Anyone have a window lower than the counter?

amberleyApril 24, 2008

We ordered new windows that are coming in a few weeks, and have a masonry house, so the openings are not "adjustable". I am thinking I would like to place my sink under a window that is about 3" shorter than the height of the counters. Is this possible? Does anyone have pics of this?

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jeannie_kitchen

I definitely have seen a picture of this, and I remember being surprised at how good it looked. I'll see if I can find it for you. I remember they did something interesting with it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:04PM
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jaynesb

There were a bunch of photos and discussions of them in this forum a few weeks ago. Some looked very cool. I had one from my previous owner and hated it because water was always splashing into it. However, there were very large windows and lots of light because of the way they designed it.

jayne

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:16PM
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catlike

Not quite what you're looking for, but there was a thread on ikeafans.com where someone asked about a window that was set below counter height. If you're looking for suggestions of how to use that space, check out the thread. I don't believe there was a specific suggestion for a sink, but if that doesn't work out, at least there are other options!

Here is a link that might be useful: window sits below counter height

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:23PM
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florida_joshua

Look at Bucks County Soapstones home page. They did a really cool sink build with the window slightly lower than the countertops. . .

www.buckscountysoapstone.com

Yep that's the old Santa Barbara quarry. . . of course it's all custom fabrication, not your cookie cutter type work.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 11:27PM
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jennamae

Our window sits below the counter because our house was built in 1875. I have to tell you I hate it~ Water splashes back there and it gets really messy. It is difficult to clean and always looks grungy.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:21AM
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amberley

jennamae and jaynesb- I hadn't thought about the water splashing issue. That would be annoying. Maybe that could be helped by making the sink cabinet bumped out an extra 6"? Or maybe putting a row of herbs or some other plants there?

joshua- I knew I had seen something before! That was where I saw this idea orginally. We are definately doing soapstone, and we leaning towards DIY. Would we be able to do something like this?

I just measured the window opening, and the top of the current sill is at 32"- so it is actually 4" lower than standard counter height. Now, I am short (5'1"), so I am wondering if I did the whole cabinet lower (which would be about baking height I think?) would this be too low for the faucet. I can always make the sink slightly shallower to accomodate the lower height.

Or if I went with the counter at regular height and had a little "well" I could finish the back of the cabinet with soapstone and maybe even the sill- hopefullly helping with any water issues. These windows will also have the permanant grilles on the inside, so they can be raised by using the grilles as opposed to the sash lift at the bottom- so access to that wouldn't be an issue.

I should add that this is the only spot where I could put a sink at the window. My other window (which is higher than counter level) sits directly above our electrical panel, so installing plumbing there is not really advisable.

I am hoping I can find a solution that would not be custom, as we are planning to do much of the work ourselves.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:52AM
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cleo07

Hi amberley!

Which wall are you thinking about? the wall with the ext door or the other one?

There was a thread with at least 3 decent pictures of a sink lower than the window in the last few months. One was a farm sink, DIY with a brick hearth. It had a real period feel. I think the owner even made her own cabinets. I couldn't find the thread or the kitchen on FKB either. I think she was a regular though so maybe she will chime in with a pic. I can't remember the other one too well; I think it was a historic home, with white cabs.

Hopefully you can find the picture. I know you can't make the opening bigger but can you raise the bottom of the window and fill it in on the exterior with plywood and stone/brick/stucco (don't know what you have). You would have a shorter window but keep the same header etc. I did this with my counter height window by making it narrower. I have cedar clapboard though so it was easier.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:56PM
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amberley

cleo-

Would love to have done what you suggested- by the windows are already being made. I didn't think I would have the option of putting plumbing on that wall (the same wall with the exterior door- basically in the same spot that I had the sideboard on the first plan).

If this would work, it solves huge numbers of symmetry and flow issues- I can have a cleanup zone separate from the cooking zone, and the sink could be flanked with 24" of open counter and a 36" wide x 54" tall hutch on each side (one for everyday dishes and one for the good stuff).

