SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
lindalp_gw

Fireclay sink

lindalp
11 years ago

Does anyone have a Rohl Fireclay sink, or any other brand of fireclay sink? I'm not finding much information about these sinks. Are they truly stain and scratch resistant? If you have one, do you Love it? Like it? Hate it? Do you see much difference in a fireclay sink, apposed to a regular enamel sink? I'm new here...been lurking. Any information would be greatly appreciated....Thanks...Linda

Comments (41)

  • allison0704
    11 years ago

    I have a V&B fireclay and have been here over 4 years. No scratches or stains. Easy to clean (I use Soft Scrub and spray/rinse with water often between cleanings.) I do keep a pair of the white coated sink grids in at all times.

    I've had an enamel cast iron sink in previous home and loved it. Only got rid of it when we remodeled and it just didn't go with new kitchen. Had it 12 years and it still looked new (with one minor, small scratch).

  • prill
    11 years ago

    I also have V & B fireclay (Franke). I've only had it since April but I love it. I wanted an apron sink for my mini remodel. No scratches, very easy to care for. I just clean it with a little dish soap on my sponge. No need for anything stronger for me.

    I did have a cast iron enamel sink before this. I liked that too. Never any problems. It might be more of a choice of the look you're going for.

  • Related Discussions

    Silgranit or fireclay sink?

    Q

    Comments (21)
    I have installed three Silgranit sinks from Blanco in white. After 3-5 years under mild use they are starting to pock mark. Not sure if it's the resin is breaking up in the material. They clean up beautifully and are softer on the noise front. They are also in a nice price range. My rep shared that they would out perform fireclay, but from first hand experience, I have found this not to be true. My Kohler fireclay sink in white is 30 years old and is as good as the day I purchased it. The sink does get marked after scrubbing with pans, but cleans up well with Bar Keepers. It has never etched or chipped. My husband and I are avid cooks, have large families that we entertain and have raised a cooking family + have had every animal under the sun and the sink is still holding up. As a designer I would recommend the decision should be based on use. If you don't cook alot, want a colored sink, or want to use in a second home environment then this Silgranit sink might be a nice option. With regard to the disposal install use, I have had no issues with either product.
    ...See More

    Fireclay sink

    Q

    Comments (6)
    I love my cast iron Kohler Whitehaven. I had a cast iron sink previously for 19 years without a chip. I never had a permanent scratch - some that always came out with Comet or Bar Keepers Friend. Many do love their fireclay sinks. I have heard some complaints about water not completely draining due to the flatness of the bottom of the sink. I ran across some of the same info in this humorous blog post when looking into it: http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/apron-front-farmhouse-sink-options-decided-against-fireclay/
    ...See More

    Farmhouse Fireclay sink accessories

    Q

    Comments (1)
    I have a fireclay farmhouse sink by Herbeau and I like it very much. Its very well made and is about 5 years old. It's never chipped or anything like that. I think a grid would be a pain in the neck to use in a farmhouse sink but that's just my opinion. I also have a Kohler farmhouse sink in another room that I use for flower arranging. Its an excellent sink too. The farmhouse sinks are wonderful. They're roomy and easy on my back. If you get one make sure you get a sprayer along with your faucet because you'll need one.
    ...See More

    Problems with Franke Fireclay sinks?

    Q

    Comments (3)
    @rantontoo - The issue with the whitehaven is that we know we would like the double bowl and with our dish setup we will be washing dishes from right to left and the whitehaven only comes in the left to right orientation.
    ...See More
  • sabjimata
    11 years ago

    I had a Porcher and loved it and will get another one for our new house. I have read stuff about chipping, scratching, etc. As with any "product" there will be some mixed reviews out there. Basically, a fireclay apron front sink is like a porcelain bathtub in your kitchen. Same material.

  • Circus Peanut
    11 years ago

    I have one from White Haus and adore it, too. No scratches in two years, one tiny chip that's white so it's invisible (this is the one big advantage over enameled cast iron I think). We're not graceful and slap our cast-iron pans around in it all the time. Warmly recommend!

