundary, unlike fireclay sinks.
Difference in Design
In the case of design, there is no difference. Both the fireclay sink and cast iron sink comes in farmhouse styled kitchen sink and apron styled kitchen sink. Therefore all the users who are primarily concerned about design-based differences can finally rest their minds.
The next time you go sink-shopping, you won’t need to brainstorm on which sink-design to purchase. In other words, both the design is available in multiple materials for you to choose from.
Difference in Maintenance
You will have to avoid harsh and rough cleaning procedures for both fireclay sink and cast iron sink.
Even then, fireclay is much easier to maintain. Since manufacturers make it out of clay, therefore it’s resistant to rust. A minor scratch is not that noticeable on a fireclay sink. A good wipe at the end of the day is enough for a fireclay sinks maintenance.
Whereas for a cast iron sink, you need to be really cautious while cleaning it. Since manufacturers choose to make it out of iron, even a little scratch is noticeable quickly. If your enamel coating wears off, the sink is no longer rust-resistant. So it is quite a tough job maintaining a cast iron sink.
Difference in Installation
The fireclay sink is lighter, and most often, it doesn’t need any under-mount support. For this reason, it is much easier to install on to your countertop.
Without a professional’s help, it is difficult and complex to install a cast iron sink. Cast iron sinks are much more massive, durable, and robust. It requires an under-mount and an expert’s hand to fix it on your countertop.
Difference in Cost
Between fireclay and cast iron sink, fireclay is undoubtedly more economical. Fire clay is easier to install and lighter in weight compared with cast iron sink. So eventually its cost is less as well. Cast iron sink is a massive iron chunk. It also needs an additional enamel coating for making it rust-resistant. As a result, the cost is relatively more than fireclay sinks.
Which One Should You Go With?
You will get a ton of options while selecting your preferred sink in the market. Starting from a variety of designs and making materials. But not all materials are valued equally in terms of look, durability, workability.
Moreover, if the comparison is fireclay sink vs cast iron sink, then fireclay sinks will be the apparent winner. A fireclay sink has reputed durability, aesthetic look, rust-resistant, more comfortable to maintain, easy to install, and less expensive than cast iron sink.
Even so, every single person has their own preference and opinion. So choosing a cast iron sink over a fireclay sink is not an issue as long as you are comfortable with its workability. But as I’m here to clarify you between fireclay sink and cast iron sink differences, I would prefer you a fireclay sink over a cast iron sink.