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Pros and Cons of Farmhouse Sinks | Why You Need The Best Farmhouse Sink in Your Kitchen

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I never thought I would give kitchen sinks too much thought in my life… not until I decided to remodel my kitchen. As a mother of 5, I needed to find an efficient way of prepping food and dealing with the dishes. But I also do not want to compromise style.

best farmhouse sink

I have already decided on a farmhouse sink, but then I was stuck in a rut in choosing the best material, design, and color. With so many options in the market, I persevered to find the best farmhouse sink for my kitchen. Read on to learn what I have discovered.

In a hurry?

If you don’t have much time to read on how to choose farmhouse sink, can go straight to the reviews…

Best Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
Best Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink
Best Cast Iron Farmhouse Sink
Best Copper Farmhouse Sink

What is a Farmhouse Sink?

Farmhouse sinks have been around for a long time, going way back to the 1600s when water was not yet available through pipes. The deep and wide orientation of a farmhouse sink was ideal for scrubbing large pots and pans as it stores water. They even used this to clean their clothes and wash their children.

But this type of sink has been growing in popularity again recently. With its updated design and straightforward functionality and space, homeowners and designers have taken this as their sink of choice. Farmhouse sinks are not only designed for work but as a focal point to reach a desired overall kitchen look.

Did You Know?

Ireland and London were the first to design the original styles of farmhouse sinks.

The Belfast sink from Ireland has a deep design and has an overflow that allows easy draining of excess water. The London sink from Britain was made shallow and has no overflow.

Types of Farmhouse Sinks

The first thing that I needed to consider is to choose the best material for a farmhouse sink according to my lifestyle. How frequently do I use my sink? What activities do I use my sink for? Would my choice stand the wear and tear that would come with time?

I have listed the pros and cons of some of the farmhouse sinks available in the market today.

Stainless Steel Sinks

I seriously contemplated choosing a stainless-steel sink because of its affordability. Plus, it easily complements my stainless-steel appliances which most homeowners would consider as well. It is easy to clean, a definite plus point for a mother like me who is always on the go.

Photo credit: wayfair.com

This type of sink would usually have a gauge or weight between 18 to 22 inches, but other options in the market would go as far as 15 to 24. One tip is to choose within the lower gauges, as this translates to thicker steel. This means that it is more durable and would reduce sound better.

A stainless-steel sink is also easy to install. It is light, so it does not need any reinforcement or any support from the surrounding woodwork.

Pros

  • Lower cost
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to match with other appliances
  • Resistant to heat, stain, and crack
  • Can withstand varying temperatures
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Vulnerable to watermarks and scratches
  • Noisier than other materials
  • May dent if on a higher gauge (recommended gauge is 16 or 18)

Cast Iron Sinks

Cast iron is a classic choice and one of the oldest materials used in the kitchen scene. It is highly durable and is resistant to stains and water spots. Cast iron sinks are made by melting glass by using the method of casting iron which prevents rusting.

Photo credit: betterbath-kitchens.com

Its durability has its downside, though. It is heavier than most sink materials and needs reinforcement and additional support from the cabinetry around it. I know I cannot DIY it and would have to ask a professional to install it.

The overall look of a cast iron sink is highly appealing. The layer of porcelain enamel over iron that gives its glossy finish hides watermarks and streaks and lends itself to its image of durability. On the other hand, once it chips, the exposed iron can be easily rusted.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Stain and watermark resistant

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Installation requires professionals
  • Easily rusts if iron is exposed
  • Pricier than most sink materials
  • Causes actual breaking of dishes

Copper Sinks

I admit I was immensely attracted to copper sinks because of their striking design and beautiful surface. Its vintage look is like something out of a fairy tale. Copper has been making a notable revival nowadays as designers use it for kitchen accents such as taps, faucets, and hardware.

Photo Credit: kitchenzip.com

Copper naturally resists stain and rust. I was amazed when I found out that it is also anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. This means that it is ideal for prepping food and not worry about disinfecting the entire sink all the time. One tip is to go for models with 99% pure copper with a lower gauge which equates to durability and long life.