  • momj47
    11 years ago

    I have a Shaw's 36" sink, and love it. It certainly is stain and scratch resistant. I scrub it with a scrubbie and Bar Keepers Friend and it looks as good as new. It will chip but it has to get dinged pretty hard.

    I've never had a cast iron enamel sink so I can't compare it, but after 6 years it sure looks better than my old stainless sinks.

    I have read here on this forum that cast iron enamel sinks are made differently now and are not as durable as they used to be.

  • ladymojo
    11 years ago

    I have a fireclay apron front sink made by (gasp!) Ikea, and I am extremely pleased with it. I have a rubbermaid sink mat in it for washing pots, etc, and clean it with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Cleans up great, even with out iron-filled well water. I ordered a V&B Franke sink; it arrived weeks late, broken and without any faucet holes, so I went with the much lower priced Ikea. I have laminate counter (which I love) and only 34" sink cabinet so there was a limited selection of apron fronts to choose from. For my money, the $259 Ikea vs the $800 V&B (Canadian) was money well saved! It definitely allowed me an upgrade in the faucet!

  • astridh
    11 years ago

    I have a Franke fireclay sink, too. I love the look, and it's easy to keep clean. The only thing is, I have two tiny chips (from dropping a heavy iron range grate) and the chips are black! One of the reasons I chose the sink was thinking that the any chips would be white underneath. I still like the sink, though. I guess the Shaw sink is different.

  • Circus Peanut
    11 years ago

    Astrid, that seems a bit odd -- is it not white fireclay all the way through?

  • rcbny
    11 years ago

    I'm new here too, and have greatly appreciated the info I've gleaned from folks on this site. We just installed the Rohl Allia 6307 fireclay sink this week. Of course I can't comment yet on it's durability, etc., but we selected it because it seemed to meet our needs more than other fc's out there. (DH did not want SS.) We were looking for a single bowl 30-ish" undermount sink with an offset drain that could be attached to a garbage disposal. (Ours uses a wall switch.) And of equal importance to us was the front-to-back depth of the sink, as we needed every bit of space to comfortably position our faucet, soap dispenser, etc. The Rohl best fit these criteria. Additionally, it seems the sink is designed to withstand everyday cleansers and scrubbers.

    I struggled with the sink decision more than I expected to, but assuming this one holds up reasonably well I'll be quite happy with it's overall look, size and function. (Originally, I ordered the grid for additional scratch/chip protection, but find that the added bonus of helping reduce the distance to submerged items will be great for my tall family.)

  • amberley
    11 years ago

    I have a Shaws 30" waiting to be installed in a few weeks. My mom has had the same one for 5 years and it has been flawless.

  • pinch_me
    11 years ago

    I have a Whitehaus 30" waiting to be installed and I CAN'T WAIT to be able to wash the refrigerator shelves, the big pressure cooker, cookie sheets, the pan from the electric oven and even the Golden Retriever if I can figure out how to get her up there. She's too old to jump!

  • cotehele
    11 years ago

    My Belle Foret sinks (24'' & 30'') are one of the least expensive fireclay sinks on the market. They have held up nicely, but then they have only been installed since November.

  • ajard
    11 years ago

    I am trying to decide to go with the 30 inch Shaw or get a Franke SS sink. I loose about 2 inches on the interior depth from wall to me by getting the SHAW.. is it worth the narrowness for its beauty???

  • altagirl
    11 years ago

    ajard: YES! It is beautiful and remember you gain the 2 inches behind the sink which gives you more flexibility for your faucet.

  • tresgirls
    11 years ago

    Would anyone consider fully undermounting a Shaws 30" fireclay sink so that the front apron isn't showing? Would it look odd to have the Shaws stamp on a non-apron front sink, or would only those of us who are TKO'd even think twice about it?

  • ajard
    11 years ago

    altagirl! Thanks..

  • ajard
    11 years ago

    for a white fireclay would you get a strainer or the white one rohl offers?

  • suzycentri
    11 years ago

    I've got a Whitehaus 30" and absolutely love it, so far. Haven't lived there more than a week, but it's been in for several months. I put my greasy grill pan completely flat down in it the other night and was loving it!

