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Please explain the allure of a farmhouse sink

February 22, 2011

Many seem to just love their farmhouse sink. I've never actually used one and so can't really imagine its functional value. Can you explain it to me? It does seem that many are in love with theirs. I can tell you, fwiw, that I've heard nothing but whines and complaints and grumbles from people who have to install them. At least a half dozen people have seized the opportunity to weigh in on how they sure hope I won't want to install one as they're such a pain... that sort of thing! They're quick to add that of course they'll do what I want ... etc, but they've managed to get it out there that they think the thing is a major royal p-i-a to install.

But that's just a side-line issue. I'm wondering about its value from a user's standpoint.

In particular I'm wondering: why are they so beloved? The actual look of the apron-front doesn't quite do it for me, but that's probably just because I'm slow to take to new things and, basically, my mother didn't have one in her kitchen.... ;)

So please tell me: why do you love yours?


(Conversely, please don't hold back if you *don't* love yours or if you opted explicitly *not* for one for some discernible reason).

Comments (172)

  • Russ Barnard

    I own an 8-track player....

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC


    I'll leave the aesthetic debate for others, but for retrofitting, apron sinks are hard to beat. When your failing reinforcement rod has blown your front granite rail to smithereens, a stainless steel apron looks pretty nice.

  • amck2

    Only read recent posts & can't recall if I ever posted above - but I have a soapstone one at the lake that blends with the countertops and I believe will always look "in time" for that kitchen.

    The style didn't fit with my recent home kitchen remodel. I think that's key when choosing.

    I will say it's the most comfortable sink I've ever worked at. Love mine even after 8 years.

  • PRO

    I desperately wanted a farm house sink when we did a few kitchen upgrades about 12 years ago. Since I was not replacing cabinets, it was not possible. I'm now so glad it wasn't! I ended up with Corian's biggest single integrated sink and I adore it! I hate places around sinks that get crumbs/gunk as with a drop-in sink, and undermounts can be smelly and disgusting if one is not diligent about cleaning under the rim. I already had white Corian countertops so it gives a nice clean look to what is a bit of a choppy kitchen. It's the perfect depth - hides things but not do deep as to break ones back, bending over. Unlike stainless, it always looks clean - cannot see waterspots. It's perfect!

    Every high end kitchen trade publication says that farmhouse sinks are on their way out. I don't want anything in my kitchen that will one day look dated. Kitchens are too expensive and with installation taking months, it's just not something to treat as a fashion statement. I think someday farm house sinks will date a kitchen much in the way that avocado green refrigerator once did!

  • Erica L

    I get your point on kitchens being dated, but I think homeowners, for the most part, should get the sink that they *want* and not worry about whether it will look dated or not. Whether it's the cabinets, floor or other parts of the home, the house is going to become dated at some point. If I spent my time trying to plan a kitchen that wouldn't scream 201X, then I would drive myself crazy and most likely not get what I really want.

  • Zeus

    Our perimeter sink is SS apron. Nothing to do with style. The cabinets are white and I know how often we will be wiping the apron area because, not only have I recently discovered we are a family of toe-kickless slouchers, I know we are messy dish washers.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "Since I was not replacing cabinets, it was not possible."

    Thanks to Chemcore Industries, this is no longer an issue. They've just come out with an apron sink specifically designed to fit into existing cabinets.

    I could have used one of those on this job. The cabinet front had to be rebuilt and the doors are 3/4" too deep now.

  • kellsbellslake

    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    I've never seen that type of failure on a granite counter. That's horrible. Who did the granite work? People definitely get what they pay for. I still wouldn't want an apron sink though...

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    There was no failure except the performance of the existing sink. The granite work was fine. The customers were delighted and that's it for me.

  • cpartist

    What's shabby chic for the kitchen? Apron front sinks?

    If you don't like them, fine but to insinuate all of them are shabby chic is ridiculous and almost insulting to those of us who have used them in non shabby chic kitchens. Especially since there's nothing wrong with shabby chic either.

    Subtle put downs really are uncalled for on this forum and only show your lack of design knowledge. I personally prefer to embrace all different styles and feel that each person should do what works best for them. You don't like them? Fine. Don't put one in, but then don't come here and make less than flattering comments either.

    I love them especially since for the first time in my life I wasn't reaching for the sink since I'm only 5'3".

