Porcelain sinks been around forever, and they're still popular, because porcelain is such a non-porous, easy-to-clean material. As a sink material, porcelain has a lot more going for it than cast-iron, which is super heavy, and stainless steel, which has the opposite problem of being lightweight and noisy. About the only problem with porcelain is that it can crack, but that doesn't stop Signature Hardware from characterizing it as a durable material, so with reasonable care, you can enjoy all the benefits of this attractive sink material.
Porcelain Sink Types
Porcelain sinks can be either solid porcelain or a porcelain enamel coating another material, such as steel, iron or fireclay. You'll find sinks for both kitchens and bathrooms made out of porcelain. These sinks come in drop-in, undermount and apron-front designs. The wide range of options makes it easier to find a porcelain sink that fits your style.
Porcelain sinks are also known as ceramic or vitreous china sinks, according to Blue Bath, especially in the bathroom. Looking at ceramic bathroom sinks pros and cons is an important part of the selection process.
It's a Strong Sink Option
A sink made of porcelain is a strong option that holds up well over time, so your sink should last years if you care for it well. Sinks with a metal base covered in porcelain offer more strength than a solid porcelain sink. No matter which type you choose, porcelain sinks last, making them a good investment of your remodeling money.
Wide Selection of Colors
White may be a common color for porcelain sinks, but it's not the only one you can choose. If you want a unique look in your home, a porcelain sink gives you lots of options for colors unlike stainless steel, which limits the look. The glossy finish adds to the attractive look of porcelain no matter what color you choose. Keep in mind that choosing a trendy color can make your sink look outdated quickly, and even if you choose a timeless color, it can be difficult to redecorate the room around a bold color.
Porcelain Is Low Maintenance
You don't need to do much maintenance to keep your porcelain sink looking good. Regular cleaning is important to remove food and any other substances that could potentially stain the surface. You do want to avoid abrasive cleaners and cleaning tools that could scratch the surface of the sink.
Susceptibility to Chips
Despite its overall durability, porcelain does come with a higher risk of chipping. This problem typically happens if you drop something heavy on it, such as a heavy pot in your kitchen sink. In the bathroom, you're less likely to drop something heavy on the sink, so you shouldn't have to worry as much about chipping.
You also want to pay attention to the type of substances you put in an enamel sink and how long they stay there. If you leave bleach or other harsh or acidic materials in the sink for a long period of time, it can damage the finish on your porcelain sink, leaving permanent marks. When you look at a porcelain-coated fireclay sink vs. a stainless steel sink, you do have to be more careful with the substances you put in them. The good news is you can get your porcelain sink refinished if it does get chipped or otherwise damaged.
Potential for Staining
Bay Cities Construction says that porcelain can stain more easily than other materials. In the kitchen, that can mean stains from food that gets poured in the sink or food that doesn't get wiped out of the sink right away. In the bathroom, cosmetics have the potential to stain the surface if you don't wipe up a spill right away. Staining is more noticeable if you have a white or lighter-colored porcelain sink.
Porcelain Is Still Quite Heavy
Porcelain is heavier than some other sink materials, especially a large porcelain kitchen sink compared to a stainless steel model. The weight makes installation a little more complicated, with drop-in porcelain sinks being the easiest to install. If you opt for an undermount porcelain sink, the installation can be much more difficult.
Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.