Farmhouse sink---love it or regret it?

cookingbuffJune 1, 2013

I am trying to make a decision on my sink and was ready to get silgranite and today my husband and I saw a Shaw farmhouse sink in a kitchen showroom. I have heard a negative comment about water constantly runs down the front onto the cabinets. Does anyone have one and find that this is the case? Can they chip? How resistant are they to stains? Any comments would be appreciative. Thanks so much! I need to make this decision very soon!

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We have the Herbeau fireclay farmhouse sink, and we just put a Kohler Whitehaven (enameled cast iron) into the kitchen I helped design for my parents.

They're both gorgeous, and functionally, both sinks have been great.

I guess I do get a little bit of water dripping down the front, but it's totally worth the trade off of the beauty and the ergonomic benefits of being able to belly right up to the sink and not have to extend my arms over a 4" strip of countertop while washing large, heavy pots. It seems like a small detail, but these few inches make a huge difference in my neck and upper back.

Regarding the dripping, we have a piece of decorative moulding (like in the 2 links below) just under the sink. It's aesthetic, but it's actually fictional as well, because it catches any small amount of water that drips before it really runs down the cabinets.

If you like the look, as seen in these 2 links, this may be a solution for you. It's a little hard to see, but each of these sinks has a dark-stained piece of decorative moulding just below the farmhouse sink. You can always email me if you'd like me to take some close ups of mine for you:

Being fireclay, I was a little worried about the Herbeau's durability. I heard some nightmare stories abut cracking and crazing, but it's been close to 2 years and I haven't had any problems at all. Not chips, no glaze issues like crazing, and no cracking. The only thing I don't do is pour boiling water directly into the sink (I run cold water simultaneously).

The Whitehaven is bulletproof.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 5:35PM
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I've had a Shaws for 9 years and rarely can remember water dripping down the front. But mine is pulled forward and very comfortable as I get right up against it. Shaws are fireclay and durable. There can be issues if you plan to have a disposer installed -- for a while about a year or two ago there were threads showing crazing (radial cracks) around that. But over the years many of have Shaws with disposers and no issues at all.

I didn't have a sink rack for the first few years so I have 2 tiny dings in the bottom. Since getting the grid the functionality is improved and I would never be without one. However the grid is an added expense.

These sinks are handmade and slightly irregular so once templated it is hard to switch out the sink if problems are encountered. There are other brands of fireclay and vitreous china sinks that are less irregular and equally handsome if this is a concern.
Overall, I am very happy with the style of the sink and recommend it. Farm sinks also are made in stainless and copper.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 6:17PM
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I have a stainless farmhouse that I am very happy with. I too find I enjoy not having the few inches of counter between me and the sink. The water drips sometimes but doesn't seem to get as far as to drip on the cabinets below. I don't have the extra molding Madeline616 mentioned but it sounds like a nice idea. I do not have a disposer but do have water filters and a water chiller installed beneath mine. It did make for a smaller undersink cabinet if that is a concern. I still can fit cleaning supplies, warehouse size garbage bag boxes and the like under mine.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Holly- Kay

I can't tell you yet but my Kohler Whitehaven sink is in it's box sitting on the floor waiting for installation. I love the looks of it and have read many reviews. It seems that the farmhouse sink is a winner regarding comfort at the sink. I always get a sore neck and shoulders reaching into the sink so I am hoping that my farm sink will help to alleviate that.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:45AM
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I decided on a Rohl Stainless undermount. I was too scared something would happen to the Shaw sink and I would have to replace it. GW forums made me re-think.

I currently have Franke Farmhouse apron front. I love it, but it's time for something different.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 10:21AM
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The Domsjo from IKEA seems to be the most inexpensive by far.

Anyone know how difficult to install in a standard 36 inch sinkbase, not IKEA?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Regarding the 4" setback mentioned for normal sinks, I passed on farmhouse, and its ergonomics, because I wanted simple uninterrupted lines, but I also passed on a large setback and leaning over by having only a 1/2 inch overhang on that section of counter and setting the sink up against the front of the cabinet, resulting in a 2-1/2" setback. That's not much more than the thinnest farmhouse.

(BTW, I'm as sure as I can be that no one has ever noticed the difference in overhang depth between this counter and the others. It takes something like this to remind me.)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Jerry, I have the double bowl Domsjo installed in original wood cabinets and I love it. It mounts to the countertop overhang, so the only modification we had to do was cut down the thin back of the cabinet and the false fronts. I skirted the sinkbase, but the sink still fit above the lower doors if I had wanted to keep them. I think there are lots of YouTube and blog tutorials on installing the Domsjo in a standard base.


To the OP, maybe the Domsjo is different from higher end farmhouse sinks, but I have never had water run down the front. In fact, I think I had more splashing and dripping with the Silgranit sink in our last house simply because of the front counter lip and water dripping off my elbows onto it instead of back into the sink. That said, I really did like the Silgranit sink. It's easy to clean and very functional, so for me it was just a matter of style preference.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:53PM
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