  • mrspete

    Not long ago I stood in front of an apron sink at Lowes and thought to myself, "This is really good for a short person". At 4'11", I am very tempted ... but I really want the Stages 45.

    As for shabby chic, I thought that was synonymous with cottage, vintage, nostalgic -- I didn't think it meant cheap.


    I guess everybody likes what they like, I don't care for undermount sinks.

  • Russ Barnard

    I did not know apron sinks were a "thing".. I just loved the look.. but then again, like I said.. I still own an 8-track player.. lol


  • K Sissy

    I think that they are beautiful but, I have always wanted a 3 bowl sink, with a dedicated disposal sink. I currently have a kohler 9 inch deep double bowl surface mounted sink which I love, but the 3 bowl sink would be fantastic, because it would be easier with the disposal. Does anyone have one of those? What do you think about it?

  • sherri1058

    I had a triple with the dedicated disposal. Didn't like it at all. The 2 larger sinks were too small to be useful IMO. I found the disposal sink was also too small and really awkward to rinse a pot/pan and pour the contents down the small sink for example. I went to a 70:30 with my last renovation and this reno will be going with a large single.

  • K Sissy

    Thanks sherri1058. It's surprising what we don't know about the things we think we want ... changes our perspective.

  • practigal

    K sissy a friend of mine had one of those triple double sinks, top-of-the-line Kohler in its day. I hated helping her in her kitchen. The worst part was the garbage disposal, it was set higher and more shallow than either sink. So when you turned the water on it splashed back at you, except you were trying to throw the garbage down the disposal, so you got splashed with what should've been going down the disposal. It made working in the kitchen a completely miserable experience. The two side sinks were not all that helpful either, large pots and pants did not fit and had to be cleaned where they sat on the countertop. I currently have a very large single sink, everything fits, there is minimal splashing.

  • Kristen R

    That was the exact same sink we had! I truly do not understand what the point of that shallow bowl was. Watching them carry it out of our house, never to be seen again, gave me great joy.

  • Debbie B.

    Hi all! A very timely discussion for me as I've just spent the weekend looking at sinks! Aliris19, if you're still around, thanks for posing the question! Do you have any photos of your finished kitchen?

    I guess I'll throw my two cents in. FYI, I read every single comment before commenting myself. Obviously, I couldn't read the comments by the architect who deleted her account, but I think I got the gist of it.

    I just bought an old (1979) single wide mobile home. It will be my writing retreat, and will go to my daughter when I die. To call it a fixer-upper would be kind. I have a $35,000-$40,000 budget to renovate the entire house, top to bottom. I'm doing it all for cash. At my age, 55, and income level, I don't want a mortgage or home equity loan. I'm bound and determined to die debt free.

    So why didn't I just buy a $40,000-$45,000 brand new mobile home, or used one that already has beautiful upgrades? Because interior design is my passion, my hobby. I've no formal training, but I've designed the homes or rooms of almost all my friends and family at some point, and have done lots of staging for a realtor buddy. That doesn't make me any kind of an expert at all! It only means that it's something I love to do. I've never had the opportunity to design my own house. Just my apartments, and there's only so much you're allowed to do with a rented space.

    Interior design is so different from what I usually do. I teach, research, and write about African culture and history, and I'm back in college getting my PhD. That's part of what makes design so fun; it's totally different from what I spend 10 hours a day doing. And part of the reason for re-doing my own home (which I will move into in June) is that I do 90% of my work from home, and I want to be surrounded by beautiful things that I love.

    My new home has good bones--no leaks, stays warm in the winter, etc. So, while I'm going to do a few things to beef it up, such as more insulation, the bulk of my budget can go towards beautification. My home is 3 beds, 1 1/2 bath, a little less than 800 sq ft. Nevertheless, $40,000 still is not a big budget for a total renovation from new floors to new light fixtures.

    When you walk into my house, you are immediately in the living room. Or, I should say, a very large room containing living room, dining room, and kitchen. Or will be. There is a hideous, huge, built in china cabinet separating the LR from the DR/K. I'm knocking that out to create an open concept space. So, the kitchen is immediately visible to anyone who comes in. Of course, the kitchen will be the most expensive room of the renovation. Floor, paint, wallpaper accent wall, cupboards and cabinets, countertops, island, backsplash appliances, lighting, bigger window, and yes, a new sink!

