A farmhouse sink is a popular style of sink seen in many homes today. Farmhouse sinks are large, deep sinks that are usually made of enameled cast iron or fireclay. They are an attractive and functional centerpiece in many bathrooms. Installing a farmhouse sink can update the look of a bathroom and provide modern conveniences.
What is a Bathroom Farmhouse Sink?
A bathroom farmhouse sink is characterized by its large, deep basin and exposed front. The basin of a farmhouse sink is much deeper than a standard bathroom sink, with at least 8 inches of depth. Farmhouse bathroom sinks sit on top of the vanity counter, with their basins exposed in the front. This gives them their signature “farmhouse” look.
Unlike regular bathroom sinks that are inset into the counter, farmhouse sinks have an apron front that allows them to sit on top of the counter. The front apron can have either a smooth finish or an ornamental design. Behind the visible apron, farmhouse sinks have finished sides to give them a polished look even from oblique angles.
While the exposed farmhouse sink apron has a traditional cottage appeal, many modern variations feature sleek and streamlined designs. The choice of materials, basin shape, and apron design allows for versatile options to suit bathrooms of all styles.
Benefits of Farmhouse Bathroom Sinks
Farmhouse sinks have remained popular because of their unique look and practical benefits:
- Spacious basin – The deep and wide basin provides ample space for washing up and handling large items. The expansive room makes tasks like bathing kids or washing pets much easier.
- Timeless aesthetic – Exposed aprons and ample basins give farmhouse sinks a quintessential antique look. This makes them suitable focal points in vintage, rustic, or modern decor schemes.
- Durable materials – Farmhouse sinks are handcrafted from extremely durable cast iron or fireclay. This resilient construction allows them to withstand heavy-duty use for years.
- Easy to clean – The smooth, enameled surface prevents grime buildup and can be easily wiped clean after each use.
- Adds value – A farmhouse sink can increase a home’s value. Homebuyers are often willing to pay more for updated bathrooms with these charming sinks.
Choosing a farmhouse sink brings both visual appeal and utility to bathroom remodeling or new construction projects. Their lasting construction, low-maintenance cleaning, and decorative style make them well-suited for demanding household use.
Common Materials for Farmhouse Bathroom Sinks
Farmhouse bathroom sinks are commonly fabricated from either enameled cast iron or solid fireclay. Both materials provide a glossy finish and resilience. But they differ in their look and feel:
Cast Iron Farmhouse Sinks
Cast iron sinks have been popular since the 1800s. This material involves pouring molten iron into a mold to form the sink.
- Extremely durable – Cast iron has exceptional strength and longevity. Properly maintained cast iron sinks can last 50 years or more.
- Retains heat – Cast iron stays hotter longer than other sink materials, which helps reduce condensation.
- Provides weight – The hefty weight adds stability when installed properly on a sturdy cabinet.
- Easy to clean – The non-porous enamel coating prevents staining and is easy to wipe down.
- Timeless look – Cast iron evokes a sense of heritage and tradition.
- Heavy – Professional installation is recommended to support the weight. Extra cabinet reinforcement may be required.
- Avoid abrasion – The enamel surface can chip if abrasive cleaners are used.
- Prone to condensation – The cool surface tends to “sweat” due to temperature changes.
Fireclay Farmhouse Bathroom Sinks
Fireclay is a type of ceramic clay that can withstand extremely high temperatures. Farmhouse sinks shaped from fireclay provide a glossy finish and smooth feel.
- Durable finish – The fired glazing creates an impermeable and stain-resistant surface.
- Easy to clean – Fireclay surfaces allow water, soap, and grime to slide off easily.
- Noise absorption – Fireclay has a more muffled sound compared to metal.
- Resists chipping – Small scratches or chips are less likely to spread compared to enamel.
- Quick to install – Fireclay sinks are lighter than cast iron, requiring less cabinet reinforcement.
- Avoid abrasion – The surface can still be damaged from scouring or corrosive cleaners.
