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Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Posted by momofred (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 10, 11 at 16:12

Hi all! I am a novice-to-the-extreme naive remodeler...I have an amazing GC helping me along the way and I educate myself via hours and hours of googling and LOTS of time spent on GW, thank you!

We are in a rental, lease is up at the end of February, so we have limited time to get the 'big stuff' done before we move in. I have a 2 y.o. so it at least needs to be hazard-free and non-toxic (yes, we're dealing with a mold issue)...the house is a 1960's style split level with Colonial aesthetics. We're in SE PA, my Grandmother's split level on Long Island was nothing like this house. It's very structurally sound, and we got it for a steal (elderly couple, retired, kids selling the house).

I may be asking a few questions from time to time and know that you've all already helped me tremendously!

My goal is a 'white' kitchen...but more offwhite than actually white. It's basically a blank slate, we started out with some horrible red brick detailing and odd porportions. My GC demo'ed and now we've got a 4-5 ft piece of wall on the entire downstairs level and at least a foot of that is being made into a wider entry into the kitchen, you walk straight in from the foyer and right now the door is oddly small and off center.

I dont' have a big budget but I don't want to miss the important things.

My specific question (for now) is about an apron/farmhouse sink. It's definetly a 'want' but the more I think about it, I think I'll regret if I don't do it. I have scoured the internet and found a few that run about $700-$800...which seems on the lower end. Looking at a biscuit colored, double bowl (even) fireclay sink. Curious from anyone BTDT, did you regret doing/not doing it or spending the extra money? I could get a stainless sink for free in some cases with purchase of countertop!

Overall look will be, an amaretto creme with light distressing cabinets, dark hardware (haven't decided on black or ORB), and either grantie or quartzite 'golden' or 'white' countertops...walls BM Dried Basil (I think) and stainless Whirlpool appliances. Flooring is oak with a medium finish, but may be replacing instead of sanding/refinishing and leaning toward a woven bamboo...so pretty, but worried about the 1/2 inch thickness. GC will have more samples for me tomorrow. I'm currently waiting on the design of the kitchen (proposed) and will post once I have it.

Anyone know what format to post pics from Photobucket (html?)?

TIA for any suggestions, can't wait to post more pics once I have this all figured out, and forgive my ignorance, I'm learning so much! :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Hi there,

yes HTML it what you use for photos. :)

I can only say that I absolutely adore farmhouse sinks and that was the biggest want on my list for my new kitchen. I think right now a *free* stainless sink might be worth $200-300? Atleast that is the promo at my local home depot with granite purchase. A few hundred more for the farmers sink seems worth it to me for something that will beautiful far longer than the ss sink.

Good luck with your decision!


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

I think it is purely an aesthetic consideration. Its a very handsome option.
Keep in mind that not only is the sink more expensive, but the installation has to be very precise in terms of integrating it into the cabinet neatly and also fabricating the countertop reveals precisely.

There have been a number of threads where people had botched cabinetry by a contractor who did not know the tricks in installing this type of thing. So the sink will be more expensive, and the installation will be more time-consuming and thus, more expensive.

Maybe someone can direct you to particular threads where the installation was an issue.

For Photobucket, I use the option in the middle for pictures.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

I LOVE those sinks & if your budget allows I say go for it girl!


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

We are doing 2 farmhouse style sinks in our kitchen- I love them and I think it can make the whole look of your kitchen!

I say definitely do it- if your budget is tight I would give up the double bowl & do a single bowl farmhouse before I'd give up the farmhouse style. The single bowl whitehaus can be had for like $600 or less: http://www.buyplumbing.net/?pg=pd&_i=WHQ330

I know ikea also makes a farmhouse sink that might be more budget friendly. I think some people here may have used an Ikea farmhouse but I could be wrong. Lowes also makes a farmhouse in like 30 different colors, but it is acrylic: http://www.csnstores.com/CorStone-37-COQ1033.html We actually looked at it b/c it was one of the few options that came in blue but decided to go w/ the whitehaus.

Another possible option to think about- one of our two "farmhouse" sinks is actually being fabricated for us out of the same marble we are using for our counters and our fabricator is only charging us $600 to do it, which was less than we paid for the whitehaus. Like this look:

So if you liked that style you could always ask if that was a possibility w/ your own countertops...


