Why we didn't chose the IKEA Domsjo sink for our farm sink kitchen update

I have celebrated with several friends lately who've just bought new homes and two of them are planning kitchen updates. Painting cabinets, updating lighting, and doing new DIY-install countertops like we did! And when you replace countertops, you also start to think about the sink. I've been talking about our affordable, DIY-install farmhouse style apron-front sink a lot lately and wanted to share with all of you why we chose the one we did--instead of the popular IKEA Domsjo sink!

I wanted an apron-front sink back before we bought our townhouse in 2012, and while we got to pick out the finishes and fixtures, back then the only farm sinks on the market were more than $1,000. When we bought our current 90's fixer upper, I was excited we'd be able to reuse the cabinets but replace the sink and counters. Even then, 4+ years later, it seemed like almost every sink on my dream kitchens pinboard was a farm sink. However, now there are more options for farm sinks!

A very popular one is the IKEA Domsjo sink, which comes in 37" wide or 24" wide and is very affordable. It's real ceramic, standard countertop depth (so you don't need to fit any counter behind it), and there are a TON of tutorials and blog posts online about how to install it yourself in existing, non-IKEA cabinets.

So, what's not to love? At $313 for the big one or $185 for the small, our budget could accommodate it, and since we were doing our own new countertops it was great that it went all the way back to the wall. However, a few things slowed me down.

Why we didn't chose the IKEA Domsjo farm sink


First... right after we had our offer accepted on this house we visited a friend who had just done a very similar kitchen reno. They had installed the double basin IKEA Domsjo sink. She complained that it had been a huge nightmare to install, and it was super heavy. Then--get this--a couple weeks later she texted me that they were putting a cast iron pot in the bottom of the sink and it CRACKED. (!!) She wasn't sure what to do, since it had been so hard to get in there, but it wasn't really fixable! (I found out later that IKEA exchanged it for a new one. But still.)

Also, probably the biggest issue for us... the large IKEA sink fits IKEA cabinets, and other 36" sink cabinets. But ours was only 33". That meant we could use the smaller version, but lose sink space and have to deal with the faux drawer panel on the existing cabinet. I don't know that 36" is a super standard cabinet width, so I think IKEA was really hoping you'd just give up and buy all their cabinets to go with their super affordable sink.

And, while not an issue in the end, the Domsjo has one hole for the faucet and is meant to use a single handle style. I've heard of people drilling extra holes for a bridge-style faucet, but drilling ceramic does not sound good to me!

Finally... now that I have a wide, single-basin sink, I have to say... it's fabulous and I never want to go back to double-basin!! You can fit so many more, larger things in without worrying about tipping things. If I could design the perfect sink, it would be wide (33" or 36", whichever) and only one basin! The divided design of the 36" IKEA Domsjo is not perfect.

So, what were we to do?? Other farm-style sinks are still very expensive compared to standard drop-in or undermount ones. And they are harder to find. The big box stores don't have a lot of options. A lot of farm sinks don't have a back piece at all so they only work as undermounted, which would be harder for us to install well with our DIY-cut countertops.

Alternatives to the IKEA Domsjo sink


So, I did some intense online searching and found two options in the width I wanted, with a shelf behind. This sink was 33" wide, with a back panel and suitable for top-mounting (or undermounting), and only a little more than the IKEA versions. 

The back panel didn't go the full depth of the countertop, but it did cover up any issues if we overmounted it and it provides a nice resting place for wet things on our butcher block counters.

It came with options for 1, 2, 3, or 4 faucet holes! We only needed one for the faucet we ended up going, with, but so great that it has that option.

It is fiberglass instead of ceramic, but... that meant it was much easier to carry and install, and we know it won't crack with heavy pans. It has held up well these past 8 or so months of use!

Oh, also, here's the "before" of this space. 

So, we are VERY happy with this IKEA alternative and our kitchen reno! I'm passing on tips and what we learned to friends!

Sources for items in our kitchen below!


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