Farmhouse Sinks The Pros and Cons

I bet you have seen amazing farmhouse sinks. They are beautiful, but before you rip out your old sink, there are some factors you should consider.

There are some downsides to farmhouse sinks. Beauty aside, these sinks are a big investment so it’s good to consider whether a farmhouse sink is really right for you.

If there’s a kitchen remodel in your future that involves a big, beautiful farmhouse sink please read this first. I’ve had different kitchens with farmhouse sinks and they aren’t all amazing in reality.

Pros of A Farmhouse Sink

Farmhouse sinks are beautiful. Sinks didn’t use to be a thing of beauty in a kitchen, but now they can make a real statement. Your sink can say “I cook and I use this big beautiful sink to cut my fresh flowers every day”. Just kidding, but have you noticed how many photos there are with fresh cut flowers in a farm sink?

Farmhouse sinks are a trend with staying power. They may seems like they are just a trend, but farmhouse sinks have been gaining steam for 15 years. The number of finishes and styles has been expanding. They come in stainless, granite, copper and traditional porcelain.

Cons of a Farmhouse Sink

They are Expensive. The cost of most farmhouse sinks is more than $1000. IKEA does have affordable options for $215 but the IKEA sink is not a traditional under-mount sink. There are a few other bargain sinks (see below).

The are difficult to mount. If you are thinking of replacing your regular sink with a farmhouse sink, think again. In order to make most farmhouse sinks work, you will need to replace countertops and potentially cabinets. Since the sinks sit below counter level, the edge of the counter has to be polished by a fabricator.

Mounting also required someone who can finesse them into place a little. By this I mean, if your countertops are 1/4 inch off, it can make the sink look off. Ideally you need to own the sink before you get the countertops so that the countertop person can build the template for the countertops around the sink.

Poor drainage is possible. Since most farmhouse sinks are one basin, there is a lot of area in the bottom for water to collect. This can a be a problem if the bottom of the sink is flat. I know from my own sink which is flat, that you need a slight angle toward the drain.

One basin can making doing dishes harder. If you are used to having a two basin sink and you wash a lot of dishes by hand, having one basin can take some getting used to. It depends HOW you wash your dishes. Do you keep one side full of soapy water and the other side for dumping scraps? Do you not wash anything by hand?

What’s the Difference Between A Farmhouse Sink and An Apron Sink

When you are shopping for a farmhouse sink you will see these terms used interchangeably. What makes the farmhouse sinks unique is that the front side of the sink sits outside the cabinet. Traditional sinks sit fully inside a cabinet. See this example for an inset sink.

inset sink

The fact that a farmhouse sink sits outside the cabinet in front is what makes them difficult to replace without replacing countertops around the sink. You would have to replace it with a sink exactly the same size.

There are lots of large sinks that don’t have an exposed aprons and they are much more affordable. These aren’t technically farmhouse sinks but they can still be beautiful.

bargain Farmhouse Sinks

It’s hard to use the word bargain and farmhouse sink in the same breath. IKEA is the only real bargain. The best deals to be had are on Wayfair. You can also find them pretty reasonably priced on build.com (mostly over $800) and overstock.com.

Over the $600 price point there are lots of farmhouse sinks available. Be SURE the sink you choose fits the cabinet.

Installing a NON-IKEA Farmhouse Sink into IKEA Cabinets

IKEA does carry farmhouse sinks but the porcelain one is a “drop in” sink.

If you don’t like that and you want to go with an undermount sink you might need to customize the IKEA cabinet. You should get the sink before you have the cabinets installed and before you get countertops so that an installer can make it fit or you can alter the IKEA base cabinet.

The IKEA cabinet that is made to hold a farmhouse sink holds one that is 10″ deep and 36″ wide. Most farmhouse sinks are either 30 inches or 33 inches wide. You can find a 36 inch wide sink, but you should have the sink before you get your countertops.

Should You get a farmhouse sink?

If you want the photo perfect sink, farmhouse is the way to go. They can be the show stopper of your kitchen. But, be sure you have the budget for a more significant remodel including countertops. Do you have a farmhouse sink? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on pros and cons.

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One Comment

  1. We have a farmhouse copper sink. A lot of maintenance. Must be cleaned daily. We are currently looking to replace this one with a fire clay or porcelain farmhouse sink. Must be exact size to replace because we will be installing granite.

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