When we recently renovated the kitchen in our 100 year old house, installing the farmhouse sink was a new experience for me.
The picture below shows what the kitchen looked like in our 100 year old house when we first bought it:
It had been remodeled in the 1970’s and for that time I’m sure it was great looking…
But I really wanted to open it up more to what was going to be the breakfast room on the other side of this wall. Also, I wanted a different floor plan, and finally I wanted the style of the kitchen to more reflect the age of the house with a more authentic farmhouse feel.
Here’s the space from side to side after we started removing uppers. (‘we’ as in my very trusty carpenter!)
He just kept removing layer by layer, until everything was removed except the original maple floor and the original studs.
When I drew out my floor plan, long before anything was ever removed, I decided to have a window opening above where the new sink would go, approximately where the fridge was in the 1st ‘before’ picture at the top of this post. I also had a doorway drawn into the new kitchen layout to go about 3′ from the far corner in this picture above… that doorway would be another opening into the breakfast room which is on the other side of this wall.
Once we got all the 1970’s cabinets, overhead soffit, counters, sheetrock, plaster and lath and super gross gray cellulose insulation removed, and got all the way down to the studs, we were totally amazed to see that in the original wall there were two windows and a door exactly as I had in my plan! I think this long narrow kitchen was just meant to have this layout.
Again, if you look back at the 2nd ‘before’ pic, you’ll see the sink on the left side of the kitchen, but in my plan I wanted it on the right side… and in fact, after we removed the cabinets, we could see the spots in the floor where the original plumbing for the sink was, (above the cistern in the basement) and it sat in the exact spot where I had it in my plan!
As much as we would have loved to have both windows in the wall reopened, we really needed some wall space for the fridge, so we didn’t open both original spaces. (and we couldn’t put the fridge on the opposite side of the room, because we re-opened the back stairway there, so lost some wall space on that wall)
So that gives you a little background in the kitchen renovation…
Now onto how to install a farmhouse sink…
After I figured out the floorplan, I figured out the cabinet layout and ordered them from here. (I was super impressed with the fantastic quality, beautiful factory finish painted exteriors, and low price on them!)
But they didn’t have a specific cabinet for an apron front farmhouse style sink…. Great price, meant more limited choices.
So here’s what I did:
I ordered a 36″ sink base, (since my apron front sink is 36″ wide) plus some extra filler strips, and very importantly an 18″ high x 36″ wide cabinet front.
Then the carpenter removed the original front of the sink cabinet.
In this picture above, the sink is already fitted in/on the cabinet. You can see how not only did he need to remove the face of the cabinet, he actually needed to cut down the sides of the cabinet a little so the sink would fit properly.
There is a filler strip the carpenter added horizontally between the sink front and the lower cabinet frame, plus you see the extensions he added to the sides. We used filler strips on each side of the sink because one side was meeting up with the inside corner, and a little extra room would be best there, but we wanted it to be equal, so we added that 2″ or 3″ filler strip to each side of the sink cabinet.
You also can see the frame of the 18″ high doors added, below the sink, in the lower front of the cabinet, with that horizontal filler strip above it and the sink.
To support a farmhouse sink, you need to have strong supports inside the cabinet for the sink to sit on. Here’s a picture of what that looks like:
We set our farmhouse sink in so that the top of it would be perfectly the same height of the cabinet top, that way the granite countertop goes over the edge of the sink.
Now, once the cabinet doors are on, and the granite counters installed it all makes sense…
Here’s basically the same shot of the kitchen as in the 1st ‘before’ picture. On the other side of the fridge is one of two doorways that goes into the breakfast room on the other side of this wall.
If you’re looking to get new kitchen cabinets, I highly recommend the same source I used for our kitchen. They are available in I think 3 different heights, and many different door styles and colors. They are birch cabinets and soft close doors/drawers… honestly, I can’t say enough good things about them. I shopped a lot, and as an interior designer, I have quite a bit of experience with cabinetry. These cabinets are quality at an affordable price, but really good quality. Now, that’s right up my alley!
I also love, love, love my farmhouse sink. It’s hard to see in this picture, but this sink has a built in drain board on the left side, reversible depending on how you install it. I can’t imagine not having that feature now.
This was the 1st farmhouse sink that either my carpenter or me had installed, but with a little patience and thinking, we did it. There wasn’t that much information I could find about how to install a farmhouse sink, so I really wanted to share this with you in case you’re preparing to put one in some day.
Here are more kitchens I’ve re-done:
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