In “Farmhouse sinks gain popularity“, we mentioned how this sink is a great way to create a custom kitchen look and feel. Now let’s talk about how to customize the sink itself.
Once the province of white porcelain and fireclay, farmhouse sinks are currently as unique as your cabinets, island and appliances. Starting with the traditional materials, here’s a list of other options with some pros and cons of each.
Fireclay and Porcelain Sinks
Heating and curing clay above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit produces Fireclay. This treatment makes a surface that’s hard, durable, and dense. In fact, the density often requires a professional installer to modify the surrounding counter and cabinets to support the extra weight. However, the high heat is what gives Fireclay its high shine and ability to resist scratches and chips.
Porcelain, also a ceramic material, is heated to high temperatures, but not as high as fireclay. Similar in looks, it’s more prone to chipping and discoloration. It’s also a little less costly.
Copper adds an elegant touch and with time, develops a beautiful patina. If you want that aged look immediately, buy a hammered sink where the manufacturer applied a colored patina.
A more contemporary look that’s affordable is Stainless Steel. Cooks like its durability and how easy it is to maintain and clean.
You can find a number of variations including different sizes, colors, and mountings. Although traditionally installed as an under mount, it’s possible to get a top-mounted version that eliminates the risk of water finding its way down the sides of the sink. (We’ll talk more about this below.) Just note that top-mounted sinks aren’t considered to be as “authentic.”
Some Additional Considerations
Pristine white porcelain and fireclay do show dirt and grime quickly, but they’re easy to clean. Also, hard surfaces tend to be noisy when banged by pots and pans. Finally, be careful with glass items. If you rinse wine glasses and other dishes in the sink, know that stainless steel and copper surfaces won’t break glass items as easily.
Fireclay and porcelain can vary slightly making the surfaces a little uneven. It’s a natural characteristic so if the sink is fitted under a perfectly even countertop, water can escape through small gaps.
Overall, it’s important to work with professional installers to make sure your sink is properly mounted and correctly sealed around the edges. Contact us with any questions you have about proper installation of your farmhouse sink.