what are farmhouse sinks

What Are Farmhouse Sinks

The demand for a modern farmhouse kitchen design is on the rise. This look is highly coveted due to its timeless appeal, rustic appearances, and lived-in charm. At the center of this design is a farmhouse sink. 

A farmhouse is a drop-in sink with an open front-facing side. Also known as apron front, these types of sinks are designed so that they can be added to space cut out for the kitchen counter to achieve harmony.

It is a design intended for areas without running water, and so, tend to be relatively more significant compared to standard sinks. Farmhouse sinks can hold water on one side, and the other be used for other purposes such as regular kitchen duties, washing laundry, or even washing a child (yea, it is that big!). 

There is a wide range of sinks so we complied a list of the best farmhouse sinks. Because of their design, they require a large amount of space in the kitchen, and though there are plenty of variations, the most popular is the Laundry sink and the Drainage sink. From these two variations, you can customize them further to suit your preferences.

Laundry Sink 

The laundry sink usually accommodates up to two deep bowls of around 22 centimeters deep. This variation typically functions as the original farmhouse sink design, and it can hold large amounts of water in a single bowl while freeing the other pan for other tasks such as laundry, washing dishes, and cooking prep. 

Dashboard sink

This design is ideal for helping you keep your countertop water-free as well as easily wash dishes. The most notable feature of this sink is the mounted grooved apron in the side that catches the excess water and then filters it back to the sink, keeping your countertop dry. Unlike the first variation, the dashboard sink only has a single bowl with the remaining space holding the drainboard or an apron. 

Common farmhouse sink materials 

This is another area of farmhouse sink where there is plenty of options. But the best materials are usually stainless steel, porcelain, and cast iron.

Let’s take a look at the best farmhouse sink materials.

Stainless steel 

This is a classic sink material and is common in many kitchens. They have a reputation for being reliable, durable, and easy to clean. However, their most important characteristic is durability, which enables them to endure all sorts of tasks. But the catch is that you need a steel gauge about 16-18; otherwise, the sink will not last long. 

Stainless steel farmhouse sinks are available in different sizes and shapes. They are also lighter compared to other materials, which is excellent as you don’t need to add any support material. 

The only drawback of stainless steel is that it can be quite loud when using other materials. It is also limited aesthetically. 

Ceramic 

These are typically cast iron sinks with a porcelain coating. They usually have that sturdy, sleek, glass-like surface that adds to its charm of being timeless. Though they are durable, these sinks tend to damage or discolor when heavily used. Moreover, they are also quite heavy and require additional support during installation.

Fireclay 

This material is usually glazed and then treated in high temperatures. The resulting sink is reliable and durable, just like enameled cast iron. These farmhouse sinks are also resistant to acid, scratch and alkali, non-porous, and chip resistant. 

The disadvantage of fireclay farmhouse sink material is that it doesn’t handle impacts very well and can flake over time. It also tends to crack when heavily used, and just like cast iron, it also requires reinforcement because of its weight. 

Farmhouse sinks styles 

At its simplest, a farmhouse sink can come in three different styles. The style choice will depend on two factors, namely aesthetic and ease of installation. 

Here are the three styles of farmhouse sinks. 

Top mount 

These are the most popular farmhouse styles because they don’t need evening out the entire surface during installation. They are usually installed over the counter, leaving behind enough space for storage or other uses. It is also cheaper. 

The only negative thing about it is that it will not be flush with the counter, thus allowing the accumulation of dirt and other items between the table and the sink.

Deep drop-in

This style is a bit modern than the top mount. The farmhouse sink is installed through the drop-in method, thus forming a rectangular shape. This gives the sink a much more compact space, allowing for single, double, or triple basin styles. 

The only drawback is that you will need to reinforce the sink.

Vintage 

This is the original farmhouse style. It is more rounded than the above methods, and it only has either one or two basins. It also comes in different sizes and made from cast iron, fireclay, or porcelain. 

Vintage style can be wall-mounted and installed drop-in style. It can be reinforced or support by itself.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of farmhouse sinks? 

