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Use of vintage pedestal sinks

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Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby Cutcher on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:04 pm

I am planning a complete gut and remodel of our one (and only) bathroom in a 1913's Folk Victorian. My plan was to use as much vintage material as possible including finding two matching pedestal sinks. My question is I guess just a general one on the pros and cons of using vintage sinks and other items.

I'm getting a lot of "push back" from others saying that the individual hot/cold taps are not efficient and will always look old. I think that’s the whole ideal and it will just add to the charm and feel.

Thanks for any feedback.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby Sombreuil_Mongrel on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:32 pm

Pouring a mix of hot and cold water into your basin and then using it to handwash is just not the way people do it any more. I wash hands under a stream of blended H&C coming from a single spout. The only time I fill the basin is when shaving. I have friends with single hots and colds, and it's a case of extremes when handwashing.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby cs on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:45 pm

The only (very minor) downside that I've found with reusing antique sinks is that you occasionally have to order specialty parts to make it all work. For example, I needed a special drain assembly for my powder-room sink because I wanted to reuse the original bowl. It was not significantly more expensive then a "regular" drain assembly, though. It just took a bit longer to have in-hand. This is really not a big deal to figure out.

My wife, incidentally, had the same objection to separate hot and cold faucets that you are encountering. One solution - vintage friendly - is a bridge faucet. You can see mine here:

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Another solution would have been to utilize a center spout in the hole currently occupied by the anchor for the chain drain-plug, with two flanking hot and cold knobs. This type of faucet is readily available. We have a reproduction pedestal sink in the master bath with THIS kind of arrangement.

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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby eperot on Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:54 pm

I would do it in a heartbeat for a half-bath, but for our everyday main bath we went with a new serpentine console sink with a widespread faucet. It looks classic, though not as "authentic" as some fuller ball single taps. :)
Another consideration is that over the years the use of a bathroom sink has changed somewhat. Lots of people used to wash their hair in sinks before daily showers were popular, so you might notice that vintage sinks have a much lower height. Often about 30" tall, I have found our sink set around 35" is more comfortable to use on a daily basis.
Things to think about.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby catya on Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:21 pm

You know, I just gotta say it.

"Not the way people do things these days" is no reason to decide anything in an old house. Now, if YOU decide you want to do it - have at it! It's your house. Let the next people do whatever the heck they want.

I have separate hot and cold on my cool vintage corner sink and you know what? You adjust. Either mix in your hands or in the basin or use a wash cloth. Usually by the time the hot water gets upstairs anyway I'm finished and done. All that goes on in that sink is brushing of teeth and face/hands wash up - which is to say it doesnt get heavy use unlike a kitchen sink fer instance. The minor inconvenience is so minor that it's statistically zero - IMHO. Greatly offset by the esthetic pleasure I get every morning - love the cute porcelain handles with hot & cold on them.

Now what I can't stand is those horrible single lever faucets where you ditz around forever and can never find true "cold." Hate those with a passion! But I'd never dream of telling anyone that they should see it my way.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby Sombreuil_Mongrel on Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:49 pm

And for all I care you can take your weekly bath in a tin tub in the middle of the kitchen floor, with water you brought to a boil on your woodstove, but I'll keep my anti-scald valves, thank you. Whatever you decide to do for aesthetic reasons, safety and convenience aside, enjoy yourself. ;-)
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In 1900 they made single-spout faucets too, they were just more upscale and costly.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby avjudge on Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:12 pm

catya wrote:Now what I can't stand is those horrible single lever faucets where you ditz around forever and can never find true "cold." Hate those with a passion! But I'd never dream of telling anyone that they should see it my way.


And I hate "safe" mixing valves which won't let the water get hot enough. The best way I've found to kill poison ivy itch - for hours - is to spray it with really, really hot water - barely bearable - for a few minutes. I've never been able to do that with a single-lever control.

Fortunately I haven't yet gotten poison ivy in a place I can't get under a faucet since I moved here - all the sprayers here (hand-held showers & kitchen sink) have single-lever controls . . .

And on the topic of this post, it's your bathroom, but my personal opinion of two-faucet sinks (meaning 2 outlets, not 2 knobs) is not favorable - they're just a major pain to wash your hands in, which is what I do most in a bathroom sink.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby the_ps on Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:17 pm

avjudge wrote:And I hate "safe" mixing valves which won't let the water get hot enough.
There's usually a stop that you can remove to get 100% hot water.
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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby msteinen on Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:50 am

When we did our addition a couple of years ago, we used all of the vintage/salvaged materials we could. We found antique sinks for both of our new bathrooms. One had the center mixing spout already, but we used a bridge faucet for the one in the powder room. It had a nonstandard measurement (11" between holes), so we had to get one custom made. It can be a hassle to made vintage/salvage work, but for us it was worth it.

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Re: Use of vintage pedestal sinks

Postby utopia13 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:32 am

the_ps wrote:
avjudge wrote:And I hate "safe" mixing valves which won't let the water get hot enough.
There's usually a stop that you can remove to get 100% hot water.


I know folks with children may disagree, but I've had it up to my eyeballs with "safe" everything!! I have finally disabled the "safe" lid on my washing machine. It used to lock (for my safety of course) as soon as the cycle started. Then of course, you always find something you want to toss in that load....but MY machine would not let me.

What a freakin' joke! :evil: The lock is removed & the switch is disabled. I can run it with the lid UP if I so choose.
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