Traditional white ceramic sinks are one of the hallmarks of a classic kitchen with a country feel. These chunky farmhouse sinks are often referred to as Belfast Sinks or Butler Sinks – but which is it? And what, if anything, is the difference between a Butler Sink and a Belfast Sink?
Let’s take a step back in history.
The classic Butler Sink has been an iconic part of kitchen design for over 400 years. Originally created for use in the butler’s pantry, various nuances sprang up over the years. Water was sparse in London; the capital was further inland along the Thames and had a higher cost of obtaining fresh water for the capital’s large population. The (London) Butler Sink was therefore designed without a weir overflow. In fact, at one time sinks with a weir overflow design were banned to make sure that households complied with plumbing regulations!
In order to allow for the same volume of water in a bowl, a wider but shallower sink design was favoured, and most Butler Sinks can now accommodate larger items – including dogs! – to be washed. A classic Butler Sink has a drain in the middle of the bowl.
Across the Irish Sea in Belfast, on the other hand, water was plentiful. Apparently, the average Belfast household user was prone to letting kitchen taps run, so the Belfast Sink had an overflow to minimise accidental spillages. Belfast Sinks are smaller/narrower but deeper in their design, having the drain close to the tap.
With the passage of time, water supply became less of an issue. Country kitchens became bigger and even Belfast Sinks have evolved to be wider – see the typical double bowl Belfast Sink with a ceramic partition in the middle.
Whether you choose a Belfast Sink or Butler Sink for a modern kitchen, they both offer style and functionality in spades. At Price Kitchens, we supply and fit kitchen sinks in a wide range of designs. Both Butler Sinks and Belfast Sinks are now immensely popular features, particularly when it comes to more traditional kitchen designs.
For more information, or to choose the right sink for your kitchen, please contact us and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable team.