Fireclay Farmhouse Sinks {Durability and Quality}



Well, I said I wasn’t going to talk about my kitchen anymore.


But I’m not really talking about my kitchen, just my kitchen sink!


farmhouse sink


I’ve had many of you ask about the durability and quality of my sink, so I thought I would share with you a few of the things that I found out.  (After I made my purchase.) Smile

I will be honest that I often choose form over function.

Here are the two things I considered when looking for my sink online:

1.  I wanted a pretty farmhouse sink.

2.  I wanted an inexpensive, pretty farmhouse sink.

That’s it.


Here’s what I didn’t know before I started looking for a farmhouse sink:

Farmhouse sinks are NOT cheap!


I about died when I started searching the web for a farmhouse sink!  The prices are steep!

The best deal I found was the farmhouse sink from IKEA.  It was only $313!


I bought it, brought it home, and it didn’t fit in our cabinets.  By like half an inch!  UGH!!

If our dishwasher wasn’t right beside our sink, Cy may have tried to rebuild some cabinets to make it fit.  But he wasn’t able to do it with out some major changes to our lower cabinets, which would have ended up taking a lot of time and more money.  Not  good.

After looking online for hours, it seemed the cheapest farmhouse sinks were $600, and then they go WAY up from there.

I found my farmhouse sink at Signature Hardware.  You can purchase items online or at their store.  We needed our sink quickly, so I picked it up at the store since it was located in Northern Kentucky.


farmhouse sink

I LOVE my farmhouse sink!  It is was the most expensive part of the budget for our kitchen makeover, but it was worth it.

Since buying our sink, I’ve done a little research online to find out more about fireclay sinks.

I wanted to share with you what I found out.


First of all,  What is Fireclay?

Widely used in London, England, for their durability and style in the late 1800s, fireclay sinks finally have made a design comeback. Fireclay sinks are forged at extremely high temperatures, which cause the clay and glaze to unite. The result is a sink that is not only extremely durable, but also will look shiny and new for many years to come.   (source)

farmhouse sink


How durable is fireclay?

The modern fireclay apron sinks are commonly covered with a thick layer or glaze which is irrefutably acid, alkali, chip, scratches and impact resistant.  (source)


I love the look of fireclay farmhouse sinks because they are classic, elegant, and a great focal point for you kitchen.

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Fireclay sinks do not rust, discolor, or fade.  Yay!!


farmhouse sink

(source for the two pictures above)





How is Fireclay different from Cast Iron?


(cast iron sink – source)

A cast iron sink is beautiful as well, but here is the difference…

Cast iron is fired at a much less temperature than fireclay, and not as durable. The glaze is softer than the glaze on fireclay. Cast iron also chips easily, and when it does, rust appears under the glaze. Plus customers are specifically asked not to use abrasives or harsh cleaners.   (source)

We had a cast iron sink in our last home, and I loved the look.  But I accidentally chipped part of the white glaze off when a pot slip out of my hand.  Sad smile


Cast iron sinks are usually more expensive than fireclay sinks, but some believe they are more durable.  Here is a great link that discusses the pros and cons of fireclay vs. cast iron sinks:

As you can tell by what I found out about fireclay sinks, I am very happy with our purchase!

And after living with this sink for almost two months, I can honestly say that I am VERY pleased with our fireclay farmhouse sink.

It cleans up so easily and truly makes cleaning the kitchen more fun.  I’m not kidding! Smile

So I hope that helps you out if you are looking to buy a farmhouse sink in the near future.

What is your favorite type of sink?

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Budget Breakdown of the Kitchen Makeover




Happy Friday, friends!

I am still trying to answer the many questions about our kitchen makeover.

One of the main questions I keep getting asked is:  “How much did this cost ya?”

Well, we paid approximately $3,300 for our floor to ceiling kitchen renovation.


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That sounds like a lot of money!

But when you remember what it used to look like…

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And compare it to what it looks like now…

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I think it was DEFINITELY worth the money, don’t you?


Let’s be honest.  If we had hired out all of this work, from floor to ceiling, it would have cost us about $11-12,000!

However, we did 100% of the labor ourselves, so this renovation was a third of what it would have cost us otherwise.

That’s pretty darn good.