    The first time I saw a FH sink a couple of years ago, I fell in love! It was a purely visceral thing having nothing to do with functionality or ergonomics. I just thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw! That's the part that you either love it or you don't. Beauty is an intensely personal thing; you can't help what you think is gorgeous or hideous. You just do. There's no sense in arguing about it. And it has nothing to do with what's "in" or "out," and really you shouldn't even think about that, unless you're flipping a house for immediate re-sale. I had no clue they were the "in thing." I just loved it.

    My first rule of thumb when doing interior design is if YOU love it and can afford it, you should have it! YOU are the one living there day after day and YOU should have things that make YOU happy! Who gives a darn what some magazine says, or some architect, or some professional designer, or your relatives, or what some strangers in a comments trail think? If it's beautiful to YOU, then it's beautiful. The end. And unless you're building a museum of design history, who cares about authenticity? If it evokes a sense of a bygone time for YOU, that's all that counts.

    So in researching the apron sink further, I discovered the wonderful ergonomic benefits! Now that I've been using one for several months, I feel that I can speak to this issue. I'm 5'1" tall. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis and use a walker. I have had both hips, both knees, and one elbow replaced. I need back surgery desperately--trying to figure out when I can string four months together for recovery. I also need my other elbow replaced. I wash dishes, do prep, etc. in one of two positions. I stand, or more often, I sit on a stool. The FH sink is clearly better on my back; it doesn't compare at all with a standard undermount sink! Frankly, I resent the posts that tell me the benefits are all in my head, or the arguments that "prove" there is no benefit, talking about faucet placement or trivialising the 2"-3" gain in closeness. It's a little disrespectful, in my opinion, to tell others what does or doesn't work for their bodies. For ME, and I wouldn't presume to talk about anyone else, the benefits of the FH sink are demonstrable. My back, arms, and legs don't hurt as much when using an apron sink.

    I'm currently, since October, living in a big, shared house owned by my university. It was built in the 1910's. It has a huge farmhouse sink; I do not know if it's original to the house. I wash almost all my dishes by hand. One, dishwashers are very hard on dishes. Two, there is a finite amount of accessible fresh water on our planet, and washing by hand uses less of it.

    So at this point, I was in love with the apron sink for its looks and its ergonomic benefits. Next, I fell in love with the big, deep single bowl and how the FH sink can be an entire "work station," as Kohler calls it. I have super limited counter space. The addition of a small island will help. But the FH sink will be like adding counter space due to its ability to multitask.

    Granted, you can get a single bowl with depth with an undermount sink. You can get either sink with a variety of bowls, colors, and materials. Either sink can flow with the color and material of your counters, or can visually chop up the space. It all depends on your vision and preference for how you want your kitchen to look, and what you want to be the "star" focal point. I certainly don't think they're "pretentious." First, an OBJECT can't be pretentious, only people can. And I challenge anyone to call me pretentious while I'm standing in the kitchen of my 14x56 mobile home! ;-)

    Also, and this is the last time I'll say it, no one cares what designer magazines say about what's in, out, or "going out." We've moved past that in both fashion and design. You can come walk around my university campus and see every length of skirt, every color being worn by both sexes, and every style imaginable from bohemian to vintage to grunge to highly trendy. Same deal with interior design. I've had the opportunity to walk around quite a few multimillion dollar homes, and not one of their owners is rushing around to replace their FH sink because some arrogant architect, designer, or artist says they're going out. (And I've read quite a few articles to the contrary.) And you could apply this to nearly any design element! Sure, you're not going to see a lot of avocado appliances and orange shag carpet, but if someone wanted that, I could do a super awesome retro design that could get into a magazine.

    So my second rule of thumb is to use magazine and websites for inspiration and ideas, but don't slavishly adhere to their rules about what's in or out, what can't go with what, etc. Your opinion of what looks good is just as valid as their's--more so, in fact, because it's YOUR house and your kitchen! I loved the two comments above where one person said they like clean lines, simple, subtle decor, and a counter space as a continuous line, not broken by a FH sink. The next commenter said they like a more bold look where the FH sink could be the "star" of the kitchen. I loved these comments because THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT!

    So, for me, the FH sink is what I want, for its looks, its ergonomic benefit, its ability to function as a workstation, the one-bowl option, and the variety of styles and materials and colors. I would never try to convert someone who doesn't care for apron sinks to my way of thinking. I would encourage anyone doing a kitchen remodel to look at as many sinks as possible, in stores, online, at other people's houses, and then decide what would work best for them. Just like any other design element in the kitchen: backsplash, countertops, flooring, light fixtures, etc.

