Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

LAST UPDATED: Jul 13, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Mar 06, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Learn the ins and outs of choosing a classic Fireclay farmhouse sink for a timeless kitchen renovation. Get the details on this classic white kitchen sink look, including what to shop for, where to purchase, and the good, the bad and the ugly of choosing an apron front sink!

A white kitchen sink in a white kitchen, windows open above.

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

Our carpenter finally returned today to talk about the dishwasher and refrigerator that have been awaiting panels for months and I couldn’t be more excited to put this renovation behind me, but one thing helps carry me through…

classic apron front sink in porcelain in a remodeled kitchen with cream cabinets.

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! 

 an apron front sink in a cream kitchen, vase of flowers to the side.

Classic Fireclay 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 white kitchen sink look and I’ve never looked back!

apron front farmhouse sink in a newly remodeled kitchen, windows open above apron front sink.

Shopping for an Apron Front Sink

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 cream kitchen with a white farmhouse sink, branches inside for fall decorating.

Why did I Choose a Fireclay Farmhouse 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.

Despite some negative reviews, kitchen designers turn to them time and time again, including my friend Toni Sabatino, who I met last fall and assured me that I’ll be pleased.

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

It’s very heavy {weighing in at over 160 pounds}, and thick, making it feel substantial, and has imperfections to perfection. Rather than being 100% smooth, there are beautiful variations. But that little blue “Shaws Original” emblem? Classic.

apron front farmhouse sink in a white kitchen, window above sink.

What to Consider: Problems with Farmhouse Sinks

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 sinks tend to be horrible! Having a porcelain fireclay sink at the lake cottage and knowing they are the most classic style of white 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. There’s just something about this classic style that makes the kitchen feel a little warmer and lived in.

A cream cabinet with an apron front sink.

Important Notes Before you Purchase a Farmhouse Sink:

  • 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. Read more about our unlacquered brass kitchen faucet for more detail on why we love this style!

I couldn’t do with out a sprayer – it’s a lifesaver to encourage bits of food to the drain in this style sink.

I had a reader mention she wished she had added one to her prep sink as well. You can read more about our faucet and sprayer to get the full scoop. 

A white kitchen with brass lanterns and a Fireclay farmhouse sink.

Embracing Imperfections in Your White Kitchen Sink

One thing I’m trying to embrace with our new kitchen is that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m aiming to select timeless, classic elements that will age gracefully even with a chip or a stain.

I want to embrace imperfections just as my mother and grandmother did. While I appreciate the new materials that are heat resistant, scratch resistant, and attempt to look like the marble we all adore, I think we put too much weight on perfection. Do you agree?

A cream cabinet with an apron front sink.

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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mini loaves of bread gift wrapped