Farmhouse sinks can be the crowning jewel in any kitchen. Even though authentic farm style sinks can be forty to one hundred plus years old, they can modernize any kitchen.
Types of Farmhouse Sinks
Farmhouse sinks are typically characterized by their deep, functional basins and heavy materials such as cast iron and soapstone.
If you love the look of an antique sink, original is not your only option. Since the farmhouse look is so popular, manufacturers are replicating the look. The modern day version of the farmhouse sink is made from fireclay, stainless steel, copper and marble. These modern version can be just as pricey, if not more expensive than the vintage models. Less expensive replicas are made from stainless steel and integrate very well into an everyday kitchen full of modern appliances. Stainless steel farmhouse style sinks start as low as $300 and can cost up to $800.
Farmhouse sinks are sometimes called apron sinks because they have wide fronts like an apron and deep basins. These sinks can sit on top of a basin area or be integrated into a counter. Farmhouse sink can have modern, updated fixtures or rustic, rusty hardware attached to them. Think beyond the kitchen too. An antique sink works in a bathroom and can add character to a heavily-used room.
Antique sinks made from copper, both smooth and hammered copper are very striking in appearance. A copper sink can cost upwards of $1500, but like an authentic claw foot tub in a bathroom, an antique copper sink in a kitchen makes an elegant focal point.
Unlike most antiques, old fashioned sinks are incredibly functional. Different from today's smaller sinks, farmhouse sinks tend to be oversized. It is easier to wash today's oversized pots and pans in yesterday's sinks than it is to fit them in a modern, high efficiency dishwasher. Many of these old fashioned sinks have double basins side-by-side, making them very handy for food prep and clean up.
Original farmhouse sinks are usually made from porcelain, soapstone or enamel. Since sinks were originally viewed as purely utilitarian, most of them were only made in white. Today's replicas come in vibrant colors including red, yellow and black. Farmhouse sinks, both contemporary, and original come in single or double basin styles. The beauty of farmhouse sinks is they work in almost any kitchen -they even work in a very contemporary kitchen. They can add balance and texture to a sleek modern kitchen or authenticity to a kitchen full of antique stoves, ice boxes and fixtures. The only negative to these sinks, is they often have very small drains and cannot be easily hooked up to garbage disposals.
Where to Buy Farmhouse Sinks
Vintage Tub & Bath sells a huge array of original farmhouse sinks. The sinks at Vintage Tub & Bath range in price from $300 up to $1500.
Faucet Depot sells a high end, replication apron sink made from fireclay. The sink retails for approximately $1250.
QualityBath.com sells high end, reproduction farm-style sinks. These replicas rang in price from $500 to $7,000.
The appropriately named AntiqueSink.com sells authentic and replica sinks. They also sell matching hardware.
For authentic old sinks, visit antique stores, antique fairs and shows. These venues, as well as Ebay tend to be pretty fruitful for treasure hunters.
When looking for an antique sink, keep in mind that smooth surfaces will show scratches and wear over time. Distressed surfaces, like hammered copper, may age better over time. Even old, beat up soapstone sinks can add beauty and charm to a home.