On the other hand, copper sinks should be cleaned the right way since they may react to harsh chemicals or acidic substances from foods and drinks. Mild soap and water should suffice, but it would be better to use a special copper cleaner to maintain the beautiful finish.

Pros

  • Luxurious design
  • Anti-microbial, anti-bacterial
  • Durable
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to maintain, should be polished regularly
  • May react to harsh chemicals and acid-based food and drinks
  • May discolor

Fireclay Sinks

Fireclay Sinks are a hot topic as far as kitchen design conversation goes, and rightfully so. Its classic look appeals to homeowners and designers looking for a focal point in their kitchen that is traditional but timeless. It is versatile enough to offer a wide array of finishes, patterns, and colors.

Photo Credit: annieandoak.com

Because fireclay is made when clay and porcelain enamel are fused in high heat, it creates a durable material and glossy finish. It is resistant to stains, chips, discoloration, and scratches, as well as rust.

I gravitated towards fireclay sinks because it is one of the most effortless sinks to maintain and clean. It is forgiving with acid-based food and drinks and even harsh cleaning chemicals.

One thing to consider when choosing a fireclay sink is that it is heavy like cast iron and not easy to install. It would require professional help, as well as reinforcement and support from the surrounding woodwork. It is also more expensive than other types of sink materials.

Pros

  • Completely rust-proof
  • Easiest to maintain
  • Very forgiving as it resists scratches, dents, and chips
  • Highly durable
  • Classic and timeless design

Cons

  • Heavy and needs professionals to install
  • Needs extra support and reinforcement
  • Pricier than other materials

I realized that choosing the best type of farmhouse sink depends heavily on how much I want to spend, also if it complements the overall look of my entire kitchen. Rather than going for the most popular model, I decided I would go for something worth it in the long run.

Designs of Farmhouse Sinks

I found out that the design of the sink is not just for aesthetic purposes. It got me thinking of how I specifically work in the kitchen. Do I need a sink that could hold large pots and pans, or do I need something where I can multi-task, such as prepping food and dishwashing simultaneously?

Fortunately, farmhouse sinks have several designs that can cater to every need. Here are a few:

Apron Design

Farmhouse sinks usually have an apron design which is why they are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the main difference of an apron design is that it has a lip that extends to the front for about 1.5 to 2 inches, while the other 3 edges are bare, which allows for a slide-in installation.

Ikea HAVSEN Apron sink

An apron design is ergonomic because its front edge is flushed against the countertop, eliminating the space between the sink. This means I can reach the inside of the sink effortlessly, minimizing back pain. A great advantage, especially during the holidays when dishes tend to pile up endlessly.

Double Bowl Design

This is where I got seriously stuck. The idea of having a double bowl where I can multi-task is appealing, but this means that the size of each sink will be cut as well.

The double bowl sink is ideal for those who do the dishwashing by hand. It allows scrubbing dirty dishes in one bowl and rinsing with clean water on the other. It has the advantage of having the garbage disposal accessible from the smaller bowl while stacking and soaking the dishes on the main bowl with water.

Photo Credit: wayfair.com

Meal prep can also be done separately with this design. As counter space is freed up, there is more room to move around.

On the other hand, a double-bowl design sink can be inconvenient when dealing with huge pots and pans. Although there is an option to have the partition lowered to address this concern. Some models allow different sizes for each bowl and have the main sink larger and the other one smaller.

There is also the issue of taking up space, particularly in smaller kitchens. A double-bowl sink can take up to 48 inches long. This means that I also have to give up some of the storage space underneath my counters if I also want to accommodate a garbage disposal.

Single Bowl Design

A farmhouse sink with a single bowl design generally has one deep bowl, like a large basin, sans divider, or partition. This design is spacious and allows the handling of large pots and pans. It is ideal for smaller kitchens as it only takes up enough space to stack all the dishes and have them hidden from visitors.

