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Wooden sinks have a unique natural look.
Made from a natural material and often environmentally friendly.
The timber absorb impact meaning the will protect you crockery and glassware from breakages.
As wood has good insulation properties your dishwater will stay warmer for longer.
Some wood has antiseptic properties keeping mould and germs at bay.
Cost, wooden sinks can be expensive even more so if the best wood is used.
A reluctance of some to use wood for sinks.
There is a limited number of manufacturers and suppliers.
A very limited range of sinks available and usually they are made to order.
The wood will darken over time.
Teak is however the timber of choice to make wooden sinks. The best Teak is a hardwood from Myanmar (formally Burma.) Not only is Burmese Teak extremely strong and durable but it has been used for centuries in ship and boatbuilding for it's remarkable resistance to seawater. The decking of most luxury yachts today are still clad with Burmese Teak. Teak wood contains a natural oil that not only keeps water at bay but also has natural antiseptic qualities and helps keep your sink free of bacteria and mould. A natural teak sink will only require re-oiling once or twice a year. Teak is also found in India, Bangladesh and a few other Asian countries.
The main disadvantages of Teak is it's ever increasing cost. It is in high demand for high end boats and combined with a shrinking supply, it is forcing up prices. Enough quality Teak to make a Belfast sink could easily be in excess of £500. That is before any waste, manufacturing or distribution costs. For this reason it is more common today to see the use of composite laminate teak for the making of Teak sinks. This material, as it is effectively many small pieces of timber glued together, allows for internal corners of the sink to be rounded making the sink easier to clean. Teak laminate composite sinks are normally treated with a long lasting, synthetic, surface treatment.
There have been environmental, sustainability problems with the use of Teak, nowadays most Teak comes from sustainable, commercially grown Teak trees but these are obviously younger trees which can affect the quality of the wood.
Another suitable wood that is sometimes used for making wooden sinks is Iroko. A tropical hardwood, Iroko is found in West Africa, it is has traditionally been used locally for boatbuilding and has a similar grain and properties. Over time it's colour changes to resemble the colour of Teak. It is still costly but not quite in the same price bracket as Teak.
Many other types of wood have been used for making wooden sinks often depending on what was available locally. Oak, Ash, Cedar, mahogany and many other hardwoods have been used although they will require a greater degree of upkeep than Teak or Iroko.
A quality teak laminate butler style sink
At the other end of the spectrum, a plain, butt jointed, softwood sink.
A single and a double, "Belfast" style, Teak Laminate, composite sinks by William Garvey.
The main wood used for making sinks is Teak and Iroko, both of which have traditionally been used in boatbuilding. They are often used as external timer as the natural oils which they contain keep decay and insect attack at bay. At one time the choice of wood was often dictated by local availabilty with oak being a popular option.