So here is the (approximate) breakdown of what it cost: 

(click on the pictures to see the post about each project)

375 square feet of Southern Yellow Pine (Lumber Liquidators)

(3/4 inch by 5 inch) – $1.25 sq foot = $465

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Flooring supplies (oil-based stain, semi-gloss polyurethane,

wood conditioner, floor sander rental, sand paper) : $200

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Baseboard and Crown Molding: $175

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Paint for cabinets and walls: $120

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Cabinet hardware (Lowe’s): $50

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Wood plank ceiling (Lowe’s):  $240

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Pantry doors (Lowe’s): $300





Recessed lighting:  $40

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White Subway Tile (plus adhesive and un-sanded, pre-mixed grout) from Lowe’s: $175

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Open Shelving (3/4 inch MDF cut at Lowe’s) and Corbels (Home Depot) and Trim: $240

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IKEA butcher block countertops (stain and poly):  $525

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Farmhouse Sink (Signature Hardware) $600

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Faucet (Home Depot):  $100

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Supplies for making extra lower cabinet:  $40 

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And that’s it!

I’m sure there were a few more miscellaneous expenses that I forgot about.

Like maybe the 128 times we went out to eat because I had no kitchen in which to cook.

Or a table to eat on…

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Oh, those were the good ole days!


But we made it through! 

And I’m so glad we did!

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(I promise this is my LAST kitchen renovation post for a while!)


Now it’s time to get (back) started on our addition!

So, do you think all of our hard work was worth the $8-9,000 savings?

Did you think our renovation would have cost more or less than what we spent?

(Please say more, please say more, please say more…)

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A Light for my Kitchen Sink



I cannot write this post without first thanking you for the over 200 amazing comments on yesterday’s post.

I read every single one!  I read them to my husband.  I forwarded some to my sister.  My dad and I were talking about them today.  (He read every single one too.)  Honestly, if you need encouragement, you  may want to go read them too.  They were amazing!

Your comments were heart-felt, loving, humbling, praise worthy, gracious, kind, heart-breaking, joyous, compassionate, empathetic, encouraging, and I could go on and on.

I cried as I read the comments too.

I wish I could write every single one of you back.  I really, sincerely do.   But I just don’t know if time will allow it.   Please know that if I could, I would hug each of you.  I would invite you to meet me at Panera, and we would talk for hours over soup and salad about life and blogs and everything in between!  Wouldn’t that be the best thing ever?!

That post was hard for me to write.  I cried as I wrote it.  And it took me almost two hours to write.

But I am so glad I did.

God is using YOU and this blog to continue to grow beauty in my broken places.

I praise HIM!


Now let’s talk “kitchen”, want to?  Smile

Many of you asked about the lighting in my kitchen.

Truth be told, there’s not much of it. 

We have installed recess lighting above the shelves, but that is all the light we have in that room right now.

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I do not want to hang lights in the middle of the room or above the table right now, because I am not sure how I want the room to look yet.

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We may be creating a new space for the table, and I may or may not be putting an island in the center of the kitchen.  Until I make those decisions, I do not want to install anymore lighting.

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But I do want a light for above the kitchen sink.  Doesn’t the window look bare without my Christmas wreath?

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I took the wreath down to try and figure out what type of light I want to put there.



Of course, I could always put in a light above the sink like the one below.  I call those “school house” lights, and they are very characteristic of older homes.  (I like that island too, don’t you?)




Here are some more “school house” lights…




I also thought about putting a mini chandelier above the sink to give the kitchen a little “bling.”  Isn’t this one gorgeous?…

brown country living



Here is the look of a lantern above the sink.  I like it too!




These are probably my favorite.  I would only want one over my sink, but oh my goodness!  Aren’t they gorgeous?!  I would love to wash dishes under those beauties!!

pendants over sink



And I love these mercury glass pendant lights!  I found this picture on a site where it is just a list of emails talking about a subject, so I couldn’t find a source.  Someone called this pendant light an Argento pendant light.  I googled it, and these babies are hundreds of dollars!


But I think it would look AMAZING over my kitchen sink!!  I’m wondering if I could find a cheaper version somewhere else?


This last picture is just a glass pendant light.  It is simple and beautiful, so maybe I should go with something like this?




Decisions, decisions!

What type of light do you think

I should put above my kitchen sink?

(Inspiration pictures in the comments are welcome!) 


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IKEA Butcher Block Countertop {Answers to your questions}



Happy 2012!!

I am so excited about this New Year!  And  I am so excited to share it with you. 

The holiday rush is now over, and I am in the mood to get things in order.  Are you?

One of the things I wanted to do is try to share a few posts with some more details about my kitchen.  I had a lot of you ask questions about the specifics of our makeover like paint colors, stain color, etc.

