Asked on Jul 07, 2014

Farmhouse Sink: Stainless Steel or Cast Iron?

Honeybear Lane
by Honeybear Lane
We are building a house and I need to choose my sink. I want a farmhouse sink but I'm torn between white cast iron and more modern stainless steel. I feel like the stainless steel might be easier to take care of and my personal style does include a modern edge. But I also have always loved the look of the white cast iron. My kitchen will have white cabinets, white quartz countertops with gray veining, and light wood floors. I need LOTS of opinions about this! Thanks!
Stainless steel?
Or cast iron?
  88 answers
  • Sharon Kavanagh Sharon Kavanagh on Jul 07, 2014
    I had a beautiful white cast iron sink. I now have a stainless one. In my opinion cast iron is great as long as you don't use it. Despite my best efforts to be careful, it chipped within a year. I will never have another cast iron.
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Jul 07, 2014
    Cast iron sinks are a lot of maintenance not unless they have improved them over the years. White mars very easily from pots and pans. It comes off with scrubbing with Bar Keepers Friend, but who wants to do that, I sure don't.
  • Kendra Loftus Kendra Loftus on Jul 07, 2014
    I think that they are both equally beautiful. If I had to choose between the two, i would go with the stainless one. I personally want to get a soapstone farm sink.
  • Therese C Therese C on Jul 07, 2014
    While stainless steel is much easier to care for, I like cast Iron. However, not the newer cast iron. If it were me, I would look around and find an original cast iron sink from an old house. They are much easier to locate than you would think. Remember, most old cast iron sinks have porcelain coating, so keep that in mind if you go with an original. Do not drop silver ware or anything in the sink and they will last for years. I wish I still had mine.
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 07, 2014
    I like the look of the stainless steel
  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold on Jul 08, 2014
    I have to admit I love my stainless and will never go back. My cabinets are also white, but my counter-top is black. I do also have a stainless hood over my stove.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jul 08, 2014
    Think chipping would be a problem with white cast even though it looks lovely.
  • Lori T Lori T on Jul 08, 2014
    I vote stainless steel. one thing to consider is that if you drop a ceramic cup in it it won't break or scratch the going by your pictures it just looks great.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jul 08, 2014
    I am the odd man out because I would go for white. The stainless looks strange in that decor to me. I think it lacks the soft lines necessary to have that "farmhouse feel". SS may be the more durable choice, but I would still go with the white. BTW - beautiful kitchen...don't you dare spill anything on that white!
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jul 08, 2014
    While the white looks much better, from what I have read so far, the cast iron white ink would be harder to maintain. Stainless steel is much easier and durable. I have always loved the ease with which it can be cleaned.
  • Simply Fresh Vintage Simply Fresh Vintage on Jul 08, 2014
    I would go with the white porcelain. And I wouldn't mind it getting chippy at all ... that just adds to the farmhouse look and feel! Farmhouses are meant to look loved and worn ... that's their character :)
  • Arlene Leilani Arlene Leilani on Jul 08, 2014
    I am there with you - I am renovating also and already have a white cast iron. As much as I love it I am going for stainless. The white cast iron is def high maintenance. It easily stains yellow sometimes depending on the food you are rinsing and I have to constantly scrub to keep it sparkling white. It has lasted me years but I can't stand the scratches. It's an eye sore.
  • Elizabeth Cochran Elizabeth Cochran on Jul 08, 2014
    I've got a white one and it's about impossible to keep looking pretty. Everything stains it and I am constantly cleaning it. Otherwise it is beautiful. I have a love hate thing with mine.
  • Debby Boyle Debby Boyle on Jul 08, 2014
    I would take any one of these..
  • Grannymike Grannymike on Jul 08, 2014
    I had a cast iron sink for 18 years, and when we remodeled our kitchen, I knew I wanted another one. I have never had a problem with chipping, and with Barkeeper's Friend (under two dollar at Walmart), I can easily keep it looking new. I have had stainless stell in the past and will never willingly have it again. I actually find it much harder to keep nice looking than the white cast iron. I also agree with Jeanette S in that to me, the stainless steel sticks out with the farmhouse look. I'm sure you will be happy with either one, but trust me, with Barkeeper's Friend, you do not have to worry about keeping a while sink looking new and with very little effort. It is the best choice also for a smooth stovetop.
  • Stahli Claassen Stahli Claassen on Jul 08, 2014
    I have a white farmhouse sink in my kitchen and I love it! I do clean it about once every other week but I wouldn't say that I have to scrub it. As far as scratching is concerned, I have one very small scratch/chip where my husband dropped the crock pot. Broke the crock but the sink is still going! (The spot is about the size of the writing tip of a pencil.) Quick question for those that have the SS sinks- How are they at cleaning? I have a SS island counter and it is constantly needing cleaned. I do have small kids so maybe that has something to do with it.
  • Lana Westerfield Lana Westerfield on Jul 08, 2014
    We are remodeling also and chose this sink.... I think the quality has improved over the years for the cast iron/porcelain. Time will tell how it holds up, but it is guaranteed not to chip
    • See 2 previous
    • Laurie Wellborn Laurie Wellborn on Feb 14, 2021

      I'm curious how your kohler sink has held up. I am considering that one also?

