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The difference between Butler and Belfast sinks

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When designing a new kitchen, there are now various options for fittings and accessories, from contemporary taps to specialist sinks. Whilst kitchen sink options may not initially be at the top of your list, choosing the right sink can make all the difference to your kitchen’s look and functionality.

Opting for a large white ceramic sink has grown in popularity over the years. These sinks are referred to as Butler and Belfast sinks and commonly come under the Farmhouse sink umbrella. However, many are unaware of the differences between the two, which can cause confusion when browsing kitchen sinks online. This article looks at the different features of Butler and Belfast sinks and how to choose the right sink for your kitchen.

What is a Butler sink?

Whilst large white sinks can create a modern feel to a kitchen, Butler sinks are over 400 years old. The name ‘Butler sink’ is derived from the fact that these sinks were initially created for use within the butler’s pantry. Butler sinks were typically used in London, where water was sparse and not wasting water was a high priority. As a result, Butler sinks were not designed with an overflow to maintain the water and prevent waste.

Although not having an overflow was the key feature of a traditional Butler sink, designs have since developed, and you may come across Butler sinks that do contain an overflow. With water supply no longer the issue that it once was, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between a Butler and a Belfast sink today.

You will find that Butler sinks are often shallower and wider than Belfast sinks, though there are great varieties and sizes for both sinks today.

Butler sinks and Belfast sinks are very similar in cost, though it’s more likely that you will find a Butler sink for under £200.

What is a Belfast sink?

Belfast sinks are also not a modern invention, dating back to the 1700s. As the name suggests, Belfast sinks were created in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. The key difference between a Butler and Belfast sink is the addition of an overflow, given that water was readily available within Belfast, unlike London.

As mentioned, whilst it is now difficult to tell the difference between a Butler and Belfast sink, you will find that Belfast sinks often come with a ceramic partition in the middle.

Belfast sinks can vary in cost depending on whether you opt for a single or double sink. The average cost of a Belfast sink is around £200, so it’s possible to get one at an affordable price.

What are the benefits of Belfast and Butler sinks?

People love the look of both Belfast and Butler sinks as they have a timeless look about them and can create a classic look within your kitchen whilst still keeping it contemporary. Additionally, people favour Belfast and Butler sinks because of their deep, large basins, making them helpful in washing cutlery and rinsing food.

The ceramic material makes Belfast and Butler sinks very easy to clean due to their stain resistance. However, a downside to a Belfast and Butler sinks is that it is easy to break cutlery given the hard-ceramic material. It’s essential to be mindful when handling cutlery not to drop anything, as it will likely smash.

Although more people are favouring Belfast and Butler sinks within their homes, they are also popular across various institutions due to their practicality. Belfast and Butler sinks are often used within restaurants, hospitals, schools, and veterinary practices as the large basins make them useful for washing and cleaning.

What is a French Farmhouse sink?

Another sink style very similar to Butler and Belfast is French Farmhouse sinks. These sinks look practically identical to Butler sinks, though there is a slight difference. Often the clay used to make French Farmhouse sinks is more refined, and they are not as chunky as Butler sinks. The slim looking design can create a slightly more elegant look to your kitchen, so it is recommended for those who want to achieve a stylish look.

French Farmhouse sinks are often costlier than Butler and Belfast sinks, though it is possible to get one for under £300.

Which kitchen sink is right for me?

Choosing the right sink when designing a new kitchen can be challenging, given that there are so many styles around. The three key elements to consider when creating a new kitchen are style, functionality and budget.

It’s essential to think about what style you are aiming for in your kitchen. If you want to achieve a classic, timeless look, then a Butler or Belfast sink is an excellent option.

Functionality is another crucial aspect to consider when thinking about kitchen purchases. If you spend little time in your kitchen, it may make more sense to go with a more traditional and more straightforward sink option.

Most importantly, it would help if you looked at how much you can afford to spend when looking at new kitchen appliances and accessories. With Farmhouse sinks available for around £200, it’s possible to find one within budget. However, if you are looking to keep costs low, it may be worthwhile choosing a stainless-steel sink, which can be purchased for under £100.

It’s crucial to pick the right kitchen appliances to ensure that you capture the level of style and practicality to suit you. In addition to farmhouse sinks, more people are elevating their kitchen style with speciality kitchen taps. At Fahren UK, we specialise in instant boiling water taps to help you achieve a more contemporary look in your kitchen and help save you time.

To take a look at our full range of instant boiling water taps, or give us a call on 02039882278.

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