What’s the most durable? What’s the easiest to maintain? Will you end up with the best deal at last?
The good news is that both contenders are high-quality materials and have been used for years to make highly functional, durable, and reliable sinks.
In this post, we explore the fireclay vs. granite composite sink debate in full, elaborating the key distinctions between the 2 to help you get the most suitable model for your home.
We’ve also listed the pros and cons of each model to enable you to make an informed buying decision.
Quick Comparison Chart
|Resistance to heat||Highly resistant||Slightly resistant|
|Risk of chipping and cracking||Lower risk||Higher risk|
|Color options||Few color options||Available in a variety of colors|
|Maintenance||Easier to maintain||Require special maintenance|
What's in this Guide?
What is a Fireclay Sink?
Fireclay sinks are made from a mixture of clay and glaze fired at extremely high temperatures. The process makes these sinks very durable.
The sinks feature a hard enamel that makes them resistant to scratches and stains. Cleaning and maintaining the fixtures is also easy since you only need to wipe the basin with a cloth after every use.
How is a Fireclay Sink Made?
Fireclay is a ceramic made when clay and glaze blend at extremely high temperatures (2000 degrees F or more).
First, clay is poured into molds depending on the shape and size required. It is then left to dry for up to 2 days in a mildly heated room.
Once dry, porcelain enamel is applied to the sink before putting it in the kiln to bake.
The temperature is raised to over 2000 degrees F for 24 hours. The high temperatures fuse the enamel to the ceramic, a process that makes the sink extremely durable, non-porous, and heavy-duty.
The new fireclay sink is born, and it’s highly resistant to cracks, chips, stains, and rust.
One important point to note is that fireclay farmhouse sinks are not perfect. They tend to have minor imperfections such as dimples, tiny bubbles, etc., due to the organic nature of the material and the hand-finished firing process.
The imperfections do not affect the sink’s functionality as they are not defects.
Maintaining a Fireclay Sink
Cleaning and maintaining a fireclay sink is straightforward. Listed below are some general cleaning and care tips:
- Clean every day with warm water and a mild cleaner.
- Wipe the surface clean with a soft sponge, cloth, or brush.
- Always keep the sink dry to prevent scale buildup.
- Use a mild cleaning solution, rinse with clean water, and wipe dry for deep cleaning.
- If possible, always use manufacturer-recommended cleaning products.
- Avoid using abrasive chemical cleaners as they scratch or dull the surface
- Do not use aggressive chemical solutions, oven cleaners, or paint removers to clean the sink.
- Never use an abrasive material such as a scouring pad or steel wool on the sink, as it can damage the surface.
Pros and Cons of Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
- Extremely durable
- Easy to clean
- Resistant to high levels of heat
- Highly resistant to heat, scratches, and stains
- Limited in colors, styles, and finishes
- Heavy and difficult to install
What is a Granite Composite Sink?
A granite composite sink is a durable fixture made from engineered stone that uses composite material (80% granite or quartz) and resin (20%).
Granite composite sinks are less porous than pure granite, efficient, and available in different designs. They can fit any aesthetic and are ideal for use in the kitchen and laundry area.
How are Granite Composite Sinks Made?
The first step of making a granite composite sink involves mixing all ingredients – 80% granite stone dust and 20% acrylic resin.
After mixing the ingredients, it’s time to prepare the mold. Here, manufacturers use demolding water to prevent the mixture from sticking to the mold’s wall.
The mixture is poured into the mold, where it takes the shape of the sink. It is left to dry, after which shaping of the edges takes place.
The workers use special tools to give the sink a top-notch shape.
Finally, experts target the finishing of the fixture. They apply roughing, gel coating, and polishing to give the sink a matte finish.
The roughing enhances the shiny aspect of granite while the gel coating fills any tiny holes on the sink to give it a smooth look.
Maintaining a Granite Composite Sink
Keeping a granite composite sink clean and looking as good as new is relatively easy. A little regular cleaning will keep the finish looking fantastic at all times.
To ensure that your sink always remains in great shape, do the following:
- Remove all debris (food particles) within and outside the sink before you start cleaning.
- Use a soft scrubber and scrub the entire sink using hot water and mild soap.
- To remove stains, use baking soda.
- Apply white vinegar and scrub the sink with a soft sponge
- When the stains are scrubbed off, rinse your sink with warm water.
- Take a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe the sink dry.
- To restore the sink, shine buff the sink with mineral oil.
- Using abrasive materials like scouring pads or steel wool on your sink.
- Cleansing with harsh chemicals like sodium hydroxide or sulphuric acid.
- Abandoning washing clothes or wet sponges inside the sink.
- Placing hot pots and pans in the sink.
- Dragging aluminum cookware
- Dragging plastic bowls and strainers on the sink.
Pros and cons of Composite Granite Sinks
- Durable and affordable
- Available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles
- Non-porous, hygienic, and heat-resistant
- Easy to clean
- Quite bulky and heavy
- Decent risk of cracking
- Increased potential of staining
As you continue searching for the best kitchen sink for your home, you have many options today.
This is the case when it comes to fireclay vs. granite composite. While both sinks are durable, fireclay takes the crown for being highly resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. It is also easier to maintain.