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Developed before running water even existed, farmhouse sinks eliminate the front of the countertop and cabinetry to bring the sink closer to you. Originally designed large and deep for cleaning kitchenware, washing garments, and even bathing small children; these sinks put comfort and convenience first.
Due to a recognized aesthetic appeal, a resurgence in farmhouse sinks have made them a desired item for new kitchens. Unlike years ago, you can now find these beautiful apron-front sinks available in a wide variety of materials, sizes, designs, colors, and bowl configurations.
While shopping for your new farmhouse sink, you will notice that there are quite a few options in terms of size. You can buy a farmhouse sink anywhere from 20” in length all the way up to 60” or more. Knowing how you are going to use the kitchen sink is the key in determining the length that you want to go with. Think about the size of the sink that you are replacing and how it was used – was it big enough, or was it too small?
Do you want a single bowl or a double bowl?
Again, this goes back to thinking about how you will use it. Single bowls are great for washing large items such as deep pots and pans, and double bowls are perfect for separating your food preparation area from dirty utensils. Some extra-wide farmhouse sinks may even come with a third basin or an integrated drainboard.
The often-overlooked dimension is the width of the sink from front to back. Sinks that are larger from front to back are either going to compromise the counter space behind the sink, or they will protrude from the front of the cabinet a little bit further. On the other hand, if you desire a large sink but are limited in space, the lost inch or two in length could be made up for in width.
Keep in mind that farmhouse sinks have a deep front apron that hangs over the edge of the cabinetry. The full height of the apron is usually around 10”. However, retrofit farmhouse sinks have a shorter apron that trims around 3” from the bottom to fit into existing cabinetry. Retrofit farmhouse sinks are ideal if you aren’t replacing or getting custom cabinetry.
The materials that make up your sink goes beyond visual aesthetics and extends to other key factors such as durability and desired maintenance.
When you think of a marble or granite sink, you may be under the assumption that these natural stones have their limitations in designs and style. In reality, some of the most attractive and unique patterns are those found on stone sinks. Like copper, stone sinks are obtainable with hand-carved motif patterns that are just as detailed. Stone sinks are also very popular containing a chiseled front apron, which gives them a very raw, organic semblance. With durability to match, stone is widely used as a reliable option for countertops, tile, and backsplash.
Copper farmhouse sinks generally have more intricate front apron designs because of the metal's natural ability to flex and manipulate. You will find copper sinks with either smooth or hammered textures, but also with very detailed and tasteful designs formed into their faces. For example: grape vines, wildflowers, and basket weave motifs.
Fireclay farmhouse sinks commonly have a simple clean, flat front. However, they are also available with fluted aprons or raised front lips to give them a more pronounced look. Other designs are out there, however, from checkered patterns to painted and pinstriped for those seeking a more expressive look.
Stainless steel sinks generally have a more modern look and feel to them, and their selection of apron designs follow that theme. Their silhouettes will typically have more straight, defined lines to fit into their industrial setting and capture their contemporary concept.
Most farmhouse sinks do not contain faucet holes or a mounting deck for attaching your sink faucet. As such, your faucet must mount behind the sink, whether you attach it to your countertop behind the sink or install a wall-mounted faucet to the wall above it. You will want to plan to ensure that there is enough space and a designated location for your faucet.
To install a farmhouse sink, you will need a custom cabinet or a custom support within your existing cabinet. Unlike drop-in and under mount sinks, farmhouse sinks fully rest on their support underneath and are not attached to your countertop in any way.
A deck-mount faucet will mount to your countertop, behind your sink. Ensure that your area is large enough to accommodate your selection, leaving at least a finger width behind the faucet to provide ample room for cleaning.
Wall-mount faucets are mounted to the wall above the sink. These faucets are a great option if you want to preserve countertop space and allow for effortless cleanup. When selecting a wall-mount faucet it is important to consider the distance that the spout reaches from the wall, as you want your water to fall no further than the middle point of your sink.
Faucets that feature a pull down or side spray are designed for maximum convenience. A sprayer will help reach all corners of the sink for proper rinsing and is very useful when cleaning dishes by hand.
Fireclay is a type of clay used in ceramics that is fired at a heat of over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the clay to become stone-like. Because the clay is fired at such high temperatures, the material and glaze combine, resulting in a sink that is not only extremely durable, but also looks fresh and polished.
Porcelain is also made from refined clay and is fired at lower temperatures, between 1,200- and 1,400-degrees Fahrenheit. Sinks that appear to be made of porcelain usually have a metal inner shell made of steel or cast iron that is coated in a porcelain enamel.
Because your farmhouse sink will be fully supported by the base cabinet, it is important to get the correct size of base cabinet. Your base cabinet should measure 3" longer in length than your farmhouse sink. For example, if you have a base cabinet that measures 36" wide it will support a 33" sink. This will allow a bit of wooden cabinet trim on each side of the sink, which will keep your sink from resting against the dishwasher or drawer next to it. Additionally, this will provide the needed space within the cabinet below to properly build the bracing that the sink will rest on.
Many people prefer having two bowls in their kitchen sink, using one side as a prep sink only, or each side to wash and dry dishes independently. While double bowl farmhouse sinks are available, single bowls are much more common. If this is a concern, note that there are several ways to make farmhouse sinks more functional to suit your needs. A rinsing tub can be used to soak and rinse smaller items such as cutlery or sort dishes within the basin. This is a great option because it is portable, giving you the option to use the entire bowl for large items as needed. Wool or microfiber drying mats and drying racks are another great portable option. Each can rest on the countertop or be set aside when not in use.
Cleaning your farmhouse sink will vary depending on the material selected. We recommend inserting a sink grid into the sink basin to prevent your sink from being scuffed or damaged by heavy pots, pans or baking dishes. In addition to protecting the surface of your sink, sink grids also keep items off the bottom the sink which restrict water from getting to the drain, allowing your sink to drain better.