A stainless steel farmhouse sink represents a stylish adaptation of this classic type of kitchen sink. It offers the benefits and looks that come with stainless steel yet with a more contemporary flavor.
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To start with, there are plenty of brands to choose from. What's so great about that you might ask? The main benefit is that it gives you more possibilities to find a product that meets your needs, whether it's price point, quality, size or a combination of all of them.
Here's a list of brand makers for stainless farmhouse sinks:
There's more information on recommended brands in the Publisher's Comments below.
These types of sinks also come in a variety of functional styles as you'd expect. You have a choice among bowl configuration and the split between them. Longer single bowl varieties provide more capacity for cleaning large items like cookie sheets and long-handled pans. Due to their larger size these sinks do a good job of "showing off" the apron front style.
Basin Split Configurations
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Double bowl types are available in split configurations that start with the traditional 50/50 but also include 55/45, 60/40 and 70/30.
For the uninitiated, this ratio simply designates the size of each basin with respect to the overall sink length: 60/40 means that one bowl is 60 percent of the sink's length with the other bowl taking the remaining 40 percent.
"Gauge", which tells you the thickness of the metal, is an important feature on a stainless sink. Stainless steel farmhouse sinks are available in thicknesses of 16 and 18 gauge although if you're willing to pay the price you can get a Bates And Bates sink made from 12 gauge material. Most if not all are made using type 304 stainless steel, a good corrosion-resistant grade of material.
You're not limited to just undermount styles either. Stainless farmhouse sinks are offered in several drop-in styles, namely from Whitehaus and Kohler. They're offered in both single and double bowl selections.
Finally, if you're looking for a different type of shape yet still with an apron front design you can find several in the Whitehaus collection. However the price tag isn't for the faint of heart.
Whitehaus Farmhouse SinksPhotos Courtesy of Build.com
Here are a few points to consider when making a decision to buy a stainless steel apron front sink.
Sink bowls with radiused corners (a slight roundness to them) will be easier to clean than sinks with zero-radius (90-degree) corners. Over time that tight corner can collect hard water deposits and grime and be more noticeable. It all depends on your cleaning diligence and elbow grease.
Look at the installation instructions for the sink to know whether the sink you choose will be compatible with your base cabinet design.
It's true that there are a variety of apron front stainless sinks you can choose from but there are a few that rise to the top in my opinion. Here's are the sinks I recommend based on my own research.
Their farmhouse sinks also give you some design flexibility, as they can be installed undermount or in a built-up configuration (where the top of the sink sits a bit higher above the countertop). They include pads and undercoating to muffle the sounds of running water and garbage disposals and the corners are slightly rounded to make cleaning easier than a true zero-radius sink.
When you combine these features with the excellent price point, it's not hard for me to conclude that the Kraus farmhouse sink products are a best buy.
One of the great things about Kohler's Vault farmhouse collection is that they're designed to be easily "retro-fittable" (if that's even a word) in your existing cabinetry. That's because they have a shorter apron front, one that's compatible with base sink cabinets that were originally designed/built for standard, non-apron sinks.
You see, the doors on sink cabinets that weren't designed for an apron front sink have a taller, "standard" height. The apron on a farmhouse sink eats up some of that space requiring shorter doors and a base cabinet designed to accommodate the taller apron front.
The Kohler Vault farmhouse sinks have a shorter apron, allowing you to install them in standard sink cabinets, whether they're new or existing cabinets. The only modification that's required is the cutting away of the front face of the cabinet above the doors. There's no need to replace the doors.
Of course measure your own cabinets and cross-check with Kohler's installation instructions to be sure.
Kohler's Vault sinks are more expensive the the Kraus products, have 90-degree corners and are 18 vs. 16 gauge. But if you're looking for a flat front, stainless steel farmhouse sink that can be used without custom-made cabinets, I think these products are a worthy alternative.