Deciding on equipment or accessories for a kitchen is quite a thoughtful process. With many options of everything in the market, choosing the most functional and durable is quite a tough decision. The kitchen sink is no different and requires quite a bit of thought regarding the type of materials, the design, the color and above all its functionality.
With all that elaborate cooking of delectable dishes comes a lot of cleaning work, which is why you need a sink that not only has to accommodate the many dirty dishes (without them falling on top of each other and eventually falling on the -art!), but also be easy for maintenance. Cast iron kitchen sinks are one choice of sinks that will help you relax on this front and carry out your cleaning work effortlessly.
Why should you go for cast iron kitchen sinks?
Cast iron kitchen sinks are extremely durable, quite easy to maintain, but heavy in weight. They are made of an iron alloy with approximately 95% iron and 5% silicon. For home use they are usually coated with a porcelain coating material, called enamel. It is the enamel coating that gives the sink its color, design and finish. Enameled cast iron kitchen sinks like these are very heat resistant…about 1000 degrees. This allows you to slide hot dishes straight onto the sink, when needed, without having to worry about any damage.
They are quite easy to maintain too, as they are coated with stain resistant material, so no more scrubbing with abrasive cleansers or steel wool. A soft sponge is enough to keep it clean.
Undermount cast iron kitchen sinks
Undermount cast iron kitchen sinks are heavy in weight and require care during installation. So it is important to measure the dimensions of the countertop hole properly before choosing a sink for it. An undermount cast iron kitchen sink needs firm and solid support due to its heavy weight. It will require solid security from below. The base cabinet that supports it may need modifications to provide strong and secure support.
If you are not comfortable or confident installing your undermount cast iron kitchen sink yourself, you can always consider having a contractor install it for you.
Black or white: the choice is yours
Choosing the color of cast iron kitchen sinks depends on how clean you can keep it on a regular day to day basis. A black cast iron sink is easy on the cleaning since the black color hides well the water marks or any other food stain. However, scratches are bound to show. Compared to this, a white cast iron sink will need immense care (daily cleaning) and will show spots and stains from food items immediately. However, the scratches will be less visible, since the white can match and hide with the surface under the enamel.
Antique and vintage cast iron kitchen sinks
It is interesting to know that during the post-war period from 1946 to the early 50s, many cast iron sinks with white enamel were made and used in farmhouse kitchens. Such antique cast iron kitchen sinks were famously manufactured and marketed by big names like Kohler, Youngstown etc. They were enormous in size and were almost as majestic as those we see in the market today. However, these sinks are rarely used today due to kitchen space constraints. But even today, if you want to own such a prized accessory for the kitchen, you can research on the Internet for such vintage cast iron sink manufacturers.
Vintage cast iron kitchen sinks have their old world charm but require a good amount of alignment with the countertop hole. This can be cumbersome considering the size and weight of the sink.
Maintaining your cast iron kitchen sink
Cast iron kitchen sinks are a great choice depending on their durability, exterior appearance or finish. They can hide water stains very well and are easy to clean and maintain. However, you need to consider a few points to keep your cast iron kitchen sink lasting long. The porcelain coating can chip if it is hit hard by some utensils or due to cleaning with abrasive cleaners etc. If the coating wears off then the underlying iron can start to rust.
Lighter colored cast iron kitchen sinks are bound to get scuff marks from heavy pots and pans or even tea bags (over time). Therefore, care must be taken to keep them free from stains and scratches. Gentle care will ensure a long-lasting cast iron sink for your kitchen.