Finding the Perfect Farmhouse Sink for Your Kitchen
POSTED ON Sunday, March 1, 2020 IN Kitchen
Bring a touch of old-fashioned charm to your kitchen with an apron-front sink
Apron-front sinks, also known as “farmhouse” sinks, are not a new trend. Far from it, actually. They have been a popular choice among homeowners for several years now, and not even the march of time has been able to slow the proliferation of farmhouse sinks. They can come with a sizable price tag, but more homeowners are showing a willingness to spend more if it means they can have a farmhouse sink incorporated into their kitchen.
Homeowners today are making choices based on aesthetics first and foremost, and when looking for a sink, they are searching for something to anchor their kitchen. It needs to align with their design vision and work in concert with the style of their decor.
Understanding the appeal of the farmhouse sink, the styles and materials available to you, and the steps necessary to install one in your kitchen will help you determine if you are one of the many homeowners today who simply can’t live without an apron-front sink.
Farmhouse sinks offer unmatched depth
Farmhouse sinks originate as far back as 17th century Ireland and Great Britain. Back then, indoor plumbing and running water were a luxury that not everyone was afforded. Most were forced to fetch waters from nearby wells, meaning every drop of water was important. To hold as much of the water as possible, these people had large sink basins in their homes.
Today, there is less concern about conserving every drop of water, but farmhouse sinks are no less coveted. The unique look of the apron-front sink is what tends to draw initial interest. As the name would suggest, apron-front sinks extend forward an inch or two from the countertop. They are generally much deeper and wider than a traditional kitchen sink, giving the homeowner an apron area that is much easier to clean than wood cabinets directly below the countertop.
The greater depth of a farmhouse sink allows you to pile up more dishes, more easily clean large pots and pans, and wash and rinse without worrying about a lot of splashing. Perfect for having the kids pitch in to help with dishes!
Apron-front sinks for a variety of kitchen styles
Part of the appeal of farmhouse sinks is the variety of styles and materials from which to choose. White porcelain is a popular choice for an apron-front sink, but there are also homeowners who prefer the superior durability of stainless steel. Although it requires more frequent polishing and maintenance, copper is another choice, often selected for its beautiful color. Polished marble is perfect for adding a touch of luxury to your farmhouse-style kitchen.
Fireclay is a lesser known material, but one that has grown in popularity in recent years. It is a mix of enamel and porcelain, fired at a high temperature so that the enamel fuses with the porcelain to create a hard and shiny surface that looks similar to cast iron. Fireclay is a non-porous and durable material, and is an ideal match for a farmhouse-style kitchen.
Apron-front sinks are a staple of farmhouse-style kitchens, but they are not limited as a design choice to that one style. You might find a stainless steel apron-front sink in a modern kitchen. More industrial-inspired kitchens could feature a concrete apron-front sink.
The functional aspects of farmhouse sinks have also continued to evolve over the last decade. First, there is the choice between a double or single bowl farmhouse sink. You may see crisper and more geometric designs, in addition to built-in drainboards and chopping blocks to appeal to homeowners who desire more modern conveniences.
Installing a farmhouse sink in your kitchen
Once you have decided on a farmhouse sink, you will need to assess your kitchen countertops and cabinets, especially if you are retrofitting for an existing kitchen. Because of their size and the unique front apron that gives them their distinctive look, farmhouse sinks often require a special lower height cabinet to accommodate the sink and a special countertop cut. Many cabinet manufacturer’s do not offer a standard cabinet to use with these types of sinks. The countertop will either have to be cut so that there is either a sliver of countertop behind the sink or so that the surface is interrupted completely by the new sink.
Redoing your cabinets and countertops may sound like an expensive and labor-intensive process, but it would be a short-term setback in service of the long-term benefit of a farmhouse sink. A new sink base kitchen cabinet and countertop would also help create a seamless transition between your counter and sink, especially if it is created in an undermount style. Undermount means that the sink is installed underneath the countertop, eliminating any cracks or spaces where crumbs could get trapped.
Top-mount farmhouse sinks will generally work with any type of countertop, especially laminate countertops, which are not compatible with undermount sinks. But you’re most likely to find them paired with butcher block countertops because of their resistance to water damage.
If you are installing a farmhouse sink made from porcelain or stone, you will also want to check to make sure the cabinets below can handle the weight. Otherwise, they may need to be reinforced.
Obviously, deciding that you want a farmhouse sink for your kitchen is the first of many decisions in the buying process. But until you visit our nearest showroom, you may not know exactly what your kitchen needs until you see it up close and in person.