Question about farm/apron sinks

p.ball2August 15, 2012

Hi again. Hoping to get some feedback about apron sinks. I have read through a bunch of old threads and have not found this topic addressed or maybe I just don't know what it is called to properly search for it.

First, I have decided to get a cast iron apron front sink. I am looking to get the Kohler whitehaven self-trimming 30". I have not seen any reviews of these sinks on the kitchen forum. The self-trimming feature seems ingenious (at least for the cabinet maker) and it is one of the more reasonably priced cast iron sinks out there. Does anyone have one?

Secondly,I am assuming with the self trim that I cannot do this but what is the purpose of the horizontal piece of wood that I see at the base of many apron front sinks? Is this some sort of drip guard?


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The piece of wood on bottom is called a drip rail. To work, it needs to have a groove routed out of the bottom, so that water follows around the rail, hits the groove and drops to the floor, rather than continuing on to drip down the cabinet faces.

I vaguely remember some folks who got the Whitehaven and liked it, but can't remember who!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Thank you Marcolo. I had thought that must be the purpose of the wood piece ( now I know to call it a drip rail) but then I wondered if it served as some sort of support as well.

I think that a drip rail is not an option with the Kohler Whitehaven since it is self-trimming and the sink overlaps the face frame of the cabinet. Maybe I should look at it as one less detail to worry about and spend money on:)

If anyone does have the Kohler Whitehaven please let me know how you like it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:33PM
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I have the 36" whitehaven and LOVE it. I never considered a drip rail, and I don't get many drips. But since you mentioned it I might try to install one just for aesthetic reasons since I have Ikea cabinets and the filler underneath the sink doesn't quite match the cabinet door color.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Glad to hear that you like yours

Is that possible with the self-trimming sink??? I am having a hard time seeing how but if it is please tell me.

Maybe you have a different version or older version of the Whitehaven that is not self-trimming?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:33PM
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I don't have the white haven but I do have a farmhouse apron front fireclay sink. I have been using it for less than a week as we are not quite done, but getting close!

My sink is the Blanco Cerana 30", and I love it!!!! I was worried before I used it that it would be too low. But it doesn't seem to be problem at all. I am loving the size and the comfort of it. Another really nice feature with this sink is that there is a modern front and a traditional front to choose from, depending on your style. I chose the traditional which has more rounded edges.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Hi p.ball2, we have the 30" Whitehaven (for about a month so far). Love the look and the size and the price. Three things I'm noticing now that I'm in the kitchen cooking/baking/cleaning and using large pots and pans...
1. I don't get splashed and I don't get drips unless I am wiping the outside of it (and that's my fault for having a drippy sponge). So I can't see a need for a drip rail on this sink. The drop-in feature btw did make it a breeze for the GC to install.
2. It is super wide front to back. Even with the extended Rohl spout, sometimes we're leaning to wash dishes (we're tall, but a little concerned about our backs for the long haul). I highly recommend getting a faucet with an extended spout - I can't imagine not having one with this sink!
3. I bought the grates to protect the bottom. They fit perfectly and drop right in the dishwasher. However, from moving them around to clean the yuckies underneath, I am finding fine gray scratches here and there. You have to really be looking for them, but it's annoying nonetheless. Calling Kohler is on my to-do list!
Good luck and happy sink shopping :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: AboutToGetDusty's kitchen

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Wow annsch that is a lovely sink. I never came across that one in my searches. Maybe it was above my price range-oh now I know why, it is fireclay. I decided early on that I wanted cast iron. In my first house we had a cast iron sink and I remembered that I loved it. It cleaned up so well!
Good luck with it. It really does look great.

About to get dusty: Thanks for the input. I thought it sounded like a GC dream for install.

But you have me worried now about the front to back depth. Is the depth of the whitehaven more than other farm house sinks? We have planned on a pull out spray faucet since we love to wash all the crumbs and food right down into the disposal with a sweep of the spray. Do you think without a bump out of the sink that there is enough counter depth to install the faucet? We do not have a sink bump out planned. I saw it is 21" front to back - I think? I figured that at least an inch was extending beyond the cabinet front so that left about 4 inches in back for the faucet mount. It looks like you did a bump out. I am also very average in height- 5' 4", So maybe that is a plus for me.

