By Matt Hermon
A kitchen sink can be an important focal point for a kitchen. The addition of a farmhouse sink can add some needed style to any kitchen. So what exactly is a farmhouse sink? Also known as a farm sink, an apron sink, or an apron front sink, farmhouse sinks were common in older homes and ergonomically designed for people to spend hours in front of the sink. Farmhouse sinks jut out past the countertop so the user doesn’t have to bend over to reach them.
With their combination of function and form, farmhouse sinks are making a comeback, and becoming a popular choice for people designing a kitchen. But there are some important things to keep in mind before purchasing or ordering your dream farmhouse sink!
Consider Your Countertops
Your countertops are a key to how large and why type of farmhouse sink can be installed. Decide if you want to keep or install new countertops with the addition of the farmhouse sink. It’s much easier to install a farmhouse sink if you’re also installing new countertops. The installer simply needs to build supports in the cabinet underneath the sink, and ensure the sink height matches the height of the top of the counters (minus the countertops). The countertop installer can then come in and install the countertop above the sink.
If you’re planning to use the existing countertops, there are more things to consider. These are all questions to ask yourself and your sink installer:
• How to remove the old sink without damaging the countertops?
• Where are the seams in your pre-fab granite or stone countertops located?
• How wide can your new sink be in relation to any of the seams?
• Do you have enough remaining countertop at the back of the sink?
If you’re using your existing countertops, you will mostly likely need to order a similarly-sized farmhouse sink. Knowing your countertop and understanding the dimensions of the cabinet underneath the sink are crucial to knowing how big of a farmhouse sink you can install. Measure your existing sink and the underneath cabinet front to back and side-to-side before you begin browsing farmhouse sinks to install.
Watch Out for Nearby Drawers
Most farmhouse sinks stick out past the face of the cabinets from .75 of an inch to as many as 2 inches. Take a look at nearby drawers prior to ordering your sink to ensure that you will have clearance when the drawer is extended. Extend out the drawer and measure between the edge of the drawer face to the front of the sink cabinet face. This will provide you with the maximum amount of space you have to allow your new farmhouse sink to stick out past the edge of the sink cabinet.
Know Your Under-the-Sink Needs
Your new farmhouse sink can be shallow or deep. Prior to ordering a sink, keep your under-the-sink storage needs in mind, and understand you will need an appropriate amount of space to install the drain pipe plumbing and garbage disposal. Measure the length that your existing drain piping and garbage disposal extend down from the bottom of your current sink so you’ll know how much space you’ll need to install a farmhouse sink. To understand how deep of a farmhouse sink you can order, take your piping and garbage disposal measurement, add 2 inches for pipe clearance, and subtract that total from the total height of your under-the-sink cabinet.
Style is Important
Farmhouse sinks come in many different styles and configurations. Most of the style comes from the material, color, and face of the sink. Farmhouse sinks are available in stainless steel, stone, two- or one-sink configurations, multiple faucet ports, and deep or shallow configurations. If you keep all the above tips in mind, you should be able to find a farmhouse sink with the style and configuration that best suits both you and your kitchen.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Nelson Minar and www.dreamstime.com