One thing that I am unable to do with this design is to divide and conquer the dishes. Washing, rinsing, and draining dishes in a single bowl can be a bit challenging. Meal prep while dishwashing is also a no-no.

Fluted Design

This is one farmhouse sink design that is full-on for aesthetic purposes only. It is a textured, ribbed design that adds to the visual appeal of any sink. The fluting, frame, and groove details play up its generous depth and length.

Photo Credit: Alfi Brand

The fluted design provides character and uniqueness whether you apply it to a single or double-bowl sink.

Deep Bowl Design

As if a farmhouse sink is not deep enough, a deep bowl design offers a much roomier option for those who stack up on dirty dishes. It can hide a messy, sink which means it is visitor-friendly, especially for open layout homes.

One thing to note, though, is that deep bowl sinks can be back-breaking. For a 6-foot-tall person, the usual 8-inch-deep sink is already challenging, whereas a deep bowl extends to up to 10 inches. This makes it even harder for a tall person to reach the bottom of the sink, which is not the case for me, fortunately.

Color Options

I used to think that choosing the color of the sink is a bit trivial to factor into my kitchen renovation. But because a farmhouse sink can be a focal point in any kitchen, color is a significant decision to make as well. I can choose one that matches my appliances or woodwork or make the sink stand out with a contrasting color.

Ultimately, the color of the sink can make or break the entire look of my kitchen. Whatever I choose, I have to keep in mind that it should complement the surrounding elements.

With that being said, take a look at the color options for farmhouse sinks:

White Color

White is a classic option and a timeless one at that. A white color sink is truly appealing as it looks pristine and elegant. Most homeowners gravitate towards white because it is easy to work with and blend into any kitchen look.

I think that white is far from dull. Imagine having all dark cabinetry or wild colored walls. Incorporating a white sink can brighten the kitchen.

Black Color

Black farmhouse sinks offer a modern and sophisticated look. It is also easier to clean than white sinks. And because black is striking in nature, it provides an attractive focal point to any kitchen, especially those with light-colored cabinetry.

Color With UV

Farmhouse sinks also come in color with UV. This means that the color is around the entire sink, offering a hue that prevents discoloration even when exposed to direct sunlight over time. This is something to note and a great option to consider.

Fade-Proof Color

There are options in the market that offer colored sinks with a specific anti-fade quality. If I am to pick the sink as my focal point in my kitchen, I need to make sure that the color stands out and will stay vivid for a long time.

Key Point:

It’s all about YOU! Don’t get overwhelmed with all the different and confusing options in the market.

At the end of the day, I need to make sure that my decision in choosing the best farmhouse sink is something that works for me. It should work around my lifestyle and not the other way around.

Now that the type, design, and color of farmhouse sinks are out of the way, I can have a more informed decision on which one to choose. All I need to do now is to order it and prepare my kitchen for installation. Worry not! Below is a simple step-by-step process that I have managed to acquire from my research. I can assure you that it is easy to do on your own.

At the end of the day, I need to make sure that my decision in choosing the best farmhouse sink is something that works for me. It should work around my lifestyle and not the other way around.

Now that the type, design, and color of farmhouse sinks are out of the way, I can have a more informed decision on which one to choose. All I need to do now is to order it and prepare my kitchen for installation. Worry not! Below is a simple step-by-step process that I have managed to acquire from my research. I can assure you that it is easy to do on your own.

Installation Process

I did not know that it only takes 6 steps to install a farmhouse sink. It was easier than I thought. DIY or not, anyone could benefit from referring to these simple steps.

Some tips before starting:

Installing a farmhouse sink highly depends on the type of sink and how it should be installed. We have gone through the different materials used for it in this article. It gives us a general idea of the size and weight of each type.

Keep the type of farmhouse sink in mind while considering which of the 3 ways of installation would be appropriate. The under-mount method is used to have the sink sit just below the countertop, while the opposite is the built-up installation where the sink sits over the countertop. Finally, the flush-mount method is used to have the sink sit perfectly level with the countertop.

