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The differences between Belfast and Butler sinks


Butler and Belfast sinks are one of the most popular requests we receive from our clients and for good reason. Their minimal design makes for a perfect addition to any kitchen or utility room. But what is the difference between the two styles?


Over the past few years, we've seen an increase in requests for Butler and Belfast sinks, with the large and sturdy designs proving popular in modern-day kitchens.


We are proud to partner with local company Shaws of Darwen, installing their sinks in multiple homes for our clients. Located in the North West, (and a 5-minute drive from our workshop) the company still work in the same premises since the late 19th Century. Shaws of Darwen started with one vision, in mind - to create the most exquisite handcrafted sinks in England. and crafted by hand, using generations of knowledge, skill and time-honoured techniques.

Find out more about Shaws of Darwen here.


Made from heavy-duty fireclay, Butler and Belfast sinks are glazed and fired at over 1200°C, producing a heat, scratch and stain-resistant sink, making it the perfect addition to any busy family home.


Butler and Belfast sinks - What's the difference?


Designed in Victorian times; Butler and Belfast sinks became a popular sink choice due to their simple and practical design. Although the two styles look similar, there are subtle differences in each design.


Butler sinks were originally produced in London and designed to sit within a butler's pantry. Due to London's inland location, during the Victorian times freshwater was hard to come by, so sink designs had to adapt to conserve what little water was available.


Butler sink by Shaws of Darwen
Butler sink by Shaws of Darwen

Produced in Belfast, Belfast sinks are similar to Butler sinks; but they do have one key difference. As freshwater was a lot more attainable in Belfast during the Victorian times, conserving water was not a priority. Because of this, Belfast sinks are built with an overflow whereas Butler sinks are not.


As Butler sinks are built with water conservation in mind, they are shallower and wider compared to Belfast sinks, as they tend to be deeper.

Belfast sink by Shaws of Darwen
Belfast sink by Shaws of Darwen

Nowadays Belfast and Butler sinks are available with overflows, however, a weir overflow is only found on Belfast sinks.


Find out more about our brand partner Shaws of Darwen and their sink collection here.