How to Choose a Farmhouse Sink
If you’ve been dreaming of adding a farmhouse (or apron) sink in your Kitchen, then this is the article for you. Farmhouse Sinks are definitely a splurge in a remodel or new construction, but they have an amazing way of adding that Designer look to your to home. Kitchen remodels take so much time to complete, so you want to make sure you have the best quality products combined with the most visually appealing design. There is a lot of design work that goes into choosing a farmhouse sink, so we’ve decided to put together this helpful post just in case you’re planning on including one in your design. So here’s our advice on how to choose a farmhouse sink, and some tips to help you reduce any headaches.
1. Decide if you want a single or double bowl. A single bowl sink is just as it sounds – it only has one basin rather than two. A single bowl has several advantages, the main one being that it saves on precious counter space. Even if you have plenty of counter space, though, you might opt for a large single bowl sink. If you cook with a lot of large pots and pans and wash them by hand, a large single bowl sink will make your life easier. The main disadvantage of a single basin sink is that you can’t separate your clean and dirty dishes and it is much less versatile. Your heavy metal-ware will be combined in the same basin as more delicate glassware, like wine glasses or fine china, increasing the chance of breakage. But if you are limited on space, a single bowl sink might be your only choice. A double bowl sink has two basins that are separated by an interior wall, sometimes with equally-sized bowls, but more often with one larger and one smaller sink area. Double bowl sinks are ideal if you aren’t short on counter space and enjoy washing dishes by hand. If you have or want a top-rated garbage disposal, installing a double bowl sink is necessary. However, washing large pots and pans can be difficult in a tub like this.
2. Decide if you want an above or under mount. There are two main types of installation types for Kitchen Sinks: Undermount vs Top Mount (also known as drop in). Top mount sinks are more traditional and “drop-in” from above the counter to rest on the countertop or surface. Undermount sinks, on the other hand, are mounted from below and sit beneath the surface of the granite or tile countertop. Undermount sinks have grown in popularity since the early 2000’s as they look sleek and more luxorious, often used with higher end materials like Granite and Marble to create a more continuous flow across the countertop. The countertop area surrounding the sink is also much easier to clean since there is no sink lip where food or debris can get stuck. However, under mount sinks are more costly and can be very challenging to install and tend to be more costly.
3. Choose the right size. Smaller homes and condos will likely go with the 24-inch size, small yet functional enough to wash pots and pans. Common 24-inch sink shapes are a square and D-bowl. Sinks 24 inches wide must sit in at least a 27-inch sink base cabinet. The most common Farmhouse Kitchen Sink size is approximately 30 inches. In a 30-inch width, you will start to see a wider variety of shapes: single bowl square, single bowl orca, and double bowl. Sinks that are 30 inches wide must sit in a base cabinet of at least 33 inches. The most common base cabinet sizes for new construction is typically 33-36 inches. Larger kitchens can accommodate 33-inch and 36-inch sinks. These Kitchen Sinks sinks come in a single bowl or double bowl. If you have a lot of space for a large sink, you might want to also consider a prep or bar sink to cater to point-of-use needs.
4. Choose a finish. Farmhouse Kitchen sinks come in many different materials, including metal and stone. The best kitchen sink material for you depends on how much money you want to spend, your cleaning routine preferences, and what material goes best with your kitchen’s style. Here are a few common options to consider:
Stainless-Steel Farmhouse kitchen sinks are one of the most popular options and the material continues to be improved and upgraded. The newer 16- and 18-gauge sinks are thicker and less noisy than their less-expensive predecessors. Stainless-steel sinks contain a percentage of chromium and nickel, which is indicated by numbers such as 18/10 (18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel). The metal imparts a rich glow and adds corrosion resistance. Finishes range from a mirrorlike shine to a satin luster. Stainless-steel kitchen sinks are appealing because they are affordable, durable, and easy to clean. However, they can become scratched and water spots can become an issue, and the cheaper sinks can sometimes make more noise when items are dropped in.
Cast-Iron Farmhouse kitchen sinks are made from a sturdy material that is enamel fired on an iron form. These durable sinks lessen noise and vibration more than other materials but can be heavy for installation. An added advantage is that cast-iron sinks are available in a wide range of colors.
Composite sinks can be made of quartz, granite, or other materials mixed with an acrylic- or polyester-resin base. They usually feature speckled color, resistance to stains and scratches, and easy care. However, they can be expensive.
Vitreous China, originally made for bathrooms, is now also used for Farmhouse kitchen sinks. The glazed clay material is hard and nonporous with a glasslike shine, but the sink material is prone to chipping. Similar to fireclay in construction, durability, and cost, vitreous china is less porous because of the nature of the construction process. It is easier to mold double bowl sinks from vitreous china than from fireclay.
Solid Surface, made from a polyester or acrylic base, is chosen for its stonelike appearance and easy care. Like solid surfacing countertops, it can be susceptible to heat and dings from sharp objects.
Some pros and cons:
Pros: Many Farmhouse sinks are simply single, large basins. The difference is their distinctive apron front, which has a vintage vibe many homeowners love. For a typical sink, the basin can be 4 inches away from the edge of the countertop, but this sink can sit a bit beyond the counter line. For people of shorter stature and kids, a farmhouse sink can be more accessible. If you choose a porcelain or ceramic farmhouse sink, there are a wealth of color options.
Cons: A Farmhouse sink is large, so food can get caught in the sides of the sink making a Pull-Down Faucet necessary to keep it clean. A farmhouse sink definitely makes a deliberate design statement that will be with you for a long time — which is wonderful, unless your tastes change.