  • Patti Patti on Jul 08, 2014
    I am planning on stainless for all the reasons already mentioned and because I have four boys (I'm not always in front of the sink to protect it from whatever they are lobbing into it)!! My sink really takes a beating. I also look for a standard size because I have even had to replace a stainless sink because of scratches.
  • Tar310519 Tar310519 on Jul 08, 2014
    I LOVE my white farmhouse sink! I have stainless appliances, and just thought the sink would be over-kill. I've never had a chipping problem, ever! I do wipe it down every day and clean it with bleach occasionally, but I'd do that even if it were stainless. I guess it depends if you're wanting the farmhouse look or more of a modern look in your kitchen! I, personally like the warm, inviting feeling of the white. :)
  • HomeSpot HQ HomeSpot HQ on Jul 08, 2014
    The white sink is a little more timeless but either are very nice.
  • Sandra Mavity Sandra Mavity on Jul 08, 2014
    Love the look of the white porcelain but I've been there done that! If you cook a lot, you clean it a lot. I've also had stainless & would probably get it again. Easy to clean! I have Corian now & hate it!!
    • See 1 previous
    • Sandra Mavity Sandra Mavity on Jul 08, 2014
      I'm hoping to install new countertops, white quartz w/ the grey veining to go with my black cabinets. I might even get the black granite sink if I don't go with the stainless farmhouse. Decisions, decisions! Lol
  • Jan Ressler Jan Ressler on Jul 08, 2014
  • 75591 75591 on Jul 08, 2014
    Stainless steel rarely looks clean and stains, so I would go for the porcelain.
  • If you can, get copper. :) SS looks too garish but it is definitely lower maintenance than the white cast iron.
  • Nancy Nancy on Jul 08, 2014
    We did a remodel last winter and I put a stainless steel sink at my coffee bar. I hate it!!!!! We have very hard water and I stays spotted all the time! Go with the white cast iron!
  • Darla Darla on Jul 08, 2014
    I love porcelain sinks, but I think the stainless steel will look better - less of a "white overload"!
  • Leah T Leah T on Jul 08, 2014
    I have had both. Last old house had white and LOVED it. This house have stainless to match appliances. The stainless looks great here, white would have looked out of place but the white was easier to keep clean. The stainless spots, bottom of tubs gets scratched and the creases are squared off and are a bit tricky to clean. If you can go with white, I would
  • Janet F Janet F on Jul 08, 2014
    I like the contrasting look of the SS although it goes against the traditional farmhouse look. I have a white sink in my kitchen which looks very similar to yours. It does take fairly frequent cleaning if you're cooking regularly. Mine has ridges along the back splash and that I would NEVER get again as we have hard water and it always looks dirty no matter how much I scrub it. The rest is fine except it has one chip in it from dropping something. I've never had SS in my home but we had them in our classrooms and they always looked dirty. I dislike the smell of them when you're cleaning them. I don't know what causes that.....steel scraping steel?
  • Collene Heeg Collene Heeg on Jul 08, 2014
    toss a coin lol,,from reading your post I think your heart is with the cast iron,,,,go with your heart always....we always regret it when we don't..
  • Tina Krenz Tina Krenz on Jul 08, 2014
    If it were me, I would go with the cast iron sink. It's more country and it would fit in better. Besides that, I like country styles, not modern or western, and I hate what we have now which is stainless steel stove, dishwasher, and microwave, but didn't have a choice. We got transferred from Wichita, Ks. to Ok.
  • Meloni Simpson Meloni Simpson on Jul 08, 2014
    I love the white. I have a stainless steel sink now and it just looks so grudging to me.
  • Franielou Franielou on Jul 08, 2014
    Cast iron!
  • Maria Jimenez Maria Jimenez on Jul 08, 2014
    Stainless makes it pop. Love the way it brings out the cabinet hardware.
  • Katie Katie on Jul 08, 2014
    My vote is cast iron or porcelain. The SS is hard to keep looking nice and if it has sharp corners, you will need a toothbrush to keep the corners from getting grungy!! Have fun! I got a lovely porcelain farmhouse sink from Ikea. It was about half the price of any other sink I liked. It weighs a tons, but looks great!
  • Teresa Teresa on Jul 08, 2014
    I have a stainless farmers sink and cook and can alot so I would not want to clean a white sink. I do have to clean this one some but it always looks good.
  • Nana Nana on Jul 08, 2014
    I love the look on white to keep in the theme
  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Jul 08, 2014
    I'm partial to the white myself! Just looks more folksy and country. Stainless looks clean but too industrial for my taste for a country kitchen although it is more indestructible.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Jul 08, 2014
    Well, you can keep a steel sink spotless by using "Barkeeper's Friend" powder no matter HOW hard your water is, but I would vote for the cast iron. More genuine to the spirit of a farmhouse; my 1872 farmhouse has both type sinks, very hard well water, and I just feel more authentic when doing the dishes in the cast iron sink which was installed early 1900's. This is a plus, as I am at the sink a lot!
  • Robin R M Robin R M on Jul 08, 2014
    White cast iron...definitely!
  • Lisa Lisa on Jul 08, 2014
