June 12, 2019

4 Best Farmhouse Sinks | Roundup and Rating

My wife and I did a kitchen renovation a couple years ago and without a doubt, the white farmhouse sink we put in was our favorite piece when it was finished. It was also one of the most expensive pieces of the project. As it turns out, we probably didn't need to spend as much as we did.

Many of the best farmhouse sinks - from a value perspective - are decently affordable.

In this article, I'm pulling together some of the top-value farmhouse sinks on the market that aren't nearly as expensive as the one we ended up getting from a local vendor.

Because you don't need to spend a ton of money to get a really nice sink.

For quick reference, here are the best farmhouse sinks we'll recommend:

SINK

Material

Sizes

Ruvati Farmhouse Sink

Stainless Steel

24, 30, 33, and 36 Inch

Bocchi Farmhouse Sink

Bocchi Classico Fireclay Apron Sink

Organic Fireclay

33 inch

Kohler White Haven Apron Sink

Mayfair SW1 Farmhouse Sink

Fine Fireclay

30 inch 

Fossil Blu Farmhouse Sink - Double

Fossil Blu Double Farmhouse Sink

Pure Fireclay

33 inch

I'll also cover basic farmhouse sink buying considerations, including the following:

  • Material Type
  • Size and Dimensions
  • Compatibility with garbage disposal
  • Apron front
  • Accessories

Typical Farmhouse Sink Materials

When shopping for a farmhouse sink, you'll have five primary materials to choose from, including:

  • Ceramic or Porcelain
  • Cast Iron
  • Fireclay
  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper

Fireclay is the most common and, in my opinion, the best value. Copper and stainless steel might be preferred because of the aesthetic difference, but the pricing is a little hard to predict. Some are pricey and others go really cheap.

Also, they can be a little more noisy just from dishes clanking.

When choosing a material, it should depend on what you want the sink to look like. Fireclay and ceramic sinks are generally a pure white, while stainless steel and copper give you the opportunity to go with a darker color.

Farmhouse Sink Sizes

If you're having a contractor help you with your sink installation, you'll need to get dimensions for your sink and make sure he has it. For those going the DIY route, the easiest way to measure for a drop-in sink is to measure your existing sink and start working off that size.

Either way, I would definitely consult a contractor before deciding on a definite size.

For new construction or renovation, this should be considered in the cabinet and countertop buying phase.

Here are a few of the most common farmhouse sink widths:

  • 30 inches
  • 33 inches
  • 36 inches

Farmhouse Sink Installation Types

The size of your farmhouse sink will also work in conjunction with your installation type, which in most cases would be the "apron front." Most of the best farmhouse sinks use this style, which exposes the front of the sink instead of hiding it behind cabinet space.

You might also see these listed as "undermount" bowls. 

Less common in the world of farmhouse sinks would be a drop in or "top-mount." Most apron front sinks are too heavy to go without the support of an undermount installation.

A top-mount installation will usually cover the front as well, which isn't as ideal for a farmhouse sink setup.

Now that we've covered some of the basic buying considerations, let's get into the business of specific recommendations.

These are what we believe are the best farmhouse sinks for the money.

1. Ruvati Apron Front Farmhouse Sink

Ratings

MATERIAL

88

Longevity

89

Functionality

94

VALUE

97

Overall rating : 92 

Ruvati's take on the farmhouse sink is a stainless steel bowl that gets you the exposed front panel and several included accessories that can rest on the hinged edges of the sink. In fact, it includes a lot of extra goodies in the box without requiring additional purchase.

All of the following:

  • The sink itself
  • Cutting board
  • Colander
  • Bottom rinse grid
  • Basket strainer drain

This makes it a good choice for folks who might be looking for these accessories already and don't want to make additional purchases. It's a highly functional option that's great for folks who do a lot of food prep at home.

Ruvati also has the following sink sizes available for this particular model:

  • 24 inch
  • 30 inch
  • 33 inch
  • 36 inch

You've got to like the stainless steel aesthetics, which isn't quite as settling - in our opinion - as the white fireclay design. We'd also be concerned about the stainless steel getting scratched, which is less common with fireclay sinks. Though the brushed finish that Ruvati uses is more resistant to scratching.

If you like the stainless steel look, the apron front, and the additional accessories, this is going to be one of your best options at just a shade under $400 in most markets.

Pros

  • Great price point
  • Undermount installation
  • Lots of accessories included
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Brushed stainless steel finish is more resistant to scratches

Cons

  • Stainless steel aesthetics aren't for everyone
  • Not as resistant to scratching/blemishing as fireclay

2. Bocchi Classico Farmhouse Sink

Bocchi Farmhouse Sink

Ratings

MATERIAL

95

Longevity

92

Functionality

85

VALUE

97

Overall rating : 92.3 

This design by Bocchi is a durable, minimalist bowl built from organic fireclay that's extremely durable and resistant to scratching.

While it doesn't come with as many accessories as the Ruvati sink, it does include the protective grid you see in the picture. It's also a more flat front design, which would still be exposed in a 33 inch cabinet cutout. 

Here's what it looks like installed:

Bocchi Classico Apron Front Fireclay Sink (installed view)

The Bocchi Classico apron front sink installed.

The apron front looks clean, smooth and the edges of the sink can easily be covered up by the counter top cut. It's a great look for those that want a quieter, more minimalist look to their kitchen, ideal for almost any soft or white color scheme.

One technical consideration would be size. The Classico is only available for a 33 inch cabinet cutout.

This is something you'll need to keep in mind, along with your cabinet provider or contractor.

As mentioned: They'll be able to cut the cabinets and countertop to fit the sink you want.

That's what my wife and I had to do with our kitchen renovation.

Pros

  • Extremely resistant to scratching
  • Organic fireclay is very durable
  • Includes a protective grid with hole for sink hole (great for garbage disposals)
  • Material is completely non porous and does good job of staying clean
  • Great look for a minimalist kitchen design

Cons

  • Only available in one size

3. Mayfair SW1 Farmhouse Sink

Mayfair SW1 Farmhouse Sink

Ratings

MATERIAL

96

Longevity

94

Functionality

80

VALUE

92

Overall rating : 90.5

Simplicity and a lifetime warranty are the main attractions of the Mayfair SW1. For those that don't need or want any additional accessories, the SW1 is a basic rectangular apron front sink that ships without a drain cover. This makes it a good fit for someone who is already bring a garbage disposal unit to the installation.

Here's an example of what it looks like installed underneath countertops:

Mayfair SW1

The fireclay also has a type of "glaze" over it, which helps to prevent staining and cracking. Though it's imported (would rather see it made in the United States) the lifetime warranty is comforting to have and the price point is far better than comparable fireclay farmhouse sinks.

Pros

  • White, rectangle design looks great
  • Moulded fireclay with additional glazing
  • Resistant to scratches and smudging
  • Great price point

Cons

  • No drain included
  • Only available in 30 inches

4. Fossil Blu Pure Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Fossil Blu Farmhouse Sink - Double

Ratings

MATERIAL

94

Longevity

93

Functionality

92

VALUE

81

Overall rating : 90

Fossil Blu's luxury farmhouse sinks are made of pure fireclay with a silica-based glaze. The manufacturer also incorporated the "lattice" design on the front, which I think looks really nice, especially if you have flat white cabinets, like in this picture:

Keep in mind that you're paying - in part - for the double sink feature, which might not be ideal or necessary for every situation. If you like the split sink functionality and the additional drain, this one could be a good fit, especially if the ridged apron front design also appeals to you.

It comes with two grids and two drains, all pictured here:

Otherwise, the setup is fairly basic and straightforward.

Again, we recommend fireclay because it's going to do a far better job of preventing cracks and getting stained. Especially with the silica glaze, these sinks will last for a long time. As always, I'd recommend getting a contractor to at least look at the online entry and dimensions before buying, just to make sure your cabinets and countertops can be cut to properly accommodate the size. 

Though it's a fairly typical shape at the 33 inch width. 

You shouldn't have any trouble with installation.

The main attraction here is the double sink, so make sure that's something you would utilize before making the investment.

