Sink-in'

Got a sink today for the downstairs bath. Upon realizing 2 of 3 bath sinks had been replaced around '39-'50, it became glaringly obvious that they did not match the other fixtures or the house. A lot of time when working on old houses, I aim for cohesion. Along with updating the plumbing, foundation, electrical etc, I try to clear away the years of random fixes and "updates" done to the house because they are usually crappy. If I can afford to buy the house, it's usually so ugly and crappy that banks won't even finance it because it's unliveable. 

My logic for making the house cohesive is simple - I use the original style as a guide. I usually love the original style of houses made in the '60s or before. I just have to undo the "updates" they did in the '70s, '80s and '90s which match the style of the time but usually look dated in retrospect. It's easy to make the house look right - you just have to go with the flow and not force hard lines of modernism onto your craftsman bungalow, for example. 

I'm ranting again. Anyway... 

Sinks of the 1900s to 1920s and 30s are round. They have round, large radius edges. All the way through 1928 when Crane came out with first colored porcelain bathroom sets (which are super cool and I want to use for the master bathroom), they were round. I don't know if this is because they were usually cast iron during this period instead of solid porcelain or glazed steel, but it may have something to do with it.

Here is the original 1927 tub. Round round round. Round edge, round basin, round knobs:

image.jpg

And here is a sink from the upper bath, possibly original. How nice and round the bowl.

image.jpg

Then here is the sink from '47 that was added at some point, on the left:

image.jpg

SQUARE. It's seems as though someone invented square fixtures, and it blew everyone's mind because nearly all sinks switched to this style in the '40s. Above on the right is another sink I am selling. It is a pre-war Crane Drexel sink which was made from around 1930-1970. It's rounder, but still square edged. (You can tell it's pre-war by the knobs which were bon bon shaped after the war.) It's a beautiful sink, but my plan is to make the bathrooms all '20s, even though the master bath was probably added when a lot of work was done in '39. Again, I'm going mostly for cohesion and not so much accuracy to the additions made through the '50s because this house is a mess design-wise.

Drexel hanging out in the M bath has got to go. "It's not you, I swear. I think you're a great sink. It's just that we're too different... not to mention the 13 year age difference," said the house. 

Drexel hanging out in the M bath has got to go. "It's not you, I swear. I think you're a great sink. It's just that we're too different... not to mention the 13 year age difference," said the house. 

I found a wall sink the right size and feel at Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley (so awesome). It was $75 which I think is fair. It has round edges! I know it has a similar shape to the old one, but it fits better I think.

image.jpg

It didn't come with the metal hanger brackets so I had to make some with steel washers and long zinc coated bolts. They feel solid. 

image.jpg

I wanted the main sink edge at 33" high. Kitchen sinks are 36" high for reference. The '47 sink was this high so I went with it. Pulling off the '50s bamboo weave exposed bolt holes, likely where the old sink hangers were. It's hard to see in the picture, but the front edge top of the sink is exactly 4" from the bottom and the hangar lip is 8" from the bottom.

image.jpg
11" on center (O.C.)

11" on center (O.C.)

It's up! The sticker glue on the side needs to be cleaned off. The wood trim sticking out on either side is for hand towels, I believe. Putting fresh towels on there will give it a nice fresh old-bath-still-being-used-and-loved feel.

It's up! The sticker glue on the side needs to be cleaned off. The wood trim sticking out on either side is for hand towels, I believe. Putting fresh towels on there will give it a nice fresh old-bath-still-being-used-and-loved feel.

Many sinks and toilets have a stamp on the bottom, often the date, but not always. The cross knobs would be unusual for something from '51, as would be the overflow style (those three holes for in case you leave the water running) and cast iron build. 

Many sinks and toilets have a stamp on the bottom, often the date, but not always. The cross knobs would be unusual for something from '51, as would be the overflow style (those three holes for in case you leave the water running) and cast iron build. 

 

The two late 30s to 40s sinks earlier in the post are both porcelain. It makes sense for something hanging from the wall to be less heavy so that if the porcelain sink comes off the wall, it might be held up by the chrome uprights (water supply lines) and the chrome p-trap drain. If this sink comes off, it's going down and ripping out plumbing with it and that would be a big mess. Better tighten down those hangers and make sure to tell roomates where the nice new red handled water main shutoff for the house is located...