D ear Ed: We’re building a new house and I want to use cast iron for our sinks, shower base and bathtub. My husband says it sounds old-fashioned to use cast iron for so many plumbing fixtures and I should look at other material choices as well. Is there anything out of the ordinary with my preference to use as many cast-iron fixtures as possible?

— Ann, Wisconsin

Dear Ann: Today’s plumbing fixtures are available in a variety of materials.

In most cases, it gets down to personal taste and using a good material fit for the needed fixture application.

From what I’ve seen, cast iron can be a great all-around fixture choice because of three basic reasons:

1. Strength: Hey, it’s called enameled cast iron. It’s a strong, heavy-duty material that is very resistant to scratches, chips, cracks and burns.

2. Style: Because cast-iron plumbing fixtures are available in constantly changing shapes and colors, cast-iron fixtures always seem to be in style. For kitchen sink use, you can easily match just about any type of countertop.

3. Green factor: Cast-iron fixtures contain a good portion of recycled materials, and that’s good news all around.

So, when you add everything up, nothing should cast a doubt on your cast-iron fixture choice.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit or write

Read or Share this story: