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What No One Tells You About Farmhouse Sinks | Pretty Handy Girl

When we bought our farmhouse sink, I naively thought I wanted one because they looked so beautiful in photos of farmhouse style kitchens. Now that we’ve had our farmhouse sink for three years, I want to tell you What No One Will Tell You About Farmhouse Sinks, especially cast iron sinks.

Fact #1:

You will chip dishes and break glasses if you aren’t careful. It happens. We’ve lost two dishes and two glasses in our sink. Cast iron sinks are made tough to prevent chipping. Honestly, it’s cheaper to replace a glass or dish than the entire sink.

Fact #2: 

You may get wet. We’ve found that when our faucet is on the spray setting it spatters us. I’m not sure if this is a factor of the sink design or the sprayer. We didn’t have this issue with our old two basin sink. To solve the problem we use stream most of the time and put the water on low when spraying.

splashed-shirt

Fact #3: 

It will get dirty. A white sink will definitely show dirt and grime.

dirty-farmhouse-cast-iron-sink

This was a bit of a bummer, as someone who had to constantly shine the surface of our old stainless steel sink with baby oil to hide the hard water spots. But, I’ve come to terms with it and only have to clean it once a week to keep it looking like new.

baby oil shine stainless steel

Fact #4:

It will get scratched. Cast iron sinks will scratch, but I expected as much since we cook almost daily using heavy cast iron pans. Honestly I’m surprised we haven’t chipped the sink yet. It’s held up to a lot of abuse. In three years we have yet to chip our sink, but the marks and scratches have happened.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I have the perfect solution to clean a cast iron sink (or tub) to help it look new again.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Before:

dark scratched cast iron sink

After:

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Fact #5:

You can’t wash dishes on one side and set the clean ones in a dish drainer in the second basin. With one large sink, all the dishes in it will get wet. This was the one change that was less of an issue for us. We simply put our dish drainer on the counter. When we have company, I put the drainer out of sight under the sink.

casement window over sink

Conclusion:

If we were to go back in time and do it again, would I buy a farmhouse sink again?

Absolutely! I still love the look. Cleaning the scratches every few weeks is no big deal. I absolutely hated our stainless steel sink because of hard water deposits and spots. Scratches are much less noticeable than the hard water deposits.

I LOVE having a big sink to clean dishes in. I feel a bit like Elaine enjoying the extra wide driving lanes Kramer created. Who doesn’t like a little more elbow room?

Best of all, I can hide dishes in it. Little known fact, my coffee mug and a knife were in the sink when I took this photo:

What No One Will Tell You About Farmhouse Sinks

The apron front farmhouse sink we have is this one. (affiliate link) If you decide to buy one, I think you will love it, as long as you are okay with those 5 Things No One Will Tell You About Farmhouse Sinks!

farmhouse sinks

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56 replies
  1. Loretta Vandenberg
    Loretta Vandenberg says:

    I love my farmhouse sink. We’ve had ours for 5 years and it still looks good. Like you I cook a nd bake everyday. And about once a week I can the few scratches with a paste of dish detergent, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Works great. Love your blog.

    Reply
  2. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    I grew up with a double cast iron sink. There was always a Rubbermaid mat on one side and the dish drainer on the other. Mom always cleaned hers by filling one side with hot water and dumping bleach in. Let it stand, toss the sponge in for good measure and awhile later**poof** a clean sink. Even when I had a stainless one I would use a sink mat.

    Reply
  3. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Thank you for writing the article on farmhouse sinks. I wanted to inquire about the light above the sink. Where did you purchase the light?

    Reply
  4. Teri
    Teri says:

    I wanted to buy a farmhouse sink, but the budget wouldn’t allow for it. I get a sore back leaning over just that little bit over the counter. I thought that an apron sink would help alleviate that, but it sounds like the trade-off is getting sprayed.

    Reply
  5. kandis
    kandis says:

    I just moved here and have a sink like this. For some unknown reason, someone that lived here before me decided to paint the entire sink and countertops with the same paint that’s on the walls. Would you be able to tell me how I can remove the paint because it looks horrible from many years of wear and tear in the sink there now are big sections of paint and big sections of no or hardly any paint which makes it ugly and the wear and tear of the counters are so bad to the point that I can’t roll dough or put any food on the counter or in the sink without paint bits getting in/on the food. I prefer a natural/organic based cleaning solution, but at this point will try almost anything. It’s so frustrating.

