Fireclay, a type of clay ceramic, is one of the most popular farmhouse sink materials. It's incredibly strong, resistant to scratching, and looks beautiful in a kitchen, especially with an exposed apron front. It's strength is partly due to a concept called thermal expansion, which happens when the material is heated at high temperatures. In this roundup I'm going to highlight some of the best fireclay farmhouse sinks based on extensive research and my own personal experience.
I've researched the most popular options and highlighted them here for easy browsing. I've also given simple context advice and recommendations to help you better assess which fireclay sink would be ideal for you.
For those wanting to get to an answer quickly, here are the four best fireclay farmhouse sinks I've picked out:
For those looking for additional options, checkout our list of best farmhouse sinks which includes non-fireclay options.
Best FireClay Farmhouse Sinks: Top 4 Picks
Bocchi Classico Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
Mayfair SW1 Farmhouse Sink
Fossil Blu Double Farmhouse Sink
Latoscana Reversible Farmhouse Sink
Here are a few things that you need to lookout for when shopping for a fireclay farmhouse sink.
1. Make sure you get fireclay and not porcelain
Some companies will play around with the wording and use fireclay, then later in the description say that what they really meant was porcelain. While porcelain sinks can be decent, they're not as nice as fireclay.
2. Exposed Apron front
While most farmhouse sinks are designed to be installed as undermount sinks, not all of them are meant to have the exposed apron front. If this is a feature that's important to you, make sure you spot this in the product description or in the photos.
3. Solid and not hollow
Again, some of the not-so-great companies will actually sell hollowed out sinks, which we'd recommend avoiding. Usually this is what you find when you go too cheap. I'd recommend staying above the $350 price point for a fireclay farmhouse sink. Anything lower will likely be too good to be true.
Typical Fireclay Farmhouse Sink Sizes
Most fireclay farmhouse sinks will measure somewhere between 30 and 36 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Make sure you get dimensions to your contractor or measure the opening in the cabinets yourself. The width, depth, and height should all be taken note of.
- 30 inches
- 33 inches
- 36 inches
Fireclay Farmhouse Sink Installation Considerations
All fireclay farmhouse sinks will be installed using an undermounted technique which means you'll be supporting the sink from the bottom instead of the top. That support will come either from the cabinets themselves or from additional framing that might be required for heavier sinks. Since our farmhouse sink was fairly heavy, our contractor added some extra framing inside the cabinets to help support the sink. Here's a quick picture I snapped of the supporting beam (there's one on each side):
Since fireclay is often heavier, your contractor might have to do the same thing.
To make sure he can make an informed decision, provide your contractor with the following information for whatever fireclay sink you decide to buy.
- Width of your sink
Now that we have the logistics covered, let's checkout some of the best fireclay farmhouse sinks.
1. Bocchi Classico Farmhouse Sink
Bocchi uses a type of fireclay in their Classico series that is completely non-porous and resistant to staining. It's also extremely unlikely to chip or crack, making this a good choice for busy kitchens where you're also trying to achieve a nice aesthetic. The apron front design isn't curved, but it can rest over the front of your cabinetry, given the proper sizing. At 33 inches wide it's a fairly typical farmhouse sink size, with the interior dimensions measuring about 28.5 inches.
The sink ships with the protective grid you see in the picture, which doesn't totally match the bright white color of the sink itself.
Still, it's a free accessory, which isn't typically offered in fireclay sinks like this one. In most cases you have to buy the protective grid separately.
Here's a quick summary of where we'd recommend the Bocchi Classico:
- Busy kitchens
- For complimenting a white color theme
- Those looking for a deeper sink
2. Mayfair SW1 Farmhouse Sink
Mayfair puts multiple layers of some kind of "glaze" on this sink, which seems to be clear and not of consequence concerning the sink's color. Otherwise, It's similar to the Bocchi Classico and a fantastic value at only $400. Even more than the Classico, this sink is squared off at the edges, without much rounding or curvature. We don't like this look quite as much as the bowls with more of a curved front, but that's simply an aesthetic preference.
This particular fireclay is imported from the UK, though it's heavier than the Bocchi Classico yet in the smaller 33" bowl width.
You lose some space with the smaller size, but it's still a great option for busy kitchens since the fireclay can handle some abuse.
3. Fossil Blu Double Farmhouse Sink
We've highlighted the double sink, though Fossil Blu does make several versions of their Luxury line if you're interested in the single basin model. These are some of the best farmhouse sinks without regard to material. They're super-heavy, almost 100 pounds, and are covered in a gloss that makes them extremely difficult to scratch. They're also resistant to heat which means hot pots and pans are safe for making contact with the sink's surface.
