A farmhouse sink is one of the easiest ways to add instant appeal and distinctive style to your kitchen. A farmhouse sink, similar to an apron front sink, has become a popular choice with home designers of all styles. These are spacious “workhorse” sinks that retain a timeless charm.
These distinctive sinks may seem like a no-lose proposition yet, there are key features which might make you think twice before investing in one. Here, we are going to lay out all the factors. This way, you can decide for yourself and make the best decision for your space.
What is a Farmhouse Sink?
A farmhouse sink is identifiable because they have a large basin with an exposed front panel. Most farmhouse sinks have a single basin, though there are also double basin options. The most common material used to make farmhouse sinks are porcelain and stainless steel, though many modern kitchens use concrete farmhouse sinks as these have a more industrial aesthetic style. There are also other materials to consider including granite composites, cast iron, and fireclay.
Farmhouse sinks do need a large opening on the face of the cabinets that make this style prohibitive for some people as it requires custom cabinetry.
Farmhouse Sink Materials
With the innovations that exist today, manufacturers craft farmhouse sinks for kitchens of varied materials. Each has a different look, level of durability, and cost that will help determine if a certain style is right for your home.
Fireclay sinks are crafted of clay that has been heated to a high degree. This makes the sink durable, resistant to chips and scratches. This is a heavy type of farm sink, so your cabinet will need reinforcement to withstand the weight.
Fireclay farmhouse sinks have an elegant and timeless style. Many people use this as an alternative to cast iron farmhouse kitchen sinks as they are more durable and have a similar look.
Stainless steel farmhouse sinks are durable and easy-care. They are a more modern style of farmhouse sink and used in contemporary kitchen designs. Stainless steel farm sinks are one of the best farmhouse sink options if you have a tight budget as these are one of the most affordable choices.
Stainless steel is more susceptible to hard water stains and scratching, but they can take a high amount of abuse. Find a stainless steel sink option that is at least 16 to 18 gauge stainless steel as these are the most durable.
Cast iron is one of the oldest types of sink materials available. This features a heavy iron base with an enamel coating. These are beautiful sinks that retain a vintage look and feel.
While they do have a durable finish, the finish can scratch and fade over time. This is one of the heaviest kitchen farmhouse sink options available. You will need a reinforced cabinet to carry the weight of these sinks.
Porcelain farmhouse sinks have a similar look to fireclay farmhouse sinks though are less expensive. They are also less durable as they tend to scratch and stain easier. They are also more prone to chipping so these would not be the best choice in a kitchen that endures constant wear and activity.
Natural Stone and Wood
Natural materials such as travertine, granite, limestone, soapstone, marble, and even petrified wood make beautiful farmhouse sinks. Many of these sinks are crafted from a single block of stone which makes them one of a kind.
A well-sealed sink is easy to keep clean and stands up to heavy wear. These are one of the most expensive choices for a farm sink. Natural stone mixed with composites are another option that is less expensive.
Copper farmhouse sinks are crafted by heating copper ore and pouring it into a mold to form a sink. These sinks are distinctive and develop an attractive patina over time. Copper has natural antibacterial qualities that make it a good choice for kitchens. Copper will not rust or corrode, but it does need polishing to keep it looking its best.
Farmhouse Sink Size Options
Farmhouse sinks are larger than average kitchen sinks, so they will take up more space in your kitchen. In general, farmhouse sinks are between 20-60 inches long (side to side), width around 16-20 inches wide (front to back), and depth around 9-10 inches high (bottom to top).
Small farmhouse sinks range between 20-24 inches long, medium farmhouse sinks from 30-40 inches long, and large sinks are considered anything beyond this.
Farmhouse Sink Mounting Options
There are three common mount options for farmhouse sinks: undermount, flush mount, and drop-in styles.
- Undermount Farmhouse Sinks – Undermount sinks are mounted below the counter level. This means that the counter edge is exposed on three sides: the right, back, and left side with the front side or apron exposed. This is one of the most expensive mounting options as the hole in the counter needs to be exact. This also leaves an exposed edge, so the counter material must be durable.
- Flush Mount Farmhouse Sinks – Flush mounted sinks sit right at or above counter level. The hole in the counter must be accurate for this style to create a tight seal between the sink and counter.
- Drop-in Farmhouse Sinks – Drop-in farmhouse sinks are also called top mounted sinks. These sinks are one of the easiest to install because they are mounted above the counter and the hole does not have to be exact. This style mount is best for delicate counters that might chip with an exposed edge like marble.
Cost of Farmhouse Sinks
Farmhouse sinks range in style, configuration, materials, and size. This means that they also range in price. Stainless steel sinks are the least expensive options. You can find stainless steel sinks beginning from $350. Petrified wood farmhouse sinks are one of the most expensive varieties ranging up to $7,000. Average prices range from around $600-$1,500.
Farmhouse Sink Design Ideas
Farmhouse sinks are most often used in kitchens, but they are useful in other areas where they use sinks like laundry rooms and bathrooms. We have gathered some inspiration photos with some farmhouse sink ideas that are beautiful and unique.
Farmhouse Sink for Contrast
Farmhouse sinks are a useful way to break up the color block of cabinets. This sink also breaks the horizontal line of the cabinet in that it extends beyond the cabinets to create a more custom look.
Small Farmhouse Sinks
Many farmhouse sinks are larger than standard sinks, but there are also some that have smaller dimensions. These work well in small kitchens where you want to create a traditional kitchen style.
Farmhouse Sinks for Laundry Rooms
Farmhouse sinks are ideal in laundry rooms as utility sinks. One of the best types of sinks for this purpose are stainless steel because they are the most inexpensive and they are durable.
Contemporary Farmhouse Sink Styles
Certain types of farmhouse sinks work well in contemporary kitchen designs too. In this contemporary Los Angeles kitchen, Tim Clarke used a straight edged large farmhouse sink that blends with the countertops to create a seamless and spare design.
Farmhouse Sinks in Bathrooms
Though it is not common, you can use farmhouse sinks in bathrooms too. Most bathroom designs that utilize farmhouse sinks that are small, between 16-20 inches wide.
Dark Farmhouse Sinks
You can also create drama in your kitchen with a dark farm style sink. Venegas and Company used a copper farmhouse sink in this kitchen. It blends with the wood countertops and contrasts with the off-white cabinets.
Farmhouse Sink Pros and Cons
Farmhouse sinks work well in many situations, but they do have important drawbacks that you should consider.
- Size – These sinks are larger than many standard sinks. They work well if you wash large pots and pans or large amounts of dishes.
- Style – Farmhouse sinks have a distinctive style that gives the kitchen a more custom look.
- Variety – This is a popular style sink so manufacturers craft them with a variety of materials, sizes, and prices that will work for different people.
- Expense – Farmhouse sinks are more expensive than standard quality sinks. It is better to invest in the best farmhouse sink that you can so that it lasts longer over time.
- Installation – Farmhouse sinks are more difficult to install as you will need to have an opening cut in the front of the cabinet. You may need a professional to install it rather than a DIY project.
- Size – Most farmhouse sinks are large, so they will not work in small kitchens. There are small farmhouse sink options available.
Are Farmhouse Sinks Out of Style?
Farmhouse sinks are not out of style. In fact, they are more popular than ever before. They do not just create a timeless and unique looking kitchen, you can use them in sleek and contemporary designs.