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Choosing a Cast Iron Kitchen Sink

Among all the choices available for kitchen sinks, the cast iron sink has stood the test of time and looks like it will continue to be a favorite of homeowners for a long time to come.

Cast iron sinks have shown such longevity because they are durable, attractive and easy to maintain. They also offer color choices, something another favorite of homeowners, stainless steel, doesn’t.

However, with all of the benefits available to choosing a cast iron kitchen sink, there are some things to consider first.

The style of cast iron sink you choose, whether drop-in or undermount, will determine whether special installation hardware is required.

Drop-in sinks don’t require special hardware because they sit on top of the countertop. On the other hand, undermount sinks do require hardware to support them from underneath.

There are also consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the coating added to cast iron sinks to give them the desired finish, to take into account.

Today’s cast iron sinks are more attractive, durable and easier to care for given the advancements in both coating and casting technology. Taking the time to research these options will help you make an informed decision on a sink that will last you many years.

Even though cast iron sinks, are obviously made out of iron, there are still some things to understand about the makeup of the iron itself.

Cast iron is a heavy, brittle but durable iron alloy that forms the foundation of the sink. Many are actually made from a high percentage of recycled or reclaimed iron, making them a pretty acceptable “green” sink option.

The surface coating on the sink is porcelain enamel and this is the finish that gives cast iron sinks their cosmetic appeal. Porcelain enamel is a porcelain coating that’s been applied over the cast iron and fired at very high temperatures. The finish gives the sink a hard, durable coating that protects the cast iron under it and gives the sink its smooth, glossy surface.

The term porcelain enamel shouldn’t be confused with enamel paint, even though the same word is used for both. The enamel finish on a cast iron sink is not painted on. In this case the porcelain enamel is a coating applied to the cast iron sink.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cast Iron Sinks
The longevity of the cast iron kitchen sink is due, in part, to it’s durability and long life. There isn’t a whole lot that can go wrong with a cast iron sink, however, like anything else they do have their advantages and disadvantages.

The Advantages

  • Long lasting durability - Cast iron sinks are heavy and sturdy, except for problems with the finish they will last for years without cracks or dents.
  • Attractive finish - The porcelain enamel coating provides a glossy finish that adds beauty to any kitchen because they come in a variety of colors. The glossy shine adds sparkle to the kitchen and enhances the surrounding countertops.
  • Easy to install self-rimming styles - A drop-in cast iron sink is easy to install and doesn’t require extra hardware to secure it. The sink’s weight, combined with a sealant surrounding the sink’s perimeter, is all that is needed to hold the sink in place.
  • Less prone to water spots - The glossy finish combined with lighter colors tend to hide water spots and streaks better than other types of sinks, like stainless steel. You can also wipe it clean after each use to keep the spots away, however, this tends to become inconvenient and impractical. The darker the color of the sink, the more of these spots and streaks it will show.
  • Easy to clean - The porcelain surface is non-porous and smooth, making it resistant to staining and making it easy to maintain.


  • Porcelain finish can chip or wear - The porcelain enamel is a brittle finish that can chip if hit hard enough. It can also scratch and wear down if abrasive cleaners are used.
  • Exposed cast iron can rust - If the porcelain coating chips, exposing the cast iron underneath, the iron will rust over time if exposed to moisture. There are products available to repair chips in the finish but they don’t replace the original integrity or look of the original coating.
  • Solid support is required for undermount sinks - A cast iron sink is heavy, so an undermount sink requires solid support. The base cabinetry may need to be modified to provide that support.
  • Long-term staining - Products that leave stains, like tea bags or coffee grounds, shouldn’t be left on a cast iron sink for long periods of time because they will eventually leave stains.
  • Abrasive cleaners - Abrasive cleaners can scratch and wear away the porcelain finish on a cast iron sink. You will need to use the cleaners and cleaning methods suggested by the sink’s manufacturer.

Cast iron sinks can be an excellent choice for a long lasting, durable and attractive kitchen sink. Like anything else they do have disadvantages, as well as, advantages, however, for the most part they are a very popular alternative to their counterparts.

FaucetDepot carries a large selection of durable and long lasting cast iron kitchen sinks at the best prices around. We are one of the top retailers of sinks from the finest manufacturers in the industry including Kohler and Ceco. Our sinks will hold their finish and stand up to the most rigorous usage for years to come.

Ceco Kitchen Sinks Cast Iron