Here's a helpful image that shows you dimensions of each bowl and how it might fit in your cabinet system:
Fossil Blu also throws in a lot of nice extras like two protective grids and two stainless steel drains. These sinks also come with a limited lifetime warranty, where "limited" simply means it doesn't apply if you bought the sink used or second hand.
You still get the 10" depth we typically see in other fireclay sinks, along with a nice aesthetic design that gives you more of a squared off apron front.
If you don't mind the additional cost, this is one of my personal favorites before getting into the higher-priced Shaw sinks.
4. Latoscana Reversible Farmhouse Sink
This sink can be installed with either a flat or staggered exposed front, giving you a couple different design elements to work with. Here's what the other side looks like:
The bowl is 33" wide and 10" deep in keeping with the other recommendations in this list. It's also about 85 pounds, putting it roughly in the middle weight class.
Flexibility of installation is the main attraction, though it still needs to be setup with some kind of undermounted support system. We also noticed that the walls of this sink are thicker, taking up roughly an inch and a half of space on either side and some additional real estate from the bottom (depth).
Still, we like the fluted design and the ability to turn it around if you ever get tired of one side or want to acheive a different aesthetic.
Pros and Cons of Fireclay Farmhouse Sinks
Fireclay is a frequently-used material, especially with farmhouse sinks becoming so popular. While it's not the cheapest way to put a sink together or to manufacture (you'll find a lot of hand work is involved in the process) there are more benefits to fireclay than there are drawbacks. Let's look at the pros first:
Pros of Fireclay Farmhouse SinkS
- Resistant to staining
- Difficult to crack or break
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Long lasting
- More accommodating of high heat
- Ideal for the apron front farmhouse design
Disadvantages of fireclay are largely related to their weight and expense. In terms of actual use and functionality, there isn't much to complain about.
Cons Of FireClay Farmhouse Sinks
- Heavy compared to stainless steel
- Always need to be undermounted
For most people that want the modern aesthetic of a farmhouse sink, fireclay is the material of choice. It's pricier, but for most people the improved look and strength that a fireclay sink delivers on is well worth an extra few hundred dollars.
Features to Consider
When buying a farmhouse sink you should be considering the stylistic implications. Are you okay with a bright white color? Maybe you want a darker shade? Do you want the curved apron front or something more flat? However, you should also be thinking about things like weight, dimensions, warranty, and other factors you might not consider while just browsing for something that looks good in your kitchen. Here are a few fireclay farmhouse sink features to keep in mind:
Most fireclay farmhouse sinks weigh between 65 and 100 pounds. While almost all cabinet configurations can be modded by a contractor to handle the weight of a fireclay sink, it's information to take note of and make sure you can provide when needed. Fireclay is a fairly heavy material, which is part of what makes it so strong and durable. Just make sure you know the weight going into your purchase.
Resistance to Scratching & Staining
While there isn't a way to measure this as a feature, one thing I recommend looking for is the "gloss" or "glaze" language in the product description. While fireclay is naturally resistant to these things, having the additional glossy layer can help offset potential contact with the fireclay that would otherwise cause scratching and/or staining.
Again, this is an area where I'd recommend taking good notes and then consulting with your general contractor. Keep in mind, the opening for your sink can be modified, but you'll need to know dimensions to plan out the undermount installation as well. Just make a note of width, length, and depth and have that on hand for when you plan out cabinets or to consider when modifying existing cabinets.
Most fireclay farmhouse sinks come with a lifetime warranty. If you notice it says "limited" keep in mind that usually just means there's a clause for secondary owners or those that buy the sink used. If you buy a new sink, it's likely to be covered by the manufacturer, though it's worth reading the specs thoroughly just to make sure.
How to Clean a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
When my wife and I bought our first fireclay farmhouse sink, I made the mistake of trying to clean it with steel wool. While they're resistant to scratching, anything hard like steel will definitely leave marks if you try hard enough. In my experience, the best way to clean it is with a soft damp cloth with warm water and soap. Perhaps a little bit of Ajax cleaner could also be good for more stubborn blemishes.
You have to first like the look of your farmhouse sink. In my experience, fireclay looks better than any other material. It's soft, smooth, and subtle, but it also has a way of bringing a kitchen together and making it flow better, especially with the exposed apron front. Based on my own experience, these are the best fireclay farmhouse sinks for the money. Yet, there are plenty of other worthy options to consider. Hopefully this list will at least help get you started and give you an idea of what to look for.