Cast Iron Sinks vs. Stainless Steel Sinks


No matter how high-end the kitchen’s interior design is if the sink doesn’t match it. So, it is important to know the real differences between the two materials: cast iron vs stainless steel. The main difference between cast iron sinks and stainless steel sinks is cast iron sinks are havier than stainless steel sinks.

Both sinks are metallic, so what makes them different from each other, and which is the best material? Despite the metallic body, cast iron sinks and stainless steel sinks are way poles apart from each other.

In this comparison, I’ll explore all the aspects based on my experience that set apart stainless steel sinks from cast iron. Have a sneak peek at the differentiating guide to make a reliable decision!

What is Cast Iron Sink?

Among all the types of kitchen sinks available, the cast iron sinks dwell in the topmost position. Sturdy-built, durable, reliable, and out-class in performance; these are a few core features of the cast iron sink.

The sink is poised of two layers;

  • Cast iron alloy layer- the founding layer
  • Top enamel layer- the coating

The iron alloy layer is thick in diameter, while the top enamel layer is only for protection and glossy shine. The weight of cast iron sinks is heavy because of the two founding layers.

When talking about the durability of the sinks, they can hold for a lifetime performance. Nowadays, cast iron sinks are presented in almost all aesthetic colors with chic styles.

It is an eco-friendly option because iron alloy and enamel layer can be recycled. Even the iron alloy used in the founding layer is also reclaimed or recycled iron.

When cleaning a black cast iron sink, you only need to wipe it using a wet cloth.

Pros:

  • A durable and reliable option
  • Can bear up high pressures
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • The top enamel layer is super attractive
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • The enamel sensitive layer that can break is used roughly
  • Requires rock-solid support due to heavyweight

What is Stainless Steel Sink?

For more than a century, the kitchen sink that is everyone’s favorite is none other than stainless steel sink. The setting up ingredients of this sink is carbon steel with 10.5% chromium and other alloys for stainless steel property.

The chromium compound forms a corrosion-resisting layer around the carbon steel and ensures a reliable performance. Nickel presence gives stainless steel sink the shine for which we are crazy.

This sink won’t crack nor settle down after months of use. Stainless steel sink maintenance is also effortless. Simply by rubbing the sink using a sponge, you can relish the mirror-like shine.

Their installation is also hurdle-free. Moreover, stainless steel farmhouse sinks are lightweight compared to cast iron farmhouse sinks; don’t need to offer extra support. Stainless steel sinks never lose their property.

Not forget to mention, They are pocket-friendly. Within a limited budget, you can relish a lifetime performance with jaw-dropping looks and style.

Similar to other sinks, the sinks are also available in a wide range of colors and styles- seamless to match your interior.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Corrosion-resistance property
  • Highly durable in performance
  • Easy to clean and install
  • Recyclable

Cons:

  • Creates noise whenever object hit
  • Prolonged contact with bleach causes pitting

Cast Iron vs Stainless Steel Sinks

Whether you have renovated the house or updated your old kitchen sink, choosing the best sink can be the most perplexing task.

Durability, weight, maintenance, molding styles & cost, surpassing all these factors, you somehow make a reliable decision. Here is the detailed guide to figuring out the differences between cast iron sinks and stainless steel sinks.

1. Durability

When concluding which one is the most durable kitchen sink between the cast iron and stainless steel sink, you will have a hard-hitting time. One on hand, you have a cast iron sink made of indestructible cast iron.

On the other hand, you have a stainless steel sink that is corrosion-free.

How to cherry-pick the best one?

However, both sinks have some drawbacks, along with benefits. Cast iron sink is durable, but its top protecting layer somehow misses some elements.

Accidently if you drop utensils on the sink, resulting in breaking the enamel layer, then here is the end. From the point the enamel layer breaks, the sink gradually will start to rust formation. In that case, you need to clean the white sink immediately.

On the flip side of the coin, the stainless steel sinks are durable only if their gauge is heavy. 18-20 gauge is picture-perfect to consider. Otherwise, you will experience noise and dents in the stainless steel sink.

2. Mounting Style

Be it the stainless steel sink or the cast iron one; both have three mounting styles;

  • Drop-in
  • Undermount manner
  • Farmhouse cabinet

As the cast iron sinks are heavier, folks commonly consider the Undermount manner. One, on the other hand, stainless steel sink fits in every mounting style.

However, according to us, you should ponder the drop-in style for both. In this style, the countertop ropes the weight of the sink without the need for firms.

3. Stain Resistivity

This point comes with a misconception. Folks consider the stainless steel sinks stain-proof because of their name. However, little did they know, stainless steel sinks can stain, even permanent ones.

Prolonged use of hard water, peroxide, bleach, or chlorine can stain the sink, which we commonly tag as pitting. But with the cast iron sinks, we are safe from stains.

The top enamel layer prevents stain. Conversely, your carelessness can lead the cast iron sink to stains. Mishandling of heavy pots can smoothly stain the sink, which can be a pain in the neck to remove.

4. Maintenance

Another aspect that makes the difference between the cast iron sink & stainless steel sink, aforementioned, be it the cast iron sink or the stainless steel one, both only need wipe-clean maintenance.

However, when some users try being extra smart, they end up damaging the sink. The stainless steel sink is not compatible with chemicals and other cleaning agents.

Use a nylon sponge, scrubbing brush, cloth, or microfiber to clean the sink. But if you are a cleaning enthusiast and feel uneasy cleaning the sink without any cleaning agent, then the cast iron sink is an ideal match for you.

The enamel layer can bear chemicals without getting damaged.

5. Cost

Whether you are buying a sink, faucet, or any other product, price always matters and affects your purchase. Stainless steel sinks and cast iron ones; both are way complex in cost.

The average price of stainless steel sinks starts from around $300. Higher the quality, the higher the price. The heavy gauge stainless steel sinks are more expensive than $400.

On the other side of the story, the average price of cast iron sinks is $600. The high-end models are even higher than $900. Do you know the reason why they are expensive? That is because of the enamel coating.

6. Weight

It is one of the main differentiating factors. When comparing both sinks, we conclude stainless steel sinks are lighter, while the cast iron one is heavier.

Though, stainless steel sinks can also be heavier if you are buying high-quality models. While the cast iron sinks are always heavier because of the two forming layers, cast iron, and enamel top layer.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, both sinks are best in their shoes. Per taste and preference, we select the best one. However, when looking for the best sink for the kitchen, you have to know the differences between a cast iron sink and stainless steel sink.

If your kitchen is all about aesthetic collection, then a cast iron sink would dreamily match your theme. The enamel layer is now available in almost all colors. Ensure that you buy the one that matches the theme.

However, hanging around with the nitty-gritty seems the best option to you, then have the stainless steel sink. The mirror shine will surely take your heart every time you wash dishes in the sink.

In the end, whatever sink material you select, make sure you are confident with your decision between stainless steel and cast iron.

Lisa Burks

Hi, I'm Lisa Burks, founder of the Sink Formula blog, and plumber of 5 years experience.

Recently Published