Traditional Butler sinks have been around since the 17th century. Each major city had one authority looking after all their sanitary ware, kitchenware and the means to install them. This is where the differences in the Butler sinks emerged, dependant on the region that you lived in. In Belfast, they had plenty of water available, and built deep sinks with overflows as it was not a concern, whereas London had to drill wells to gain enough water, therefore, their sinks were smaller and overflows were not fitted to discourage water waste.
Towards the end of the 19th century, French Farmhouse sinks became more popular, due to the use of local French clay, which was much more refined. This was, and is still used today to create the "Fireclay" sinks that we all know in modern kitchens across the UK. The differences between the Belfast, and the London sinks do not exist in the modern era, and nearly all Butler sinks are the same depth and as you can see, the Belfast and Butler sinks have been around for a long time, and they are still as practical today as they were in the first kitchens they were ever fitted in.
It's not too had to see why they are popular, with their high resistance to stains and scratches, and the very large bowl, and not forgetting the weir overflow incorporated into the Belfast sinks, you can always rely on a Butler sink to withstand whatever the modern world throws at it.
We hold many Belfast sinks in various styles, to suit today's kitchen designs. Please take a look at some of the manufacturers and their offerings below.
For over 115 years, Shaws have manufactured ceramic heavy duty fireclay kitchen sinks from their factory in Lancashire and still use the same traditional materials and techniques. Every sink is hand crafted, including the ever popular Butler and Belfast sinks. All sinks are proudly stamped with the signature of its maker and bears its own distinctive badge signifying a traditional quality kitchen sink, built to world class manufacturing standards.
Each Perrin & Rowe fireclay sink is tenderly created using time honoured traditional methods and materials, bearing tribute to the craftsmen who produce them. Perrin & Rowe sinks demonstrate the natural features of fireclay ceramics and are created by a ‘slip casting’ process. A combination of clay and water is poured by hand into a porous mould. When the newly formed sinks are dry enough, craftsman remove them from their moulds, before hand-finishing the sinks through a process of sponging and fettling to create a smooth finish.
Rangemaster Belfast sinks are formed from fire-clay, fired at exceptionally high temperatures to provide impressive strength, with a stunning high-gloss finish. There is very little that captures the true spirit of a traditional British kitchen quite like a Belfast sink. Sometimes referred to as the Butler sink, the large solid design characterises the very core of the home. Their sinks are finished in a high lustre white gloss, complete with a traditionally styled weir waste overflow.
The advantages of buying a Leisure Belfast sink can be found in their entirely non-porous, stain-proof surface that will not fade or discolour. Perfect for the more traditional home or those looking to coordinate modern with white worktops, Leisure's durable ceramic sinks are made using high quality raw materials alongside tried and tested manufacturing techniques to achieve perfect results time after time.
Astini Belfast sinks are suitable for use in commercial kitchens, domestic kitchens and utility rooms, where both practicality and inspirational design are required. Fired at an intense heat to fuse the glaze, this durable, non-porous material produces a glossy, hard finish. They are available in various formats, suitable for under mounting and surface mounting, along with finishes in a luxurious white glaze. Astini has an extensive range of Belfast sinks, that will provide a high level of design flexibility.
Astracast Belfast sinks offer a luxurious straight-sided thick walled design, which is a precise replica of the original Victorian design. Astracast Belfast sinks are wholly hand crafted and finished in fireclay. Cool and silky to touch, they have a hard non-porous exterior giving excellent resistance to chemicals and heat.
The Franke Belfast sink collection can be used either as a freestanding feature using supports or set on top of kitchen base units. Made from kiln-fired porcelain for a robust, smooth gloss finish, able to stand up to even the toughest treatment. Franke Belfast sinks have a fingertip-smooth high-gloss finish, intended to look perfectly intact, even after years of reliable and hard-working service.
The Villeroy and Boch Belfast sink offers a timeless, attractive character piece for the kitchen, meeting today's requirements in full. Villeroy and Boch offer you more than 260 years of experience, competence and the haven of a major brand. Villeroy and Boch create products that enhance life, with impeccable design, lasting quality and with a guaranteed sense of panache.
Caple Belfast sinks are manufactured using proven procedures and materials, making every one unique. Whichever model you choose, Caple Belfast sinks are hard wearing and easy to uphold with their smooth, gleaming white glaze. If your kitchen is of a traditional or country style, you cannot go wrong with a classic ceramic. You can choose from the ever popular and practical farmhouse style to more subtle and sophisticated designs in many shapes and sizes.
Carron Phoenix Belfast sinks are manufactured from fireclay in the traditional way. Each sink is formed in a mould then finished by hand, before the glaze is applied. The sink is then fired at a high temperature in a kiln. For this reason, no two Carron Phoenix Belfast sinks are ever identical. Every sink is formed of natural material, and, rather like a diamond, it may have a small inclusion in the surface. This makes each sink unique. All sink have a lustrous, non-porous surface that is exceptionally resistant to heat and chemicals.