- Prone to staining – The unglazed underside of some models can absorb stains over time.
- Needs occasional sealing – Sealant is required every few years to prevent cracking and absorption.
Both cast iron and fireclay provide the durability and style needed in a hardworking farmhouse sink. Cast iron suits those preferring a bold, traditional look, while fireclay offers a smoother feel and quicker installation.
Common Shapes for Farmhouse Bathroom Sinks
Beyond material, farmhouse sinks come in a variety of common shapes to consider:
Rectangular Farmhouse Sinks
The simple rectilinear shape offers both vintage charm and contemporary versatility. The flat backsplash sits flush against the wall, while the straight front apron matches cleanly with the counter. The elongated shape works well on long vanities and provides abundant room for multiple users.
Square Farmhouse Bathroom Sinks
For a more modern, geometric look, square farmhouse sinks offer centered style. The equal side dimensions give a sense of balance while still offering deep basins. The compact footprint can fit smaller spaces yet still has an eye-catching presence.
Oval and Round Farmhouse Sinks
Oval or circular sinks soften farmhouse styling with graceful curved lines. An oval shape can optimize the sink orientation in a cornerspace. The rounded front aprons complement contemporary bathroom elements like vessel faucets.
Apron-Front Farmhouse Sinks
Apron-front sinks have a smooth front panel that matches with the cabinet face. Side panels give it a furniture look built into the cabinetry. The minimalist apron-front adapts well to contemporary, transitional, or industrial bathroom styles.
Choosing the Right Farmhouse Sink Size
Farmhouse sinks come in a variety of lengths, widths, and depth to suit your space:
- Single basin vs double basin – Double-basin sinks allow for multi-tasking but require more width. Single-basin models maximize depth.
- Standard dimensions – Common interior sink dimensions range from 25″ to 33″ wide and 20″ to 23″ front-to-back.
- Vessel size – Measure faucets, accessories, and vessels that will sit in the basin to ensure adequate room.
- Cabinet fit – Evaluate the existing sink base or vanity width to find a properly proportioned sink.
- Clearances – Allow for proper counter overhang and backsplash/sidesplash clearance for the sink rim.
- Depth – Aim for at least 8″ depth for adequate washing capacity. Deeper 10″ models offer even more room.
When planning your farmhouse sink purchase, fully measure your existing space or cabinetry to choose the ideal basin configuration and dimensions. This helps ensure your beautiful new sink fits seamlessly into your bathroom design both aesthetically and functionally.
Typical Installation Types
Farmhouse bathroom sinks allow for several installation options:
The sink is lowered into an opening cut into the countertop. The rim rests directly on the counter edge. This provides a seamless installed look, with the sink basin flush with the surrounding counter. The sink edge can have a small reveal or be finished with caulk for smooth transitions.
The sink is mounted to the underside of the counter cutout. Silicone adhesive attaches the sink rim to the counter bottom. Undermounting showcases the smooth countertop surface wrapping into the sink. The installation requires expert precision.
The sink comes with a built-in lip or rim designed to sit on top of the counter. The rim creates the finished edge, eliminating the need for caulk. Self-rimming sinks allow for simple DIY installation.
Always consult manufacturer guidelines regarding suitable countertop materials and thicknesses. Professional installation is also recommended to ensure proper mounting and prevent leaks.
Pairs Nicely With
While a farmhouse sink can serve as a standalone focal point, other bathroom elements help create a cohesive look:
- Quartz, marble, or granite countertops – Materials like engineered quartz and natural stone complement a farmhouse sink’s durability and visual appeal.
- Subway tile backsplash – Classic white 3-inch by 6-inch subway tiles accentuate the vintage charm of a farmhouse sink.
- Exposed plumbing – Pairing a farmhouse sink with exposed pipes maintains an antique, rustic feel.
- Vessel faucet – A tall vessel faucet brings a touch of modernity to balance a traditional apron-front sink.
