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There are good reasons why fireclay farmhouse sinks are very popular right now. Not only do they look beautiful, but they have substance and are very stylish. When you purchase a fireclay sink you will know that it is durable and that you will not have to do much to keep it looking great.
The aim of this guide is to provide you with the most important information that you will need to purchase the best fireclay farmhouse sink for your kitchen. We believe that once you have read this guide you will have all of the details you need to make the most informed fireclay farm sink purchase decision.
Fireclay sinks are manufactured from clay as the name implies. The clay is fired at very high temperatures to harden it and then a glaze is applied to produce a beautiful finish and make the sink resistant to scratches, germs and stains. In England they have made fireclay sinks for more than a hundred years and some of the early sinks are in use today.
Fireclay is argillaceous clay that has a very high resistance to heat. You will find fireclay used to line furnaces and in the construction of cubicles designed for pottery making, glassware making and metalworking.
When fireclay is combined with water it produces a “slip” mixture. Manufacturers pour the slip mixture into a special mold that will absorb moisture helping the clay to dry out. When a sink is partially dry they remove it from the mold and they remove any slight imperfections by hand so that the surface is smooth and consistent.
To finish the fireclay sink they apply many glaze coats and then fire the sink in a kiln that has a temperature of more than 2,900° Fahrenheit. This ensures that the finish of the sink is not porous and it is scratch and bacteria resistant.
The most common and traditional sink is the fireclay farmhouse kitchen sink. Sometimes you will see these called different names such as the Butler sink, the Belfast sink or just the country sink. There are a number of different types of fireclay farmhouse sink available today:
If you want to go for a double bowl farmhouse sink then you need to consider the split of the basin. Usually you can get a 50/50 split basin which is fine if you are looking for symmetry. However other basin splits can be useful for washing dishes and food preparation for example. You should be able to find splits of 75/25, 70/30 and 60/40 available.
Some fireclay farmhouse sinks come with a built in draining board. This can be good for food preparation and the drying of dishes so you may want to consider this. Most fireclay sinks will not have faucet holes pre-drilled so you will need to consider a bridge faucet. Having a pull down faucet can be convenient for rinsing your large fireclay farmhouse sink.
Most of the fireclay farmhouse sinks available will have a flat front but it is possible for you to go for a fireclay apron front sink. You can usually chose from a raised front lip design or a fluted apron arrangement. If you want to be different you can find fireclay sinks with different apron designs such as pinstriped or checkered patterns.
You need to give consideration to the style of fireclay farmhouse sink that you want. The traditional farmhouse sink were designed for a farmhouse (of course) as well as houses and cottages from the Victorian era. Nowadays, you can have your fireclay sink in different styles and colors that will make the right statement even in the most modern kitchen.
Well here are some important things to think about when you are choosing a fireclay farmhouse sink:
If you like the idea of a more traditional looking fireclay sink then choose one that has thicker walls as these make the sink look more vintage. Traditional sinks tend to have rounded corners and the front of the sink is usually fluted, has a lip or an apron design.
If you are still not sure what style of fireclay farmhouse sink to go for then you can choose a sink where all 4 sides have been finished. The reason this is important is because you can reverse the sink because each of the sides is slightly different to the others. You chose which apron you want to be at the front.
Did you know that there are fireclay workstation sinks available? These farmhouse sinks have a ledge for accessories on the sink sides so you can easily add a strainer, cutting board or dish rack for example.
There are many more available in our range and we are confident that you will find the right fireclay farmhouse sink to meet your needs.
If you have installed a stainless steel sink before you will find that installing a fireclay sink is a lot different. We suggest that you find a professional to do this for you if you are not confident with performing DIY tasks. You are very likely to encounter nuances in shape and size with a fireclay sink due to the process of manufacture.
Before we get into the installation details, it is essential that you take great care when installing your fireclay farmhouse sink. Although fireclay is tough, it can crack if you don’t treat it with respect. In rare cases, the glazing of a fireclay sink suffers from crazing which are very small hairline cracks.
