Although strong and durable, fireclay is not indestructible. If poorly handled, it can get scratches, chips, or cracks. Should this be a cause for alarm? Not really. Fireclay sinks are repairable.
But actually, you need to be careful because although small cracks are easy to repair, there’s nothing you can do about large cracks. Should your fireclay sink get a large crack, you are done! There’s no way to repair it.
Small fireclay cracks can be repaired using the following methods. But before that, how about finding out what causes the cracks first?
Causes of Cracks in Fireclay Sinks
The followings reasons might be the reason why your fireclay sink got a crack.
If a plumber tightens the drain or your sink’s collar during the installation process, it is prone to cracking. And since most people don’t recognize the cracking sound when it happens, you need to be extra careful.
Should you hear the cracking sound as you use the sink, take action fast to prevent multiple cracks. Get a professional plumber to fix it for you and avoid quacks as they can worsen the situation and make you incur more expenses.
Although extremely strong, fireclay sinks crack when exerted excess pressure. Banging hard objects and utensils on the sink is a sure way of getting your sink to experience multiple cracks.
To prevent this from happening, ensure that you always handle and place your utensils with care in the sink.
Poorly Made Custom Fireclay Sinks
If you like custom-made fireclay sinks, you need to be extra careful when selecting one for your home. Remember, it’s not easy to tell whether an expert made the sink or not.
If poorly created, the sink can get cracks after a period of use.
To minimize the chances of getting a poorly crafted fireclay sink, go for a less complicated design, which is less prone to mistakes. Go for something simple but durable, unique, and elegant.
Repairing a Cracked Fireclay Sink
Step 1: Get the required items
To repair the sink, you need all the necessary materials. They include:
- Abrasive cleaner
- Sponge/soft cloth
- Fireclay repair kit
- Masking tape
- Fire brick
- Polishing paste
Step 2: Check and investigate the crack
To repair the crack, you need to identify it first. And since they can be of different shapes, sizes and depths, you need to check the kind of damage you’re dealing with.
Is it that important?
It is. Sometimes, what appears to be a crack might turn out to be only a scratch, and a scratch might also be just simple marks left by pans and pots.
You, therefore, need to confirm the damage you’re dealing with first before you begin the repair process.(1)
Step 3: Clean the sink
You need to clean your sink first before you start repairing it. And since you can’t use the fireclay kit on a soiled surface, use a soft, damp cloth or sponge to do the cleaning.
Once you get the sink clean, it’ll be easy to repair the crack as it gives you direction on where to start.
If your sink has grime or buildups, get a nylon scrubbing pad and a mild abrasive cleaner to remove the dirt. Rinse the area thoroughly.
And since the buildup might leave some residue, use a sponge to wipe them away as you rinse the sink. Start the repair process after it the sink becomes completely dry.
Step 4: Repair the sink
It’s very hard to see tiny cracks with your bare eyes but easy to feel with your fingers. Therefore, rub your fingernail edges on the damaged area.
After that, take a masking tape, place it near the cracks and then apply the fireclay repair kit to the damaged area.
The repair kit comes with a liquid that you put in the cracks. And when shopping for one, ensure that you get one with a color similar to your sink.
The repair liquid is made using a long-lasting acrylic paint hence very effective. It comes with a touch-up brush to help you apply it with ease.
For the best results, shake the bottle of the repair liquid for 2 minutes to ensure thorough mixing. And then, working with small amounts at a go, apply the liquid using the brush to all the cracks and ensure that every gap gets perfectly covered with the liquid.
Leave it to dry for at least 24 hours.
After drying, get a nylon scrubbing pad and remove any excess repair liquid for a smooth look. You’ll be surprised by your sink’s appearance since if you did everything right, it should look as good as new. At this point, your sink is ready for use.
If your fireclay repair kit came with blue light, follow this process:
Apply the repairing liquid on the cracked area and cover it with a leveling tape that comes with the kit. Then, take the blue light and shine it on the tape for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the tape and use sandpaper to make the area smooth. For the best results, use the finer grits of the sandpaper and then wipe the dust away with a soft, damp cloth after sanding.
After removing the dust, get a polishing paste and apply it to a soft cloth to polish the area. Do this, and you’ll hardly discover that your sink had a crack. It’ll be as good as new.
Although it’s highly unlikely for a fireclay sink to sustain a chip, use a repair liquid to repair it. In case of smaller chips, use a fire brick to smoothen the edges.
Although fireclay sinks are sturdy and built to last, they can crack if subjected to excessive pressure, over-tightening among other factors. Should you find out that your sink has a crack, ensure that you repair it as soon as possible if you don’t want to worsen the situation.
However, the good thing is that, with proper maintenance, these heavy-duty models will look shiny and new for years to come. Fireclay sink won’t crack or discolor like other sink materials; hence worth going for.