Do you like the offset drain?
Which sink grid did you get?
I need to review your pictures but I need to go get my son off to hockey camp.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:56AM
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I have the 36" Whitehaven , and love it! It is deep, and I would have bumped my sink cabinet out a bit if I had realized it. If I had a windowsill on my window, the faucet ( an Elkay Explore bridge) would not have fit.

It's depth is sufficient to prevent much from running down the front, and the front wall of it slpoes, which may help, too. I do a lot of hand washing, FWIW....

Recommended by ME!!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:28AM
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I'm planning on using that sink. Now concerned about the depth after looking at the pictures. Not sure I have space in my plans for a bump out.

Sigh... one more thing I have to consider. Thanks for the heads up.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Hmmmm! Will have to see how much a bump out will cost! Not sure that with my aisle width it will work. I have 42" aisles as of now.
I got a chance to look at your pictures abouttogetdusty and wow, that is a big before and after change! I bet you are tickled pink! I see what you mean about the small amount of space behind the sink for a faucet.

I also like your counters. What are they? I am most likely doing soapstone (want something mostly black with some veining and no green) and your counters look like they could be but I am not sure.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:02AM
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About to get dusty... you don't have a bump out, do you? Is it a problem? It looks okay in the photos.

We are planning to make our whole sink counter a little deeper. That should make plenty of room for the faucets.

I am concerned about getting a faucet that reaches far enough. We currently have a Kohler sink. A double where the left basin is the same depth front to back and is 9 inches deep. I think that is the same as the Whitehaven, but not as wide. Our Grohe faucet does not reach far enough. What faucets work well?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:30AM
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I wonder if one of those commercial style high arc faucets that have the coil would be a good choice. I saw beekeepers in person and it is quite a neat faucet with the spray hose as well as the additional faucet below it.

Abouttogetdusty: can you measure how far your faucet projects out over the sink so we can get an idea of what kind of reach is good for a faucet?

donaleen: I think if you make your counters deeper overall you should have plenty of space behind the sink for the faucet mount. You just have to watch the windowsill (assuming that there even is a window over the sink)and how far out if projects.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Thanks p.ball2. There is a window. And it has a windowsill. John is already talking about that possible issue.

Abouttogetdusy... how deep is your sink counter? It looks plenty deep.

I know Kohler's specs claim the sink will work in a standard existing cabinet.

We went out and looked at faucets a while ago. I found that difficult. I like looking at materials and such but I did not enjoy the faucet search. I don't know how those of you who do a whole house survive. Too much to think about at once.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:47PM
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Twn85- I keep waiting to see finished kitchen pics! You replied to my whitehaven post a few months ago, but I've not come across a pic of your sink fully installed. :)

I have a 36" whitehaven sink sitting in my builder's office. Sometime in the next month or so it will be installed. I worried about the faucet space between my sink and window, so I opted for a counter height window with granite extended into the window sill. I thought about bumping out our window, but my builder and DH convinced me a sill was enough. It's probably the decision I worry about the most in my new kitchen. I will definitely post pics in a couple months when we're done. Fwiw- I selected the Moen Woodmere faucet. I didn't even think about how far it extends into the sink. I hope it feels okay.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:57PM
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I was planning on having my windows come down to the counter. I know that they can get splashed with water and may need to be cleaned more often but I love the look. I talked with my contractor today to tell him about this and also that I had concerns about the farmhouse sink and fitting the faucet. He said he has dealt with this before and you just have to watch out for:

1. the windowsil depth or projection (which I plan to minimize)
2. the size of the eschutcheon (?) plate on the faucet. ( i think I spelled that word wrong). I think you have to get a mount without one of those base plates - I forget what they are called.
3. I agree, to pick a faucet is tough! My husband and I both love the pull out spray which does significantly narrow the field from which to choose. Maybe you can find a feature you like to help you narrow your choices.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Mom23E.. I have not posted any pictures because I am no where near finished! Here's how it looks so far. Its a dark picture but you should be able to see the difference in color between the filler and the doors. I'm not sure how to make it look better, I might consider buying an extra door and chopping it up.. but then I worry about how the edges might look.