    My only limitation is money. I can't afford a super high-end sink. But not all FH sinks are beyond my financial reach, the IKEA sink being a case in point. And one thing I'm really good at is finding inexpensive alternatives (like the Craigslist example) and making it all look much more high end than it really is--not to be pretentious!--but to make my home something I can really be proud of.

    I don't think anyone can answer aliris19's original question--what's the allure. Allure, like love, cannot be explained. It just is. And FWIW, there's my two cents. :-)

    aliris19 thanked Debbie B.
  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    What she said.

  • funkycamper

    Well said, Debbie.

    My only quibble might be hand vs. DW water usage. There are studies showing that hand-washing uses more water if you have an energy and water-efficient DW.

  • M DMD

    For me, they are just beautiful looking. My Mum always had one in our house growing up too, so that's probably part of why I wanted one so badly. I got mine for $1000 off, when our marble stone yard wanted to get rid of a brand new one that a customer changed their mind about. It's lovely, and can't wait to see it installed. I think it's a looks thing more than anything, you like them or you don't.

  • Debbie B.

    Yep. And wouldn't it be a boring world if we all designed our kitchens, sink included, exactly alike?

    Funkycamper, I stand corrected. I asked my two best friends, who are both geniuses with an astonishing amount of trivia in their heads, about the hand washing vs. dishwasher environmental debate. They both quoted the same study to me, not having spoken to each other, that says if you're doing dishes for one or two people , hand washing uses less water, but if you've got a bunch of kids, roommates, whatever, and you fill the dishwasher to capacity before running it, the dishwasher used less water. Thinking about it, that seems pretty logical. It would take me a month to fill a dishwasher to capacity, so obviously if I were running every other day 1/4 full, I'd use a lot more water. Thanks for the great catch!

    M DMD, nice! $1,000 off is nothing to sneeze at! I hope you love it when it's installed! Maybe you could post a pic? :-)

  • funkycamper

    Size of household doesn't impact overall water usage. If someone waits until the DW is full and has an energy-efficient DW, it will use 3-5 gallons to wash a load of dishes which is considered six place settings and six serving pieces (54 pieces). To be more efficient at hand-washing, you would need to use less than a cup of water to wash and rinse each piece. Each piece. That's pretty darn hard to do.

    Think of it another way, water-miser kitchen faucets run at 1.5gpm (gallons per minute). So if you have one of those, if you run it for more than 3.5 minutes while washing, you have used more water than your DW. But most new kitchen faucets that meet the new energy standards are in the 1.75-2.25gpm range which gives you less than 3 minutes & 2.5 minutes of water. Older faucets can use much more water so you would be easily down to less than 2 minutes of water running with an older faucet.

    Add to that, studies also show that DW's put less detergent/rinse into the waste water system than a hand-washer.

    The math simply doesn't change whether you're washing dishes for one or twenty. But, yeah, you do need to fill the DW. Maybe you should consider an 18" DW so you can fill it quicker.

  • mudhouse

    (Almost five years ago, aliris19 posted: "I cannot believe the longevity of this thread.")

    Ksissy, I'll add my voice to others above. I have a Kohler cast iron triple sink with raised garbage disposal in the center. Mine is old, but I think the dimensions of the newer cast iron triple sinks look pretty similar (?) I have used it for ten years now (I am a patient sort.) I have to agree with the others. I will be very happy to see it go. The two sinks are too small for easily washing anything large, and I get soaking wet from trying to maneuver big things around, end over end. The raised disposal in the center is more annoying than helpful (and causes more splashing!)

    I hope for a single basin stainless farmhouse sink, probably the Kohler vault, because it has a special short apron front, and it can be used with funny old cabinets. And, they have an overmount version for use with laminate.

    I was puzzled (not upset, more confused) by some of the opinions above, referring to farmhouse sinks as the antithesis of clean style. In my mind, the straight clean lines of the Kohler vault apron sinks, with the flat stainless panel front, present a very clean look.

    Maybe I'm not understanding the phrase "clean style." (Probably brain damage, after ten years of water splashing into my face from that dastardly raised disposal basin.) :-)

  • Debbie B.

