And the Kitchen Sink

We do a lot of cooking, so the functional bits of the kitchen are very important to us.  We both learned in our previous house remodels that spending a little extra to get exactly what you want on a few pieces can make a huge difference in the functionality and overall feel of your home.

We have a few needs for the sink.  

  1. It needs to be large and deep enough to wash anything we might need to wash.
  2. It needs to be small enough to fit the counter top with space behind it for the faucet.  The counter where the sink will be installed is only about 19" deep, since it sits opposite the bed.
  3. The bottom needs to have a good slope so that the sink won't have trouble draining if the Airstream is slightly off-level.

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And, of course, a few wants.

  1. We'd love if we could have a farmhouse sink.
  2. It would be nice if it was designed to fit accessories like a cutting board, a colander, or a dish drying rack.  I was enamored by the Kohler Prolific sink for a few months, but it was just too big for our space (and wow that price!).
  3. Relatively lightweight would be nice.  We do need a bit of weight on the street side to balance the weight of the wood stove, larger fridge, and pantry, but something like a cast iron sink would probably be excessive.

We chose this farmhouse sink.  It's small enough to fit our counter but big enough for our purposes.  It has a ledge for accessories and comes with a cutting board, but the accessories available from Julien are overpriced and not our style, so we'll probably look for others that fit.  It's made of fireclay, which is a little on the heavy side but not too bad since the sink is pretty small.  We got the matching sink grid to protect the bottom and give us a flat surface, since there's a pretty aggressive slope toward the drain.   If you want this sink or something from this website, try using coupon code DG 20003 for $10 off $75 or $20 off $150.  No idea how many times that code will work, but it's worth a shot.  There's nowhere in checkout specifically for a coupon code, you just have to enter it in the order comments.

Bridge faucets seem to look best with farmhouse sinks, so we chose this bridge faucet in antique copper.

Little details make a big difference.  Standard sink strainers are $17 and total garbage.  Kohler makes a really nice one.  At the time of this writing, the Kohler Duostrainer is inexplicably expensive on Amazon.  $85?  Seriously?  Fortunately, the orange box has it for $35.  Twice as much as the junky one, sure.  But only $17 more for something that actually works well, and we're going to be using all the time.

Oh, and countertops.  I'm not driving to North Carolina to get paperstone, so it's Ikea oak butcher block for us.  I installed some at Leanne's house with just oil for sealant, and it was a really pleasant surface when new, but didn't hold up very well over time.  I installed some at my house with several coats of polyurethane, and it held up wonderfully but felt like plastic.  So, we're using wiping varnish for this one.  I tried to find the Waterlox product that everyone seems to love, but after stopping at three separate hardware stores that were either closed or out of business, I headed over to the orange box to see what they had.  I settled on Formby's low gloss tung oil finish.  Don't let the name fool you (they're trying hard though), this stuff isn't tung oil.  It doesn't contain tung oil.  They might use tung oil to make it, but it's not oil.  It's varnish.

Wiping varnish makes a really nice finish.  The thin texture lets you build it up slowly so you can get the right amount of protection without losing the texture of the wood.  A few coats on each side to get started, and we'll be ready to cut everything to size and shape.