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Cast Iron vs Stainless Steel

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written an update about our home building process.  Well here it is–nothing!  Okay, that’s not technically true but the house has not started yet.  So there’s nothing to show.  I can’t remember if I wrote about this but we actually ended up changing locations.  Since we switched to a new location, the new location is a brand new development which is still being developed.  They haven’t even paved the roads yet (although they keep saying they’ll do it ‘this month’–last month.)  But it’s not a big deal to us because we are still in the designing process.

We chose to build with a Utah company called Edge Homes.  They are a big-box builder which has pros and cons.  There is definitely less in the way of customization–especially for us who keep trying to find ways to make our home a little less cookie-cutter.  They are totally willing to do anything you want, as long as you pay for it.  And that’s where customization gets limited.

Since we are going back and forth on design choices, it’s taking up a lot of time and brain space.  A lot of it depends on budget, but a lot depends on practicality vs. looks.  Today’s decision is about my kitchen sink:  cast iron vs stainless steel farmhouse sinks.  We chose white cabinets, white quartz countertops with gray veining, and light wood laminate floors.

I asked you on Instagram and Hometalk, but got lots of different reviews.  Some people vote cast iron (the white) all the way, but I kind of wonder if they have actually HAD a cast iron sink.  They are absolutely beautiful and I love them but I have heard of the difficulties with maintaining them…

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 10.48.23 AM

Cast Iron Farmhouse Sink

Pros:

  • Beautiful
  • Heavy Duty
  • Large
  • Convenient undermount installation

Cons:

  • Can chip and crack
  • Gets scratched and marked up easily, but cleans up with Bar Keeper’s Friend product
  • Slightly more expensive than SS
  • Hard surface so dishes can break easier if you’re not careful

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 10.48.05 AM

Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink

Pros:

  • Cleans up easily
  • Has a little more ‘bounce’ so dishes don’t break as easily
  • Won’t chip or have marks from pots
  • Modern style

Cons:

  • Water spots
  • More utilitarian looking
  • Can still scratch, rust, and dent

What I need to know from you are YOUR opinions on the two.  Have you had either?  Which style do you like best?  If you’ve had one, would you do it again?

Photos via Houzz.com

15 Comments

  1. My current house has a cast iron sink while my previous homes have had stainless. I will be returning to stainless when we renovate. In my opinion, the stainless requires less maintenance. Although stainless can scratch, I think it still maintains a nice look. I have seen cast iron sinks where the white has burn marks from hot pots and pans. There are also some stains that can occur.

  2. If you get a stainless farmhouse, make sure it doesn’t have a flat edge at the front. Water collects there and the front of your shirt is always wet when you do dishes.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Never thought of that Becca! Good advice 🙂

  3. Amanda M. says:

    I’ve had both, although not the farmhouse style look(which I love). I’d go stainless steel every time, even though it scratches a bit. It’s easier to clean and far fewer dishes have been broken. And although I like the look of the farmhouse style, I will always want something with two sides. The sink I have now is just one big tub, so hand-washing is a pain because there is nowhere to set dishes aside to be rinsed.

  4. We built our house two years ago and I got IKEA’s cast iron double bowl farmhouse sink. I don’t have a single dent or scratch in it so far, and our household of two adults and 4 kids (6 & under) aren’t super gentle, either. It’s easy to clean and I LOVE how it looks! That’s my two cents. 🙂 Good luck!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Good to know! I think that cast iron sinks have improved a lot in recent years.

  5. I’ve had both and I would really, really recommend stainless steel. That cast iron always has to be cleaned because pots leave marks behind. I had lots of things break from being set in there, or bumped a little wrong. Stainless steel is quieter, kids can “throw” their dishes in there and it’s forgiving. It functions so much better. You can get away with cleaning it very little.

  6. I recently built myself a ‘rustic’ style kitchen, and naturally went for the white porcelain sink, as not only does it suit the style of the kitchen, but it’s also great for soaking clothes, sheets, etc., We’ve only had it installed for about a month, but I bought a plastic mat to protect the bottom against scratches, and use a plastic washing up bowl in it for dishes etc that I don’t want to go through the dishwasher. I’m REALLY pleased with it, and unless you’re the sort of person who stands at the cooker and literally throws your pans at the sink, I think it would take a fair amount to chip it. I’m also loving the nice white clean look that it gives to the kitchen.

    Judi in the UK

  7. I’ve had 2 white cast iron sinks over the years and wouldn’t trade them for the world. They just feel “earthier” and much more substantial than any stainless steel sinks that I have had to put up with. Yes, there are occasional scratches but nothing that won’t scrub out. I’ve never broken a dish in the sink either – even after 4 kids!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks for your input! It’s silly but it’s been a huge decision for me. 🙂

  8. I know it’s a little more work, but I like the look of the white sink.

  9. Darlene B. says:

    I’ve had both and I would never have SS again. Cast iron is so easy to clean and maintain. I’ve never had a chip in it. Bar Keepers Friend is all you need.,

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