    Funkycamper, looks like you're right again! :-) I love the language of math; it's truly the only universal language, and you can't argue with it. Your math makes sense to me. Actually, I am getting an 18" dishwasher! When I re-do my cabs and countertops, I'm ripping out the old one that's in there and I'm going with a portable. Since I have an eat-in kitchen, I have a place where I can "park" it out of the way, and I desperately need more cabinet space. I'll probably still wash a lot by hand, unless you can prove me wrong again. ;-) I think dishwashers are very hard on dishes. You're not supposed to put sharp knives in there or Teflon, etc...plus me living alone, or even if my daughter comes to live with me, it would take a lot of time to fill a even an 18".

    mudhouse, hahaha! So true! Maybe we can make this the longest-running thread on gw! :-) And I agree with you. To me, a pristine farmhouse sink is the very definition of "clean lines." The only thing I can think of is that unless your counter tops match it exactly color-wise, it does visually break up the line of the counter, but that is true of any sink. I'm looking at the Domsjo IKEA double basin, and my one concern is that breaking it into two bowls might defeat the purpose of being able to wash big stuff like a cookie sheet. I wish I could see one in person, but I don't live anywhere near an IKEA. I wish you luck! The Kohlers are very nice! :-)

  • Meredyth Sawyer

    Like you, I don't understand the British's fascination with Belfast sinks. For me they're too deep. I'd rather have 2 shallower sinks side by side. I like practicality over looks. I definitely wouldn't want the sink jutting out from the rest of the bench. I'm sure I would run into it when going along the side of the bench. I've seen the old china farm sinks and they chip, so that's a no no too.

  • funkycamper

    Debbie B, if you're still checking in....

    Dishwashers are not hard on dishes. In 1971, my family moved into a new-to-us home and, for the first time, we had a DW. During the move, one of the handles broke off the cup of one of my mom's fine china cups. She put that cup in the DW to see how the DW impacted it because she was nervous about putting her china in the DW. That DW died sometime in the 1990's, don't recall the exact year. My mom's china cup sat in that DW for 20-some years. And if you compared it to the china that was in her hutch that she only used about 2-3x a year, the cup looked identical. Repeat, identical. We were actually kinda amazed as we expected to see a difference ourselves.

    If my DW is full and I'm not going to need my sharp knife again, I put it in the DW. I've never noticed any negative impacts to sharpness because of it. I periodically sharpen them but I did that back when I exclusively hand-washed them, too. I haven't noticed that I need to sharpen them any more frequently.

    I agree with you on the non-stick coatings. Those items should be hand-washed or they can be etched or scratched.

    I guess how long it takes to fill a DW depends on how much you cook. Even if I'm alone all day, I typically cook enough where I can almost fill a full-size DW every day all by myself. If DH is home, we barely get through a full day before needing to run it. Dishes sit just fine for a day or two before running, IME. Of course, you could use the rinse feature. I've never bothered myself.

  • Debbie B.

    And the thread lives on, lol! cpartist, thanks for being frank about the put downs here. There are forums that do this--hop on over to the heating and air conditioning forum if you don't believe me, but we don't do that here on Kitchens. We support and and genuinely try to help and affirm each other whether their kitchens are postage stamp size or mansions, whether we reveal a $120,000 kitchen remodel or a $2,000 refresh.

    Kellsbells, of course Russ has an 8-track player! They were, in virtually every way, superior to the cassette tape, which beat them out with superior marketing, just as the technically superior Beta Max was defeated by the better marketing of the VHS. The more current example would be the triumph of BluRay over HD-DVD. So using the 8-track tape as an analogy, you're actually stating that it is a superior product! ;-)

    Neither is it very nice to call them an "anachronistic distraction." I'm willing to bet there are very few kitchens that don't have something from a different era somewhere; my mom's Pyrex bakeware and mixing bowls are nearly 50 years old! I keep using them because it still bakes and mixes, so why would I dump something in perfect working order? I also keep them because they remind me of my mother. For many people, the farmhouse sink brings a pleasant feeling of nostalgia, of a bygone era. And shouldn't our design choices give us warm, pleasant feelings?

    Suzanne, your Corian counter with integrated sink sounds perfectly lovely! I'm so glad you enjoy it! But there are people that really dislike Corian, including designers who write of their disdain of it in newspapers and on websites. (Not me--I like Corian and might put it in a bathroom.) So will you now take the Corian out because some KD dissed it in a magazine? I hope not!