    I've easily cleaned dried-on ketchup with a Magic Eraser.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Whitehaus 30

  • Tom Pultz
    11 years ago

    "rcbny" I would be interested in how you mounted your Rohl Allia as we have one also. Ours is the undermount version, which I thought was the 6307 like yours... and it's heavy. I purchased the mounting kit but the rails seem very flimsy and I do not trust them. I guess I will have the cabinet maker fashion some supports for the sink to sit on.

    As for appearance, the Allia looks fabulous and should clean-up well. The only problem was the flange for the disposal... a standard ISE will NOT fit as it needs more mounting depth. The extra depth version I purchased in polished nickel cost as much as the disposal. Guess I should have been satisfied with chrome!

  • jescottgb
    11 years ago

    I have a Whithaus 30" fireclay sink and within a month of being installed the bottom right side had completely cracked/shattered front to back. The company won't reply to emails and I've tried to call with no luck either. I'm not even asking them to replace the darn thing (purchased from a contractor on craigslist so warranty void even though completely new, in original box, intended for a spec house that won't be built due to economy). I just want to know if this is somewhat normal so that I can choose it's replacement. The easiest replacement would be the same type of sink since the cabinets/countertops/faucet placement were done with this sink in mind. I love the looks of my sink, but I'm very disappointed at its lack of durability!

  • lisa_a
    11 years ago

    A mini thread abduction but I think it will help the OP, too.

    When I started planning our re*model, I figured I'd go with the same Kohler sink, the Executive Chef, as I currently have but in an undermount version. Now I'm strongly leaning towards a single bowl instead but I've just begun the search and I don't know all the brands available. All I know is I want to stick with white with undermount installation. Apron front isn't critical.

    So a quick summary of those already listed:
    Rohl - Shaw & Allia
    Villeroy & Boch (had to look up what V&B was!)
    Franke
    Whitehaus
    Ikea
    Porcher
    Belle Foret
    Kohler

    Are there others?

    Sorry to hear about your shattered sink, jengb.

  • lisa_a
    11 years ago

    Found another brand listed at Amazon:

    Barclay

    Anyone know anything about this brand?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Barclay farmhouse sink

  • lisa_a
    11 years ago

    bump

  • tanders
    11 years ago

    jengb~
    What model do you have? I have a Whitehaus whqdb532 double bowl fireclay sink in my basement, waiting to be installed, and I'm terrified that it's going to break. This is one decision that I am so not at peace with.

  • jescottgb
    11 years ago

    tanders,

    My sink is the Quatro Alcove Reversible single-bowl sink (WHQ530). I really don't know if my sink had an unseen flaw in the area that cracked, or if this is something that's likely to happen to any Fireclay sink. What's even more disturbing to me is the total lack of response from the company! It leaves me in a real quandry about what type of sink to replace this one with. I'd definitely be hesitant about another Fireclay sink and I understand your terror!

  • growlery
    11 years ago

    I have had a white Shaw's sink for about a year and a half and I love it.

    No chips, and I have a bad habit of leaving things to (ahem) "soak". Sometimes I leave them to "soak" for a long time, and forget I have a can in there, and get a rust stain. Even a rusty ring works itself off in a few days without my doing a thing -- no barkeepers friend, no scrubbing, no nothing.

    I don't have a rack or grid, I have both enameled and un-enameled cast iron pans, and I don't get scratches.

    I remember looking at the English Web site for Shaw's, I think if you google "shaw's of Darwen" you'll find it, and they show them making the sinks. They are indeed cast of a dark brown clay, then glazed in the final white, biscuit or black glaze.

  • sheila99
    11 years ago

    We have tried a couple of different well known brands of fireclay, they scratched. The white coating that you see is only millimeters thick and underneath it is clay. They will also chip. I don't know of anyone who has had their fireclay sink for 10 years, I don't think the sinks will last that long.

  • ajard
    11 years ago

    Sheila99.. that is depressing. I just ordered mine and they advertise for heavy duty usage. I got a shaws.. Does anyone know someone that has had one for a long time and still happy with it?

