How far should a farmhouse sink stick out?

Copper Farmhouse Sink

A copper farmhouse sink that extends out over the cabinetry. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Everywhere I look these days I see farmhouse sinks

Characterized by a big “apron” in the front that protrudes a bit from the face of the cabinets and extends down the front of the counter length, they seem to be all the rage in kitchen remodels and it’s no wonder why.

Back in the early 1900s farmhouse sinks were free standing monstrosities that could take anything a farmer’s wife could dish out. That durability combined with the classic bold, clean look makes these turn-of-the-century staples an excellent choice today. Farmhouse sinks are an interesting combination of trendy and classic; beautiful and functional; striking and utilitarian. 

How far should the apron front stick out?

All of this sounds great, and as a homeowner preparing to remodel a kitchen, I too have joined the ranks of those sold on the idea of a farmhouse sink. But in an effort to visualize my new kitchen, a question occurred to me; Just how far should the apron front of the farmhouse sink stick out from the face of my cabinets?

I have seen many different farmhouse sinks and they definitely vary in size. My kitchen isn’t massive and so I want to be sure I install a sink that is to scale in my kitchen and works with the appliances. Thinking that others may share my curiosity about the “rules” of a farmhouse sink that brings high class and durable function to a kitchen without looking out of place or disproportionate, I started looking for answers. 

An Issue of Personal Preference with Some Caveats

The good news is that basically, the answer to the question of how far a sink should extend beyond the cabinet face is one of personal preference (although there are some guidelines). The standard lip of a countertop extends past the cabinets by one and one half inch.

A farmhouse sink can be installed so that the apron front is flush with the lip of the countertop or extends a bit beyond it depending on aesthetics. Anywhere from an additional quarter of an inch to a half an inch is widely acceptable for a farmhouse sink. 

Something to keep in mind:

If you have cabinet doors underneath your sink make sure that the apron of the sink extends beyond the closure of the doors. In the event of water sliding down the front of the sink you don’t want moisture collecting where those cabinet doors open. Instead, drops of water falling from the apron should have a straight shot onto the floor.

Exposed Sink front that's Flush With Cabinet Placement

Some apron front sinks will have an exposed front that's flush with the cabinet placement. Image via Wikimedia Commons


Other than this consideration, the depth of the lip on your farmhouse sink is basically up to you. I recommend looking at as many pictures as possible, taking measurements of how far out your other appliances extend and maybe even running it all by a designer who specializes in kitchens.

After that, consider what you like and be confident in your choice of sink.

Here’s to a sink that takes center stage in your kitchen.

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