    But if you think your kitchen will never look dated, you are in for a surprise! Virtually every home in the U.S. will look dated sooner or later, unless you are constantly upgrading. You will drive yourself nuts if you stress about trying to design a kitchen that will never become dated!

    Another point is that what goes around comes around in all areas of artistic expression. That 70's house with the orange shag carpet and avocado appliances you mentioned? Well people are paying $$$ to design retro houses with that decor! And just look at the explosion of MCM!

    I said above that I wouldn't say this again, but that was in 2015, haha! So for 2016 I'll say it again. ;-) WHO CARES what KDs, home decorators, your GC, neighbor, or best friend think about your design choices??? First, as soon as something gets popular, it's like the KDs are in a contest to see how fast they can proclaim it's out. Second, almost no one can afford to remodel their kitchen every six months as colors and styles change. Third, you are a unique person with your very own sense of style and beauty! Don't you want to wake up every morning, stumble into your kitchen for coffee and SMILE because you love your kitchen so much!?!? I know I do!

    I have a unique sense of color and style that not everyone thinks is as beautiful as I do, lol! But I don't care. It's my house and I'm the one who has to live here for the rest of my life. The only person's input I give serious attention to is my daughter's because this house will be hers when I die.

    And to whomever wrote that apron sinks are shabby chic in the kitchen: that was just plain rude, both to people who have, or will have, one, and to people who love the decorating style of shabby chic. Also, you don't have to stick religiously to one style! You can bring in elements or nods to other styles as long as it all blends together into a unified whole. A big sink can work in a small kitchen if you make it the star. The keys to making good decisions in design are:

    a) a good working knowledge of the choices you have, for example knowing the difference between a side by side vs. a French door refrigerator.

    b) at least a rudimentary knowledge of how things work so that you can have conversations with contractors and not sound like an idiot.

    c) a good sense of color and light.

    d) a good eye for what looks good with what. My daughter Joy, for example, has an impeccable eye for fashion. She can pull three pieces from three different departments, or even three different stores (!) and come up with such a gorgeous ensemble that people come up to her on the sidewalk to ask where she got her clothes! I do not have this gift, which is why Joy picks out 90% of my clothes, haha!

    But I do have it for interior decorating. I stage houses for a friend who's a realtor, and I get great feedback. I don't do it in my preferred style because it's not everybody's cup of tea. I look at the house, walk around the neighborhood, and go through any houses up for sale in the immediate area, and find out the asking price for the other houses and for the house I'm going to stage. Then I ask the realtor the crucial question: To whom are you selling the house? Not names, categories, such as retired couples, young people with children, first time home buyers, college students, etc. Then, using all the info I've gathered, I stage the house accordingly and put out artifacts they will relate to, such as a gorgeous old wooden rocking horse, or two super comfy recliners in front of a large TV, or a toy box, or a dorm fridge in the bedroom filled with beer, or a wine fridge in the study, and I make the smallest bedroom into a library/study, or into a nursery/toddler room, or into a play room, or into a modified man cave, etc. My realtor has sold a lot of houses that she credits the staging for.

    My point is that everyone has gifts and talents. You know if you gave a good eye for interior design. If you don't, there's no shame in that! You can try to develop it, you can rely on your KD if you have one, or you can ask a friend or hire a home decorator to help you.

    e) The best things you can do to help you train your eye for design are to look at magazines, look at websites such as Houzz, and look through other people's houses as often as possible. Look, look, and look some more! Try to take in as much as you can without judgement. After a while, you'll start to recognize what you like and don't like. You'll develop your own personal style!

    Meredyth Sawyer, I love what you did here! You are not a fan of the farmhouse sink. You stated clear, logical reasons why you prefer not to have one. You didn't insult the sink itself or people who do like them. THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE! :-)

    Finally, let me say this. I have NOTHING against KDs, interior decorators, or kitchen/house organizers! They are multi talented people who come up with genius designs, layouts, colors, etc. They are the ones who make all those magazines and websites that we all turn to for inspiration! What I'm saying is simply this: don't slavishly follow their ideas to the letter regarding what's in or out, hot or not, in vogue or obsolete. Get all the great ideas from them and then...follow your heart and your gut!