Faucet is Kohler Parq. I love it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:49PM
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oops, forgot to upload the picture..

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:52PM
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it looks lovely.
Now I guess I have my faucet picked out!
Can I ask what your countertop is?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:15PM
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Do you think a wall faucet might work for this sink rather than coming out of the counter? My current kitchen has that and I like the look.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:17PM
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I was thinking about a wall faucet myself...

And twn95, I like your faucet. How far is it from the front of the sink to the faucet? In my current sink, it seems a little far to reach.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Thanks Nap101, we still have a long way to go.. this has definitely been an undertaking to say the least. The countertop is honed carrara marble.

Below is a picture I found of a wall mount faucet with an apron sink. I love the look, but never considered it till now. I'll add that to the long list of things I'd do differently.

Donaleen, from the front inside edge of sink the center of the spout is about 10.75 inches. I do not find it too hard to reach, and I think if it were any closer there may be splashing issues.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Sorry, I have not been near a computer all day! I will try to measure tomorrow.
I worried about the faucet fitting too, because the Whitehaven was definitely deeper front to back than the other sinks I was considering. I didn't start to worry until everything was ordered - I just hadn't thought about it until reading something about extended faucets on GW. But it all worked out. I'm pretty sure I don't have a bump out. This was my first kitchen (reno virgin), and I ordered the cabinets before anything else (Schuler cabs from Lowes). I had picked out the counters (PA soapstone), and the sink and then the faucet (Rohl country). There were no plans for a bump out, but there may have been some wiggle room for installing the sink? Does the sound right? Much of construction I was on top of things, but not that week. I clearly remember my toddler having crazy tantrums, scared of all the commotion inside the house, with no one to help at the time, and paying the soapstone fabricator without having a chance to seriously inspect my new counters!
I love the offset drain! Can't imagine not having it now that I have it :-)
The grids are the Kohler ones that fit this sink.
P.ball2, the PA soapstone slabs I picked out have just a hint of green in the veining, but I see the green only from certain angles in certain light. The counters do not read green to me. I do love the feel of them, and for now, I have a slight obsession with oiling them...I'm sure that will change when my son's hockey season starts ;-)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Abouttogetdusty: So they are soapstone! Love them. Are you local to me? I am outside of Philly (about 13 miles west). If so, where did you go for your soapstone and are you happy with the fabricator? I am sure I will oil obsessively when I first get my soapstone too. I did not notice the green in the pictures, it is very nice!
Did you say Hockey? We are an ice hockey family too! Son is at hockey camp this week and then things start to swing into full gear for the season the first week of September. I feel your pain.

The wall mount is an idea to ponder. I love the look but always wondered
1. if they are more expensive to install and plumb since the pipes have to be in the wall.
2. are the knobs any harder to turn?
3. I guess that would rule out a pull out spray or side spray. Wouldn't it?

twn85: I see you have the side spray. I have never had a side spray and I used one once but it felt very cheap and flimsy. How do you like yours? Does it pull out easily? Is the hose flexible and easy to manuever? I never get to try to side sprays when you go to a store since they are always just dummy displays.

I like your sink and would not really have noticed the filler had you not pointed it out. Love the marble but my DH is set on dark counters. Good thing I like saopstone too!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:41AM
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Here is another apron front sink that is self trimming. this one is made to drop in, but I know people have installed it below the counter too.

It is supported by the sides, so if you undermount it, the cab has to be wide enough for the full sink to fit, and modified to provide the side support.

This is what we started with - a rather standard 36" wide sink base.

Removed the top rails and had to cut off the middle stile and then put a new middle rail at a lower height - that rail does not support the sink, and the "apron" part is formed so it overlaps the front of the cabinet. We also had to remove part of the side rails as the sink was made to go in a 24" deep cabinet and ours were 25" deep and we wanted the sink to go all the way to the wall.

Since we have a raised dishwasher, we had to move that cabinet over 5/8" and put a filler strip between the two.

