Can you use a garbage disposal with a farmhouse sink?
Farmhouse sinks are a bit deeper than normal kitchen sinks. So many people doubt whether there is enough space to install a garbage disposal under it.
Even the tallest garbage disposal takes only 18 inches of height under a countertop. Therefore even if you have a farmhouse sink there is plenty of space under it to install a garbage disposal unit.
Here is the math;
According to Thoughtco.com, the average height of a countertop in the USA is 36 inches. And the maximum depth of a farmhouse sink is 12 inches (the average is 10 inches). We should also include the height of the toe kick space in the calculation, which is 3.5 inches on average, along with the height of the baseboard of the cabinet (0.75 inches) and also the thickness of the countertop (1.25 inches) (because farmhouse sinks are under-mounted). So that leaves us with 18.5 inches of space which is plenty to install a garbage disposal.
What takes space under the countertop?
There are 4 things that take up space under a countertop;
- Countertop thickness
- The sink
- Toe kick space
- The thickness of the base panel
1. Countertop thickness:
Farmhouse sinks are mostly installed under the countertop, so the thickness of the countertop needs to be included in the space calculation. The standard countertop thicknesses are 1 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm. Let’s take the thickest value for our calculation (3cm = 1.25 inches).
2. Depth of sink
The depth of the farmhouse sink takes up a good portion of the space available under the countertop.
Here are some of the most popular farmhouse sinks, and their heights;
|Farmhouse sink model||Height (outside dimension)|
|1. BOCCHI classico||10 inches|
|2. Ruvati Verona||10 inches|
|3. Lordear||10 inches|
|4. KRAUS Kore||10 inches|
|5. KOHLER Whitehaven||11.6 inches|
So I think it is safe to assume that the average height of a farmhouse sink is 10 inches.
3. Height of toe kick
Toe kick is the space between the floor and the base cabinet. In most cases, it is 3.5 inches.
4. Base cabinet thickness
To correctly calculate the space left for a garbage disposal under a farmhouse sink we should also include the thickness of the bottom panel of the cabinet. Usually, it is 0.75 inches.
The above four together takes a total of 15.5 inches of space under the countertop. So we are left with 20.5 inches of height to install the garbage disposal.
However, it is recommended to leave some space under the garbage disposal to make any future replacements or troubleshooting easier. So, with a farmhouse sink, most people prefer a more compact garbage disposal unit.
Best garbage disposals for farmhouse sinks
To use with farmhouse sinks, I recommend garbage disposals of height smaller than 15 inches. Here are the best ones within that height range;
|Garbage disposal model||Height (inches)||Power|
|1. InSinkErator Compact||12.25||3/4 HP|
|2. InSinkErator Evolution Excel||13||1 HP|
|3. Waste King L-3300||14.5||3/4 HP|
|4. Waste King L-2600||13.5||1/2 HP|
|5. InSinkErator Badger 5||11.5||1/2 HP|
1. InSinkErator Evolution Compact
InSinkErator Evolution Compact is so far the best compact garbage disposal in terms of size, performance, and features. It is one of the premium models by InSinkErator.
It has a height of 12.25 inches, which leaves ample room under the countertop even when installed with a farmhouse sink.
Though small in size it packs 3/4 horsepower in its DuraDrive induction motor. This in addition to its 2-stage grinding system guarantees good performance even under a heavy load. The insulation technology called SoundSeal makes its operation very quiet.
Evolution Compact is built with top-notch quality. It has stainless steel grinding components as well as a solidly built grinding chamber. It also comes with a 4-year warranty.
To know more, check my detailed review of Evolution Compact.
2. InSinkErator Evolution Excel
Evolution Excel is another popular garbage disposal that is the right fit to use with a farmhouse sink. It is only 13 inches in height, which is slightly taller when compared to Evolution Compact. However, it still leaves plenty of space under the sink.
This is also the most powerful garbage disposal in this list. Equipped with a 1 HP induction motor, and an advanced 3-stage grinding system this machine has no problem grinding even the toughest food wastes to a pulp.
This is also the quietest garbage disposal of all.
It also comes with premium features like AutoReverse, and JamSensor which helps to reduce jams. Its build quality is also top-notch; it comes with stainless steel grinding components and a stainless steel grinding chamber.
Though compact in size this garbage disposal can hold up to 40oz of food wastes. It also has the longest warranty among other models in this list, which is 7-years.
I have written a detailed review of Evolution Excel here, feel free to check it out to know more about its features.
3. Waste King L-3300
The 3300 is a popular garbage disposal from the brand ‘Waste King’. Waste King is one of the oldest and most popular garbage disposal manufacturers in the USA.
Waste King 3300 is powered by a high speed,3/4 HP permanent magnet motor. The speed of the motor is 2700 RPM which is almost 1000 RPMs more than the above models from InSinkErator. This high-speed enables the machine to easily process even tough food wastes.