  • graniteguy
    11 years ago

    A client of mine purchased a Whitehaus WHQDB332 apron front sink (farmer's sink) to be installed in their new granite counters. The sink was installed using the "cradle and Brace" method in a cabinet custom made for the sink. 2 months after the installation, the sink began to crack at the point where the side and bottom of the sink bowl meet. My client contacted Whitehaus and told them about the cracking, Whitehaus told my client that the sink was improperly installed. I sent photos of the installation method to Whitehaus and they retracted their original statement about installation and then claimed that the disposal had caused the cracking. I again contacted Whitehaus and asked them if there were any special advisories, instruction, or cautions about installing a disposal on one of their sinks. Ther are no instructions on their web site, no instructions with or on the sink itself. Our company has literally installed hundreds of apron front sinks, made of every type of material possible and we have never seen this issue. We have contacted licenseed plumbers outside of our circle to ask them if they have ever heard of any such instruction, all answered no. I contacted the local Whitehaus rep. he had never heard of any such advisory. When I presented all of this information to Whitehaus, they dropped the disposal issue and are now claiming "impact" damage caused the crack. Since going public with this , we have been recieving e-mails and other corrospondences from around the mid west from Whitehaus customers with similiar cracks and similiar responses from Whitehaus. One e-mail was particularly revealing, a whitehaus customer in WI has recieved a notice from Whitehaus showing the "impact" damage to his sink, but it was not his sink, it was a photo of my OH client's sink. Needless to say, we are no longer reccommending any Whitehaus product until this matter is resolved.. If there are any Whitehaus purchaser who are having similiar problems speak up.

  • pinch_me
    11 years ago

    Back to paranoina again. What if my sink breaks. I can't replace it. And I WON'T get another double bowl! Hell will freeze over first.

  • sheila99
    11 years ago

    graniteguy, I have heard of fireclay sinks cracking before. I have read about them cracking due to the garbage disposal operating which makes sense. They are baked clay and baked clay does not give much! I think this fireclay is just a fad and everyone with one will end up replacing the sink in a few years.
    If you read the fine print, they are 'resistant' they are not claimimng that the sinks 'will not' scratch or chip or break. I wish someone would come up with the alternative to the durability of SS but a warmer look. Good luck!

  • ajard
    11 years ago

    Okay.... It will be very hard to change our spaces in custom cabinets if we have to change the sink.... this is aweful.... very depressing since I just paid a large change fee to have my KD change my drawings after the cabinet order went in to get the shaws farm sink... Still waiting for ANYONE that has had a clay sink for a LONG time and happy with it and uses it heavily..... ANYONE??? just so those of us that are awaiting our sinks can not be upset

  • Circus Peanut
    11 years ago

    I've only had mine for 2 years, so I'm not a long-term user yet (although I'm a heavy user), but there are many folks on this forum who have had a fireclay sink for much longer than I. Perhaps you could start a thread with a more explicit title soliciting longevity information?

    In terms of the material, it's only "clay" in the same way that your toilet and bathroom sink are clay. They are made of the same vitreous porcelain. (If you want to know the texture and feel of a fireclay sink, check out your toilet fixture.) The stuff is darned hard.

    Wash some dishes in your bathroom sink, if you have the standard white porcelain pedestals or drop-ins -- it will give you a feel for the fireclay.

    It's not got the resilience of stainless steel, but for those of us who loathe the clank and spots of stainless sinks and are not thrilled with plastic and don't want the chips of enamelled steel -- fireclay is really wonderful. It's silky smooth and washes up like a dream, no stains or etching.

    I'm certainly no sink expert, but it strikes me that a fireclay sink probably isn't any more difficult to replace than any other undermounted sink? If it's farmhouse/apron style, you're probably committed to the farmhouse style in a replacement, because of your countertop and cabinetry, but that replacement could be of many different materials, including stainless steel if you wind up preferring it.

    I know that the Rohl (Shaw's) product comes with a 25-year warranty, so that must mean something. They've been using these little suckers for many generations in Europe. Of course, they've also been using marble countertops for many generations in Europe, so there ya go.

    At any rate, I am very satisfied with my lower-cost Whitehaus 501.