I didn't want to post a new layout until I am sure that this sink/window thing would work.

For those that wonder what on earth I am talking about, please see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: my first layout post

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:18PM
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patser

We have a masonry house and have changed the size of the window openings. It can be done pretty easily...and yes there's a cost attached but it wasn't horrible.

In our previous house, the bottom of the window behind our sink was lower than the sink. I hated it. I had to get a step stool every time I opened it. And, yes, it was a pain to keep clean. I'd change masonry again before I have a window sill lower than the countertop.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 3:20PM
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cleo07

Hi amberley

No pics yet? I know exactly which kitchen has the low window but can't seem to find it.

How much was the window you ordered? If it is at all possible to change the window opening, I would eat the cost of the window and do the kitchen with the right layout and order a new window. Maybe a neighbor would buy it?

I can't wait to see the new layout.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:35AM
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cleo07

Hi amberley

No pics yet? I know exactly which kitchen has the low window but can't seem to find it.

How much was the window you ordered? If it is at all possible to change the window opening, I would eat the cost of the window and do the kitchen with the right layout and order a new window. Maybe a neighbor would buy it?

I can't wait to see the new layout.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:36AM
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cleo07

Hi amberley

No pics yet? I know exactly which kitchen has the low window but can't seem to find it.

How much was the window you ordered? If it is at all possible to change the window opening, I would eat the cost of the window and do the kitchen with the right layout and order a new window. Maybe a neighbor would buy it?

I can't wait to see the new layout.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:37AM
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mindstorm

amberley, Why do you need to have the sink in front of a window? Will you have a DW? If so, how much do you realistically expect to be at the sink?

My suggestion is to put the sink at some interior spot, lower the counter in front of this window and designate it your baking area - may even be a prep area for you if large enough and comfortable enough. Would the work flow still function if this were the case?

I wouldn't lower the counters in front of the window AND put in a sink. I believe those who've said that the sink infront of a low window is a PITA. The other thing to remember is that tall people often talk about the effect of working at a (deep) sink (which would only be about 2" deeper than "typical") or an undermounted sink because they have to bend to get to the bottom and it is hard on the back in that configuration. At 5'1" you are not *so* short that lowering your counters by 4" and then putting in a sink will be comfortable for you - I suspect that you will end up with that tall person at sink syndrome :-)

Why do you want to go through the bother of a remodel only to put in a PITA configuration?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:07AM
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cleo07

Hey everyone
Sorry about all those repetitive posts...it kept telling me that the server was down and message could not be posted.
Cleo

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:29AM
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amberley

cleo-

Changing the window is definately not an option. These were not cheap windows- about $1000 a pop, and to change the size would put me into custom sizing for even more money, and I wouls have to deal with the masonry. I did some more searching on the web and I think I have determined that I wouldn't mind the "well" that would be created- I would just put some plants there.

Mindstorm- the layout I am thinking of (I will post as soon as I have clean copy- it is all scribbles at the moment) actually makes a lot of sense. The window just happens to be in the middle of the wall that I want to put the sink on, and I like the idea of the sink at the window for the same reasons everyone else does- light, symmetry, watch the kids in the backyard, etc.

Also, it creates a nice cleanup zone/dish storage zone along that wall, which happens to be parallel to the table, so easy to set the table, etc.

I do agree that upon thinking about it, I don't think that the lowered sink would be a great option. As everyhting in this process is a series of compromises, i think having the sink at this window with the counters 4" is a better compromise than many of the others I have considered. Also, I would have a small prep sink as well on my range wall, so this sink would only be for cleanup.

We have a pretty busy schedule today-t-ball, b-day party- so I am hoping I can get my layout posted tonight or tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 1:17PM
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amberley

cleo-

Changing the window is definately not an option. These were not cheap windows- about $1000 a pop, and to change the size would put me into custom sizing for even more money, and I wouls have to deal with the masonry. I did some more searching on the web and I think I have determined that I wouldn't mind the "well" that would be created- I would just put some plants there.

