Farmhouse Sinks Aren’t as Cool as You Think: 5 Ways This Craze Isn’t Worth the Hype

Sometimes a certain detail captures the attention of the home decor world like no other—and the farmhouse sink is one of them.

This piece of porcelain is just about everywhere, it seems. It’s featured in many of the HGTV home rehabs by Chip and Joanna Gaines, splashed across the pages of glossy interior design magazines, and flashes by in countless Instagram posts of the kitchens owned by celebs and regular folks alike.

Martha Stewart has a farmhouse sink—naturally!—as does Gwyneth Paltrow. Even Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady installed this must-have piece in their Los Angeles mansion.

And yet, the farmhouse sink should give you pause. With so much hype surrounding this product, you might not hear the full the story. Before you add this sink to your cart or dive into a big renovation, we’ve polled the design experts to learn the pros and cons of this popular kitchen detail.

Benefits of a farmhouse sink

Savvy home cooks know the benefit of a deep farmhouse sink as it can contain a dozen dinner plates and much more with ease.

“They’re often massive, so you’ll never have to worry about not having enough space for cookie sheets and stock pots,” says Marty Basher, a home improvement professional with Modular Closets.

Food prep’s a breeze as well: You can peel a 5-pound bag of potatoes, wash salad greens, as well as truss your Thanksgiving turkey with room to spare. And if you have tiny tots or a puppy to bathe, this deep vessel will

accommodate your crew without having to reach far for the faucets. The result: less strain on your back!

The typical farmhouse sink you see online and in magazines is usually white, but the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing materials.

“You can have one in stone, stainless steel, copper, marble, quartz, or Silgranit, which is a granite composite,” says Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm.

Downsides of a farmhouse sink

There are many disadvantages to a farmhouse sink as well. Allow us to explain.

1. They’re expensive

Generally, farmhouse sinks have a heftier price tag than the usual stainless steel.

Budget farmhouse sinks run about $500, but it’s easy to spend upward of $2,000, say the pros. And if you fancy an upgraded material for your farmhouse sink such as copper or a polished stone, you’ll have to pony up more.

“In general, these sinks are two to three times more expensive than a stainless-steel, under-mount sink,” confirms Michael Valente, CEO of Renovation Sells and a general contractor.

And this price, of course, doesn’t include installation. For a basic stainless-steel sink, you can expect to pay $200 to $350 (this includes removal of the old sink). A farmhouse sink, on the other hand, can run upward of $800 to put in and connect the supply lines.

2. Installation is tricky

Part of the high installation cost of a farmhouse sink comes from its sheer size, which typically makes carving out a spot for it a custom job.

You might also need to shell out extra to retrofit the cabinet below your new sink to allow space for the piece’s large front face. Plus, the bottom cabinet may need shoring up to bear the new sink’s heft.

Your contractor will let you know which base is suitable to support the weight of the sink, says Valente.

Cummings echoes the need for a custom cabinetmaker who can also ensure the fit is tight.

“I find the sides of this sink sometimes leave gaps once installed, and these need to be filled with inserts to look finished,” she says.

3. The porcelain can scratch

Alas, heavy-duty pots and cast-iron skillets can scratch this sink, particularly the white ones made from porcelain.

And “once porcelain scratches, there’s no easy way to repair it,” says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.

Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to cleaning, say the pros.

“It’s best to stick with the recommended care products for your farmhouse sink,” says Gray-Plaisted. If your sink is copper, prepare for some polishing in the future, and know that marble sinks will need regular resealing.

4. The design isn’t all that functional

A farmhouse sink’s design can leave a lot to be desired, too. For one, the sink’s edge sits close to your waist, which means there’s no strip of countertop shielding your clothes. And without this barrier, water can splash out, especially if you turn on the faucet with any kind of force.

Getting splashed with water while you wash dishes probably isn’t a deal breaker for most folks, but streaks on your cabinets might be. That same water that escapes from the sink will invariably drip down the front of your lower cabinet, leaving stains and marring some wood finishes.

5. It’s huge

If it isn’t clear from the pictures, farmhouse sinks are on the enormous side. Sometimes, its sheer size is an asset; other times, it’s just too huge, leaving less space in your kitchen for counters, storage, and more.

In particular, a farmhouse sink’s big front takes up much of the under-cabinet real estate, which means you’ll have to clear out what you used to keep there and find room for it elsewhere. So if you love cramming the spot below your sink with cleaning supplies, dish detergent, and a thousand grocery bags, a farmhouse sink will be your enemy.

All of which is to say that I’m glad I don’t own a farmhouse sink—even in my own farmhouse.