    I'd go with the cast iron/white. I'm not a huge fan of stainless, as whenever we've had stainless sinks, they've been a bear to keep clean, while traditional sinks clean up very nicely. We currently have one of those fake farmhouse sinks - plastic over I dunno what- and it's terrible to keep clean. So go with real, not fake anything. Go with something easy to keep clean, so that you're not cussing at it every time you use it. And this could mean stone, as versus cast iron. Be sure to check all your options before making a decision. have fun and good luck!
  • Melinda Columbus Melinda Columbus on Jul 08, 2014
    Hard to decide!! My grandmother & my mom-in-law had porcelain for years & they canned foods etc... Fed 9-16 people nearly every meal no prob ever. SS has it's adv too. I even wish my countertop around my stove & sink were SS!!!!
  • Karen Karen on Jul 08, 2014
    White cast iron.....I think ss makes it look modern!
  • Kelly Szymanski Kelly Szymanski on Jul 08, 2014
    I've always preferred the look of a white sink but seeing the 2 photos I think the SS sink looks better. Too much white with the white sink.
  • Lisa Ochoa Lisa Ochoa on Jul 08, 2014
    I too have always loved both, but in your case the white countertops with grey marbling would really "pop" if you were to go with the stainless steel. Both also have their pros and cons to keeping clean.
  • Tammara Tipps Tammara Tipps on Jul 08, 2014
    Love the white cast iron
  • TeTe L TeTe L on Jul 08, 2014
    Cast iron
  • Diane Diane on Jul 08, 2014
    The cast iron looks great.
  • Ann Ann on Jul 08, 2014
    White cast iron just much more authentic. You could use some stainless hanging lights for your more modern taste.
  • Robin Seefahrt Robin Seefahrt on Jul 08, 2014
    I bought a vintage cast iron sink to install soon- it's a farmhouse
  • Patty Gentile Patty Gentile on Jul 08, 2014
    I have always had a white porcelain sink and preferred the look to SS with the industrial look. It isn't that hard to keep clean and comparing the pix's, I myself would always go with the porcelain. Not too much white at all!
  • Margie S Margie S on Jul 08, 2014
    go for granite, it easy to keep clean,I have one in black and love it
    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 16, 2014
      @Margie S I just got the Granite..oh I love it! The super single and it looks great with my counter and brushed nickle Faucet. Its in a sandy color called Biscotti. Never thought I could fall in love with a sink.
  • Jan Jan on Jul 08, 2014
    White cast iron would be a lot easier to keep looking clean and has a warmer & homier appeal.
  • Sherry S Sherry S on Jul 08, 2014
    In my experience I prefer the white. My stainless steel looks great after cleaning...until the first time water is run in it.
  • Jill Jill on Jul 08, 2014
    Stainless steel scratches and does stains. Porcelain chips, but scrubs clean. I don't care for white with while cabinets, but nowadays you can get them in almost any color. My preference is black!
  • GH GH on Jul 08, 2014
    I'm in the same dilemma, and I think Jan said it all: "White cast iron would be a lot easier to keep looking clean and has a warmer & homier appeal." I think "homier" did it for me, so I think I'll go for the white!
  • Jane R. Jane R. on Jul 09, 2014
    I think the white cast iron looks the best. I blends in with the cabinets making it almost invisible. The SS stands our like a sore thumb.
  • John J John J on Jul 09, 2014
    If you have a modernistic kitchen then go with the steel but if you are going for the 'Homier' type of look for the kitchen then go with the modern enamel cast iron sink... accessories make your kitchen YOURS!
  • Lisa Weisedel Lisa Weisedel on Jul 09, 2014
    I am choosing to go with the SS and I am also going with SS appliances but wood cabinets and beige tone Quartz counter tops and sandstone colored back splash. I love the contrast of the SS with white cabinets/marble countertops, the SS fixtures and drawer pulls. It looks classic and modern at the same time.
  • Del317086 Del317086 on Jul 11, 2014
    My daughter has SS appliances and splash backs in the house she purchased and while they look lovely when new they are impossible to keep clean. She has tried all the specific cleaners and even some of the greener ones, they look ok for a little while but after the slightest use it's back to being splotchy and smeary. As for the look I agree with a lot of the previous replies - the white cast iron wins hands down sounds like it would fit into your kitchen better too - wish I could have one.
  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Jul 13, 2014
    We are in hunter/gatherer stage of planning for a new kitchen. We are doing everything ourselves, save for plumbing and electrical. This is a relocation as well, so plenty of that. I was thrilled to find a single basin antique porcelain sink with original and FUNCTIONAL fixtures. If farmhouse is the style, white is the color, IMO.
  • Lorey Allen Lorey Allen on Dec 17, 2014
    I had two sets of grandparents with farm houses and one had a more "modern" stainless steel sink, but with the built in drain boards and the other the cast iron porcelain sink. If you go for stainless, look for a vintage/antique sink. It's true they don't make things like they used to, or if they do, quality comes at a very high price. We were just very fortunate to purchase a porcelain sink from a 125 year old farm house in stunning condition with dual drain boards for only $200. If you aren't in a hurry I would search Craigslist for what you are looking for.
  • Lola Lola on Dec 17, 2014
    Love the white, I also have stainless appliances and wish I had kept my white appliances. I am sick of keeping the stainless clean and streak free.