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

We originally wanted the fireclay apron front sink - love the look, and love the ergonomics. But we were on a tight budget, and didn't want to spend that much money, plus, as Palimpset wrote, more money to pay for the installation as well. We ended up with an undermount Blanco silgranit sink, a "Super Single", and are very happy with it. Even moreso now that I've read some recent threads about problems with apron front fireclay installation including someone who has cracking after tightening a disposal. The installation of our silgranit undermount sink couldn't have been easier, which is nice amidst the other stresses of a kitchen redo. Our sink seems indestructible - I don't have to worry about teenage boys who throw stuff in the sink like a heavy pot not knowing their own strength - I think I'd always be worried about that with fireclay.

Another alternative is an apron front sink in stainless. That way, you don't have to worry about the uneven dimensions of fireclay, or potential cracking of fireclay. A stainless apron front sink is several hundred dollars less than a fireclay sink. You still get the great ergonomics of an apron front sink, and it's a very chic look. Though it may not be the totally "white" kitchen you mentioned, yet stainless looks really great with white cabinetry. I am trying to remember the names of people here who have posted stunning white kitchens with stainless apron front sinks, but I can't remember. I'll link a couple of sites below that sell them - they come in several sizes and in single or double bowl, but I'll just link the 33" size single bowl so you get an idea.

Ticor 33-inch stainless steel apron front sink

Kraus 33-inch stainless steel farmhouse sink


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Wow, beagles, I'm shocked that your custom sink is that 'cheap'! I too think it's something I would really regret...but will I also miss the double bowl??? I think I would. I agree that a few hundred bucks shouldn't keep me from a nagging shoulda-coulda a few months from now! I just need to make sure my GC (specializes in millwork) is prepared to install, and I already told my designer that this is what I want and sent her an example. So we'll see how she integrates it...I think it will look fabulous, can't wait! I'll post pics one of these days, just need to upload onto photobucket...I took A TON when we were looking at the house.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Following up on my previous post, I just remembered a beautiful kitchen that is white, but with a stainless apron front sink, which may be an alternative for you. It's Firsthouse's kitchen, and I remember she said she bought her sink on eBay for a good price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with Pics about Firsthouse's Kitchen


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

I was shocked it was that cheap too, since every single other thing those people seem to do is very expensive! (They are also our tile people, and as an example of their pricing, they wanted to charge us $1500 to install a concrete sink that someone else is installing for $400, and they wanted to charge us $2000 to backlight a mural). I guess that it is pretty simple to custom fab. a sink- they just make a square!

I've been surprised in general how much cheaper "custom" is when normally you'd think the opposite is true. Our custom cabinet person was also over $20,000 less than Medallion cabinets.

As far as missing the double bowl- you could always "try it" and pretend you have a single bowl w/ your current sink and see if you miss not having that second side. What do you actually do w/ your double bowl now that you don't think you could do w/ a single? Single also has some significant advantages- gives you a place to do deeper pots, cookie sheets, etc. and lets you hide dirty dishes more easily :)


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

beaglesdoitbetter,
20k cheaper--WOW!

I wasn't that lucky here in the bay area...all the custom shops were way more expensive than Medallion. You are lucky!


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customcabs

Bay area I'd bet they would be.

We are about 45 minutes outside Lancaster PA, Mennonite/Amish country. Custom cabinet shops are more prevalent than Starbucks here, so that accounted for the price difference I think :)


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

There are some interesting offerings by Kohler, but they're not cheap. Would love to see images of the sculpted or patterned apron-front models in realworld kitchens. I always look at them in catalogs--some could be used as a controlling feature of a kitchen design.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

The IKEA sink is great but is a real white. If you were doing a white and off white kitchen, you could get away with it, but if it is all off white, it may be too bright. You can't beat the price though and it sure is pretty.

IKEA makes a cab to go with the sink, so it is an easier install than if you don't have a cab designed for it and have to try to work something out.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Apron sinks are great, give a custom look to any kitchen, add instant character, and are really a classic look that you won't likely get tired of quickly.

There is an apron sink made of CorStone that is lower priced and can be undermounted like a stainless sink. I have not seen one, but maybe someone else here has experience with it.

I originally thought I wanted a double bowl, but switched to get the sink I loved and I really prefer the space a single bowl has.

