As a lover of all things farmhouse-style, I obviously have a mental checklist of must-have requirements for my future dream home. Exposed wooden beams, a neutral color palette, floral prints everywhere? Check, check, checkity check. But one thing that is at the tippy top of my list is absolutely a stunning, Nancy Meyers-style kitchen.
The only thing I’m not sold on? A farmhouse sink.
I know, I know, this style is highly coveted. And I get it! Even in my uncertainty, I can admit: it looks beautiful. But hear me out. How practical is it for modern, daily life, really?
To get some more info, I turned to the experts and asked: what are some annoying things no one tells you about farmhouse sinks?
They Can Get Grimey
Because of their positioning in the worktop, interior designer and country cottage owner Fleur Ward said “they can gather grime under the worktop if that's not flush or sealed properly.” This is especially true if you live in a place with hard water, where limescale might collect.
Luckily, Fleur also said there’s a workaround. Aside from ensuring it’s sealed effectively, “a farmhouse sink that's mounted on top of the worktop avoids that,” she advised. In this case, it all comes down to the aesthetic you like the best and how sure you are that it’s been installed correctly.
They’re Prone to Staining
Personally, my favorite farmhouse kitchens are large, white, and porcelain. But George Holland, design expert at Victorian Plumbing cited this as a potential downside because all that crisp white can easily become more of a dull yellow if you’re not careful.
“Be aware that classic, porcelain white farmhouse sinks can be more prone to staining, so upkeep is important,” he said. “Gently scrubbing with some baking soda will usually get rid of any unwanted marks, but make sure to test on a small area first.”
Or, of course, you could go the less-traditional route and opt for the same style in a different finish or a darker color.
Glass May Shatter
Speaking of being careful, Fleur pointed out that farmhouse sinks “are deeper for washing up large pots and pans,” which is a perk in many ways, but it can also lead to more problems. Soapy water paired with a deeper drop than a standard sink could be a recipe for a lot of cracked dishes, so you have to be extra careful if you’re handwashing something particularly delicate, like glass stemware.
If you really want the look but not the added worries, then consider a farmhouse-style sink in your bathroom rather than your kitchen.
A Light Hand Is Mandatory
Ok, so your dishes might be at risk. But George also cautioned that the sinks themselves can crack. “Farmhouse sinks are more prone to scratches and chips, too,” he said. The pots and pans that are easier to clean due to the added space “can leave chips in your sink that aren’t so easy to fix.”
One Size Does Not Fit All
Historically, farmhouse kitchens called for large sinks because, in a time before indoor plumbing, they had to hold buckets of water while leaving space to function. They were then used for everything from scrubbing pots to washing small children, so their depth was more of a practicality. It’s the same reason you may hear them referred to as apron front sinks; they’re specifically designed to keep the water from splashing out onto the user and/or the floor.
But “that extra depth comes at a cost,” Fleur emphasized. “Because they are larger than standard sinks, drop mounting them into an existing worktop might not be possible.” So before you pull the trigger, make sure you either have the space or are willing to give it up.
Even so, having said all that, there are plenty of reasons farmhouse sinks will never go out of style. As George pointed out, “they are extremely versatile” and as long as you’re careful and “you keep on top of cleaning, your sink will remain in good quality for years to come.”
When it comes time to decide whether a farmhouse sink is right for you, it’s worth considering your lifestyle and available space. If this list doesn’t scare you off, then it sounds like a dreamy farmhouse-style kitchen is in your future.