If the sink will be installed in existing cabinetry, there is the challenge of choosing a specific type that would fit. So I have to measure the base cabinet first before ordering the sink.

Reading the manufacturer’s installation instructions has its advantage because it helped me work around any special requirements.

If you love watching video instead of reading text, I recommend watch this youtube video below.

Step 1: Order early

Farmhouse sinks are rising in popularity, and the demand for them may cause some suppliers to backorder between 4-6 weeks. With this in mind, I decided to ask the supplier for the exact date when it will arrive to eliminate any guesswork. This way, I can incorporate the installation around the remodeling plan.

Step 2: Prepare the base cabinet

Water lines should be cut off, valves and fittings should be disconnected as well. A bucket under the sink is always handy to catch any trapped water in the P-Trap.

Making sure that the base cabinets are empty, I removed the drawers and the doors. Then, I unscrewed the attachments that hold the countertops to the base cabinets. After this, I lifted the countertop.

Step 3: Cut the cabinet front

I carefully measured the cabinet front where the farmhouse sink will fit. It is recommended to use a template to trace the exact shape of the cabinet front and cut it at the same angle as the new sink. The opening should match the specific dimension of the apron to minimize the gap between the cabinet and the sink.

Step 4: Build the supporting frame

Cast iron and fireclay have a substantial weight that needs more reinforcement and support. Because of this, having the correct frame that would carry the exact weight of the sink is imperative.

I marked the inner walls of my base cabinets where the sink will sit. I chose to use the flush-mount installation method. The mark is where the plywood shelf will also sit, so I have to take note. This plywood support should be able to carry at least 300 pounds.

Then, I installed the 2×4 supports on both sides, as well as the back wall. I took into account the thickness of the plywood shelf that would sit on top and adjust when necessary.

Next, I cut and installed the plywood shelf. The thickness of the plywood would depend on the weight of the sink. I also made sure to cut holes in the plywood to fit the plumbing and the drain connection.

I tested the support frame by placing the sink on top. I then checked if the sink is level both at the base and at the top. I was on the lookout for any slight give on the plywood shelf because this means that the support needs to be reinforced with thicker plywood.

Step 5: Install the sink and reposition the countertop

After fitting the sink to the supporting frame, I placed the countertop back. Now, there may be a need to resize it to fit the new dimensions, which would require a professional. Fortunately, I did not need to do this as it matched the sink exactly.

Step 6: Finish the cabinet front and all the plumbing

I placed back the cabinet drawers and doors, making sure that all plumbing is fitted back as well. Once everything is in place, I caulked any gaps with silicone to protect the cabinets from moisture.

And there you have it, a finished farmhouse sink perched perfectly in my kitchen. I patted myself on the back for installing my farmhouse sink. I asked for help from my husband to quicken the process, but nothing more than that. The installation was straightforward to do.

To help you weigh your options better, I have collected some of the best of the best farmhouse sinks. Check them out and see if any of them fits your need:

Best Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

According to Amazon, one of the best fireclay farmhouse sink in stock is the BOCCHI 1138-001-0120 Classico Apron Front Fireclay. It is in the top 5 of the Amazon best sellers for a reason. Aesthetically pleasing and functional, it is lighter than other fireclay sinks and easier to install.

BOCCHI 1138-001-0120 Classico Apron Front Fireclay 30 in. Single Bowl Kitchen Sink with Protective Bottom Grid and Strainer in White

Pros

  • Organic and all-natural
  • Has rounded corners for a softer look compared to other farmhouse sinks
  • Stain-resistant; handles acid and alkaline substances well
  • Easy draining because the drain hole is at the center
  • Comes with a protective grid and basket strainer

Cons

  • Large and heavy
  • The sink slope towards the drain could be better

Check Latest Price in Amazon

Best Stainless-Steel Farmhouse Sink

Because of their affordability and functionality, stainless steel sinks appeal to anyone. And the Kraus KHF203-33 Standart PRO Stainless-Steel Sink does not disappoint.