In addition to extra cost for install of the sink, your counter fabricator will charge extra for the sink cutout as well, we paid about $75 on top of the $120 standard sink cutout fee.

Here is a link that might be useful: CorStone


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

A "free" stainless is probably not that good of quality.

I'm not using yet but loving my farmhouse sink. Its so soft and silky.

Photobucket

It was a little over 700 on homeperfect if I recall. Rohl 3018. I remember paying around 400 for a stainless for the basement kitchen (medium sized) and I wouldnt stand around looking at my basement sink. I guess I find most sinks expensive, but these apron sinks have a lot of character IMO. I cheaped out on the faucet though! Delta Leland under 200 and I like it too!


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Several mentioned farmhouse sinks are more ergonomic. Why?


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

thank you so much for all the responses! You really have my wheels'a turnin....

beagles -- I live in Bucks County, how far are you from here? I should make a trip up there, I'm STILL waiting on the quote from my 'cabinet lady'/kitchen designer...I've sent her two emails about the sinks this week and no response...I'm hoping it's because she's busy at work! I dont' have a ton of time, I really need to order cabinets this week in order to meet our deadline of end of Feb. I do really like the fabricated sink look, do you think they can do that with Caesarstone? I'm leaning toward Nougat, which I suppose also answers the questions of all white, all off white, it will be a combo, which I think is really pretty. as far as what I do with the second side of the sink...it's really a bad habit but it's where we put our drying rack and the clean dishes sit in there until lazy self or my husband's lazy butt gets to putting them away. I think part of the issue with that is that we don't have enough space or cabinets in our rental, so things tend to hang out in the second side for too long until we muster upt he energy to pull every pot and pan and glass baking dish out of the one cabinet and stack and restack...can't wait for my new kitchen!

adh673 - I LOVE your kitchen! This is very similar to what I'm going for :) May I ask what color your cabinets are? I'm starting to second guess my 'distressing glaze' for my offwhite cabinets...will a Caesarstone Nougat look strange or mismatched with the dark distressing? Starting to worry it wil.

Island -- also curious about the ergonomic nature of the apron sinks??

I was able to get some Before pictures on my computer at work to show you guys...I'll take some 'during' pics this weekend to show you just how amazing this already looks just with the demo, sooo refreshing!

Oh and a few pics of the outside, to show you what I meant by a split level with Colonial asthetics...we're replacing the big picture window in the front..single pane right now! I HATE HATE HATE the Forest green shutters...I'll be changing those, any opinions welcome ;)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

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living room/dining room --- new kitchen will open up to dining room

Photobucket


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

I was one of the posters earlier who mentioned the ergonomics of an apron front sink. To answer your question, with an apron front sink your body is directly up against the front of the sink. On the other hand, with an undermount sink, there is 4" or so of countertop between you and the sink. Those inches mean your body has to have a slight bend in it to work at the sink. If your back has some problems, or if you are at the sink for long periods of time, that slight bend in your back over the undermount sink can cause achiness or fatigue. Having said that, as I mentioned we ended up getting a silgranit undermount sink, and haven't had any back problems, but others might.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

alwaysfixin- thanks for the response, now that you mention it, my back DOES always ache during marathon washing sessions....maybe that's why I subconciously put them off! ;)


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

I have the big 36" double domsjo and while I love the size, I wish it was a single bowl or one larger/one smaller configuration but it really helped us not go too far over budget (it sits on top of the countertop we have so we didn't have to pay for stone we weren't going to use) If we could have waited, it would have been worth the extra cost to go single bowl.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

You have a nice house with good potential there. The stone is pretty. The shutters are a challenge though it looks like black is too much and white too stark. Try posting on the reno or building forum to get more inputs. The posts on the porch need to be larger and some evergreen foundation plantings would help too.

As far as ergonomics, the items in the front of the sink are closer and easier to reach. The apron sink does feel deeper at first and takes a little adjustment. It's all in what you want to get used to.

With more storage and counter space in the new kitchen, you'll probably be able to "clean up your act" a bit too.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

I like the exposed brick in the kitchen. For shutters, I'm a fan of black but with your stone, maybe could do chocolate or dark taupe. Also would dress up the posts, they look utilitarian at present, I'd try to make them more decorative.