Advantages 

  • Aesthetic 
  • Offer a large amount of countertop surface 
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes, shapes, color, and material

Disadvantage 

  • Costly 
  • Complicated installation 
  • May be too big for small kitchens

What is the fireclay farmhouse sink?

Nothing gives a farmhouse sink a perfect representation than the fireclay sink. This type of pan doesn’t have a protruding lip over the countertop. Thus it is easy to wipe the residue off your surface effortlessly into the bowl. 

These sinks are typically not carved; instead, they are molded from a mixture of glaze and clay and then put through extremely high temperatures of between 1600 and 2200 degrees Celsius. The molding starts when the material mixture is formed into the required shape and size of the sink. It is then left to dry under a moderate heat for about 2 days. When the clay dries, a layer of porcelain coating is applied and then heated in a kiln for up to 24 hours. The high temperatures help fuse the coating into the clay while increasing the overall sturdiness of the sink. 

Because of this method of manufacturing, fireclay sinks are incredibly durable like other sink materials. Fireclay is also scratch-resistant and most cleaning chemicals.

Because of its rustic appearance, fireclay sinks have a timeless and charming vibe that can blend well with your kitchen decoration. However, fireclay sinks are not suitable for all kitchens.

Benefits 

Fireclay farmhouse sinks have many benefits, including: 

  • Durability 

The first selling point of a fireclay farmhouse sink is that it is incredibly durable. This is because it is made by molding clay into desired shape and size, drying it, coating and then put in a kiln under very high temperatures. 

  • Resistant to alkali and acid 

Kitchen sinks tend to be exposed to a wide range of substances, including acidic and alkali. But not many sinks are designed to withstand these chemicals, which can chip or corrode. Fireclay sinks, on the other hand, are resistant to alkaline and acidic substances. 

  • Non-porous 

The best sinks are the less porous ones. Fireclay sinks are known for being non-porous thanks to the ceramic enamel applied on top of the clay, which protects it from stains. 

  • They have non-protruding lips 

While this may not seem like a big deal, a sink with no protruding lips design can go a long way to making your life in the kitchen simple, especially during cleaning. And that is how fireclay farmhouse sinks are designed. 

  • Easy to maintain 

Many people like one of the reasons farmhouse sinks are that they are easy to maintain. It does not stain or scratch, and all you need during cleaning is a liquid sponge and a liquid cleaner. You also don’t need heavy-duty cleaning tools to keep a farmhouse sink in good condition. 

  • Stylish 

Fireclay farmhouse sinks are known for having a rustic look, unlike other types of sink that have an industrial look. Also, each fireclay sink is handcrafted before it is dried. Thus it is possible to have a unique style. 

  • Resistance to scratches

One of the best benefits of fireclay farmhouse sinks is that they are scratch-resistant. This means that it will maintain its luster for a long time. 

Disadvantage of fireclay 

  • Costly to install 

This is perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to fireclay farmhouse sinks. If you compare to the rest of the sink styles, fireclay is pretty much costly. But since it is durable than other sink options, this will more than likely be a sound investment in the long run, mainly because you will not be doing a lot of repairs and maintenance. 

  • It is heavy

The weight of the fireclay farmhouse sink is also another potential concern. This is because it’s made from an alloy of two heavy materials. You will need to assess the area in your kitchen where you intend to install the sink to ensure it is a sturdy and robust place. 

But it’s extra weight is not entirely a downside, because it also means durability and more stability. So maybe the benefit of the additional weight outweighs the cons. 

The difference between fireclay farmhouse sink and porcelain 

Many people think that the fireclay sink is just another type of porcelain sink. But that is not correct. 

While the two types of sinks look very similar and even go through the same heating process, there is a noticeable difference. First, porcelain sinks are usually made at much lower temperatures compared to fireclay farmhouse sinks, and as a result, they are susceptible to scratches, stains, and chips. 

Configuration options 

There are two significant configurations when it comes to fireclay farmhouse sinks, namely single bowl, and double basin. 

Both configurations have their pros and cons, and it will all come down to your preferences and how you want to use the sink. 

A double bowl sink gives you the versatility of space compared to a single bowl. It also allows you to separate your clean dishes from the dirty ones. On the other hand, a single bow offers you plenty of space to work with.

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