Learn the ins and outs of choosing a classic farmhouse sink for a truly timeless kitchen renovation.

Get the details on this classic style, including what to shop for, where to purchase, and more! This is everything you need to know… the good, the bad and the ugly of an apron front sink!

You can even watch a video at the bottom of this post for more details about our classic Fireclay farmhouse sink review.

A white kitchen with a farmhouse sink and white flowers.
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My classic kitchen remodel series continues with all the details about our farmhouse sink – and why I chose it.

During these painful months of our kitchen renovation, one thing helped carry me through the waiting… the love of my farmhouse sink!

I mean, even doing dishes is more fun now! It’s the little extra motivation I need because I don’t want anything sitting in that pretty porcelain sink.

If you can’t tell, I’m excited to share every detail of our impending kitchen renovation with you. I have invested a considerable amount of thought into each decision we make and hope that should you want to tweak or renovate your kitchen in the future, you can benefit from my extensive research.

You can read all about our goal of a timeless kitchen renovation here, including before and after images that are fun to look back on. Don’t miss the details about choosing kitchen cabinet styles, details on unlacquered brass, Danby marble, our Lacanche range, and so much more! 

A white kitchen with a farmhouse sink and white flowers.

Classic Farmhouse Sink

I have long loved a beautiful white farmhouse sink, also known as an apron front sink. In fact, I’d been dreaming of one for years, and we had previously considered adding one to the kitchen at our previous home when we remodeled.

However, it would have required too much alteration to the cabinets we were saving (that helped us keep our budget to less than $5,000).

Then we moved to our new home and my dreams of a farmhouse sink felt like they may never come to fruition, as we weren’t sure we would ever do a full kitchen renovation. 

Initially we planned on updating the 80’s / 90’s kitchen with a little paint and few accents instead. So when we decided to take the leap and do a full kitchen remodel, the farmhouse sink search was on!

I knew that my heart was set on this classic apron front sink look and I’ve never looked back.

A white kitchen with a farmhouse sink and white flowers.

Where to Begin

There are so many beautiful options, including a very budget friendly farmhouse sink from IKEA, which my friend Tori integrated seamlessly into her beautiful new kitchen.

It’s a beautiful budget friendly option, but I don’t want the fuss of cleaning the grooves and I preferred a single basin. However, the Ikea option seems durable, gives you the sleek apron front aesthetic, and of course you can’t beat the price.

An array of modern farmhouse sink options are available with clean lines and of course, options in different materials like copper.

Baldwin, Durant and Reinhard all make beautiful basic farmhouse sinks in a mid-level price range, with the Durant being my favorite among them (all available at Signature Hardware).

A brass faucet running over a white strainer with grapes in a white farmhouse sink.

Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

There was one sink I just couldn’t stop thinking about during my search, and that’s the classic Shaws Original Fireclay Apron Front Sink.

I decided to purchase the traditional Rohl Shaws Fireclay Farmhouse Sink because of its beautiful curves, thick frame and the classic blue emblem that reminds me of my grandma’s crocks.

This Fireclay sink is very heavy {weighing in at over 160 pounds}, and thick, making it feel substantial, and has soft, natural movement to the glaze. Rather than being 100% smooth, there are beautiful variations.

But that little blue “Shaws Original” emblem? Classic, timeless and traditional… it just had my heart. Despite some negative reviews, kitchen designers turn to them time and time again, and the looks won me over, too.

Here’s what it offers:

  • Works with waste disposal units
  • Drain placement is offset
  • Glazed surface that is acid and alkali resistant
  • Designed to withstand heavy use
  • Suitable for waste disposal units or basket strainer waste
A white kitchen with a brass lantern and a white farmhouse sink.

Farmhouse Sink Pros and Cons

I’ve already spoken about the beauty and the classic and warm look these vintage inspired apron front farmhouse sinks can bring to your kitchen.

There’s just something about this classic style that makes the kitchen feel a little warmer and lived in.

Of course, it’s important to evaluate the good and the bad before you invest in something like this!

Pros

  • Beauty – the fireclay material and soft white color of these farmhouse sinks add warmth and charm to your kitchen, whether it’s traditional or modern.
  • Tradition – they have the feel of a vintage farm kitchen, no matter which brand or style you choose. The fireclay sink just adds even more vintage charm with the blue emblem!
  • Big and deep – Just like the cast iron sinks of yesteryear, you can bathe pets or even toddlers in these single bowl sinks! Pots and pans have plenty of room to soak.
  • Durability – This was key for me. I wanted to feel like it was something that would last for ages.
  • Easy cleaning – Because farmhouse sinks require a spray faucet, they’re actually so easy to clean. No more nooks and crannies from a traditional double sink.

Cons

One of the main concerns I had read before purchasing our apron front / farmhouse sink was that you might need a grate at the bottom to prevent scratches.

