5 Things To Know Before Splurging On A Farmhouse Sink

The rise of the modern farmhouse style can be linked to the popularity of the TV show Fixer Upper. This inviting and comforting style is easily applied to almost any home, and it's easy to see why everyone loves it so much. With this popularity, kitchens across the United States have received makeovers, and one of the most popular upgrades is the farmhouse sink. It's an iconic element within farmhouse design, but there might be a few things you should know before purchasing one of these sinks.

According to Signature Hardware, The original farmhouse sinks were installed before running water was available. They were designed to hold a lot of water so you could use it throughout the day, and they were used to clean dishes, do laundry, and even give baths to babies. In addition, farmhouse sinks were designed to bring the sink closer to the user, so there was less bending needed to reach into it, making it easier on your back.

Consider the material

One of the upsides to a farmhouse sink is its durability. The porcelain that traditional farmhouse sinks are made of is tough. However, while this means they can take a beating, it also means that dishes break more easily against the hard-enameled porcelain. For example, even a gentle tap against the side could shatter a wine glass. Not only could this ruin many of your favorite glasses, but it can also be dangerous.

Additionally, these heavy and durable porcelain sinks often need extra support when they are installed. They are much weightier than other sink styles, so the cabinets and countertops need added support to ensure they don't sag or break over time, explains Dispozal. Farmhouse sinks are also deeper and broader than most sinks, meaning the cabinet that holds it will need to be adjusted or custom-made (via The DIY Playbook). Similarly, the iconic exposed front of a farmhouse sink often means you'll need a custom cabinet. While these are easy to find, they can be expensive.

The surface can be damaged

According to AAA Countertops, even though the porcelain is heavy and can easily break glassware, the enamel that is applied to the porcelain can be stained and chipped. It's not easy and usually only happens when big heavy cast iron pots are scrapped across it, but this is a detail to keep in mind when selecting what sink you want in your kitchen. If you use a lot of heavy cookware, or if you have teenagers who clean the dishes, you might want to consider another option or accept that the sink might get damaged. Alternatively, you can invest in a protective sink mat that will prevent scratches and chips from ruining the bottom of the sink, however, these issues can still happen on the sides of the sink too.

Stains can be cleaned off the sink if caught in time, but it's best to clean up messes as they happen. You still have options if you miss a spill and sauce sits against the sink and stains it. Baking soda does a fantastic job cleaning away stains, yet it's gentle enough not to scratch the surface (via Tips Bulletin).

Other material options

Fireclay is the most popular material option for farmhouse sinks, and it's what will have the white porcelain enamel over it. Although most traditional farmhouse sinks are made of this fireclay, it isn't the only option regarding sink material, explains Signature Hardware. Just like other sinks, you can purchase them in a wide range of styles, materials, and colors. 

For example, copper is a fantastic option for farmhouse-style sinks, as the metal creates an attractive patina. According to Signature Hardware, Copper farmhouse sinks are also available with beautiful stamps for the front that can be customized with your own design. Unfortunately, Quality Bath says that although copper is durable it is susceptible to scratching. This makes the surface of the sink appear dull, but paired with its natural patina many homeowners feel this adds to its character. If you prefer your sink to appear flawless, copper might not be the right material for you.

Signature Hardware also shows you can also find farmhouse sinks in stainless steel and natural stone. Stainless steel is durable, long-lasting, and won't get damaged if a large pot is dropped. Natural stone is susceptible to staining and scratching, but it brings a stunning look and feel to the kitchen (via Kevin Szabo Jr. Plumbing).

You don't have to have farmhouse style

Most of the time, you'll find a traditional farmhouse sink within a traditional farmhouse design. These kitchens incorporate antique farmhouse decor and the sink often has neutral color pallets. However, this is not the only style in which you can use a farmhouse sink. Especially since there are other material options available, notes Signature Hardware

For example, this gunmetal black, stainless steel farmhouse sink would go perfectly in a modern-style kitchen. It has simplistic lines and a bold color, but still has the iconic apron front that you typically see on a farmhouse sink. As noted by Best Farmhouse Sinks, those who are on a budget might want to consider composite farmhouse sinks. These can go great in modern designs because they come in a wide range of color options. And although they are more likely to stain, they are more durable than stone and ceramic options.  

Do you need double or single basins?

Traditionally, farmhouse sinks only had one basin; however, modern styles are almost exclusively designed with two. Usually, homeowners prefer two basins, one for dirty dishes, one for rinsing them off, or other kitchen tasks. But whether or not a single or double is right for you will depend on how you intend to use the sink, notes The DIY Playbook. For example, do you do a lot of hand washing? Or do you put most of your dishes in the dishwasher and only hand wash a few? Do you have a second sink in the kitchen that you use for prepping? The answers to these questions will help you decide which one you need. 

If you simply want a double basin no matter how you use the sink, that's a perfectly viable reason! Double sinks are usually wider and heavier than single sinks, so keep that in mind. You'll likely need more adjustments when it comes to plumbing, cabinets, and countertops. According to The Sink Boutique, since the sinks will be so big, you'll want to be sure you have a pull-down faucet or a pull-out sprayer so you can reach every corner of the sink with the water.