Fireclay Farmhouse Sinks
While fireclay farmhouse sinks might bring an old-world charm to your space they offer many benefits that will appeal to today’s homeowners. Fireclay farmhouse sinks are a popular choice for rustic kitchen designs because they’re steeped in tradition. Fireclay has been used since the 19th century to create durable sinks that were found in manor homes and sculleries. The same historical techniques and traditions used to build these sinks have been passed down from generation to generation among master craftsmen and refined along the way to keep up with contemporary home design trends and considerations.
Fireclay sinks are made from an argillaceous clay that has been mined. Not only is fireclay used for sinks, it’s also used for other sturdy household fixtures like bricks or furnaces. This clay then undergoes a two-step process. First, the clay is dried under high heat. It’s then fired in a kiln at an even higher temperature of up to 2900 degrees, to fuse the clay together with a porcelain enamel glaze that gives fireclay its traditional bright, beautiful and glossy white finish.
As you can imagine, after being fired at such high temperatures, fireclay farmhouse sinks are extremely resilient. Not only are these sinks heat resistant, but fireclay also has natural antimicrobial properties, helping to stop the spread of bacteria for increased sanitation and safety in your kitchen.
Durability Of Fireclay Farm Sinks
Part of fireclay’s enduring appeal is the durability and non-porous quality of the ceramic glaze. Your fireclay sink will be resistant to chips, scratches, and cracks, even with regular or heavy-duty use. Many people actually consider fireclay to be virtually indestructible – if you drop a heavy pot or pan, your sink will likely withstand any impact. Fireclay is also stain-resistant, acid and alkali-resistant, fade-proof and rust-proof for absolute longevity.
To further extend the life of your fireclay sink, it’s recommended that you purchase a sink grid. These grids will minimize wear and tear on the basin of your farmhouse sink, while also protecting your dishes or fine china from accidentally breaking should they be dropped in the sink. Plus, these handily removable grids also double as a convenient drying rack to keep clean dishes off the counter and out of sight.
As an added benefit, fireclay farmhouse sinks are easy to maintain and clean. Unlike other materials, you won’t need any harsh abrasive cleaners. A quick wipe down with soap and water after use will prevent most build-up and water spots, or you can use baking soda and a mild abrasive cleaning product. It’s also recommended that you apply a monthly wax treatment to your fireclay sink to encourage liquids to flow down the drain and minimize the possibility of stains or wear. You might be asking yourself "are farmhouse sinks practical?" Absolutely! The deep bowl makes washing produce easy and you'll love how close to can get with the design of the front apron.
The process of firing clay and adding an enamel glaze results in a very sturdy, but also very heavy sink. If you’re planning to add a fireclay farmhouse sink to your kitchen design, you may need to plan for custom supportive cabinetry and specialty drain fittings, depending on what manufacturer you go with. In addition, many fireclay sinks require a wall-mounted or counter-mounted faucet. Installing a fireclay farmhouse sink can get tricky due to the weight we recommend checking out our guide for more detailed instructions.
Another added benefit of fireclay is the customization available. Because the glaze is added separately from the clay base, fireclay sinks can come in a wide array of colors and finishes, from a traditional white gloss to a matte grey or modern black. That being said, most fireclay sinks do come in a basic white or biscuit shade. The ability to choose a specific color for your fireclay sink depends largely on the manufacturer.
In addition, you can select a flat apron front or a decorative fluted or sculpted front for your farmhouse sink. You’ll also find single, double, and even triple bowl fireclay farmhouse sinks, some with built-in draining racks or colanders. Or consider a fireclay sink with a built-in lip that you can attach accessories to for handy mealtime prep. Fireclay isn’t just used for apron front sinks either – you can find traditional farmhouse-style fireclay sinks that can be installed as an undermount sink.
Selecting A Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
If you’re interested in high style options, then Bocchi is your fireclay farmhouse sink brand. This Italian designed farmhouse sink is offered in nine different colors and finishes, from black to sapphire blue. They also include a free sink grid with all of their sinks and have the widest range of sizes available to suit your kitchen space perfectly. Annie & Oak even sells exclusive sink bundles that give you the fixtures and accessories you need to use your fireclay sink as soon as it’s installed.
Given fireclay’s historical roots, you may want to invest in a fireclay sink brand with a traditional spin. Rohl fireclay farmhouse sinks are made in the same factory, using the same molds as their 19th century counterparts, and are named for members of the British Royal Family. Alternatively, Nantucket Sinks is an American brand that crafts their high-end sinks in Italy, using time-honored techniques to ensure top quality with a stunning fireclay farmhouse sink with drainboard.
LaToscana and Whitehaus are two other top tier fireclay sink brands carried by Annie & Oak. Offering exceptional quality and attention to detail, these luxury fireclay brands have plenty of design choices that will work with just about any kitchen design.
Every brand does have a slightly different finish. An example would be the Shaws Original has a rounded classic look. Where Bocchi offers clean sharp edges. We recommend measuring your counter space and choosing a size you are comfortable with then cross shopping different styles.
The most popular sizes of farm sinks are:
- 27 inch fireclay farmhouse sink
- 30 inch fireclay farmhouse sink
- 33 inch fireclay farmhouse sink
- 36 inch fireclay farmhouse sink
Whether you’re going for a more modern aesthetic or a country-inspired look, the choices are truly endless when it comes to selecting an ideal fireclay farmhouse sink for your kitchen. When you purchase a fireclay apron front sink, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a sink that’s truly built to last, while creating a dramatic, rustic focal point for your overall kitchen design.
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