If you want to read more customer reviews, checkout the orange button link below:

Pros

  • Ridged front looks great
  • Fireclay with silica glaze is extremely strong
  • Double drain with split can improve kitchen functionality
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Imported
  • Expensive

Pros and Cons of a Farmhouse Sink

For most people, the pros of farmhouse sinks handily outweigh the downsides, though it's worth considering both since we're looking at several buying options:

Pros of a Farmhouse Sink

  • Aesthetics and modern looks
  • More spacious than traditional sinks
  • Fireclay is extremely durable and scratch resistant
  • Apron front is beautiful in kitchen renovations

Cons of a Farmhouse Sinks

  • Most are really heavy
  • Can be difficult to install
  • More expensive than traditional sinks

The biggest issue that comes up with farmhouse sinks, especially those made of fireclay, is the weight and installation. If you have a contractor to help you or if you're good enough in the DIY department, most of these problems will be minimized. 

Having such a large, beautiful sink to compliment a kitchen renovation is, in my opinion, worth the extra expense and the additional install work.

Features to Consider

While we've touched on all the most important farmhouse sink features to keep in mind, I'll go over them here with a quick summary and a little more detail for each one.

Sink Material

As we've seen from the above recommendations, most farmhouse sinks use a fireclay material with some kind of coating or covering. You'll also see copper and stainless steel, along with the occasional cast iron. Of all the materials, I'd recommend aiming for fireclay first, and only going with stainless steel and/or copper if you like the looks of those materials better.

Avoid porcelain and cast iron if you can, since they tend to stain and crack more easily than the heated fireclay molds.

Though cheaper, they take a huge quality hit.

Number of Bowls

Most farmhouse sinks are designed as a single bowl, though they are large enough that some companies make double sinks that each have their own drain. If you're interested in the double sink, you might be able to get your sink of choice in a "double version." It just depends on the manufacturer.

For those that don't want the double (I personally don't like it as much because it feels like you lose space), single bowl farmhouse sinks are the default for most brands and models.

It's the doubles you'll have to go intentionally searching for.

Cabinet Size

Most farmhouse sinks measure between 30 and 36 inches, where 33 inch sinks are the most common. 

This means that your contractor will need to cut countertops and size cabinets to accommodate the sink you choose. I know that when we did our kitchen renovation, our contractor wanted us to first choose our sink before he did any cabinet or countertop setup.

Once he knew the dimensions of the sink, he was able to cut countertops and adjust the cabinets to make sure it fit and would have enough structural support.

Warranty

If possible, I'd recommend getting a farmhouse sink with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. This typically speaks to what will be called "defects in material" which is different than the wear and tear from normal use.

Here's how it's worded in Bocchi's warranty for fireclay sinks:

Bocchi warrants its fireclay kitchen, bar, and utility sinks, to be free of defects in material and workmanship during normal residential use for as long as the original consumer purchaser owns his or her home. Gloss reduction, scratching, staining and acid or alkaline etching of the finish over time due to use, cleaning practices or water or atmospheric conditions, are not manufacturing defects but are indicative of normal wear and tear.

In other words:

You can't get a sink replaced just because it gets water stains or subtle scratching from pots and pans. Having said this, fireclay sinks are far more resistant to this normal wear and tear, which is why many manufacturers are willing to provide a lifetime warranty alongside them.

It's not perfect, but it's better than you get with a typical sink or non-fireclay purchase.

Those warranties are usually just one year.

What's the best way to clean a farmhouse sink?

Hand Cleaning with Sponge

One of the most effective ways to clean a farmhouse or apron sink, especially one made with fireclay is to use the following process:

  1. Clean with a soft sponge and a mild cleaning agent
  2. Use a drying cloth to dry the sink to prevent water spots or staining

While fireclay sinks do a good job of resisting cracks, they're still susceptible to stains and a dulling of their color (especially the pure white ones) over time since they're so often exposed to water.

Simply drying your sink is one of the best ways to slow down this aging process.

Conclusion

To summarize my suggestions:

  • Go with fireclay
  • Don't feel like you have to spend a massive amount of money
  • Pick a size then cut cabinets and countertops around your sink purchase
  • Consult with your contractor

Otherwise, a lot of your purchasing decision should just center around what you like and what looks good to you.

It'll have to sit in your kitchen, so make sure you like the color and the design.

Aesthetics are huge part of the equation.

We've dealt with all the other technical concerns, so you're good to go and pick out something you like.