  • Tiffany Wyatt Tiffany Wyatt on Dec 17, 2014
    It appears I am in the minority but I think the stainless steel looks cool. I like that you notice it and I would not want a sink that blends in with the rest of the kitchen. I like the farmhouse sinks but in this case, I would go with the stainless steel!
  • Anne Walker Anne Walker on Dec 17, 2014
    I just did a SS farm sink in my new house. I prefer SS, the kitchen is modern anyway, so I was able to get the large sink with a very modern feel. Counters are Chrome Silestone, backsplash is tile that looks like reclaimed wood, so are the floors. The cabinets are Walnut but with nothing decorative, SS pulls. I love it. As soon as we move in, I'll post pics.
  • 75591 75591 on Dec 20, 2014
    Stainless Steel is impossible to keep looking clean. The white cast iron is just gorgeous and lasts forever.
  • MaryStLouis MaryStLouis on Dec 20, 2014
    I love the look of both styles. If you go with cast iron you will lose some space under your sink because extra framing will be necessary to support its weight. I have an undermount stainless sink that I love. It scratched immediately but developed an attractive patina after many scratches coalesced into one perfectly imperfect surface. I use Barkeeper's Friend to polish it. The trick with stainless is to buy a good brand. Mine is an Elkay I bought on clearance and it has held up beautifully. With cast iron research chip resistance in the porcelain coating. Once a chip breaks through to the iron the metal can then rust so you'll need to have a bit more care with throwing things into the sink. So, for me, the decision would have less to do with looks and more to do with function...and that's a personal choice. Good luck with your decision!
  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold on Dec 21, 2014
    I just happen to prefer SS over cast iron. I've had both, when we remodeled I chose SS with my white cabinets. My old cast iron had an old chip in it and a rust stain from previous owners that I never could get out.
  • Patty Andrews Patty Andrews on Jan 28, 2015
    We just moved to a new house, and I have always loved the farmhouse sinks. We are getting our kitchen remodeled and I chose the "white" farmhouse sink. I have had both types "SS & white sinks". The white one is easier to keep clean/neat, where the stainless steel, does show water stains, ect. Also, consider what color your appliances are, and maybe that would help your decision. I decided to combine my SS appliances with my "white farmers sink". In the video design, it looks like a nice warm kitchen for everyone to enjoy.
  • Leslie Crawford Leslie Crawford on Feb 26, 2015
    I love the "look" of stainless steel sinks however I was fixated on always drying it out and eliminating water marks / drops. Plus I hate the way they sound when water hits the sink and when pots/dishes clank against the stainless steel! I would go enamel anyday over stainless! I bought a Swanstone sink for my new house as I had it in my last home and love, love, love it. Any scratches in it can simply be scrubbed away with a green scrubbie or light sandpaper. I don't know if Swanstone makes a farmhouse sink.
  • Marianne Howley Marianne Howley on Dec 12, 2015
    i would absolutely go with white cast iron....i have had many sinks in my lifetime,,,i loved the white cast iron or porcelein (need spell check) stainless always looks dull and dirty to me ..thats what i have not ...but not replacing it came with the house and my husband says it stays....
  • Judy Capone Mantell Judy Capone Mantell on Jan 10, 2016
    Check out ceramic sinks. I have had mine for 20 years ( from France $400) and it still looks like new! Much easier to clean than stainless steel or porcelain. The sinks are not cheap but I found my second one at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $70. It is a huge sink, farmhouse style and I love it! Sooo glad to get rid of the stainless steel!
  • Drgoodie Drgoodie on Jan 10, 2016
    I vote for a white sink. I hate stainless steel sinks because they very quickly become scarred and can look dirty after cleaning with very little use. I even prefer the old, scarred, chipped, scratched, or yellowed ceramic sinks over stainless. Looking at your photos, I think the stainless sink looks "bothersome" and the white sink looks peaceful. I hope you let us know your decision and reason for your choice. Great question and great responses!
  • Annelise Reinhart Annelise Reinhart on May 10, 2016
    I am having the exact same dilemma!! I am building a new kitchen in our new "old" house... I have always loved my under-mount double bowl stainless steel. But now i want the "farmhouse" style and i think one person commenting on here about scratches and dings, just helped me decide on going with a white farmhouse sink! (and maybe a small stainless under-mount on the island). My only other sink i was considering was stone, or limestone, but i heard they are a nightmare to maintain? now, do i go with ceramic or porcelain ?
  • Darla Darla on May 11, 2016
    Go with the stainless steel. It will set off all the white and the counter tops perfectly.
  • Karen Karen on Aug 02, 2016
    Cast iron
  • Carla Simmons Carla Simmons on Sep 09, 2016
    I have stainless appliances country white cabinets. Stainless farm sink is awesome
  • Mattiejane Mattiejane on Oct 26, 2016
    I love the colored cast iron sinks by Kohler. Other brands also have them. Having had both stainless and cast iron. I vote for the cast iron white or colored. I am not a fan of stainless. I just ordered the new black stainless series. Not sure if they have sinks yet.
  • Joanie Joanie on Mar 09, 2017

