Apron sinks, also known as farmhouse sinks, are kitchen sinks often found in rural homes in decades past. The apron sink is distinguished from the kitchen sinks of today in the general design of the sink, as well as the choice of materials to create the sink. Because this sink has a distinctly country feel, it works well in kitchens decorated to resemble the look of the latter 19th and early 20th century farmhouse kitchen.
One of the features that makes the apron sink a little different from other sink models is the depth of the basin or bowl. This was a practical feature, in that the kitchen sink needed to be deep enough to accommodate the large pots used to prepare meals for large farm families. The depth also made this kind of sink a great help when there was a need to soak several pots and pans in order to remove food residue.
Unlike the recessed sinks of today, the apron sink sports a front that rides above the surrounding counter and juts out slightly from the supporting cabinetry. Again, this was a practical design that helped prevent damage to the cabinets, as any water or suds that dripped over the lip of the farmhouse sink would drip to the floor rather than puddle on the wood of the cabinet countertop.
The apron sink normally did not include holes for the faucets to be fitted into. Instead, the faucets normally rose through the cabinetry and were designed to easily jut over the installed sink. In the event the sink was damaged and needed to be replaced, the drainpipe could be disconnected and the old sink lifted out of the cabinet. The new sink would be lowered into position and the drain pipe attached to the drain. There was no need to cut off the water flow or disconnect the faucets in order to switch out the sink.
While the apron sink fell out of favor as large family farms become less common, the sink is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Today, it is possible to purchase an apron sink made with the traditional porcelain body, or one that is constructed with stainless steel. Along with the older single bowl design, models today sport a double bowl as well. Because the sink can be placed on just about any type of supporting base, it is possible to adapt older and heavier pieces to serve as the base, along with using a traditional cabinet base.