- Wall-mount faucet – Minimal wall-mounted faucets keep the countertop and sink clear.
- Floating wood shelves – Wood shelving nearby adds warmth and roots the farmhouse sink in cottage or farmhouse style.
Maintaining a Farmhouse Bathroom Sink
While durable, farmhouse sinks require periodic maintenance to stay looking fresh:
- Clean regularly – Wipe the basin with a soft sponge and mild soap after each use to prevent stain buildup. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners.
- Rinse thoroughly – Always rinse away soap residue thoroughly. Letting soap dry on surfaces can lead to etching over time.
- Seal cast iron annually – Resealing cast iron yearly helps protect the enamel coating from damage.
- Avoid abrasives – Prevent scratches by using soft sponges only – never abrasive pads or scrub brushes.
- Dry after use – Letting water pool in the sink can damage sealing over time. Always towel dry after use.
With occasional resealing and careful cleaning habits, a farmhouse sink can maintain its good looks and utility for decades. The rugged materials resist most daily wear-and-tear when properly maintained.
Farmhouse Sink Design Ideas
Farmhouse sinks pair beautifully with various design aesthetics for the bathroom. Consider these stylish approaches:
Streamlined plumbing, frameless mirrors, and contemporary vessel faucets give farmhouse sinks modern relevance. Crisp white cabinets and counters play up the clean lines.
Exposed wood beams, textured plaster walls, and black metal hardware give vintage charm. Worn, milk-painted wood finishes soften the look.
The apron-front sink adds warmth to an otherwise sleek, urban look. Polished metal accents and concrete surfaces provide contrast.
Tongue-and-groove shiplap walls, beadboard wainscoting, and colorful ceramic tile backsplashes celebrate cottage character.
Mix rustic wood, industrial metals, and vintage patterns for an eclectic spin. The farmhouse sink ties the look together.
Farmhouse Sink Care FAQs
Looking into a farmhouse sink? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions buyers have:
Are farmhouse sinks hard to maintain?
While durable, farmhouse sinks do require some regular care. Daily washing with mild soap and water keeps surfaces clean. Resealing cast iron annually prevents damage to the enamel coating. Avoiding harsh abrasives and thoroughly drying after use helps maintain the finish.
How much weight can a farmhouse sink hold?
Well-installed farmhouse sinks can withstand several hundred pounds of weight. Exact capacities vary based on material thickness, reinforcement methods, and mounting hardware. Always follow manufacturer guidelines to reinforce cabinets and choose suitable mounting fasteners.
Should I caulk my farmhouse sink?
Caulking is not required for many farmhouse sink installations, but can provide an extra moisture barrier. Caulking the seam between the sink edge and countertop provides added protection from water penetration. Use a flexible, mold-resistant silicone caulk.
How do I get rid of stains in a farmhouse sink?
For tougher stains in enameled cast iron or fireclay, use a gentle abrasive paste cleaner containing oxalic or phosphoric acid. Baking soda or hydrogen peroxide can also lift some stubborn stains. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners which may damage the finish over time.
Should I choose fireclay or cast iron?
Cast iron and fireclay each have pros and cons. Cast iron offers extreme durability and a bold, traditional look. Fireclay resists staining and provides quicker installation. Choose based on your aesthetic tastes, bathroom needs, and project requirements.
Transform Your Bathroom with a Farmhouse Sink
A farmhouse sink can bring captivating style and versatile function to any bathroom remodel. With choices for shape, size, material, and installation, you can find just the right fit for your space and design vision. Pair your farmhouse sink with coordinating finishes and fixtures to craft a cohesive, inviting look. With just a touch of routine care, a quality farmhouse sink adds lasting beauty, convenience, and value to any home.
Bathroom Farmhouse Sinks
What is a Farmhouse Bathroom Sink?