Waste King 3300 is the tallest garbage disposal in this list. Its height is 14.5 inches, but it is still compact enough to be installed with a farmhouse sink.
This is not a premium garbage disposal, it is priced pocket-friendly. However, it also means that this unit doesn’ have any premium anti-jamming or noise insulation features.
Even without any premium level sound insulations, this unit is not that loud. In addition, it comes with good build quality and an excellent 10-year long warranty.
If you are looking for a powerful and pocket-friendly garbage disposal this Waste King 3300 is a good choice. If you are interested in knowing more about this unit here is my detailed review.
4. Waste King L-2600
L-2600 is another small-sized garbage disposal from Waste King. It is powered by a 1/2 HP motor. Just like the L-3300’s motor, this one is a high-speed permanent magnet motor. It is suitable for small households, and can only process food wastes that are garbage disposal friendly.
Waste King L-2600 has a height of only 13.5 inches so you won’t have any trouble installing it under a farmhouse sink.
Cost-wise this unit is priced really affordable. Though cheap it has good build quality with stainless steel grinding components and a high quality, corrosion-proof grinding chamber.
It also comes with a 5-year warranty which is the best for a garbage disposal of its price range.
If you like to know more about Waste King 2600 here is my detailed review.
5. InSinkErator Badger 5
Badger 5 is the best selling garbage disposal in the 1/2 HP category. It runs on a 1/2 HP, induction motor that has a speed of 1725 RPM.
With a height of 11.5 inches, this is the smallest garbage disposal in this list. And without a doubt, if you are looking for a 1/2 HP disposal for your farmhouse sink this comes highly recommended.
The Badger line is the budget series of garbage disposals by InSinkErator. So Badger 5 doesn’t come with any fancy features like the other InSinkErator disposals in this list. However, it has ample power to get the job done.
Badger 5 comes with a 3-year ‘we come to your home’ warranty. It is a good choice for small households with 1 to 3 people. It cannot process tough food items even though it is a good choice for processing disposal friendly food wastes.
If you want to know more about Badger 5 here is my detailed review.
Can you install a garbage disposal with a fireclay sink
Some farmhouse sinks are made of fireclay. These fireclay sinks come with a thick bottom so not all garbage disposals are compatible with it.
If the thickness of the sink’s bottom is more than 1/2 inch but below 3/4 inch you can choose any of the InSinkErator garbage disposals on my above list. If the sink is thicker than 3/4 inch then you will need to buy a sink flange extender, like this, to make the installation possible.
However, you cannot install an EZ mount Waste King garbage disposal on a fireclay sink if it is thicker than 1/2 inch.
Things other than height to consider while buying a garbage disposal for a farmhouse sink
There are a few more things than height to consider while choosing a garbage disposal for a farmhouse sink. Here are they;
Grinding power is not just about the horsepower of a garbage disposal’s motor. It is more about the power per pound value of the unit. However, there is no official power per pound rating for these machines, and I don’t think there is even a clear definition for it. If two garbage disposals with 30 oz and 40 oz capacity have 1 HP motors the former has more power per pound. I hope you get the idea.
For better performance, it is recommended to choose a garbage disposal with more power per pound.
There are two types of garbage disposals based on how food wastes are added into them; batch feed and continuous feed disposals. Continuous feed disposals are easier to operate because you can add food wastes while running the unit. But for a batch feed disposal, you will have to first fill the grinding chamber with food wastes, then close its cover to run it. Here the food wastes are processed in batches and hence the name. They are a safer option compared to the continuous feed type units.
Unfortunately, there are no batch feed type disposals in my knowledge that are smaller than 15 inches, so I am afraid they are not suitable for farmhouse sinks.
If you are interested in knowing more about these two feed types feel free to check my comparison of them here.
Type of food wastes you want to dispose of
Most garbage disposals cannot process fibrous or hard food items. If you want to dispose of such foods you will have to go for more advanced units like Evolution Excel or Evolution Compact.
How quiet and trouble-free do you want your garbage disposal to be?
Garbage disposals make a lot of noise while running. So most people prefer a quiet unit. If you are using a farmhouse sink there are only two garbage disposals in the above list that qualify this criterion. They are;
- InSinkErator Evolution Excel
- InSinkErator Evolution Compact
These two garbage disposals also tend to jam less when compared to other models thanks to Auto-Reverse and JamSensor technologies. If you want to know more about these technologies check this post.
Price is a major factor affecting a buying decision. If you want to buy a feature-rich, quiet model that is definitely going to cost you more money because only premium units come with those features. If you want a budget disposal for your farmhouse sink Badger 5 and L-3300 are good options.
Are there other garbage disposals that are small enough to use with a farmhouse sink? Definitely, but these are the ones I think are the best. If you have any questions or opinions regarding my selections or about anything at all please let me know through the comment section.