  • flamingfish

    DebbieB, hang on to that Pyrex! Everybody always says "they don't make things like they used to," but in the case of Pyrex it's true. Pyrex bakeware used to be made from borosilicate glass, which is a special formulation of glass that makes it more resistant to temperature changes. Since 1998, "Pyrex" has been made from tempered soda lime glass, which is less resistant to temperature changes. Mostly it doesn't matter -- mostly. (FWIW, according to Wikipedia, outside the US, Pyrex is still made from borosilicate glass. Corning still sells borosilicate rods and tubing to laboratory glassworkers under the Pyrex name.)

    But don't ask me about apron sinks. I know nothing about apron sinks. ;)

  • Ken Sturmer

    I avoided reading the comments before this. I did read the question, and for one I am baffled. What's so difficult about installing one? Perhaps because I bought mine ( and the cabinet for it ) from IKEA. It took me all of a half hour to install! I wanted it, the first time I saw it. I have NEVER used a dishwasher. When I was unfortunate enough to move into a condo that had one, I first used it as a dish drainer. Then I finally disconnected it, and put in a cabinet with shelves. I have always hand washed dishes, could never understand what the big deal is. What I like about the farmhouse sink, is that I have plenty of room for both a dishpan, and a dish drainer. I also have a chopping block insert that covers then entire sink, if I want to to give me extra space for food prep. I might add, that I worked in a professional kitchen for years. I hate, "housewife" kitchens! The farmhouse sink, is closer to a commercial sink, as it simply holds more. I also like the old fashioned look.

    So that's my comment! But to go back to the question, you either love them or you hate them. I happen to love them, and hope they are not a passing fad, just in case I decide to sell my home sometime.

  • Kerry

    I am way late to this party. I read quite a few of the comments, which are helpful and interesting. I saw several comments about how well the FH sink works for short people, but I would love to hear from tall peeps. I am a 5'10" woman. Thank you!

  • aliris19

    Wow - the thread is seemingly at least as alluring as the sink. These things have grown on me and I can see I've a *lot* of reading to catch up on here. I never did buy one, there are photos of my kitchen somewhere on here. I bought a "large" blanco with a side-ledge which I'm kinda neutral on. I'd prefer more uninterrupted space but the ledge wouldn't be "enough" either, so I'm accepting of what I wound up with. If I had to do it over again, which I wouldn't and wont and don't regret either, I might put in a larger sink though. I do like what does amount to another "work station". Most of my time in the kitchen appears to be underwater one way or another.

    I'm looking forward to a long, slow read of all these responses! :)

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    I just got a call from a woman with a custom built stone farmhouse sink that matches her tops. She hates it. It looks nasty. I can't figure out how to post the picture she sent. Very expensive to remedy.

  • Heather N

    I have a 30" stainless steel Franke undermount sink in my main house and a 33" white enameled Kohler sink at our beach house. I'm designing a new kitchen in my new house, and that will be a 33" or 36" stainless steel undermount sink.

    I don't notice a huge difference in functionality. Both are a large single bowl. The apron-front sink is slightly easier to access because the front top edge starts below the countertop...but that also makes any dirty dishes in the sink more visible. My apron-front sink has an offset drain which I find much more useful than a center drain. The white sink shows EVERYTHING...you have to clean your sink constantly. Little pieces of food or splatters of tomato sauce are barely noticeable in a stainless steel sink.

    The main thing I dislike about apron-front sinks is that the water splashes onto the front ledge, rolls down the front, and then can roll down onto your cabinets. I constantly find water running down the front of the sink, but this never happens with my undermount sink.

    I like the look of the apron-front sink in some styles of kitchens, but I prefer that the undermount sinks contain water better.

  • Tammy Sadowski

    I think it is a matter of personal taste. I have very modern taste and so the FHS doesn't work for me. The apron breaks the clean lines of my flat panel cabinets so I selected a very high end under-mount sink. My point is that it is all personal style...there are several online apps that you allow you to see any option in your room. I would recommend playing with those to see what works best for your room and personal style.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "The main thing I dislike about apron-front sinks is that the water splashes onto the front ledge, rolls down the front, and then can roll down onto your cabinets. I constantly find water running down the front of the sink, but this never happens with my undermount sink."

    If the water can turn the corner on the bottom of an apron sink, it can certainly turn the corner on a countertop. One is just more visible than the other.

