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Tuesday, June 30

... and the kitchen sink




Farmhouse sinks are the ‘newest’ trend in designing a kitchen. I don’t think I have had a client in the past four years that has asked for anything but…. They add a feeling of nostalgia and bring a sense of rustic character that enhances country- as well as traditional-style kitchens. Plus, they are so user friendly that the whole kitchen could possibly be designed around the sink. But you need to note, there is a little extra ‘prep’ & design work needed to add this style of sink to your cabinetry… Extra care must be taken to accommodate the installation of a Farmhouse Sink to a kitchen.



What to Know

The traditional farmhouse sink is a lot deeper than traditional stainless steel undermount or top-mount sinks. It’s designed to stand directly in front of the basin, with no cabinets or countertop in front. This made the farmhouse sink more comfortable to use when people spend lots of time preparing meals and washing dishes.

You will find that these ex-large sinks are more convenient when it comes to washing large pots, big baking sheets, oven trays, and even barbecue grills — items you would generally struggle to wash in a typical size sink. (Clue the utility sink in your laundry room.)



Installation

Though designing a farmhouse sink into a new kitchen layout is easy, it can prove more difficult to incorporate one into your existing kitchen layout. The size and nature of farmhouse sinks mean they require custom cabinets to be designed to suit them, as well as a different countertop design.

Farmhouse sinks were originally designed to sit slightly to the front of the surrounding cabinets. They also are usually installed just under the level of the countertop so the counter can slightly overhang the sides of the sink, making it easy to wipe water from the counter straight into the sink.



Fixtures

Typical farmhouse sinks do not have a hole for the faucet, so the tap needs to be positioned in the counter or in the wall behind.



Materials

White farmhouse sinks are most commonly made of fireclay or porcelain. Fireclay sinks are made of clay, which is heated to an extremely high temperature that makes the sink hard and durable. It also gives the sink its beautiful high shine. The durability of fireclay means that it is resistant to scratches and chips and is easy to clean.


Porcelain sinks are a ceramic material, again heated to high temperatures, although not quite as high as fireclay. They look similar to fireclay sinks but are less expensive. Porcelain sinks are not quite as durable as fireclay and are more prone to chipping and discoloration.


Stainless steel farmhouse sinks are now available. Stainless steel is affordable, durable and easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel adds a contemporary twist to a sink that is typically associated with traditional- and country-style kitchens.


Farmhouse sinks are sometimes made of copper. The copper material can sometimes have a hammered finish and a colored patina applied when the sink is manufactured. Over time, natural copper develops a beautiful patina as it reacts with the different substances that come in contact with it.



After Installation

Ensure that your farmhouse sink is correctly sealed around the edge. Designing the countertop so it overhangs the edges of the sink sufficiently will help water flow straight into the sink bowl and keep it away from the edges.