The Ins and Outs of Enamelled Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks

While kitchen sinks do a lot of work in the kitchen, this does not preclude them from being beautiful as well. An enamelled cast iron sink, for one, is both. Not only can this material withstand constant daily wear and tear, but it also adds an attractive lustrous finish to the kitchen.

How They Are Made

These sinks are constructed from two components: a cast iron base and an enamel coating. To produce the enamel coating, the cast iron sink is covered in a particulate called a frit so that no iron remains exposed, and then it is baked in a furnace at extreme temperatures. This firing process produces the characteristic smooth, glossy finish.

Together, these two materials make the perfect combination. While cast iron is sturdy, durable and impact resistant, it is highly corrosive, which is not ideal for a kitchen sink in constant contact with water. Enamelled porcelain, however, is the opposite; it is extremely resistant to rust. Because the enamel coating completely envelops the cast iron, these sinks provide the best of both worlds.

Main Characteristics

As well as being robust and immune to corrosion, enamelled cast iron sinks are non-porous and heat-resistant. While their exterior resembles porcelain, they're actually much tougher and won't crack or chip significantly as porcelain sinks might. However, abrasive cleaners can erode the enamel over time; to counteract this, brush-on treatments and finishes are available for protection. If the cast iron does become exposed, there is a high chance of rust damage due to its corrosivity.

Different Styles 

Enamelled cast iron sinks are manufactured in many styles from traditional to modern, top mount or under mount. Because cast iron is such a heavy material, however, if it's under-mounted, you will need to ensure that the benchtop is sturdy enough to support its weight. Particularly popular in this material are butler or farmer sink styles, where the softly rectangular sink-front lies flush with the cabinetry rather than further back. These sinks are sometimes coloured in retro light pink, green or blue hues reminiscent of the post-war period when these styles were commonplace. 

Overall, enamelled cast iron produces great kitchens sinks. Durable and longlasting, they display a smooth, glossy porcelain-like finish, but they are tougher than porcelain. Manufactured in multiple styles, enamelled cast iron sinks coordinate with many different decors. The one thing you need to take care of expressly is to maintain the finish coating, so it remains thick and lustrous.