    Reply
    • Becky
      Becky says:

      Try using a heat gun. It will bubble up & you can peel it right off. Don’t hold it in one place too long…you are looking for the bubbles then scrape off. No chemicals needed. It has been a God send for my stripping projects. Also there is a product on the market for painting counters. I have heard good things about it…so check it out. Good Luck! Becky from Tucson.

      Reply
  6. Lois C
    Lois C says:

    After owning our sink for about a year, I decided it was worth it to invest in a sink grid, made by the sink manufacturer. It has been totally worth it. No more breaks, and no more chips. About once a week, I fill the sink (grid in) with hot soapy water and let it soak for a bit. Then I use a stiff nylon brush to scrub everything down. Bon Ami works great, too. It is a natural cleaner, and does not scratch.

    Reply
  7. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    Farmhouse sinks are so pretty to look at but I grew up with cast iron sinks so I would pass unless it was a a copper sink. I think I’d like that but it has to be polished up but so so pretty. Love your kitchen!

    Reply
  8. Kim
    Kim says:

    I thought it was just my faucet choice that made us get showered with water every time we use the sprayer in our new Kohler farmhouse sink – glad to know it’s the sink’s fault 🙂 I hated how our stainless sink looked, always with water spots, and yet it was a tough sink. I love how our cast iron sink looks but I am concerned with the upkeep. We keep a wash basin in one side (we have a split sink) and a mat in the bottom. I’ve drilled into my kids to NOT just toss silverware in the sink so it won’t scratch! I’m very nervous for Thanksgiving this year because I’m hosting a huge group and have visions of things being tossed/cleaned in my sink that will scratch or chip it so I’ll be on patrol all day I think 🙂 BUT I defnitely plan to look at your post on cleaning it because I have subtle stains on the bottom that I can’t get out with a Mr Clean sponge like I can most other spots. All in all I really love the look and am glad I bought one 🙂

    Reply
  9. Molly
    Molly says:

    Great article and it makes me love my stainless steel, non-apron front farmhouse sink even more. It does have to be kept polished and has even gotten a dent but it came with a removable smaller sink, a removable collander as well as a cutting board. So absolutely practical and I told hubby that if we ever move this sink is coming with us. Ps–it is a discontinued American Standard top-mount sink we got at Lowes.

    Reply
  10. Birdy
    Birdy says:

    I don’t understand. Your “Facts” are functions of the color and material of your sink, nothing at all to do with its’ shape. Even the overspray problem, one I can relate to, isn’t the sink’s fault. I am on my third faucet on the same single bowl, ss sink, and can tell you that only the middle faucet, a Kohler, soaked us with overspray. All were the same pull-down sprayer type that you have, and, yeah, we just lowered the pressure and aimed better.

    Reply
  11. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    I replaced my sink with the worst one ever. A stainless steel farm sink. I hated it. There was always a pool of water in it. It always need shining or cleaning to be presentable. And yes, because of the flat bottom….soraying was,an issue. Water everwhere everytime you used it. I also added stainless steel appliances…..never again. Way too much work. Sold home. Bought another. Put regular sink in and fingerprint resistant appliances. Have much more time now. Id rather clean the cast iron sink…at it would last longer.

    Reply
  12. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    I have a double basin, extra deep, soapstone farmhouse sink & I absolutely love it! I use sink mats on the bottom to keep dishes, glasses, from breaking. You can buy them from Amazon, they come in many colors & patterns. I throw the mat in the dishwasher with my dirty dishes, then put a fresh one in the sink.

    Reply
  13. rd
    rd says:

    I love my farmhouse sink!!! Buy “Bar keepers Friend” walmart, cheap, best cleaner takes all the black marks off of your sink.

    Reply
  14. LD
    LD says:

    Glad you like your farmhouse sink but not for me. I like my extra deep double sink. Dryer with clean dishes on one side out of sight and use the other side for everything else. Agree about the Barkeepers!!

    Reply
  15. Marika
    Marika says:

    LLLLLOOOOOVVVVEEEE my farmhouse sink! To prevent scratches and chips BUY the metal sink racks!! They are brilliant and help keep your sink clean AND you can let items drip dry! Farmhouse sinks typically sit lower…but great for me at 5’2″….I’d buy/have another farmhouse sink in a heartbeat!

    Reply
  16. Connie
    Connie says:

    I absolutely love my farmhouse sink. It’s the single basin, white Kohler apron front sink. I bought the metal sink grids from Kohler and they are great. You do have to scrub it at least weekly. But isn’t that true of all sinks? I use bon ami or any scratch free cleaner and generally bleach it out occasionally.

