Saturday, March 26, 2005

DIY: Farm Sink & Formica

We would have loved to put soapstone countertops in our new kitchen. We think that would be more period than the formica we are using, but we just couldn't afford the soapstone with all the other expenses.

I held on for a while, and then I gave in to formica telling myself we could change it in a few years. Also not in the budget, custom cabinetry. We went for mid-line Kraftmaid cabinets from Home Depot with some upgrades including: an Amber Glaze, dovetail drawers, plywood sides, and heavy duty drawer glides with a self-closing mechanism.

Anyway, today we made the template for the countertop, which Steve will fabricate at the local woodshop next week. But it's tricky because we selected a Farm Sink.

The farm sink can't be undermounted with a formica countertop because of the potential for water to penetrate the MDF particleboard and then it will fail. So, we are overmounting the sink, that is the sink will be raised by about 1/2" above the countertop. Farm sinks are installed both ways if you look around.

One of the other issues we have is that the farm sink is wider on top than at the bottom, so to make an accurate template that will fit tightly around the sink, we have to elevate the template with 2x4s to get it to the correct countertop height and therefore the correct dimensions. It's complicated, we know, believe me!

The soapstone would have cost us more money, but we would have had it fabricated elsewhere and installed by someone else. This formica is expensive in time and thinking-wise, mostly because of the farm sink. On a positive note, we love farm sinks and we were able to find a fire clay one, which is stronger than porcelain that was under $400, which is really a bargain. We got it at Community Home Supply The company that made it, Barclays , is from Argentina and sells direct to distributors, which our salesperson said explained the difference in price. We found most other farm sinks to be at least $700 and up.

So, really the fact that we chose a farm sink and then formica for our countertop has made countertop process much more exacting and demands precise measurements. Usually with a countertop there is a little fudge factor, especially when you do an overmounted sink. But, the end result is we will have a more custom look and a more period effect and we will have accomplished this for much less money than is typical. In a few weeks we'll have some photos of the finished job posted.


Emerld said...

Can't wait to see pics of the new sink! The one in Cicero 2nd floor rear is disgusting and needs to be replaced.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear the year has gone by fast. It sounds like you will have a fabulous kitchen. We have also done a lot of research and are just a couple of months from demolishing the main floor which will include a complete kitchen remodel. Nick's built a model of what we'll be doing, but it is difficult to know how long it will really take! I can't wait to see your pictures!

K said...

Ooh, I am so jealous right now of your fabulous new cabinets. Just hearing about the easy-glide drawers ...

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I found this article. I recently purchased a farmhouse sink,I'm jealous at what price you paid, and also can't afford a hard surface coutertop. We have already picked out formica and was trying to figure out how to install it I can't wait until my husband comes home to show him your pictures and article thank you so much for the advice. I hope to see the pictures when it's completed. We are also getting ready to gut our kitchen in June 2005 hopefully it won't take a year we are doing all the work ourselves. Thanks again

Unknown said...

There's a huge selection of modern kitchen sinks available in all styles and materials. Take a look - hope it's of use.