The most popular way to install a fireclay farmhouse sink is the under mount method. When you install under mount there should be a reveal art the front of between 0.25 inches to 1 inch. You can choose to install your fireclay sink in a top mount or flush mount way if you prefer this.
An important thing to bear in mind is that due to the increasing popularity of fireclay farmhouse sinks it is advisable to order yours in advance. Some of the more popular styles sell out fast and you may have to wait weeks or even months for the style of fireclay sink that you really want.
When you take delivery of your farmhouse sink remove all of the packaging and inspect it thoroughly for any damage, defects or warps and return it to the supplier if this is the case. You need to ensure that the base cabinet in your kitchen is a minimum of three inches bigger than the size of your chosen sink.
So if you were to order a 33 inch fireclay farmhouse sink, your cabinet base would need to be 36 inches to accommodate it. Be aware that fireclay sinks can have variations in the published dimensions of around 2%. For this reason you will not see any templates or cut outs available for these sinks.
Instead you will need to use your new fireclay sink for any cut outs to your cabinet or counter top. So you will not be able to make the necessary cut outs prior to your fireclay farmhouse sink arriving. If you do this the cut outs are likely to be the wrong size.
A fireclay farmhouse sink is going to weigh a lot more than other types of sink so your cabinet needs to be able to support the weight. You can purchase cabinets made especially for these sinks or even have one hand made if your existing cabinet is not suitable.
It is always advisable to add a plywood platform to act as a support frame for your fireclay sink. You need to consider the dry weight of the sink and how heavy it will be when it is full of water. If you plan to add some attachments such as a waste disposal then take this into account as well.
Most modern fireclay farmhouse sinks have an apron of around 10 inches (the sink height) so you need to make sure that there is enough space below to accommodate the necessary plumbing and a garbage disposal if you want this.
When you install your farmhouse sink be sure to level it from top to bottom. You can make any necessary adjustments with shims. As we mentioned previously, you will not find a fireclay farmhouse sink that has holes for a faucet. You need to install the faucet elsewhere such as on the wall above the sink or on the countertop.
It is always a good idea to use a strainer made from stainless steel with your farmhouse sink. This will protect the bottom of your fireclay sink by preventing pots and pans coming into contact with it. Although fireclay farmhouse sinks are pretty resistant from scratches etc, it is always good to introduce another layer of protection.
The enamel on your fireclay farmhouse sink is very resistant to staining and scratches which mean that maintenance and cleaning are pretty straight forward. After using your sink each day we suggest that you use a soft cloth to keep it clean.
If you want to give your fireclay sink a deep clean then be sure to use non-abrasive cleaning materials or else you risk making the finish of your sink look dull. Avoid leaving water to stand too long in your sink as this can cause mineral deposits. If you do experience some mineral deposits clean them with a water and mild vinegar solution.
Your fireclay farmhouse sink is tough but you still need to be careful to avoid impacts with heavy objects as these can cause chips in the enamel. Avoid leaving metal objects in your sink for a long period or you may end up with rust stains which can be difficult to shift. Food and other products containing acid can stain your sink as well.
Be careful what you store directly beneath your fireclay farmhouse sink. Do not place corrosive products such as drain cleaner, bleach, hard water stain removers, any acidic products, sodium chloride lye or any similar products below your sink.
There are several advantages and some disadvantages to owning a fireclay farmhouse sink:
In our opinion, the advantages of owning a fireclay farmhouse sink far outweigh the disadvantages.
Choosing a fireclay farmhouse sink for your kitchen is a very good idea. They look great and they are very durable as well.
Whatever style of kitchen you have (or plan to have) a fireclay sink will blend in perfectly. You will never regret purchasing a fireclay farmhouse sink.
At Sinks HQ we have a lot of experience and knowhow when it comes to fireclay sinks.
We have a wide range of fireclay farmhouse sinks that you can see here. If you have any questions related to the purchase of a fireclay sink, one of our experts will be very pleased to answer them for you. Contact us here today.