May be forced to ss sink though I dislike them--will I hate it?

needinfo1March 12, 2013

My kitchen era/ vintage and feel seems to call out for a classic white enamel cast iron sink, and it is what I have now and like. I'm a classic white sink person. But, we are discovering that because of our non-standard cabinet size and our plumbing configuration, the easiest replacement when we put in new counters might end up being a stainless steel sink because we can find one that nearly replicates our current no-longer-produced Kohler white sink.

I looked into silgranite since so many here recommend it, but that is just as complicated as far as the cast iron, and I stil don't like the look of it as well as traditional cast iron.

Stainless steel sinks leave me cold as far as appearance. So many I see around here seem to have white water spots on them, something else that looks unattractive to me. And, I really believe the look of stainless isn't right for my kitchen.

If I take the easy way out (stainless involves no cutting down cabinetry or losing a cabinet drawer or changing plumbing as would be entailed in putting in another cast iron sink) and just put in stainless, how much will I hate it?

The stainless we would be looking at is definitely on the higher price point rather than the cheaper.


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Have you looked into copper sinks?

Also, there lots of custom made stone sinks from granite to soapstone to onyx.

(Edited for a typo)

This post was edited by eleena on Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 15:45

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:46AM
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It doesn't make any sense at all to put a brand new sink in that you so strongly dislike.

You are going to a great deal of trouble and expense to re-do your kitchen. The sink is where we all spend the majority of our time. Get one you like, even if it means losing a cabinet drawer.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:52AM
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I am waiting to get more info, including price, about a custom made soapstone sink.

Hammered copper doesn't do it for me. I saw something in nickle silver that might possibly work out.

I appreciate your help and thoughts.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:52AM
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I like and prefer stainless steel sinks. But you will hate it; that is very evident. So don't do it. Modify the cabinetry to get the sink you want.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Why did you move away from the idea of keeping your current sink? I thought that that was a great option.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:19PM
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I don't like stainless sinks, though I have lived with them for more time than porcelain. I just hate how they show all the water spots, scratch so easily, etc. Keep looking and hold out for the sink you want - have you checked Ikea they have a few options for porcelain.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:20PM
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If you don't like stainless sinks, don't get one. I have one and am fine with it, but it does show water spots. It just does. Next time I might go with something else.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:39PM
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We had planned to keep our current sink that we like a lot. But, we then decided it is just too big a risk to spend all of those thousands of dollars on new countertops cut to match a sink that is a very odd size and not replaceable because it is no longer made. We'd be up the creek if the sink somehow had a problem or broke, and we'd be stuck with a huge hole in our new soapstone counters that we wouldn't know what to do with.

Maybe we are being overly paranoid about the possibility of this happening because I know many of those old, vintage sinks are still around and being sold for mega bucks by people who are searching them out. I don't know if damage or breakage of a cast iron sink is possible. I've searched and searched, and there are just none of these sinks like mine available any more. If we'd been able to find one, we'd have ordered a new one and kept the old one as a back up just in case something happened to damage the sink.

I've been to Ikea too but don't want a farmhouse sink.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:42PM
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I'd look into changing the cabinet size and/or the plumbing configuration you referred to, before I'd compromise on the sink I truly love.

I have a stainless steel sink and don't like it. Of course there are worse things in life than not liking my sink. But if I had the ability to get something else, I would. Why shouldn't a sink give you pleasure rather than a feeling of resignation? Look into your cabinet and plumbing alternatives.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Easy. Yeah if you hate stainless sinks and don't think it matches your kitchen then I suspect you'll still hate it if you get one.
Stainless is the only sink I like. I don't have white spots, but it's for washing dishes and I don't expect any sink to look out of the box new once it's in service.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Circus Peanut

Would you mind posting a photo of the current enamel sink with its dimensions? There are plenty of folks out here who regularly cruise the various auction sites, etc, and someone might just be able to locate one, or a very similar one, in great shape/new old stock. Stranger things have happened! There are also more obscure makers one of us might have a handle on.

Alternately, have you seen or used a white fireclay sink? They are quite similar, both in looks and tactile-ness.

Don't replace your beloved white enameled castiron if that's what you really want. I can't stand stainless, either, and wouldn't be happy at all being forced into it.

