space needed for faucet behind farmhouse sink?

nessasMay 18, 2014

For our kitchen remodel, I plan to get a stainless steel farmhouse sink (apron front), double-bowl with a 60/40 split. My kitchen is small, and I like that the 36" long sink will fit in a 36" cabinet. It seems an efficient use of space.

There's some variation in sink width (front-to-back) among the brands I'm considering. Lavello is 20" exterior width; Kraus, Miseno, & Ticor are 20.75"; Ariel & Vigo are 22.3".
My two top choices are the Ariel (with almost 18" interior width bowls front-to-back) vs. the Kraus (16"). It would be nice to have the extra 2 inches in bowl width of the Ariel. But I wonder if the larger exterior width of the Ariel sink might be a problem.

Would there be enough room behind this 22.3" exterior width sink for a counter-mounted faucet? We'll likely have standard 24" base cabinets, and probably granite countertops with whatever the typical overhang is (1.5"?). The sink will be under-mounted, with most of the 1" wide back rim of the sink under the countertop. So taking into account a tile backsplash (maybe 1/2"?) I'm guessing there will be 3.5" of countertop behind the sink.

How much room do you need from the edge of granite to the faucet hole, to avoid potentially cracking the granite? I plan to get a single-handle faucet, installed with the handle in front, so the handle won't hit the backsplash. I could pull the sink forward some, but it has square front corners, and I'm not sure I like that look.

I also wonder if that extra 2 inch sink width would make me have to stretch too much to reach the faucet (I'm 5'3"). Having the handle in front should help with that, though.

And would I need a faucet with a longer spout reach? It seems that many faucets I've looked at only have about an 8" spout reach. That doesn't seem far enough for an 18" interior width sink basin, does it? I would think you'd want the spout to reach at least halfway across the sink, is that right?

I'd appreciate any advice you have on this!

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Since the counter-top is granite, you can pull the sink cabinet forward for a bump out if needed, to create more space behind it for mounting the faucet into the stone. Many people do this. I'd consult your fabricator and ask their opinion on the best course, given your stone choice, etc. (For softer or more fragile stone, the fabricator may suggest a thicker rim of stone at the sink back for faucet mounting.) Also remember if you pull the sink cabinet forward you will need finished sides on that cabinet.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Depends on the faucet, the thickness of the backsplash material, and how you wish to position the actuator. Farm sinks are bumped forward generally for functional reasons, because a faucet has to fit into the cabinet interior not just ''behind the sink''.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:53AM
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How far from the edge of the granite at the sink do most people place the faucet hole? We don't have a fabricator yet, we're still in the design phase.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 2:09PM
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There is no one answer to your question.

The variables are:

-- depth of sink front to back
-- front panel and sides of sink and whether those permit bumping out (not all farm sink sides are the same nor all the front panels the same)
-- way the sink will be mounted under/flush with/or above the counter
--interior cabinet construction
-- how the faucet operates and how it will be installed.
--faucet stem thickness can be an issue or sometimes there is a flange underneath to hold the faucet in place which needs clearance below.

Perhaps you are aware that sinks and faucets have specification diagrams (we call those downloads) with all this critical installation information.

My suggestion is to download the diagrams for each sink under consideration and read them very carefully. The inside measurements of the sink cannot be used for this purpose -- anyone who tells says such and such is ok without consulting the diagram I wouldn't trust.

The person who orders and specifies the cabinets should also be given copies of those sheets as well as all the spec sheets for appliances (you likely know this but just in case). I made a booklet of those for the designer plus 2 others -- one for the plumber and one for the contractor. No one can say they don't have the right info.

Likewise, download the spec sheets for any faucet considered. Pay special attention to the thickness of the faucet stem and the way the faucet operates. F.ex. some faucets turn on by pulling sideways but alo need to swivel from front to back to go from cold to hot. There must be enough space behind the faucet to permit that.

Or, since you're concerned about leaning in, perhaps it would be a good idea to look at one of the Grohe faucets that can be front mounted -- that is with the control facing in and over the sink. That can be very helpful when space is tight.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:01PM
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faucets are all different as to the space required for the diameter of the hole and the hole's position. The movement of the handle and the swing of the faucet must be taken into account.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:22PM
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Thanks for the info. I hadn't thought to make three booklets of the spec sheets, that's a good idea. I do plan to have the handle of the faucet mounted in front.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:11PM
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