So I am going to try and answer those questions.  (Hope you are not getting sick of my kitchen.  Smile)

Here is some information that I wanted to share about our IKEA butcher block counter tops:

Here is the link to the exact butcher block that we purchased…


They come in different types of wood, lengths, and depths.

Cy cut the pieces of butcher block so that there would be a seam right under the faucet, and two 45 degree seams in each corner.

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Cy wanted me to make sure that I told you that he used PL Adhesive to adhere the seams together.PL_Polyurethane_Premium_Construction

This stuff is the bomb!  When it dries, it is actually stronger than the wood that it is holding together.  By using this adhesive, it eliminates the chance of the seams splitting or shifting over time. 

He also attached a 1×2 underneath the seams with screws for extra strength.

After the butcher block was attached to the cabinets, we needed to fill in any gaps in the seams with wood filler.

Here is a little trick:

When sawing the butcher block, be sure to save some of the saw dust from the floor.

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Then mix some of the saw dust with the wood filler before filling the seams.

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This will help the wood filler blend more evenly with the wood and help the seam to accept the stain the same as the rest of the countertop.

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Next, just press the wood filler mixture into the seam with your finger.

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Once the filler is dry, you can sand it smooth with a sander. 

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Once the seams were all filled, Cy then sanded the whole countertop really well and then applied ONE coat of this stain…

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You can see that the stain gave the wood just a little bit of a deeper color.

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Then we applied 4 coats of Satin Polyurethane, sanding lightly between each coat.

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Perfection!  I love the way it turned out!


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In the video below, you can see how Cy made the rounded corners in the wood around the sink.  We applied a bead of caulk between the wood and the sink to keep the moisture out.

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I’ve had my countertops finished for a couple of weeks now, and I can honestly say that I am thrilled with them.  They are extremely durable and easy to clean.

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Here is a little video I made of some footage of Cy working on the counters.



If I didn’t answer one of your questions in this post, please let me know in the comments, and I will get back to you.  Smile


Have a blessed day!

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Before and After Pictures of our Kitchen Makeover {without mouse over effect!}


I know these pictures are a repeat, but I wanted to share the before and after pictures of our kitchen for those of you who cannot use the mouse over effect on your computer.

It was just too many pictures to put in yesterday’s post.

So here they are!











































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We have a few more things left to do, and I will share those with you soon.

I will also answer a bunch of your questions about our counters, lighting, floors, etc. in a future post too.

THANK YOU so much for all of your sweet comments!  Sharing this kitchen renovation with you made it so much more bearable during the difficult days.  Smile



Here is an updated picture of our kitchen!


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Kitchen Makeover Reveal


Do you remember the kitchen makeover we started over at our friend’s house over a month ago?

We started it right before our move (not a real smart idea).

But my hubby finished it about a week ago, and we love the way it turned out.

Here’s some background information if you missed it:

I have a longtime friend, Mandy, who called me about some advice on re-doing her kitchen.  She had gotten a contract on how much it would cost, and my husband knew he could do it for a lot less.

So Mandy asked us to complete the makeover.

Because we love that kind of work so much, we said, “yes!”

We had to work within their budget which determined a lot of our choices in materials.

Here is a look at the “before”.

The “after”…




The parquet floor was not in good shape and needed to be covered.  A wood laminate was perfect for our budget.





Mandy definitely wanted to get rid of her pink countertops, and we decided to paint her stovetop black with appliance paint to match her other appliances.




My hubby installed a bead board backsplash all around the kitchen and all new outlets.


He also installed under the cabinet lighting throughout the kitchen, but I forgot to take a picture of that.  Oops.


The makeover also included all new hardware for the cabinets, and a fresh coat of white paint.


A HUGE change that was made was removing the wallpaper.  NOT an easy task!

We painted the walls a nice neutral color, and then Mandy brought up an antique table and chairs that she had downstairs.  She also added some decor from around her home.

Pushing the table against the wall gives her more room in her small kitchen. It’s mostly just Mandy and her hubby using this table on a daily basis.  When they have company, they can move the table out for more seating.

My favorite piece on the table is this little antique box!  La-huv!


We still need to get a window treatment.  I am looking for a roman shade that will look good.



I think Mandy’s kitchen turned out beautiful!  It is such a huge improvement!

One more look at the before and after…




Now, look what which room we are tackling next at Mandy’s house!…

The demolition has already begun!  Woohooo!!!

Linking the reveal to…










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