What is the Difference Between a Farm Sink and an Apron Sink?

Last Updated: March, 2021 | By JULIAN GILL

Are you feeling confused about the different names for a kitchen sink?  Yeah, you aren’t alone with that!  There’s a lot to keep in mind and all of it is often made more confusing by the fact that people will interchange names.  Ready to get to the bottom of a farm sink, an apron sink, and what their differences are?  Read on!

What is a farm sink?

The name helps give it away!  This is a sink that would have been in just about every farmhouse back in the day.  It is a long and narrow sink that has a sideboard on it and it sits on the back wall of the kitchen, normally.

Used to clean everything from toddler to potatoes to large dishes, it was deep to allow for lots of water and soap.  Most of them had a large backsplash to them, too.

What is an apron sink?

This is a modern name.  It’s used to describe those sinks that sit down below the countertop and frappe down over the cabinet.  The front is visible, unlike traditional sinks that hide within the cabinet and countertop save for the rim.

They tend to be long, deep and can come in double or single sinks, depending on the one that you choose.

What are the differences between them?

These both sound kind of similar, right?  For the most part, many of them are the exact same thing.  As in, the names are used interchangeably in modern home design when you go to a shop. Using both “farmhouse sink” and “apron sink” will lead you to the same aisle because they're the same thing.

So, the differences can only be understood when you compare a modern apron/farmhouse sink to a classic, traditional one in the older homes.

➥ Design

There are some design differences between a modern one and an old one.  The modern one has the classic bibbed front with the deep single or double sink.  The original one had the large backsplash and the washboard on either side that allowed for drying dishes, fruit and other food items to sit right alongside on the sink.

 

➥ Material

Modern options can be stainless steel, polished enamel, cast iron, copper, and anything else you can think of.  Classic ones were solid enamel (and ridiculously hard to move since they were so big.

 

➥ Build or check the frame for the tub

Are you building your own frame for your drop-in tub?  Use the guide and manufacturer’s instructions, and design it exactly as they tell you to for the right fit.  If you’ve had it built already, double-check the measurements against the guide to make sure they’re right.

 

➥ Home use

Apron sinks in the modern-day are mostly for dish washing or cleaning food.  Farmhouse sinks were for just about everything and anything that needed to be washed.   That’s why they tended to be bigger and more designed for multiple uses with the washboards and storage space.

Which one should I look for?

The good news is that if you are looking for either, you’ll get the modern version.  Unless you go to a rummage sale or something similar where you're looking at options from the 1800s or 1900s!

Now that you are fully informed, you’ll be able to go out there and shop with confidence, knowing what you want (and what you don’t!) when it comes to a kitchen sink in your home.

Sources

author of resisories.com julian gill pictureJulian Gill

Julian Gill is a mechanical engineer and Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) and worked as a plumbing engineer for ten years. Besides this, his interested in home improvement and currently he works as a writer.

Leave a Comment