Our fireclay apron front farm sink was my favorite element in our former fixer upper’s kitchen so I knew I needed one in the new kitchen. Why all the fuss about it? It works so hard! After seven years of daily abuse, it continued to sparkle. So find my personal response to Fireclay Farm Sinks: Is it Smart to Invest in One? and sneak a peek at my new one which we recently installed.
NOT ALL THAT INTERESTED IN FARM SINKS? I hear you. Visit MY ARCHIVES for GOODNESS.
There’s so much to love about a kitchen farm sink (find options here). It not only evokes a pleasing nostalgia, but many hands are required to craft each one.
It requires hours of molding, drying, enameling before the sink bakes in a fiery furnace to become a smooth to the touch vessel ready for daily chores.
Fireclay Farm Sinks: Is it Smart to Invest in One?
1. How durable are these farm sinks?
In a word, extremely. The whole reason the sink’s durable material is known as fireclay is because of the intense heat during production. This type of sink is not carved. The clay is first molded before it is covered with enamel and placed into the fire.
Feelin’ geeky curious about the process? Fireclay sinks get fired at over 2,000 degrees! No wonder the hard-working surface becomes so hardened and durable for years of use.
Find some smart sink options RIGHT HERE.
Is it chip-resistant? If you live with porcelain at home, it may remind you of a fireclay farm sink’s material, but in the case of fireclay, you don’t have to freak about chipping.
Does it collect lots of scratches? While the sink’s finish may begin to show signs of wear with the years (I’m noticing subtle light signs of wear around the drain), it is highly scratch resistant.
When I consider how much I throw at it, our sink truly did a remarkable job of resisting scratches.
2. Is this sink style a passing trend?
I think one of the reasons farm sinks are fashionable at the moment is because QUALITY has become fashionable.
Farm sinks have been around for generations and have a sort of timeless appeal for me.
While they are certainly popular for vintage, rustic, country, traditional and modern farmhouse kitchens at the moment, I attribute such popularity to their practicality for modern daily life.
There simply aren’t many design elements in our home that can boast the function and good looks this sink delivers.
3. What sort of base cabinet do I need?
This is an important consideration. You can’t throw a farm sink in just any sink base cabinet. If you’re planning a kitchen design with new cabinets, you need to know the type of sink you’ll incorporate.
Farm sinks are typically undermount models (which is AWESOME since you can brush crumbs and whatnot right on in there) that require custom or semi-custom bases.
I know a little somethin’ somethin’ about retrofitting a new farm sink in an existing sink base since we just tackled this project at the new house:
I partnered with Nantucket Sinks and happily chose their Hyannis 30″ model to replace an old undermount standard stainless sink. We can’t just replace the sink base’s doors since they’re no longer the right height for the apron front. Instead, we’ll install new properly-sized doors or use a flirty skirt!
The base needs to be extra strong. A fireclay sink weighs a ton so it needs proper support. These sinks are also deep so bear in mind the vertical space inside your cabinet will shrink.
What if my cabinets are going to be stock cabinets? Even if you’re not remodeling a kitchen with custom or new cabinets, it can be possible to retrofit an existing sink base to accommodate the farm sink. But don’t consider this task as an easy DIY thing. Carpenters and kitchen designers can educate you about the details.
4. Can I install a farm sink myself, DIY style?
At our former home, it was installed professionally, but my husband installed our new one! These sinks are handmade, heavy as heck, and a force to be reckoned with. Let an experienced installer do the work just so you can prevent a major headache. Our cabinet installer was one of those OCD types who did a phenomenal job. (Highly recommend slightly neurotic with OCD, detail-oriented carpenters!)
5. Are fireclay farm sinks high maintenance?
I’d rate them higher maintenance than stainless sinks. While our fireclay farm sink is relatively low maintenance, there are good daily habits to keep it beautiful and unstained.
One, wipe it down after using it. *Duh* You don’t want red wine, turmeric, marinara, and green smoothie remnants hanging out on its surface.
Secondly, keep it dry to prevent it from developing water stains.
Third, don’t use steel wool or abrasive products since the combination of them and your brute muscle strength could cause scratches.
Lastly, and this is a biggie: DO NOT LEAVE METAL PANS AND UTENSILS LYING IN THE SINK. The resulting rust is a pain to scrub off. I make the mistake occasionally and get panicky even as a clean eraser does the work of erasing the rust.
