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Farmhouse Sinks

Updated on February 3, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Close your eyes and imagine a farmhouse kitchen. Think of the counter tops, the cabinets, the floor and the sink. If you are like most people when you envisioned the sink you saw a large, apron front sink big enough for the largest canning equipment or a baby's bath.

In grandmother's (or great grandmother's) day the kitchen was the heart of the home. It was a place for chatting with good friends, preparing and eating meals, and canning vegetables. Babies were bathed in those huge sinks and hand washing was done in them. They were utilitarian; super sized for a reason. Farmhouse sinks are perfect for someone who enjoys, and does a lot of, cooking, as well as for people that just love that country look.

What Is a Farmhouse Sink?

Many people love the look of a farmhouse kitchen and want a sink that matches grandma's. These heavy sinks are sometimes called apron sinks and the specialty stores that carry them charge a pretty steep price.

The sinks are extra long, some as much as four feet or more, and deep enough to wash every pot you own. There are a single basin styles and others have two deep basins. Some have drain-boards on one or both sides. There are many styles and types of these sinks.

Popular Materials for Apron Sinks

Of course the most popular material for an apron sink is the classic white porcelain. If you look for a true vintage sink this is most likely what you will bring home. However, many manufacturers of the modern farmhouse sinks are offering these hardworking basins in other materials such as:

  • stainless steel
  • copper
  • stone
  • clay
  • soapstone
  • acrylic
  • fiberglass
  • granite

Farmhouse sinks add country charm to your home.
Farmhouse sinks add country charm to your home. | Source

Where to Find Vintage Farmhouse Sinks

There are many places you might find one of these sinks, depending on what part of the country you live in. The main benefit to an older sink is that you will probably save money over being a designer sink from a modern company. The old sinks have a design appeal that the newer ones can't match, and for some people the history that goes along with it adds to the charm.

The old sinks can be found locally in architectural salvage warehouses, thrift shops, garage sales, antique shops, and even sitting out by the trash can. Check Craig's List in your area as well. Online there are several salvage companies as well as eBay that often have these beautiful sinks.

Try to find one locally, the sinks are extremely heavy and shipping can be costly.

Places online to find vintage farmhouse sinks are:

Tips for Buying a Vintage Sink

  • Be sure to measure the sink. Often the enamel in the back will be wide. If you have a window over your sink area the back of the sink may be too high to fit under the window.

  • Always measure the area you want to install the sink, as well as get the complete measurements of the sink before you buy it.

  • Check the sink carefully for small cracks, chipped areas and signs of wear and rust.

  • Stains are not a problem; the sink can be resurfaced if needed.

  • Expect to pay at least 400.00 for a classic farmhouse sink in average condition. If you are lucky.

Where to Find Replica Farmhouse Sinks

There are several companies that make these sinks as well. First check with your local home improvement store to see if they have what you are looking for or can special order it. Again, getting your sink locally is always better because of the high cost of shipping such a heavy object. Other places you can find these sinks are:

Fireclay Stands Up to Abuse!

How to Decorate with a Farmhouse Sink

While your apron sink can be installed on a counter there are many other options when it comes to creating a kitchen around these old sinks. You can buy an old farm table or other rustic furniture (even a buffet) and have the sink installed in that for a more historic look. Back in the old farmhouses they did not have the counters and cabinets that are popular today. Kitchen furniture was often mismatched. When you use vintage furniture in the kitchen it gives it a cozy, old fashioned look.

You can also use the sink in a regular cabinet and counter set up. Most often the faucets are positioned on the countertop and not on the sink itself. When done this way the cabinet must be sturdy and well made. It must be able to support the weight of the sink. Careful measurements must be taken because the sink will most often not be a standard size.

Another type of farmhouse sink was actually freestanding, with either two or four legs. The four legged version was, of course, totally free standing while the two legged type attached to the wall in the back. Again, the sinks can be as much as two hundred pounds so careful consideration must be taken when it comes to installation.

Having one of these beauties in your home can make your kitchen have cozy, country style. Be sure before you buy that the sink you choose is not too heavy for the place you want it installed. If you have any doubts talk to a contractor, or someone who is experienced in the installation of this style of sink.

Take Your Time

Especially if you have your hesart set on a vintage farmhouse sink take your time and find the one that will be perfect in your home. Do not settle for anything less so that you can enjoy it for decades to come.

These antique kitchen sinks were built to last. You may be bathing great-grandchildren in the sink you choose so make a choice you want to live with for a very long time.

For more ideas and a slideshow of sink styles check out Kitchen Sinks.


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    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      How I haven't followed you until now I don't know. Your hubs are so interesting and well informed it's no wonder you are so successful.A useful/up here.

      I now look forward to reading so much more of your work.

      Take care Marye.

    • Susan Starts Now profile image

      Susan Starts Now 7 years ago from California

      With four kids and two dogs, I have had my eye on a farmhouse sink. It would certainly make life easier, and I love the look. I didn't realize there were so many options for materials. Your article was excellent and loaded with great information.

    • animal-backpacks profile image

      animal-backpacks 7 years ago from Brighton

      I would absolutely love to get one when we finally buy our new house so will check back for your tips then. I'll bookmark this so I know what to do. Thanks for another ace hub!

    • websclubs profile image

      websclubs 7 years ago

      Hi Marye Audet,

      Yes there are many people who love the look of a farmhouse kitchen.

      Nice hub Thanks.

    • profile image

      Erick Smart 9 years ago

      This is a nice look, I did several granite installs with this type. The problem from the granite side of things is you only have a small strip of stone in the back and it is extremely hard to get that piece in as one solid one without it breaking.

      So if you are using granite if your run has to have a seam in it put it there. If it is a short one try to get one piece for a sharp look but make sure you have enough material in case of breakage.

    • Jennifer profile image

      Jennifer 9 years ago

      We want to remodel our kitchen next year and would like one of these sinks. I hope we can afford it when the time comes because I love the look. I didn't realize you could get them used though, thanks!