Fireclay sinks: your experience?

cm cmAugust 19, 2014

I haven't found any recent posts about fireclay sinks. If you have had one for some time, would you please share your thoughts and experiences, how long you have had it, the brand and size, etc.? What is the reveal? Does icky stuff get caught there?

The Alfi AB-4019 is the one I am considering. I am one of those double sink people, and I want a large bowl on one side. I can't seem to find a stainless steel sink with this type of configuration.

Thanks to all of you posters and responders. There are many of us who read and learn from your experiences.

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Sophie Wheeler

Chinese ones have even worse quality control than the original ones that can vary 3% in size. You seriously do not want to go there. Buy a major brand, or skip buying one at all.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:56PM
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ReBe231

I have the Franke 35" Manor House double apron front and am loving it. I have only been using it a few months but so far no problems. I bought the grids. too.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:04PM
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cm cm

Hollysprings, have you had a fireclay sink? I'm picking up some negative vibes.

If I could find a stainless steel double bowl sink with one side 24inches (plus) and the other side 12 inches (plus), I would be happy. I know I don't want a cast iron sink, so fireclay is my other option.

The Alfi sink is made in Italy, is extra thick, seems to be good and has a better price than the Shaws. I welcome feedback!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Sophie Wheeler

No, it's not made in Italy. It's Chinese.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:47PM
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homepro01

I have had a rohl Allia for over 10years. I had a double sink in a previous home and a single sink in this home. They are super easy to clean and look really nice. I don't baby it and it has performed flawlessly.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:55PM
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zuponcic

I bought an Alfi for my second house. According to their website, the sinks are "designed and made in Israel or Italy."

Now, it is a very good sink for the price--but in my case, I had to send two back to get a good one. The first, delivered in -30 weather in northern MN, and thrown around by UPS, was cracked. Second sink had a bad scratch in a very obvious place--and trust me, I'm not that fussy and if it had been insignificant I would have kept it. The third one was fine.

So far, so good.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:15PM
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cm cm

Homepro01, thanks for the feedback. Was your double sink a Rohl Allia as well? Rohl certainly has an excellent reputation.

Hollysprings, have you had experiences with any of the brands? I looked again at the Alfi website and they say, "Our fireclay sinks are imported from Israel and Italy and are manufactured in state of the art facilities that maintain..."

Does anyone know if there is there a good summary of sink manufacturers that lists quality, warranty, country of manufacturing, etc. similar to the awesome one on faucets? Consumer reports only evaluates sink materials, not manufacturers.

Again, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Oaktown

Interesting, some of the Alfi fireclay sinks on amazon.com have listed in their technical specs: "Origin/China."

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:42PM
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homepro01

LoveWindows,
My double sink was a Rohl Allia also.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:15AM
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jgopp

I have a Shaws Rutherford which is their 40 inch double bowl. I think Shaws and Rohl are the same company now if I'm not mistaken. I have a stainless Elkay farmhouse single bowl at home.

This sink is great for what I use it for up at this property. I don't use the dishwasher as much as I don't generate generally as many dishes. It's also really nice to clean the fridge shelves in since it's big enough.

Pros: I personally think it looks great. The front is low and it is deep which gives it a lot of working space. It is comfortable to use since the front is an inch lower than the counter. It also feels like a tank, I think it would take a lot to break it.

Cons: It is absolutely a lot harder than my stainless sink. And it has happened once that a guest dropped a glass cleaning it into the sink and broke the glass. This has happened at home before and it didn't break the glassware. I think the bottom on the stainless is more forgiving. I would also say that the upfront expense was a lot more than the stainless.

I really do enjoy using this sink, and I think it will last for a long time, probably longer than the stainless one. I also think it looks a bit more timeless than the stainless one I have.

Oh, just noticed that people were asking about where the sinks were made. The Shaws sinks are still handmade in England.

This post was edited by jgopp on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 23:26

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:16PM
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vsalz

I have had two. My latest is a whitehaus double bowl, 36 inches. Adore it. Only problem- trying to keep the cat off the counter, I put an empty soda can on it full of pennies. It worked. Freaked her out and made her jump about 3 feet. In the process, she knocked my really cool soap dispenser shaped like a seltzer bottle into the sink. The $12 dispenser is fine. The $1000 sink, not so much. Chipped a piece out of the edge the size of an Oreo. Glued it back, but there is a very visible seam.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:35PM
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Trebruchet

" Chipped a piece out of the edge the size of an Oreo. Glued it back, but there is a very visible seam."

vsalz:

Thanks for the information. I have a particular interest in the repairability of kitchen products. Your experience helps in determining the overall value of these sinks.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:53PM
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jgopp

As far as I know a lot of companies will warranty a chip or crack...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:56PM
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Trebruchet

"As far as I know a lot of companies will warranty a chip or crackâ¦"

Maybe the sink, but the labor to pull the old and reinstall the new? That's as much or more than the sink, depending on how the original was installed.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:24PM
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cm cm

jgopp, that is one handsome sink, cabinet and countertop combo! Is the countertop soapstone? Do you like it? I worry about breaking things in the sink as you have experienced.

Alfi has a sink with the exact same dimensions and appearance as the Shaws sink (for a good bit less).

http://alfitrade.com/alfibrand/ab4019.html

That is the exact configuration that I want. Anyone know of a stainless with that layout? And that is not an apron front? I like the fireclay apron front, but a stainless front is too contemporary for my kitchen.

Decisions are tough:

The configuration I want, but in fireclay. Fits in one cabinet

or

The material I want (stainless), but 2 separate sinks needing 2 cabinets.

I would love to hear more thoughts.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 3:11PM
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