The New Apron-Front Sinks

By Rebecca Thienes Cherny | Updated Jun 27, 2016 11:27 PM

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Apron Front Sinks - Whitehaven

Kohler's “Whitehaven” sink with short apron, from $990 for 30” wide and $1090 for 36” wide. The enameled cast iron finish resists scratches, stains, and burns, and comes in 18 color options.


Apron-front sinks—also known as farmhouse sinks—can pose significant installation challenges. But as these farm sinks have grown in popularity, in part due to their vintage charm, manufacturers have stepped up and made these country kitchen staples much easier to incorporate. In the past, in order to accommodate the size and considerable weight of apron-front sinks, installation required either custom cabinetry or custom modification to standard base cabinets. Many newer models are simpler to retrofit. In addition, apron-front sinks now come in a wider range of materials, among them enameled cast iron, fireclay, stainless steel, and even copper or stone. Before you buy, however, consider this: The deep basin of a farm sink can hold large pans and its design also saves you from having to lean over. But the very same features that make it appealing for some homeowners might actually make the sink difficult for some people to use comfortably.

Apron-front sinks, once a great spot to scrub a deep pot, soak dirty dishes, or even wash the baby or pet, are a staple of traditional country style. Today’s models are now easier to retrofit or install in standard cabinets. Instead of a deep apron-front sink requiring a custom base cabinet, innovative manufacturers like Kohler and Native Trails have created shallower versions to fit in standard base cabinets with ease.

Kohler makes two shallow apron-front sink models—the cast iron “Whitehaven”, shown above, and the stainless steel “Vault,” below. To install these sinks, make a rough cut in a standard 30”- or 36”-wide sink base cabinet where the false drawer fronts usually appear. Because the apron is self-trimming, the cuts are hidden once the sink is in place; no gaps and no need for trim work. And even though it’s shallower than some apron front sinks of old, a 9” interior depth will easily accommodate taller pots, especially when paired with a gooseneck faucet.

Apron Front Sinks - Double

Kohler's “Vault” 36” Stainless Steel Sink, $750

One thing to note: The “Vault” requires top-mount installation, making it great for remodel scenarios involving existing cabinetry and laminate countertops. The installed sink sits flush to the counters. Crumbs can be easily brushed inside, so cleaning up is a snap.

Apron Front Sinks - Paragon

Native Trails' “Paragon” Sink in Antique Copper, $2,990

Native Trails specializes in hand-hammered copper sinks, and the “Paragon” apron sink is no exception. Created in 16 gauge hand-hammered recycled copper, the sink comes in Antique Copper and Brushed Nickel finishes. Measuring 33” wide with a generous 10″ interior depth, its apron measures just 6.5” high but provides plenty of style.

Note: Native Trails’ “Paragon” sink and Kohler’s “Whitehaven” sinks are undermount applications, as shown, so they are best for situations where new countertops will also be installed over the sink’s top edge for a clean look.

Visit Kohler and Native Trails for more information and where to buy.

For more on kitchen remodeling, consider:

Bob Vila Radio: Kitchen Sink
Cabinet Door Styles: What’s Yours?
Bathroom Essentials: Tubs, Showers and Sinks