A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Did you know that farmhouse sinks have a long history? They go back for centuries, and people used them even before running water was available. Cast iron used to be the primary material for these units. As time passed, homeowners realized fireclay was a better choice. Today, you’ll find this compound used for basins worldwide.

Are you looking for a fireclay farmhouse sink to add to your kitchen? It’s a blessing and a curse that so many models are available. You need to distinguish between different features and setups, and that’s where this guide comes into play. It’ll explain how to choose the right sink in simple steps. Keep reading to discover the ideal choice for your kitchen!

Farmhouse Sink Basics


Before you continue, let’s get the basics straight. First, you might have heard about farmhouse sinks under a different name. Many call them apron-front basins, and they are a great fit for heavy use. This sink can hold a generous amount of water since it’s deeper than usual. Another specific is that the counter surrounds it on three sides. The installation requires attaching it to the top of your main kitchen cabinet.

A farmhouse sink has an exposed front. Thanks to its unique design, it can protrude out of the countertop. That ensures you don’t have to bend much while washing hands or dishes. Thanks to its depth, this unit can hold many pans and pots.

What Is a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink?

You’ll find this to be the most frequently used material in today’s farmhouse sinks. Fireclay has actually been around for a while. It’s a dense material, and manufacturers prepare it at extremely high temperatures.

Creators used unique white clay for these sinks. You can find this in France, Italy, and several other locations worldwide. They need to combine it with water and use molds to get the desired shape. The manufacturers have special rooms with humidity control where they dry the clay. Finally, they fire the clay at over 2100°F after hand-glazing it.

The result is an extremely durable material that lasts for years. Its temperature resistance is high, indicating you can put hot pans without worrying you’ll damage the sink. Fireclay basins feature a glossy and smooth finish. They are available in different colors and modern styles. These sinks will fit any kitchen décor, and that versatility makes them attractive.

How to Choose a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink?


If you set your mind on this unit, it’s imperative to find the best fireclay farmhouse sink. That’s not an easy task since you have several considerations during the process. Here’s what to do to find the most suitable unit!

Step 1: What’s Your Preferred Size?

Your focus should be on the fireclay sink’s width. The standard size is 30-33 inches, and you’ll find most models in those measurements. However, some manufacturers offer 27” or even 20” setups. The latter is tiny and not suitable for daily use. On the other hand, it’s a good fit for a countryside house where you don’t spend much time. It can also be useful for those who don’t use many dishes.

If you have a large household or like cooking, you could benefit from a large fireclay farmhouse kitchen sink. Experts would recommend that it’s at least 33" wide, although you can go with 36” setups. These are the largest available in most stores and are suitable for spacious kitchens.

What About the Sink’s Length and Depth?

You’ll find farmhouse basins come in rectangular and other shapes. If it’s a square, the length and width would be identical. But since it’s most often a rectangle, the length would be about 50% of the specified width. It varies on the unit, so you can expect this to be anywhere from 13 to 20+ inches. Your selection will depend on the preferred size.

As for depth, you can expect this to be higher than with standard sinks. That’s because these basins should handle many pans and pots. They are usually about nine to ten inches deep. It’s an optimal measurement to reach the bottom while minimizing splashing and securing generous capacity.

Step 2: Consider Installation Options

Depending on the unit, fireclay offers different setups. The most common choice is an undermount fireclay sink. You can find basins with other installation options. Top-mount is more frequent than a flush setup, and only a few items offer the latter.

If you go with a drop-in installation, it’s necessary to consider the counter’s weight. The cabinet needs to hold the sink. You don’t want to risk destroying the basin and the counter if the latter doesn’t have sufficient capacity.

While discussing installation options, check the desired farmhouse sink fireclay size. It needs to fit with the counter you picked. If it’s too big or small, you might not be able to install the basin. And even if you do, it’ll look weird and unattractive. Some counter setups have the room prepared to place an apron-front sink. You only need to pick a kitchen cabinet that supports the desired size.

Step 3: Do You Need a Single or Double-Bowl Configuration?

Most basins are available in these two setups, and farmhouse units aren’t any different. As the word suggests, a single configuration only has one bowl. The double setup has two bowls. Each option has its benefits.

Here’s a brief overview of why you could benefit from single-bowl farmhouse sinks:

  • It offers a generous capacity. It’ll be easy to place large pans and pots without worrying about where to fit them.

  • It’s suitable for multiple uses. Why wouldn’t you use this sink for bathing your pet or even a baby? If the basin is big enough, it’ll deliver incredible versatility. However, this might require a bit more effort when cleaning the bowl.

  • You’ll benefit from an easier installation. If you have two bowls and faucets, you’ll probably need a couple of drains. Single bowls come with a simpler setup.

  • They fit better in small kitchens. If the space available is compact, a single-sink approach will ensure the basin looks bigger.

Now, here’s why you should consider the double-sink configuration:

  • You have separate bowls for washing and rinsing. Depending on your habits, this can be convenient.

  • Put clean dishes in the other basin. You can always have one section reserved for items you wash. Alternatively, you can even separate extremely dirty pots from dishes that only need rinsing.

  • It saves countertop space. You might not require a drying rack since you’ll have a basin for drying clean dishes.

  • You can pick the sizes of each bowl. It’s not necessary to divide the entire sink in half. Instead, you can make 70/30 or any other ratio you see fit.

Step 4: Picking the Preferred Design

The most common choice is a white fireclay farmhouse sink. It reminds of ceramics and fits most decors, including contemporary and traditional. However, you can get creative with the color. Some manufacturers design black, blue, or other dominant shades.

And if you are not ready to change the color, how about getting a specific pattern for the front? For example, you can find a Nantucket farmhouse sink with a filigree apron. It will spice up the décor and make the unit’s appearance more attractive.

If you want a modern design, look for thinner sinks. These are deep bowls, and fireclay is durable, so don’t worry about the strength. Smooth surfaces on the front are a frequent sign of a contemporary design. 

A matte finish is almost mandatory, and sharp lines and corners also fit this style. In addition, the protective coating can be vital since it adds to the appearance. It also keeps the surface in ideal shape for longer and helps resist stains and scratches. 

On the other hand, rounded edges indicate a traditional design. Classic sinks also have patterns on the front. You can go for unusual bowl designs, although rectangles are the most popular.

Step 5: Consider the Accessories and Other Details

A protective bottom is a must-have addition for fireclay sinks. It’s important to reduce the damage risk for both the dishes and the bowl. For example, you might drop the pan from a considerable height into the basin. If that happens, the protective bottom will ensure everything goes without any damage.

Faucets rarely come with fireclay sinks. Furthermore, these installations don’t have holes for these accessories either. You’ll need to consider putting the faucet on the countertop or drilling in the wall. Finally, if you want to add a garbage disposal, you’ll need enough space under the sink. The same goes for plumbing pipes. It’s smart to analyze the required room before establishing where you will position the sink.

Final Thoughts

A fireclay farmhouse sink looks impressive, but it’s also highly functional. It’s deep and can fit many pans and an ample amount of water. You don’t have to lean over the counter, which many users that find bending tricky appreciate.

The only remaining thing is to find a suitable model. It’s up to you to choose a style and size, but always stick to reliable brands. Online stores have many premium fireclay farmhouse sinks that’ll spice up your kitchen. The only thing left is to place an order and boost the décor with this fantastic and functional basin!