Apron Sinks/Farmhouse Sinks

steph2000May 21, 2013

It's been recommended that I consider a modern farmhouse/apron sink for my kitchen if I go with uppers straight across the wall as the sink is on that run. I have a few questions about them, as I have never seriously considered this option and had my heart set on a regular undermount.

1 - How much does this really functionally change this? How much does it pull the sink out from under the cabinets, generally? Is it a noticeable difference?

2 - Do you think it's a look that could work in my kitchen? For those who aren't following my endless posts/dilemmas, it's a small U kitchen in a small 50's ranch with a BS window. I'm going for sort of a modern/zen cottage look. If I do this, I'd go with a stainless steel version.

3 - Will it make my cabinet run look interrupted/strange? How far do these things jut out into the aisle?

4 - If I have a zoning clause that requires, say, a 60" aisle, will they measure from the narrowest point (i.e., from the sink to the opposite side of the U)?

5 - If the sink isn't centered on that wall, is it going to stand out and look odd with an apron sink?

6 - I read that often these sinks require custom cabinets. I'll have to research if that is true for the various cabinet lines I am considering, but is that generally true? Barkers offers a farmhouse sink cabinet. Are the sizes generally standard for these sinks?

Thanks a lot if you have any input or recommendations.

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I have a SS apron front in IKEA cabs. It's a 36" single bowl sink in a 36" cab. My kitchen is probably way more contemporary then yours; but I think the look is versatile. I don't notice a difference with the sink being pulled out. It's a curved front so the curve extends just a bit but that was the design I chose. Pics would probably help huh?!

Long shot:

close up:

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:30PM
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I decided to put my cabinets straight across above my apron sink (IKEA) because in the store set-ups, I did feel there was a noticeable difference between the feel of how close the upper cabinets were with an apron sink vs. an undermount sink (which was my original plan). I haven't installed everything yet, so we'll see if this holds true in real life, but that's the plan. I'm putting glass cabinets above the sink.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:13PM
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I love my farmhouse sink also a small kitchen. Very functional and looks great. Sorry didn't go with SS but with Kohler cast iron and it is awesome. Get the sink grids for the bottom.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:15PM
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I'm so glad those you who have them are chiming in. One article I read said that they ease strain working at the sink because you aren't extending back into the sink, it is more right in front of you. Do you find this to be true?

I'm really trying to get a sense of whether it would help to keep our heads out of the uppers while working at the sink, as that's what led to this whole train of thought.

Beautiful sink, remodelfla. Must be great to have a sink with NO uppers around anywhere.

Wolverine2, can not wait to see your kitchen!

sbp59 - what are you loving about sink grids?

I keep looking at pics and it seems some extend past the counter and others really don't? And, I don't know if all of them work with a standard farmhouse sink cabinet or not. Sometimes, I really am learning more detail than I WANT to learn with this remodel. It seems it is all in these pesky details out of a zillion choices...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:52PM
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The cabinet that we are getting has a finished panel where the sink will go. The installers will cut that panel to fit the sink. It also has a shelf built into it that will support the bottom of the sink.

Ours will jut out a bit. That is the look that we were after.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 12:01PM
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That looks great. Do you basically just get to decide if you want it to jut out or not and how much? Or is it dependent on which sink you pick or the cabinet or...?

I'm sorry I am so clueless about this. We don't have a KD and so I have to learn all this nitty gritty stuff myself.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:15PM
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I think it depends on the sink that you select. Ours was intended to jut out. This photo below shows that better. If you go with a squared off sink, you could make it flush with the cabinet face, if you wish. I think it really depends on what look you want. Decide on the look and then find a sink and cabinet line that will give you that look.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Thanks. For us, it's more a question of function. This idea came up solely because we are strongly considering putting the sink under a row of 30" high uppers and folks here thought an apron sink might help us work better at the sink.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:32PM
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You will need a n apron fron tsink bas vs. a standard sink base if you choose an apron front sink. There are hundreds of choices available, so you should narrow down the look that you want from viewing Houzz photos. If you chose a white one that is relatively square (like the new Blanco one) and have white cabinets, it can blend in visually and not be a focal point at all (unless you choose to make it a feature). Or choose copper with something like a quarter sawn oak, and it will blend in there too. Stainless blends in the least, but it can lend another shiny element to your kitchen to go with the different appliances i(if you're choosing stainless appliances).

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Thanks, GreenDesigns. I'd probably go with a stainless and I would want the sides to function like an undermount sink. It needs to be pretty simple, I think, to work in the space. And probably jut out a bit.

I'll definitely play on Houzz and shop around. I'm just having trouble seeing it in my kitchen (especially if the sink isn't centered) and wondering how much additional function you really get at the sink, especially with uppers straight across the back.

