Fireclay Vs. Cast Iron Sink – Which Is Best For You?

The kitchen is one of the most important areas in any house. It’s where all family meals are prepared and new recipes unveiled.

And within the kitchen, the sink is the most essential as it helps get everything perfectly cleaned. It actually sees a lot of work and thus the need to invest in one that is not only durable and strong enough but also one that you can handle with ease.

If thinking of purchasing a new kitchen sink but torn between a fireclay and a cast iron sink, dig deeper into this post. Our detailed comparison will help you learn the basic differences between the 2 as well as their pros and cons.

But before that, here is a brief introduction to the fireclay and cast iron sinks.

Fireclay Sink

Fireclay Sink

Just like the name suggests, fireclay is a clay-based material usually fired in a kiln at very high temperatures. It is a type of ceramic that, through firing, fuses the glaze to clay to improve the strength and integrity of the material.

The material used to make fireclay sinks is highly flexible and easy to mold into any shape. They are less expensive than cast iron sinks and add a charming appeal to any kitchen interior.

Fireclay sinks are strong and durable. They also maintain their sleek appearance for long, meaning that you don’t have to worry about scratches every time you drop your dishes, pots, or pans in the basin.

Cast Iron Sinks

Cast Iron Sinks

Cast iron sinks begin with the casting of iron. The iron base is later encased in durable enamel (comes in a variety of colors), making it not only stain-resistant but also sturdy enough to withstand years of use.

You can customize a cast iron sink with different colors to suit your taste, thanks to the enamel coating. And since they are available in different colors, it’s easy to get one to match your home décor.

One thing to note about cast iron sinks is that they can be a little difficult to maintain should the enamel coating wear off, as this can lead to rust.

The sinks are heavy and can be cumbersome to move and position. They are also some of the most expensive sink options you can find in the market today.

Key Comparison

Discussed below are the key differences between a cast iron and a fireclay sink that will help you get the best option according to your preferences and budget.

1. Installation

Cast iron sinks are pretty strong and durable, a feature that makes them heavier. The heavy weight makes them difficult to install, especially without professional help.

And since they are widely available, these sinks boast different installation options, including undermount, drop-in, and apron front.

Drop-in models consist of sink models with a rim installed on the top of a countertop. They are dropped in by making sure that there’s enough space to fit in. They are the easiest to install.

Undermount models are installed under the countertop. However, these models can be difficult to install and require additional support to hold them in place as they are very heavy.

Apron front sinks come in unique designs and are easy to install compared to undermounts. However, if you want one, you might have to redesign your kitchen since not all kitchen cabinets are designed to allow for their installation.

Fireclay sinks, on the other hand, are comparatively easier to install compared to cast iron models. However, one thing to keep in mind is that although lighter and easier to handle, you’ll still require another person’s help during installation.

2. Durability

Cast iron sinks are durable and known to last for years. The enamel coating also helps by protecting the sink from rust.

However, the enamel coating can get chipped off by sharp objects and result in scratches on the sink’s surface. This will make your destroy your sink’s smooth and beautiful finish and make it susceptible to rust as well.

Although lighter, fireclay sinks offer the same durability as cast iron sinks. They are, however, harder to chip off than cast iron sinks hence not susceptible to rust.

In this case, fireclay sinks rank top when it comes to durability.

3. Ease of Cleaning and maintenance

When cleaning a cast iron sink, avoid abrasive cleaners at all costs. They can damage the enamel coating and leave the iron exposed to rust.

Fire clay sinks, on the other hand, are pretty easy to clean and maintain. They have a smooth surface that doesn’t rust or stain with ease. To clean these models, you just need to wipe them clean with a soft sponge.

4. Color and Aesthetics

Cast iron sinks are available in a wide array of colors; hence easy to find one that matches your kitchen’s look. Thanks to the enamel coating, these models come with a very polished look.

Fireclay sinks, on the other hand, don’t come in such a wide variety. They also don’t boast a polished look like the cast iron sinks.

They often come in white and off whites, and if worried about aesthetics, getting a match won’t be a walk in the park.

5. Cost

Cast iron sinks come with a wide price range depending on the size and model. A rough price range estimate can be around 300 dollars to 700 dollars. If lucky enough, you can get one with as low as 200 dollars.

Fireclay sinks come with a higher price tag due to their extensive manufacturing process. On average, their prices start from 600 dollars and can reach up to 1000 dollars and more.

Therefore, cast iron sinks are a cheaper option compared to fireclay sinks.

Conclusion

Both fireclay and cast iron sinks are attractive, strong, and durable sinks that are built to last(1). They make great choices for any kitchen but come with different price tags. If mindful of the price, go for the cast iron sink since fireclay can be expensive. For a more durable option that requires little maintenance, get a fireclay sink.