To be honest, the reviews of apron front farmhouse sinks tend to be horrible! Having a porcelain fireclay sink at the lake cottage and knowing they are the most classic style of kitchen sink, I didn’t worry too much.

My thoughts? They are loved for a reason! Sure, pots and pans can leave little silver marks in the basin of the sink, but it’s nothing a quick wipe down can’t eliminate.

  • Extra hardware costs – Because of the shape of these sinks, it can often require more expensive parts to move plumbing, change cabinet cutouts, and even attach thinks like faucets and garbage disposals.
  • Less under sink storage – Certainly not the end of the world, but something to be aware of. You’ll often need to re-evaluate your storage because these sinks are deeper.
  • Staining – As a rule, white sinks of all kinds will stain easier than something dark or even a stainless steel. Try my all natural cleaner for a quick cleaning option!
  • Expensive installation – Your sink base will often need to be completely changed, with precision cuts to allow for the size of the sink to rest. They are extremely heavy and need the proper support, often requiring professional installation and experience.
A white farmhouse sink with a brass faucet.

Tips

  • Most cities have codes regarding how many inches your walkways need to be. Be mindful that a farmhouse sink can easily add 2-3″ outside of the cabinet.
  • This type of sink requires a special cutout, which can be challenging depending on which one you choose. It requires a lot of precision and an experienced carpenter / installer.
  • A faucet with a sprayer is required. I couldn’t do without a sprayer – it’s a lifesaver to encourage bits of food to the drain in this style sink. Read more about our unlacquered brass kitchen faucet for more detail on why we love this style!

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Rohl Farmhouse Sink

This is our fireclay sink from Rohl with an offset drain.

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know – do you love farmhouse sinks or prefer an undermount / drop-in sink?

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33 Comments

  1. I have the same Shaw’s sink and love it too. I have the white grate, that my contractor talked me into, and I hate it. Everything gets stuck down there and I, constantly, have to keep taking it out and cleaning below. But one day, while holding it up, it dropped down and put a tiny little nick in my sink. I was heartbroken. Nobody notices but me, though. I thought it would be indestructible, but it isn’t.

    1. They’re definitely not indestructible, but doesn’t that add to the charm? I think so! Now your sink is a true farmhouse sink! It’s been lived in and enjoyed!

  2. Your kitchen is beautiful Julie! We have been recently affected by hurricane Harvey, and as a result I’m getting a new kitchen, and yours is my inspiration! Your style is so timeless and perfectly arranged. I ordered my farmhouse sink today, but am curious what color of drain did you get? Thank you for all your wonderful posts ❤️

    1. I’m so sorry to hear your home was effected, but thankful you’re safe. Really? That made my day! I did the drain in unlacquered brass to match the faucet. Let me know if you need anything!

    2. Does this Rohl sink come with a grate? Can you tell me the cost of this sink? Also how do you like your Lacanche range?

      1. Hi Julie!
        The sink is linked in the post, I’m not sure of current pricing as we purchased it during our kitchen renovation several years ago. I still love it so much!
        You can learn about our Lacanche range here. Enjoy!
        Julie

  3. I love, love farmhouse sinks. Anything that brings back tge old or look old, I love it! Yours is gorgeous. I think you made a great choice. Love your kitchen. Adding a sprayer is an excellent choice.

  4. I have the same Shaws fire clay sink only a little bigger! It is my favorite thing about our new house! Love, love, love it! So easy to keep clean too. I have the stainless steel grate at the bottom. It’s a lifesaver!

    1. Lucky girl! What do you like about the stainless grate? I don’t, but feel like I wouldn’t be able to keep the sink clean if I did.

  5. Our main sink is a fireclay farmhouse sink and I love love love it! I always wanted one too and now that I have it, I can’t imagine having anything else. Barkeeper’s Friend gets any of those little silver scuffs out. It cleans up so much nicer that any stainless sink I’ve ever had.

    Our contractor came yesterday to finish our punch list for our renovation too. That last little bit takes the most time and is the most frustrating. And don’t get me started on appliance panels!!! We had to redo our ice maker panel three times!!! The first one was too small. The second one was dropped and damaged on the corner. Third time’s a charm, I guess. Staring at unfinished appliances for months is such a bummer. Then I think about all the people who don’t even have their homes anymore and it puts it all in perspective! I just don’t function well in chaos so I’m feeling better that everything is almost finished. Hope your reno wraps up soon!

    1. So very true! I’ve been feeling more fortunate than ever this fall. It truly does. Our refrigerator panels and dishwasher panel are on round two a hope yours works out this time!
      Barkeeper’s is my friend, never phasedr and you can see when it’s clean. I find it oddly gratifying! Have a beautiful weekend!