    How do I forward this great kitchen on to my husband?

  • Marie Marie on Jul 09, 2017

    If you are asking which sink "looks best" from the 2 pics...SS is the more cohesive and seems to bring all pieces together properly from all the other constructed design. If your looking for a farm house fell - this kitchen (to me-old country woman) does not have the style for any farm house with either sink. The construction you have with all the other pieces, you have a lovely funtional and complete look with the (farm house cut SS) sink. Aside from how you do upkeep for the standard wear and tear - both have pros & cons. SS resale view would be best and unless you plan on remolding again in the near future - I would stay with the SS to pull it all together.

  • Solei Solei on Jul 09, 2017

    The white cast iron looks beautiful.

  • Sandra Lincoln Sandra Lincoln on Jul 13, 2017

    I have purchased the same Kohler white cast iron sink three separate times now and I've loved each and every one of them. It never chipped or scratched and looked so shiny and clean at all time. A stainless sink to me often looks dirty with all the water marks on it. My opinion is you can't go wrong with a white cast iron sink. By the way, I am now building a new home and am about to purchase yet another Kohler white cast iron sink except for this time I'm going for one big sink instead of the two basin. Check this sink out...Cape Dory by Kohler!! Best of luck with your kitchen!!

  • KK KK on Jul 13, 2017

    White cast iron.

  • Pizzchzz Pizzchzz on Jul 21, 2018

    To me, stainless steel farmhouse sink is the best deal. I have had a good experience with the use of this type of sink. You can see a comprehensive review and where to buy it here

  • Ellis Ellis on Feb 15, 2021

    I like stainless steel. I've also seen some gorgeous copper farmhouse sinks, but they don't look modern, and they probably wouldn't go with your countertops.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Feb 28, 2021

    Depending what is your budget .. cast iron is for sure more expensive and more detailed

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2023

    Why not co for Ceramic Butler Sink?

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 02, 2023

    Granite is lighter then cast iron and more durable then stainless steel.