My kitchen cabinets are Shiloh in soft white with slate (grayish) highlighting/brushing. I would have guess I'd like brown highlighting but it was too light for me- looked like light reddish brown. The gray works well. In real life they are just a warm creamy white. In fact, Linen White from Ben Moore is a pretty close match.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

We did an apron sink in our low-budget kitchen and I wouldn't have it any other way. It is SO much easier on my back than our previous top-mount sink was. We have a 24" single bowl by Belle Foret.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

The idea of a double sink, I think, is that each side can be used for different tasks. Wash dishes in one, wash veggies in the other. Defrost meat in one, soak pots in the other. Etc. However, for me this is like saying two hands are better than one, because you can use one hand to rub your belly and the other to pat your head. It just isn't a common ''use case'', you see.

In my so-called-life, a double sink always gets used as follows. Dirty dishes are piled in one side, and everything else gets done in the other. So, at the end of the day, it's like having a single sink plus a pile of dirty dishes.

Now, dirty dishes are a fact of life, so maybe it's not the worst thing for them to have a snug, welcoming home. But I find that extending hospitality to detritus comes at a price, which is that the side of the sink that actually gets used is Just Too Small. Which is, too small to soak the half sheet pan that got black goober scorched all over it. Too small to wash two stockpots at once. Too small to bathe the new puppy.

I would far prefer one Great Big Sink. You can always put a square plastic tub in it, should you ever really need a multi-chambered vessel.

Better yet, a Great Big Sink and a Useful Little Sink somewhere else.

Even better, my fantasy of a stainless steel darkroom sink, six feet long and two feet wide and only six inches deep, an endless counter that can be flooded with water and hosed down as needed. Add a deep end and a diving board, and Olympic Barbie has her swimming pool.

On a perhaps more practical note, my friend has a sink I covet. It is a slab-built slate farmhouse sink extending all the way to the wall, with wall-mount faucet. Without taking up much counter width, it can swallow a half sheet pan with room to spare. Compared to a ''standard'' sink, she loses only the ledge of counter between sink and backsplash, which has to be the least useful part of a kitchen counter.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

momofred I don't really know where bucks county is. I am actually just moving up here when the house is done, my fiance is here but I'm from upstate New York. If you are even remotely close, I would strongly encourage you to look at quotes from a few places in Lancaster County. Dutchwood Kitchens is the place where we are likely to end up w/ our kitchen from. They quoted me just over $34,000 installed w/ tax for a HUGE kitchen, painted cabs, crown molding throughout, w/ tons and tons of detail including all custom built interiors, cabinets to the ceiling, a 15 foot wall of glass cabinets, etc., etc. (I'm actually going to start a new thread after this about my custom cabinet quotes b/c michelle and someone else I think was interested). To put it in perspective, a less-nice kitchen w/o any interior detailing at all from candelight cabinets was going to be over $50,000. We also got a quote from oxford cabs which a few people on here have liked for $36,000.

I am sure they can do the fabricated sink in ceasarstone. Our guy said we could do it in granite or quartzite so it seems like any stone surface will do. If you would like the name of our fabricator, let me know. They are in Reading PA.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

alwaysfixin. Ahhhh thanks for the ergonomic scoop. I never thought about the distance from the front of the sink as an explination for why my back aches doing dishes. I thought it was all because I have a deep sink, but that makes sense.


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Johnliu - have you seen Trailrunner's sink? It sounds like your friend's slab farmhouse sink. I believe Trailrunner's is soapstone, and is gorgeous.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trailrunner's Farmhouse Sink with Wall-mount Faucet


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Advice on Farmhouse sink cabinet

We just purchased a Kraus 36 inch farmhouse undermount stainless sink-- and a 36 inch apron front cabinet.

the sink is a lot larger than the cabinet-- and deeper--
Is it typical that you have to modify purchased apron front cabinets?

help?


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RE: Apron/Farmhouse Sink- worth it?

Since I read this thread looking for advice on a farmhouse sink I thought I would post my two cents about ergonomics for future readers.

I thought it was a little surprising no one mentioned their height, but maybe it's because I'm always thinking about height. I'm only 4'11, so bringing the sink a couple of inches closer to me (and I am always the one doing dishes) is very important. My back always hurts after doing dishes, and I have a drop in sink now. I have used an apron front sink before (when I worked in a restaurant washing for hours on end) and no back pain.


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