A kitchen sink forms a significant part of every household. And since it takes all forms of abuse, you need to ensure that you pick one that can last you for years.
But is it that easy? Not really.
Choosing the best material for your kitchen sink can be a daunting task now that there’re plenty of options today. These sinks also come in different sizes, styles, materials, and colors.
From cast iron, stainless steel, composite, stone, granite to fireclay and enamel, you’ll find it hard to select the right one for your home.
The most popular sink choices, today are stainless steel and fireclay. And although both make excellent choices, they have differences.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the 2 options and help you understand their pros and cons. This will help you settle for the best model for your home, so stick around.
What's in this Guide?
Stainless Steel Sink
Step into most kitchens, and you’ll most likely come across a stainless steel sink. They are popular due to their affordability and ease of maintenance.
Stainless steel sinks are also heat resistant, meaning that you can wash hot pots and pans in one worry-free.
And if you’re so much into the aesthetics of your kitchen sink. You’ll love the steel sink. It is compatible with stainless steel appliances like the refrigerator, faucets, and other hardware with a stainless steel finish.
However, the much you’ll pay for a stainless steel sink depends on the weight and steel gauge of the product.
Most stainless steel sinks have a gauge that ranges from 18 – 22 inches. If interested in these sinks, one thing to note is that the lower the gauge, the thicker the sink. An 18-gauge sink is, therefore, wider than a 22-inch sink.
If looking for rust, scratch, and dent-resistant sink, select the one with thicker steel. And although it might come with a higher price tag, it’s worth it.
Also, if you want a sink that gives you a calm environment when working, one that produces less noise, get the model with a heavier gauge.
You can also find stainless steel sinks that come with built-in sound-proofing rubber pads. They reduce the vibrations produced by the sink as you work.
Torn between a mirrored finish and a mirrored chrome-like and a satin/brushed finish stainless steel? Get the satin finish. It helps prevent wear more than the other models.
Advantages of Stainless Steel Sink
- They are easy to clean
- Are easy to install
- Fit your budget and are long-lasting
- Lesser chances of breakage and cracks
- Stainless steel sinks are highly versatile
- They are heat resistant
Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Sink
- They can be noisy
- They get scratches with ease
Fireclay sinks come in a timeless and appealing appearance hence the best for you if looking for a durable and vintage-themed kitchen sink.
A fireclay sink is a type of ceramic sink that isn’t carved but molded at extreme temperatures. The process starts by molding clay into the desired shape and size of the sink. It then dries under mild level heat for up to 2 days.
Once dry, porcelain enamel is applied, and the sink is heated at 2000 degrees for close to 24 hours. The extreme temperatures fuse the enamel to the ceramic, fortifying the strength of the sink as a whole.
The result is a tough, smooth and beautiful fireclay sink.
And do you know that you can easily mistake a cast iron sink for a fireclay sink. The two are very similar in appearance. However, fireclay sinks boast a handcrafted quality hence look great in rustic-themed kitchens.
Opposed to stainless steel sinks, fireclay sinks are limited in styles, colors, and finishes. They mostly come in white and off-white. They are also made with the purpose of a farmhouse sink and thus are primarily available with only one basin.
The best selling point of fireclay sinks is that they are highly resistant to scratches and stains. They are also easy to clean and maintain since you simply need to wipe the basin with a cloth after every use.
Avoid using abrasive products like baking soda and steel wool at all costs, as they can create scratches to the sink basin and dull the sink’s finish.
It’s also possible to chip the sink’s enamel when cleaning pots and pans hence the need to purchase a handy sink grid to prevent this from happening. A sink grid can also serve as a drying place for your dishes.
Fireclay sinks are extremely heavy and a little complicated to install. It’s therefore recommended that you seek a professional to help you with the process. Also, ensure that your counter has enough support and room for a fireclay sink.
Another drawback of fireclay sinks is that they come with a very high price tag. Although a few brands offer cost-effective models to fit your budget, you’ll have to part with a handsome amount.
Advantages of Fireclay Sink
- Made up of a very smooth texture
- Are easy to clean
- Fireclay sinks are noise intolerant
- Smooth with a sleek finish
- Although most come in white, you can find them in other colors
Disadvantages of Fireclay Sink
- Excessively heavy
- Require accurate measurements to install
Fireclay material is a bit fragile hence the need to handle fireclay sinks with care.
So, Which is Better, Fireclay or Stainless Steel Sink?
Both sinks work great, are durable, sturdy, and long-lasting. They can complement your kitchen and bring a catchy look hence worth spending your money on.
However, from the guide, it’s clear that each has its pros and cons. Therefore, the best sink to get for your kitchen will depend on your needs and budget.
For example, if looking for a budget-friendly kitchen sink, go for a stainless steel sink. If what you want is a classy and unique kitchen sink, you’ll love a fireclay sink. However, get ready to spend more on it.
Fireclay and stainless steel kitchen sinks are high-quality kitchen sinks that can enable you to work comfortably at all times. Whether you want a classy or affordable option for your kitchen, the 2 models have your back. Check your budget, and if you feel that you can spend more, get the fireclay model. If a little tight on budget, go for a stainless steel sink.