    Reply
  17. Debbe B.
    Debbe B. says:

    Another thing NO ONE WILL TELL YOU: a sink with right angle corners is impossible to keep clean. I got new soapstone counters with a soapstone sink. The sink was a beautiful, deep, rectangle farm sink and —- RIGHT ANGLE SQUARE. Even a toothbrush in the right angles wouldn’t get all the way into the 90 degree angles. I even wrote to OXO kitchen utensil company & ask them to design a cleaning brush that would really get in the corners. (I had already bough all the cleaning brushes by OXO at Bed Bath & Beyond.) After a few years, I removed it & bought a white ceramic (or porcelain ) over cast iron farm sink with curved corners. Yes, my shirt gets wet-who cares, I’m cleaning the kitchen or I could wear an apron. I clean it with liquid “Bar Tenders Friend”.

    Reply
  18. Patricia Bart
    Patricia Bart says:

    We’ve had black granite composite sinks in the last three homes we’ve owned. I’d never have anything else. Most people don’t even notice the sink because the color doesn’t scream “white sink” from across the room. The black composite blends into the background, is easy to keep clean and doesn’t chip. Farmhouse sinks are all the rage but I’d never have one.

    Reply
  19. Paige White
    Paige White says:

    I previously had stainless too but love, love, love my new large Blanco Silgranit sink! They come in apron fronts too.

    Reply
  20. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    When looking to get the farmhouse sink – did the garbage disposal drain and separate drain under the sink cause and problems?
    I mean going from two drains down to one?

    Reply
  21. Iain
    Iain says:

    I hate them . Too deep. Use too much water… in Australia a very important consideration… The water goes cold quickly. No draining board for wet dishes. Does not aesthetically fit into most kitchen designs( I have seen many distaste’s) and takes up too much valuable space. I could go on but I think I’ve said enough!!

    Reply
  22. Pat
    Pat says:

    I love my farmhouse sink…I bought mine at Ikea, not to say you shouldnt buy American…but it is deep enough, no splatters. It is a top mounted sink. It has a ridged platform near the faucet which is good for draining small items like a glass or two. I keep a plastic basket-like item from the dollar tree in the sink to keep from scratching it. I recommend a good rubber mat..my grandma always used those..just keep the mat clean. My stainless sinks always show water spots and look much dirtier.

    Reply
  23. The Modest Mansion
    The Modest Mansion says:

    Brittany – love that you said you’d still buy it, in spite of the imperfections. We get too caught up in expectations of perfection, and forget that fiddling and tweaking and cleaning and so forth are part of the variety that makes life interesting,!

    Reply
  24. Linda
    Linda says:

    I chose a farmhouse sink when we rebuilt after the flood of Harvey. I had sooo many dishes to wash & scrub the gunk off from the flood water. I used a clear rubber bath math in the bottom of my sink and did not break a single dish. Keeps from scratching it too.

    Reply
  25. Kelly B
    Kelly B says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with my farmhouse sink. I wanted a single bowl for more work room, but now have to keep my drying rack on the counter. My sink bottom is very flat and doesn’t drain well. We use so much water to clean the sink and every time someone pours something in the sink, if they don’t rinse it, it pools up all over. It’s gross! Looks beautiful but if I could do it over again, I’d choose something different or a different brand. Are all farmhouse sinks so flat they don’t drain properly??

    Reply
  26. erika
    erika says:

    Ikea sinks are ceramic so actually will chip easier than cast iron. very different materials and benefits. 🙂 They also don’t offer the self trim feature, so they can be more difficult to install or leave gapping and visible silicone beads around your cabinets.

    Reply
  27. erika
    erika says:

    great review, I LOVE my farmhouse sink!! I have found that a bottom basin rack will prevent scratches to the bottom of your sink, as well as dishes breaking. I believe most Kohler ones do come with one now? If not, they for sure can be purchased separately. Will definitely save you some headaches! 🙂

    Reply
  28. Shirley
    Shirley says:

    Interesting! I currently have a White Swanstone sink and was thinking about getting a farmhouse…..Its a (maybe) 80/20 meaning that one side is large and had a smaller sink on the other side. Mine gets Aluminum marks on mine that I use a magic eraser on and they come right off. In the evening after supper dishes are done and the kitchen is cleaned, I use the magic eraser for any marks it may have gotten during the day and a quick spritz of Clorox Cleanup over the surface! After reading about the broken dishes and such, I think I’ll keep my swanstone… have had the sink installed for at least 25 years and never lost a dish or glass…

    Reply

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