  • arthursj

    I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed but I read about half the posts and didn't see this addressed. This probably seems silly to all of you who are used to single sinks, but I'm trying to decide between the large single sink (like the farmhouse style) or the double sinks that I've always had. Everyone seems to love their farmhouse sinks and I might too, but I can't quite wrap my head around the garbage disposal issue. I mean for example currently I might be peeling potatoes on the side with the disposal and my husband might be washing out a pot on the other side. If you don't have room for a dedicated prep sink how do you multitask with one single unit? Not sure I'm even making any sense here :D. Anyone else who converted from double sinks able to help me with this?

  • Russ Barnard

    Well, picture this:

    If you have 2 sinks, you still have to move the faucet over so he can use it then you can use it back and forth, right?

    If he is washing is, and just using soap etc.. you can still use the disposal...the water is still going to be there, in fact, in a single sink, you do not have to worry which side you are using vs him, the water is still there.

    There simply is no limitation on that part...just one bit of advise..

    If HE is doing the dishes... give him more room... so he will not STOP doing them.. lol


  • arthursj

    Thanks Russ! I guess the difference is that I am used to filling a sink with water and detergent to wash dishes. My daughter has a single sink and I notice she just uses running water and one of those sponge wands that dispenses detergent to the sponge. And you so busted me in a totally made up example, 'cause he never washes dishes LOL! But he does like to get in my way and want to wash his hands while I'm trying to work!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC


    I replace sinks for a living. Virtually all are single bowls replacing doubles. Occasionally there is a low divide.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally

    arthursj, try a dishpan that fits in half the sink.

  • Rebecca

    Beckysharp: Unless you’re Chess. She would never.

  • Cheryl

    Dinosaur here. I prefer a top mount cast iron double sink. Seems to me that the single sink is what has given rise to prep sinks. I really do need 2 sinks. I've had a farm sink and didn't care for it. Plus when anything is seen everywhere, it IS a trend. I suspect they, and busy granite, will be like the old jacuzzi tubs. I'm grateful the ones I like are still available.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    Top mount cast iron divided sink?:

    This one bit the dust yesterday.

    The view out that window:

  • Heather N

    @joseph Corlett - the front of a farmhouse sink sits lower than the countertop around the other 3 sides, hence it is easier for water to splash and drip down the front.

    See pics - we have 2” thick countertops in our beach house with the farmhouse sink, so the front of the sink is 2” lower than the rest of the sink. We have an undermount sink at our primary house and the walls of the sink (including the countertop) are the same height on all 4 ideas.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC


    Thanks, but I've seen no scientific evidence that apron sinks are more "drippy" than undermounts.

  • Heather N

    Joseph - I am only speaking from my own experience, haven’t seen any scientific studies done on this topic. How thick are your countertops around your apron sink? My apron front regularly needs to be wiped up in front. My undermount (and every other undermount I’ve ever used) rarely does. The thicker the countertop, the lower the front of the apron front sink. These pictures look like 3-4” countertops and there’s a big gap in the front!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC


    I don't have an apron front sink, I've got a Karran Edge series, however, if my wife keeps rummaging through my pictures, that may change soon.

    Several years ago, I mounted an apron sink to the bottom of a 2cm top that had a 2cm edge build-up. I had little choice as there was no matching material to build up the sink cutout. It looked fine. Until now, I've never given the top thickness on apron sinks much thought.

  • William Smith

    Let me just add a bit of “traditionalist history” here. Large apron front sinks had a functionality that goes beyond a typical basin sink. Farm house sinks tend to be deeper than a modern sink. They are typically wider, as others have said, they enable you to wash large pots, pans, cooking sheets, and even the baby.

    in the old days, there weren’t dishwashers, indoor plumbing, or for that matter hot water heaters. These large sinks, and the materials they were made from allowed water that was hand drawn from wells, rivers and streams to be boiled and heated. The materials those sinks were made from insulated that hot water, keeping it hot. The depth of the sink allowed it to become a “cleaner” place to spritz up with hot water, rather than drawing multiple buckets to handle a tub.

    As most in the old days were people of modest means, and even today farmers aren’t millionaires, protective elements were often incorporated into the designs and functionality of these sinks. The apron, by its nature and design, served the purpose of directing spilled or splashed water away from cabinets, drawer fronts, and doors on the surrounding cabinetry, which was often more expensive and more difficult to replace or repair than the floor.

    So, aside from the aesthetics, and given the expense and composition of the materials, laminates, and finishes on modern cabinetry, the apron front does help in preserving your cabinetry...

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