Mindstorm- the layout I am thinking of (I will post as soon as I have clean copy- it is all scribbles at the moment) actually makes a lot of sense. The window just happens to be in the middle of the wall that I want to put the sink on, and I like the idea of the sink at the window for the same reasons everyone else does- light, symmetry, watch the kids in the backyard, etc.

Also, it creates a nice cleanup zone/dish storage zone along that wall, which happens to be parallel to the table, so easy to set the table, etc.

I do agree that upon thinking about it, I don't think that the lowered sink would be a great option. As everyhting in this process is a series of compromises, i think having the sink at this window with the counters 4" is a better compromise than many of the others I have considered. Also, I would have a small prep sink as well on my range wall, so this sink would only be for cleanup.

We have a pretty busy schedule today-t-ball, b-day party- so I am hoping I can get my layout posted tonight or tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 1:18PM
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amberley

I am am getting error messages too- sorry about the duplicate post.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 1:20PM
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jeannie_kitchen

I found the picture I was thinking of, I wish I could scan it for you. It is in a coffee table kitchen book called "Lyn Peterson's Real Life Kitchens." Gorgeous book, fun to look at. It shows a kitchen with a window lower than the counter, with a cook top in front of it. In that picture, they had a couple inch marble backsplash, same as countertop that ran across the window. The window was several inches back from the backsplash. It really looked like it would work with a sink, too.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 2:05PM
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jeannie_kitchen

I found this picture today while I was looking for something else. It is a similar look to the book I noted above. I think it lookds very doable, and worth it to have the sink in front of a window.

http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/4/24/1012582/stylesecrets14.pdf

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:13AM
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amberley

jeannie-

I googled the design firm credits from the pic and found their website with additional pics of that kitchen and the sink. I LOVE how they did that curve on the backsplash. Since I am planning to do an integrated soapstone sink, a curved piece of ss would be perfect!

BTW, the Design Galleria site has some GORGEOUS pics of kitchens. They are all very high end, and is some cases a bit over the top, but there are some really great ideas in many of the pics.

Thanks so much for the pic! I think I am conviced that this will not only work, but look great too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Design Galleria kitchens

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:20PM
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jeannie_kitchen

Wow! That site had some mighty nice kitchens. I liked the cabinets that were basically windows. We seriously considered doing that in our kitchen, but found a different solution. It just goes to show you that if you can think outside the box, you can work around almost anything.

I think your sink will look great.

I'm glad my obsessive kitchen surfing helped!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:44PM
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tcahalan

Hi - we just finished our kitchen remodel which included a sink in front of a low window -- we live in an old house and were very limited in our options. I have a soaptstone counter with an undermount sink. We put a small piece of soapstone as a "backspash" behind the sink. I've tried to link to a picture - I hope it helps. It's worked great for us - and no one notices that the sink is lower until I mention it. Tina

Here is a link that might be useful: sink in front of low window

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:49PM
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amberley

Tina- That is just what I am looking for! How much lower is your window? How did you finish off the window trim? Does it stop at the counter? Would you be able to take any close up pics of where the trim and the soapstone come together? So your sink counter is lower too? What height is it?

Thanks!!!

Amy

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 8:16PM
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tcahalan

Sorry for the lag in replying -- I'm having computer issues -- I'll try and do the pictures tomorrow. But i realized I had a typo in my answer so it might not be as helpfull - the sink is standard height -- I meant that noone notices the window is lower. To answer your quetions - the glass part of the window is about 3 inches below the counter, and then several inches of trim, etc. We just took off the window sill and then had a piece of soapstone cut to sit on the back part of the countertop. It was actually wider than the glass part, so they later had to re-install the trim on the sides of the window (sorry I don't know all the technical terms) to fit around it. The window trim sits right on the countertop. The sink counter and sink is the same as the rest of my counter. Tina

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:37PM
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