How Do You Choose A Farmhouse Sink?
There are a lot of variables to consider to choose the right sink. In this guide we talk about size, material, and installation. Hopefully after reading this article you’ll have a better idea of what exactly you’d like to install in your kitchen.
What is a farmhouse sink?
A farmhouse sink is a drop-in sink with an exposed front originally created to hold large amounts of water. Farmhouse sinks can be used for different purposes such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and even bathing small children. They blend perfectly in any kitchen.
If you are planning to install a farmhouse sink in your kitchen, here are things you must consider:
What Size Farmhouse Sink Should I Choose?
Farmhouse sinks—like any other sink—are made in different widths and depths. If you are not doing any renovations before installing a farmhouse sink, the size will depend on the cabinet space under the sink. You’ll likely have to remove the false drawer front below your sink and you have to cut down on the cupboard space that was present.
However, if you’re in the midst of a kitchen renovation and are installing new cabinets, you can be flexible with the size of the sink. Regardless of what you do, the farmhouse sink width must be a couple of inches smaller than the cabinet below. Also be sure to measure and keep 1-2 inches between the sink and the drawers on either side. For a 36" standard cabinet it is recommended you get a 33" sink.
The Different Materials To Choose From
Farmhouse sinks can be made natural stone, cast iron, stainless steel, fireclay, and Copper. Each has its own aesthetic appeal and durability varies—as well as price. Choose what element is the most important and let the rest fall into place. Here are the typical options:
- Pros: This type of farmhouse sink is layered with porcelain and ceramic as protective layers. The good thing about this is that the surface is hard and glossy, which adds a classic appeal. Cast iron farmhouse sinks are durable but can chip or get discolored after heavy use.
- Cons: Cast Iron sinks are quite heavy and installation also requires more reinforcement.
- Pros: A farmhouse sink made from natural stone—such as granite, marble, limestone, or travertine—adds an elegant touch to any kitchen. They are also durable and can withstand extreme heat. They are easy to clean and can last for decades (even centuries) if sealed properly.
- Cons: Natural stone is a LOT more expensive compared to other materials. A natural stone farmhouse sink is also very heavy and needs to be reinforced and supported from below.
- Pros: Copper farmhouse sinks will not rust or corrode and are extremely durable. It can develop a nice patina over time and looks attractive.
- Cons: Copper is a unique material, but it will develop a patina through time. If you prefer the original condition there will be cost associated with maintaining the aesthetics.
- Pros: Professional kitchens prefer stainless steel because it is strong, durable, and easy to maintain. It can handle a LOT of abuse. You can choose from different styles and sizes, and it is the lightest of all the other materials.
- Cons: The drawback is that stainless steel makes more noise than other materials, it obviously comes in one color, and it can be scratched or damaged if you aren’t careful.
- Pros: fireclay farmhouse sinks are made from glazed ceramic clay that are cured at high temperatures. Fireclay looks like an enameled cast iron due to the ceramic outer-lay. It is non-porous, scratch, and typically chip resistant. In addition, this material can handle acid and alkaline cleaners.
- Cons: The disadvantage is that dishes easily break if they fall on a fireclay surface. Over time, the material could chip and become flakey. The material is not lightweight.
How To Install A Farmhouse Sink
Farmhouse sinks do not have faucet holes or a mounting deck where you can attach a faucet. The faucet must be mounted behind the sink. Make sure you plan this out when you choose the dimensions and order your sink.
A custom support or custom cabinet must be prepared for the farmhouse sink installation. Unlike other stinks, farmhouse sinks rest on underneath support and are not attached to the countertop at all. Before buying, make sure that there is proper support for it.
Installation differs for every sink. Make sure you reference the installation manual that came with the specific sink you ordered.
If you plan on installing new countertops, there are more options available when you choose a faucet. You can easily cut the proper holes into the countertop so the new faucet can be installed.
if there is already an existing countertop where the farmhouse sink will be installed, your choices are limited. You must choose the one that can align with the holes that are already there OR install a faucet that can cover the unused holes.
How Much Does A Farmhouse Sink Cost?
Farmhouse sinks normally range between $400 to $650 for the low-end cast iron material. Stainless steel farmhouse sinks range between $400 to $800, which is the typical range for most farmhouse sinks. Copper or natural stone ranges between $900 to $3000.
How To Clean And Maintain Your New Sink
In general, the kind of material you choose determines the maintenance required to keep it in good condition. For more information on how to clean each sink, check out our simple how to clean a farmhouse sink guide here!