Preparing For A Farm Sink

Updated on: September 30, 2021

Farm sinks, also known as farmhouse sinks or apron front sinks, are very popular in colonial- and traditional-style kitchen designs. In addition to their unique look (large open basins with open front panels), farm sinks differ from most other sinks in the way they are supported. While other sinks are dropped into a hole that has been cut into the countertop, farm sinks slide into an opening underneath the countertop and above the base cabinet. A farm sink is supported solely by the base cabinet it rests on, rather than using the countertop as support like with a drop-in sink.

Since farm sinks can be tricky to install, our kitchen designers have provided a few helpful tips to guide you through proper installation of a farm sink when used in conjunction with a Farm Sink Cabinet from our Assembled Cabinets line.

1. Before selecting your Farm Sink Cabinet, it is good to have the sink you intend on purchasing in mind. In general, you will want to go with a sink that is 3" smaller in width than the cabinet you choose. By going smaller, you will have cabinet trim on each side of the sink. Having trim ensures that if your sink is not its exact width (cast iron/porcelain/copper sinks aren't always exact), it will still be contained within the cabinet width. Additionally, it will not leave a visible gap between the end of the sink and the dishwasher. Since our Assembled Cabinets line does not offer a Farm Sink Cabinet wider than 36" and many clients desire a full 36" sink, it is common to add DWR1.5 panels on each side of the cabinet to create the necessary trim as needed.

Example of a farm sink base with an extra panel installation

A panel was installed on the left side of the Farm Sink Base Cabinet, near the dishwasher, so that the sink is enclosed.

2. Once you have your sink and cabinet on hand, measure the width and height of the sink. Then, measure this distance out on the top of the Farm Sink Cabinet and make this size cutout to the cabinet using a jigsaw.

Sinkbase cabinet with cutout illustration

The size of the cutout will depend on the specific sink you select.

Make sure to leave enough room so that the sink will sit just above the cabinet doors.

Installed sinkbase cabinet with open doors and cleaning supplies

The sink should sit above the cabinet doors, while allowing for enough clearance to open the doors.

3. Since the cabinet itself will likely not hold the sink in place on its own, it is best to add some type of support below the sink. To do this, measure from the top of where the sink will sit, as it aligns to the countertop, to just underneath it. There are several ways to do this, but most commonly a 2 x 4 is used on each 24" side of the cabinet.

4. Set the sink in place and then test for fit and levelness. Use shims as needed to ensure accuracy. Consider the depth placement of the sink and how it relates to your countertop. It is common to have the sink extend out past the cabinet frame so that it will be flush with the edge of the countertop. Once exact sink placement is determined, use silicone or caulk to set it in place.

Here are a few images of successful farm sink installs, for reference:

Off-white sink base cabinet with bronze farmhouse sink

Bright White Chocolate Glaze sink base cabinet with brushed metal farmhouse sink

If you are preparing for a kitchen remodel and have questions regarding the size and/or type of sink appropriate for the Farm Sink Cabinet you've selected, please contact one of our professional kitchen designers by calling 877-573-0088 or sending an email to