I also need to call the city and ask about code. I should start a list of things to ask them...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:04PM
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I'm going the excessively DIY route and putting in a slate farmhouse sink myself. It was custom made to size, so I can retrofit it into my old cabinets, which are the one thing I am not redoing in my remodel. The cabinets were custom built and are totally not standard, so a custom sink was the only way for me to do this. I spent the last day cutting out the false drawers and cabinet top where the old sink used to sit. I have now made a frame for the new sink to rest on, screwed into the sides of the cabinet.
The sink is basically a box, so I can pull it as far forward as I want- the slate guys suggested about as far as the counter overhang. The counter will sit on top of the sink, so it will look like an undermount type installation.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 3:39PM
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And this is what my sink looks like sitting on the ground. Will be installing next week when I can get the brute squad back (weighs over 100#).

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 3:42PM
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@kwilson50 - You might want to give your sink frame shelf some vertical support if the sink weighs that much.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Yes, legs are on the agenda for next week prior to the install.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:41PM
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We are doing a kitchen reno at our log cabin and I would like to have an apron sink. However we are on a tight budget. The cabinets are maple and purchased from Craigslist. I have been looking at the Kohler vault sink as it can be easily retrofit into the cabinets. I've heard that the Vault sink is difficult to keep clean. Have anyone else had this experience. I'm also not sure about the style, it might be too modern for a log cabin.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:07PM
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I choose to not bump my sink out much. I feel like its much
Closer to me than my previous under-mount sink was.

We are just moving back into the kitchen and from what I can tell, I'm going to LOVE it!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:49PM
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sanjuangirl I really like your sink, what make is it? Your kitchen looks lovely.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Holly- Kay

Oh my gosh, I love our Kohler Whitehaven. It is truly my very favorite part of my kitchen. Several times I was tempted to go with a traditional under mount. I am so very glad I didn't.

I also ordered the wire grid for my sink. It is basically used to keep pots and pans from scratching the finish. It serves a dual purpose as when I hand wash the dishes can dry on the grid.

I do find my sink much more comfortable to use than my old sink was. I love the nice wide ledge behind the sink where my faucet and soap dispenser is mounted.

Good luck Steph!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:45PM
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Loretta, mine is also a Kphler Whitehaven. It has a smart divide and it's got a bit of depth to the finish which is difficult to photograph. The finish is Cane Sugar

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:56AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I have a 33" SS apron front sink in a quirky, recycled, vintage kitchen, so I think they can work with a range of kitchen styles.

I adapted and reinforced a 30 year old sink cabinet, because it was better than anything I could afford to buy new, and because I didn't want to disturb the plumbing. I built a shelf similar to the one Kwilson posted, but with an added 2x4 support. I was envisioning a heavy sink full of water, but in reality the sink has never been filled (not since I filled it in the back yard to check for leaks before installing.) When there are items that need to be washed by hand, I use a mixing bowl, or whatever pot is already dirty, for sudsy water. I've come to realize that I use it very much like an old-fashioned dry sink.

If there are a lot of hand-wash items, I add a little height by setting the vessel on an inverted plastic container--my sink is deep, and I'm on the taller side of average. You'll find many threads where I've posted that I love my sink--and I still do!

The sink was a clearance item from an ebay seller, but I think it's the same as those sold on Overstock.

remodelfla, I don't even see your sink--as always my eyes go directly to the baker's table. ;)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:48AM
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What kind of cabinets are these?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:27AM
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I'm not a fan of a sink with an upper over it. I think you need to stand too close to the front of the door, no matter what.

But if you are determined to do that, then by all means I would consider using a farm sink and bumping it out. That means setting it proud (forward) of the front of the sink cabinets and the adjacent base cabinets.

I have this arrangement (my sink cabinet is bumped out as well) and it makes working at the sink extremely comfortable because I get farther over it.

The trick is in the selection of the sink. The classic Rohl fireclays are the same all the way around. The sink on the floor upthread is the same. But some farm sinks have notches on the side to fit against the cabinet fronts. Some have a flange.

Before you choose/buy it's important to figure out how you want the sink to look and then choose one that will do what you wish. There are so many choices, even in SS it shouldn't be a problem.

One factor is whether you prefer a 0 radius sink (square corners) or a more traditional sink with rounded corners. How far you want the sink to protrude -- mine stick out 2 inches in front of the cabinet. One sink upthread has the curved front and doesn't protrude much. Etc.

Lots of photos on the link plus a farm-sink installation tutorial that will explain the general concept.

Here is a link that might be useful: Farm Sink Gallery

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:22PM
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sanjuangirl, what size is your Whitehaven? And did you install in standard cabinets(not apron/custom cabinet base)? It looks like your base cabinet is as large as mine. I was having difficulty envisioning what this would look like so I'm super excited to see how wonderful yours looks! Do you still love it?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 9:44AM
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For kitchen sinks, I always prefer stainless steel: long lasting, easy to clean and maintain, and they don't break. You can get a 16 gauge apron sink from Kraus or Ruvati in the $300 - $400 price range.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 4:16AM
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