If you live with kids, train them to never leave such items lying in the sink to keep your sink sparkling pretty.
Inspiring Fireclay Farm Sink Examples
Let’s Chat in the Kitchen
After a busy week of home improvement, I’m a little weary. DIY is different when you’re no longer 35! World events are also on my mind too often. The only way I honestly know how to move through uncertainty, problems, and discomfort is to stay awake, stay vulnerable and lean into daily transformation.
I don’t need to tell you that IT ALWAYS REQUIRES COURAGE because it is messy. Listen to my girl discuss it:
Daily transformation can be as simple as greeting each new morning as a gift stretched out with no mistakes in it, ready to become a blessing with our consent, our YES, and our whole heart.
I always love hearing from you (even when life is less lovely and handing you lemons) to feel a little more connected. xox
If you’re in the mood to support a small business like mine, visit the inspiration on my kitchen Pinterest board and repin everything you admire so your friends can enjoy it too.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
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I had a ceramic sink in a previous home. I loved it’s lovely whiteness & shine. It received loving care from myself, even putting a dish towel on the bottom before I put pots into it. But…then a house guest offered to do the dishes one night. Yikes! I almost cried when I saw the scratches the next morning. Does a Fireclay sink hold up better than a Ceramic?
Who is the pretty girl with the amazing muscle power to hold you like a child?
I’m doing fine in my little corner of the world. Beautiful BC!
I miss friends and visitors!
I miss lunches and coffee dates!
I miss the gym!
I miss hugs! I’m a hugger.
But…I’m staying in a positive mindset by keeping busy in the house & garden.
Enjoying the sunshine.
Taking long walks.
Being thankful for my family, my home, my community, my lifestyle.
Hopeful for the day when I can venture out and feel comfortable being around others.
Love this update, Joanna. Huggers are the best. Yes – fireclay is much different than ceramic or porcelain. The finish is super hard and scratch resistant so it’s a dream to live with. That young woman is my niece, and she is strong and athletic. All of MY aunties told me ‘just wait til you leave your 20s and your waist spreads!’ and we’re still waiting for that to happen since my weight remains in the 90s. 🙂
As a long-time fan of your beautiful and inspiring posts, I’m concerned when I don’t see an update from you. I hope you are well, and are simply taking a break. You are missed!
Thank you so much, Jane. I hope you have been seeing my posts – sometimes I give a little update in the middle of them, and I’ll try to devote a post to just personal reflections. The last month was rough, and I’m still very tired and weak. Not sure if I also had the virus with this Crohn’s flare – I did have days of asthma and a profound melancholy which felt different than the usual. I hope to get an antibody test when they are available. Hope you are well, and I am grateful for your loyal readership – peace to you.
We just had a fireclay farmhouse sink put in our new kitchen. I’ve only been using it for almost 2 weeks and I absolutely love it. It came with a grate for the bottom and a bamboo cutting board that sits on top. I also invested in a metal dish drainer that also fit in the top. Well worth the investment.
Sounds amazing – I have never had a grate as you describe. Thanks for reading and taking the time to add to the beauty.
Love, love your kit. Where did you get the beautiful 5-taper candle holder on your kitchen windowsill? So warm and charming. Thx much
Thanks so much – my wooden candelabra is electric and was found at a Swedish shop near our home in Geneva, IL – and you can even find them along with battery operated ones on eBay: https://rstyle.me/+9wrG0-4FVCknHZzAcsbUYw
Hi! I’ve read in several articles that fireclay sinks are resistant to rusting and staining? So how do the pots and pans that you leave in there end up staining the sink? Curious as I’d like to invest in one but I’m just not sure with the upkeep required!
At least for my Signature Hardware Reinhard sink and the cast iron pans I cook with, it didn’t take long for rust to form. When it happened a couple times, it was enough for me to not ever take a chance. So if I need to soak a pan, I either set it on a non-metal surface in the sink or fill it with soapy water and let it soak on the cooktop. As long as everyone using the sink knows of this one preventive measure, it is no worries. My new sink is from Nantucket Sinks (Hyannis), and I haven’t done any tests with metal because I’m so used to what worked at the other house!
Hi! Do you notice water damage from water dripping into and sitting on the top of the cabinet doors? I and redoing my kitchen and now I’m fearful of this happening again!
No – none at all and can’t visualize how or why this would happen. Would love to hear more details in case it helps someone in the designing phase of the kitchen. 🙂
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