If the only thing keeping me from buying this type of sink is the noise, the Kraus KHF203-33 addresses it. This model boasts of its NoiseDefend soundproofing technology, making it the quietest sink. It could very well be the best stainless steel farmhouse sink for me.

Kraus KHF203-33 Standart PRO Kitchen Stainless Steel Sink, 32.88', 33 Inch Round Apron 60/40 Double Bowl

Pros

  • Classy-looking model
  • Extra-thick pads that minimize noise cover 80% of the sink
  • Dent resistant and easy to clean
  • Free accessories included

Cons

  • A bit expensive compared to other stainless-steel farmhouse sink options

Check Latest Price in Amazon

Best Cast Iron Farmhouse Sink

Utility plus beauty. You can never go wrong with the KOHLER K-5827-0 Whitehaven Farmhouse Sink. It is highly durable, and it boasts of its damage, heat, and stain-resistant quality.

KOHLER K-5827-0 Whitehaven Kitchen Sink, 9.63 x 21.56 x 32.69 inches, White

Pros

  • Easy to Clean. Non-porous, so it repels moisture
  • Guaranteed by Kohler to not chip, crack or burn
  • Installs easily

Cons

  • Vulnerable to rust if left untreated or uncleaned, especially at the bottom. Better to buy a bottom grid for protection.

Check Latest Price in Amazon

Best Copper Sink

Who can resist the embossed apron front design of the Vintage MetalCrafts 42″ Vine Design Copper Farmhouse Sink? It’s not only luxurious, but it’s also utilitarian, offering two equal-sized bowls that provide ample room to work.

Vine Design Double-Bowl Copper Farmhouse Sink - Smooth Interior

Pros

  • Anti-bacterial since it’s made from pure copper
  • Durable with a 16 gauge and lead-free copper
  • Beautiful apron front design of embossed vines
  • Two bowls allowing for multi-tasking

Cons

  • Does not have a matching drainage strainer
  • Not resistant to scratches because of the smooth surface

Check Latest Price in Amazon

Conclusion

Farmhouse sinks are not just a fad but are now a staple in every home. Anyone will appreciate the efficiency and the beauty they bring to any kitchen. I hope this list helps you in finding the farmhouse sink that would best suit your need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Farmhouse Sinks

What is the best brand of a farmhouse sink?

There is no one size fits all answer to this if we are talking about brands. Kraus and Zuhne are reputable brands known for their stainless-steel farmhouse sinks, while Bocchi boasts of their fireclay options. Kohler has some impressive cast iron sinks as well. It depends on the type of material and the look that you want to go for.

When did farmhouse sinks first appear?

Farmhouse sinks have a long history dating back to the 1600s. It became known when water does not go through pipes yet. Because it offers a deep bowl, people back then do not have to go back and forth to get water.

Are farmhouse sinks hard to install?

Some types, such as cast iron and fireclay, are heavy and may require professional help in their installation. However, anyone can easily install a farmhouse sink since the process is straightforward. You can refer to the simple steps above if you are thinking of doing it on your own.

Do farmhouse sinks chip easily?

Most farmhouse sink materials are chip-resistant. However, fireclay tends to be the most resistant to chips, event dents, and scratches.

Which is better, fireclay or ceramic sinks?

Both fireclay and ceramic sinks offer a smooth surface that is dirt resistant for easier cleaning. They are also very forgiving when it comes to harsh chemicals and cleaning supplies. But when it comes to durability, fireclay is a better option than ceramic as it is non-porous and heat resistant. It can withstand chips and scratches better.

What’s the difference between ‘basin’ and ‘sink?

Basin and sink are often used interchangeably. But the difference between these two is that sinks are usually installed with a water source and drains. Basins can be a standalone receptacle and are used for washing the face and hands.