  • ajard
    11 years ago

    circuspeanut.... THANK YOU!!!!!!! sooo much .. I needed some positive words. I feel like I keep making decisions based on what I like rather then durability and with 4 boys I dont want to live to regret all my decisions

  • graniteguy
    11 years ago

    The above mentioned sink has developed another crack. The newest crack is at the same point where the side and bottom of the bowl meets, but this one is in the opposite bowl from the original crack. Some research has discovered that several years ago Whitehaus offered a similiar two bowl sink. Shortly after its indroduction however it was "discontinued". The sink that is now installed was first made available in June of '09. My guess is that this sink will soon be "discontinued" as well. Although I am not a ceramic expert, I can easily determine that there is either a defect in the molds used by Whitehaus, or a defect in the manufacturing process of their double bowl sinks. I do know that firing a clay sink requires very specific controls over heating and cooling, and if these controls are not carefully adhered to during the process, cracking will result. I also know that Whitehaus has temporarily "discontinued" another of their fire clay sink while they re-work their production molds. Thanks for your imput and keep responses comming.

  • jescottgb
    11 years ago

    graniteguy,

    At least the Whitehaus folks talked to you-- I can't get ANY response from them about the crack in my sink. ( And I don't have a garbage disposal to blame for the darn thing. And it was installed following their installation instructions/supports.) *sigh* Have you had problems with other fireclay sinks or just Whitehaus sinks? I need to replace my sink, but the only apron front, single bowl, enameled cast iron sink that I can find has very different dimensions than my current sink...so major problems with trying to use it.

  • rcbny
    11 years ago

    Tom_in_Seattle, so sorry for the delay; been all wrapped up in kitchen reno stuff. If you're still interested, we did purchase -- and use -- the mounting kit to undermount our sink (though the guys at A.J. Madison where we purchased the sink said it wasn't necessary since our contractor would probably want to build some sort of support for it himself). Which is exactly what happened; he attached a cleat to the inside back of the cabinet. So now we have both. And my 180-lb. contractor STOOD in the sink just to prove that it was secure! And it is. And it's big and beautiful and we love it.

    Don't think we had the flange-extension issue, but do make sure to heed the directions not to over-tighten it. I think that is why some folks here are having problems with cracking.

  • graniteguy
    11 years ago

    jengb: We have gone back thru our records (360 apron front sinks over the last 5 years: 279 of which were fire clay)and can only find this defect in Whitehaus double bowl sinks. There is a quartz composite apron front double bowl sink currently on the market which is a direct replacement for the Whitehaus WHQDB332. It is manufactured by Mitrani, We have not dealt with this company or installed any of their products. I can tell you that quartz conposites are very durable. Some quartz composite products you may be familiar with are sold under the trade names of Silestone, Viatera, and Quatrzite. These materials are made to mimic granite in apperance and feel. Hope this helps. On a side note my client has filed a complaint against Whitehaus with her local BBB and has received a case number from them.

  • sombreuil_mongrel
    11 years ago

    I worked on an old mansion from 2000 to 2003, there was a three-bowl fireclay laundry sink in the basement that was probably installed in the 30's if not earlier. It was still sound, and in use (we re-piped it) although I admit it was heavier made than contemporary kitchen sinks, and it was tan, not white. But the material was quite unbreakable.
    It has seemed to me that all of the reported flange-area cracking happens under the warranty period, at least that is some reassurance.
    My 30" Whitehaus is doing great 3 years in. I noticed a pinhead-sized chip in one corner. I wash my heavy grill grates in it, I think that did it. But the material underneath the glaze is the same color, so here is no blemish to speak of.
    Casey

  • Annette Vandersteen
    5 years ago

    I have a whitehaus fire lay sink that was installed approx. 4 1/2 years ago. I Love it. However, just last night I noticed a crack on the left side of the sink. Upon investigation and pressing on it , it continued to crack all along where the bottom meets the side. Hard to see but it is there. I am just wondering what if anything whitehaus has done for your sink? My crack has to be a defect. I'm extremely careful with my sink. I feel awful. Can this be fixed?