The farmhouse sink is arguably one of the most interesting new trends in kitchen design. Despite its historical and design connotations implying its use in a more rural setting, its simple and utilitarian design has allowed it to capture the eyes of more modern designers in recent years.
Its large and deep basin in particular is a notably eye-catching and useful feature for anyone who’s ever had to deal with large dishwashing jobs, which is why many new homeowners nowadays have been looking to getting the farmhouse design as their pick for this ever-important kitchen fixture.
One of the ways that these sink units are incorporated into kitchen designs is by having the countertop extend out of the counter and over the sink—a design known as overhang.
But how much overhang should you have? How much of it is safe? Find out all you need to know about this in this article.
What is a farmhouse sink?
A farmhouse sink is a kitchen sink style that is most recognizable by its very deep basin compared to the typical kitchen sink designs we see today.
As the name suggests, the farmhouse sink style had its start as an outdoor sink for rural and colonial style homes, where the large size and great depth was especially useful for washing large pots and pans, doing one’s laundry, and even bathing small children.
Modern farmhouse-type sinks are sold in a variety of materials, from sought-after porcelain whites to sophisticated marbles as well as more industrial metals like brass and steel. Regardless of the material choice, the prodigious size of these sinks guarantee that they will stand out in any kitchen, hence their popularity.
What is countertop overhang?
Countertop overhang is a design element in which part of your countertop extends beyond the edge of your counter to give you a bit more surface area and create some legroom underneath, as is the case in a kitchen island.
For a farmhouse sink, however, countertop overhang is usually done such that the countertop covers some or all of the lip of the sink. The reason for this is twofold; first, the overhang produces a seamless transition between the sink and the counter for a distinct look, and the extra material over the lip of the sink protects it from chips and cracks—perfect for the more fragile porcelain ones.
How much overhang should you have?
Now that we have all of the context that we need, we can now answer the big question: “How much countertop overhang should you have for your farmhouse sink?”
But as much as we would like to give you a direct number that you can follow, the best answer is that how much overhang you want depends on personal preference. The fact of the matter is that there is no fixed standard for countertop overhangs—they can be as short or as long as you want.
However, this does allow us to go into discussion about the types of overhang you can have on your farmhouse sink—this is what is called a countertop reveal.
As the name suggests, a countertop reveal is a design detail that indicates how much of your undermount sink is shown or “revealed” under the countertop surface. jerry speaking there are three types of countertop reveals that you can choose from, and we have handily listed all of them below to detail their individual benefits and drawbacks.
A positive reveal is one in which the countertop surface is cut in such a way that still exposes part of the lip of your farmhouse sink. You can try to visualize this as a “negative overhang”, since the countertop does not extend beyond the edge of the sink.
The positive reveal creates a step down effect that has its own distinct look and can be quite useful if you need to hang something—say, a large cutting board—across the length of the sink.
In terms of installation, the positive reveal is arguably the easiest of the three thanks to the fact that the countertop has a lot more leeway in terms of fit tolerance, which means the cutaway of the countertop does not need to be as precise.
Where the positive review opens up to show a bit of the sinks outer rim, the negative reveal extends out over the entire outer edge of the sink and even covers part of the inside basin—in other words, a countertop overhang. And the length of it can vary anywhere between as little as a quarter inch to as much as 2 inches over the edge.
The result of a negative reveal is a very distinct and clean look that is also relatively easy to achieve since, like the positive reveal, the countertop does not need to be cut to a very precise measurement.
However, the overhanging does create an underside space on your countertop material that can gather food scraps, dirt, and other debris. Naturally you will want to clean this out every so often.
Flush / Zero Reveals
The zero reveal could also be thought of as a “zero overhang”, in which the edge of the countertop is cut in such a way that it is flush with the edge of the basin of your farmhouse sink.
With proper execution, the zero reveal will produce a seamless edge that cleanly transitions from the countertop to the sink. The distinctly eye-catching look makes this option the most sought after by most homeowners.
Of the three types of overhang lengths we’ve looked at, having it flush with your farmhouse sink is by far the most difficult to pull off as workers will need to cut the countertop down to the exact measurements of your sink. As such, the installation process will take both a lot of time and a lot of effort, as it involves sanding and grinding the counter material down to the perfect size.