A farmhouse bathroom sink features a large, deep basin and an exposed front apron. The signature farmhouse look comes from the sink’s open design that sits atop the vanity. The history of farmhouse sinks traces back over a hundred years to early plumbing fixtures that sat separately above farmhouse cupboards.
Today, the farmhouse sink style brings vintage appeal to modern bathrooms. While retaining the charming exposed-apron design, contemporary farmhouse sinks come in a range of materials, shapes, sizes, and finishes to suit any decor.
Benefits of a Farmhouse Bathroom Sink
There are several reasons farmhouse sinks remain popular for today’s bathrooms:
- Spacious basin – The deep basin provides ample room for handwashing, bathing kids, grooming pets, and other household tasks.
- Durable materials – Farmhouse sinks are handcrafted from extremely durable cast iron or fireclay able to withstand years of heavy-duty use.
- Easy to clean – The smooth enameled or ceramic glazed surface prevents grime buildup and wipes clean easily after each use.
- Timeless style – The exposed front apron gives farmhouse sinks a quintessential vintage design that works in any style bathroom.
- Added home value – Updating to a farmhouse sink can increase a home’s resale value, with many buyers willing to pay more for updated baths.
Common Farmhouse Sink Materials
Farmhouse bathroom sinks come in two main material options, each with their own advantages:
Cast iron sinks have been popular since the late 1800s due to the material’s strength and durability. Originally, antique cast iron sinks had more primitive enameling, leading to chips and rust over time. But modern enameling techniques provide a glossy, highly-durable finish able to withstand heavy use.
Cast iron maintains heat well compared to other materials, so the sink stays warmer longer to help reduce condensation dripping. The heavier weight also provides a welcome sturdiness when properly installed on solid cabinet bases.
Fireclay is a type of ceramic clay able to withstand extremely high kiln temperatures. Farmhouse sinks shaped from fireclay clay provide a smooth, non-porous surface after firing.
The impermeable glaze makes fireclay sinks very stain resistant and easy to clean. Lighter than cast iron, fireclay allows for easier installation without complex reinforcement of sink bases. Fireclay also absorbs noise better compared to metallic materials.
Popular Farmhouse Sink Shapes
Beyond material choices, farmhouse sinks come in a variety of classic shapes:
- Rectangular – The most common shape offers versatile room and a streamlined look.
- Round – A circular sink provides a soft, space-saving shape fitting corners well.
- Square – For a more modern look, square sinks feature crisp lines and centered symmetry.
- Oval – The graceful oval shape maximizes basin room front-to-back.
- Apron-front – A smooth apron fits flush with the vanity front for a built-in look.
What Size Farmhouse Sink is Best?
Farmhouse sinks range in size from compact models under 25 inches wide up to large double-basin sinks over 40 inches. When selecting your ideal size, consider these factors:
- Interior basin dimensions – Measure dishes, accessories, and vessels that will sit inside.
- Existing vanity or sink base width – Choose a sink that fits properly within your cabinet footprint.
- Clearances – Leave room for counter overhang and backsplash or side splash gaps.
- Basin depth – Deeper sinks allow more room for washing by hand. At least 8 inches is recommended, with 10 inches or more ideal.
Carefully measuring your existing space or planned cabinetry will help ensure your beautiful new farmhouse sink integrates seamlessly.
Farmhouse sinks allow for drop-in, undermount, or self-rimming installation:
Drop-in – The sink lowers into the countertop opening to sit flush. Excellent for solid surface tops like quartz.
Undermount – The sink attaches below to the counter bottom. Best for stone tops like granite or marble.
Self-rimming – Built-in lip allows the sink to sit directly on the counter. Easiest for DIY projects.
A farmhouse sink can complement any bathroom style with the right accents:
Contemporary – Crisp white paint, modern metal faucets, and streamlined design elements give an updated look.
Rustic – Exposed wood, textured plaster walls, wrought iron touches, and vintage colors add cottage charm.
Traditional – Subway tile, beadboard, and bright accent hues lend a classic appeal.