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
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:
- Vintage Porcelain Overcast Iron Kitchen Sinks and Farmhouse Sinks
Vintage antique reclaimed salvaged kitchen sink single double basin porcelain over cast iron drain boards with legs farm house laundry
- Historic House Parts
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:
- Sinks Gallery | Bathroom Sinks | Kitchen Sinks | Bar Sinks | Bath Furniture
Sinks Gallery offers the finest collection of artisan and designer bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, bar sinks and accessories. Sinks Gallery is your resource for sinks, basins, bath furniture, faucets and other bath fixtures for your bath décor.
- Copper Sinks Online
CopperSinksOnLine.com -- buy direct and save on copper bathroom sinks, copper bar sinks, copper vessel sinks as well as copper kitchen sinks and copper farmhouse sinks. Buy copper sinks direct.
- Fireclay Farmhouse Kitchen Sinks | Signature Hardware
Farmhouse style apron front sinks for the kitchen made of durable fireclay.
- Apron Front Sinks - A Farmhouse Sink Shopping Comparison Site
Find any farmhouse or apron front sink for your home. Brands like American Standard, Kohler, Barclay, Franke, Marvel, Belle Foret, Houzer, Whitehaus, Blanco, CorStone Industries, and more!
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.