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February 05, 2020
Ask anyone with a fireclay kitchen farm sink (or more accurately, apron-front sink) what they love about it, and gushing just may follow. As far as function, the extra depth in the basin makes these workhorses ideal for accommodating a ton of dishware. In terms of beauty, since they are handmade from a special white clay, their smooth and glazed appearance is attractive and timeless. Additionally, farmhouse sinks can become a focal point for a range of kitchen designs from vintage to classic to farmhouse.
Considering adding a fireclay farmhouse sink to your own kitchen? Here are the answers to 7 frequently asked questions to help you make the right decision.
Yes. Apron-front sinks come in undermount or top-mount models and require custom or semi-custom base cabinets. The weight of the sink is significant so bear in mind the base cabinet must be strong enough to provide proper support. Also keep in mind that due to their depth, less storage space will result under the sink. There may be rare instances where an existing standard base cabinet can be retrofitted to accommodate a farm sink, but typically, a new base will be required.
Because of the handmade nature of these sinks as well as the sheer weight, they should be installed by an experienced professional. The specialized labor involved will be well worth it in the end since these beautiful sinks enhance so many everyday chores in the kitchen.
While scratches can happen, a well-made sink is tough enough to stand up to daily use and abuse. The finish on a fireclay sink may show some wear over time, but it does an excellent job of resisting scratches from daily use. (Editor’s Note: Our Charleston farmhouse sink comes with a stainless-steel strainer and sink protector grid for ease of use.)
The material is known as fireclay since the clay is fired at exceptionally high temperatures in order to ensure maximum strength and durability. How hot? Over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! Chipping is not as common a problem with fireclay as say, porcelain.
Apron-front sinks aren't just for country or cottage style kitchens! Traditional kitchen designs include French country, American farmhouse, Tuscan, European farmhouse, classic New England, rough-luxe, shabby chic, vintage country, Scandinavian and beyond. Even certain modern kitchen designs such as modern French or modern rustic may be imagined with a farm sink as a design element.
Even though fireclay farm sinks are relatively low maintenance, there are a number of good habits to adopt when you own one to prevent staining. First, make it a point to clean the sink daily to keep things like marinara sauce, red wine, and pigmented products from staining. Second, after cleaning the sink, dry it with a clean dry cloth to prevent water stains from forming. Third, make sure to not leave metal pans and flatware in the sink as moisture will encourage rust which could possibly stain the surface. When stains do appear, they can be removed with a sponge and a mildly abrasive cleaning product.
Even though apron-front basin sinks are wildly popular in country and farmhouse kitchens right now, they have a rich history dating back hundreds of years. The practicality and simplicity of design contribute to their timelessness. Since they qualify as a classic choice, you need not worry too much about a fireclay farm sink dating your kitchen design.
Article and featured kitchen photo by Michele of Hello Lovely Studio.
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