This is a Domsjo sink from Ikea.

This is the best "finished" picture I have of the sink -

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:18AM
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That was a neat post showing the process! Thank you macybaby.

I went and looked at the Domsjo sink at Ikea. I loved the price of course. I knew that I wanted a single bowl so that only left the smaller of the two which I found to be too shallow to my liking. I think I have seem some people do an undermount with the Domsjo. Maybe that is only with the smaller sink bowl though.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Thanks twn85!!! It looks great! I can't wait to see your finished kitchen. Between your sink, cool looking counters, and wood tiles (right? I think that was you with the special tile) I'm totally fascinated by how your kitchen will look in the end. I think you have some really cool elements! :-)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:35PM
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I went to Jay at Garden State Soapstone, p.ball2, and it was a great experience. Jay told me that the quarry in Brazil that the PA came from has since closed (I got one of the last slabs from Jay). He has other types of ss at his yard though. Counters are new and I'm experimenting with them for fun. GSS is not far from Philly. You can also try Bucks County Soapstone - there are some folks on GW happy with them. M. Texeira in Hackensack has also gotten good reviews - but that's probably a 2-hour drive or so for you.
I'm on the hunt for the elusive tape measure. It has to turn up...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:07PM
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So it was called PA soapstone but from Brazil??? I thought PA soapstone was from PA. Maybe it looks like the soapstone they used to mine in PA?
I am leaning toward using Bucks County because there have been so many rave reviews here on the GW. I would prefer to use someone who only deals with soapstone rather than someone who does granite and soapstone and marble. My friend used Philadelphia Soapstone (they are in NJ just over the bridge) and had a great experience. I have yet to go to a yard and look but we need to do that soon!

It seems like the soapstone is becoming harder to find. Very little still from the USA from what I understand.

What price per square foot did you pay? If you don't mind my asking and still remember. I am trying to get an idea of the ballpark we might pay. I know it varies but a ball park would be a good place to start. My contractor said he thought about $150 sq. ft. (including installation).

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:23AM
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PA as in Pinheiros Altos, from Brazil. My neighbor has had it for a few years and her counters are gorgeous still, so that's why I went with PA.
From my research, it would be hard to find a counter slab from the U.S. Even the slabs from Vermont Soapstone are not from Vermont. I thought I read somewhere that Virginia mines some soapstone, and Canada too? Perhaps a GW ss guru can chime in here?
I paid about $90/sqft plus $250 for template/installation. It was the same price as the quote for honed jet mist granite from a general stone yard in NJ.
I agree, go to a soapstone specialist, not a regular stone yard. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Sorry for the delay, here's one of two pictures showing the measurements of the counters with the Whitehaven and the faucet. Finally had time to snap some pictures in the middle of cleaning up dinner. You can see it's about 5 inches from the backsplash to the counter's edge where the sink starts.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Here's the other picture. About 25 1/2 inches including the overhang.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:52PM
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We purchased the 36" Whitehaven sink but it won't be installed for another month probably. We do have a bumpout planned in the sink cabinet. We also are doing a counter height window that is bumped out b/c I loved the look and also was concerned about space for faucet, etc..

I was considering a drip rail and am wondering if I really need it?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Thanks so much, AboutToGetDusty. Great to see that. I really want to see one of those in person.

If we want a pull down faucet, we will have to modify our windowsill. We have a pull out now. I am betting that a pull down allows better hands free operation. Is that true?

I am thinking a lot about the sink area base cabinets. Your photos are very helpful. I love thinking about aesthetics and function. I use Excel to just get the proportions how I want them. I don't have anything else and I am too lazy to learn.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I would think the best hands-free operation would be from teh faucets that you tap on and off with your wrists. Have you seen those Delta commercials? Looks like fun!
But I bought the Rohl Country purely on asthestics...and recommendations from GW. I love it, and the handle is easy to turn on and off with my arm. The pull-out spray is a must for the sink, at least I think so. Everything but the window is new here, so we could play around with what windowsill would work. The marble saddle works really well size wise and I like that it's not a wood sill (where the paint might chip easily).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:30PM
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