This post was edited by circuspeanut on Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 14:58

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:56PM
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How about re-porcelainizing (is that a word?) your old sink? If you love the sink that much, isn't it worth sinking (pun intended:) some $ into having it re-coated? The cast iron will last longer than you do, just a thought...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Circus Peanut

Good point, ctycdm. There are 2 places in the Midwest that do this kind of real re-porcelain-ing, so depending on where you live, OP, it might be a real option?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:03PM
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I think the only way you can break a cast iron sink is to hit it in the corner with a sledge hammer 5 or 6 times REEEEEEAAAAAALLLLLY hard. If you're not planning on doing that, it should last (hold water) just fine.

Chipping the porcelain is a different thing. That can happen at any time.

My just-completed 30-second search for porcelain refinishing tells me that some of them are doing a paint or epoxy approach. You would really be looking for someone to use real porcelain and a kiln -type approach.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:17PM
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I followed the recommendations of people here and it has made all the difference in how great my new franke sink looks all the time. Get the matching sink grid even if it's pricey and keep a micro fiber cloth handy (mine is in the flip out tray in front) for a quick wipe down after you wash your dishes. No spots and super easy.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I've read here that reporcelanizing is really only for bathroom fixtures and not things like kitchen sinks that are exposed to all sorts of things.

My sink has some minor, surface scratches but no chips or real damage at all.

Here is a photo (I hope) of the Koher Epicurean I currently have in white and like because it works for us. The larger bowl is 10" deep and 17 x 19, and the smaller is a very shallow 8 x 16. We also really like the drainboard feature. So, all together, the sink cutout is about 43" by 22". But, the entire 14" wide by 16" deep drainboard area is so shallow that it is just a part of the counter, and a regular cabinet with a drawer can just sit under it. This is why I am having a very difficult time finding anything to replace it because I really want one large bowl and one quite small bowl. This set up with the Epicurean is for both bowls to fit in a 29 1/2 interior measurement cabinet.

Thanks for all of your thoughts.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 5:04PM
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Circus Peanut

What you want is the real reporcelain process, not the bathfitter stuff that's just a tough paint. For the real thing, they sandblast the metal and then bake on the new porcelain glaze in an industrial kiln. Hard to find folks who do it, but it would be someone like Custom Ceramic Coatings.

That's a great sink and I'd not want to lose it either. The older Kohler porcelain was pretty tough stuff.

In case of desperation, have you checked out the Nevan fireclay sink that has a very similar configuration? It looks like this:

Here is a link that might be useful: Nevan fireclay sink

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:09PM
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You are soooooo helpful! After reading your comments yesterday and doing some more thinking about the topic, we are now leaning towards just reinstalling our sink. We looked online and did find a couple sinks that would probably fit the cutout in desperation if we ever needed to go this route in the future. They wouldn't be what we really would want, and we'd have to lose a drawer and reconfigure the plumbing in order to make them work, but would at least provide a way to fill that gaping hole in the countertop without having to completely start all over again with counters.

And, thanks for the link to the fireclay sink. I have been kind of avoiding all thoughts of fireclay since reading here the problems some people have with breakage. And, the one in the link has a main bowl that is smaller than mine; I really wouldn't want to go much smaller than what I currently have.

I've also been following up on your idea of totally reporcelanizing. Since our sink still looks really nice, this is something we could do at some time in the far distant future if worst came to worst. I also did some more reading on this, and apparently the current problem is with using this process on cast iron sinks (like mine) because lead can no longer be used in the process.

So, many thanks!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:29AM
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Circus Peanut

Needinfo -- no problem. I can empathize with your issue: my stove is from 1949 and completely porcelain enamel; if it chips, I'm very much out of luck. But that's just the nature of the beast, and I think the enjoyment we get out of older fixtures & appliances that we love is well worth it.

In fact, I just thought of you. By wild coincidence I was browsing Craigslist, and there is a kitchen display being sold on Craigslist in Cape Cod that includes a Kohler Epicurean sink, brand new. (!!) Can't quite tell, but I think it's white?

Perhaps you could give them a quick shout and make an offer for just the sink, if you agree to pay shipping?

Here is a link that might be useful: cape cod kitchen display for sale, with your sink

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:16PM
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