New sink for pink kitchen

gannetOctober 6, 2012

So, we live in this somewhat unusual house. The folks that owned it were very crafty and artistic, so they did it all themselves and nothing is really "normal". We love that, but it sometimes makes it a little hard to work with.

Anyway, the kitchen faucet is shot, and the sink has seen better days. The sink is cast-iron/enamel, in a nice shell pink. Kitchen pics here, taken before we moved in: The lighting makes it look more yellow than it really is. In real life the kitchen is various shades of true pink, and the counter tiles are maroon.

We can't afford a remodel, and indeed rather like the funkyness of the current kitchen. So we just want to replace the sink and faucet. As far as I can tell, you can't buy pink kitchen sinks these days. Since the appliances are all stainless, we're thinking of going with a stainless sink.

The particular model we think we've settled on is the Kohler Vault 4-hole. I know that modern angular look doesn't really go with the rest of the kitchen, but it was just about the only single-bowl we could find that didn't have a flat bottom, a feature that's important to my wife. Any comments on the quality of this sink? Any other suggestions?

I'm having more trouble choosing a faucet - maybe because there are so many choices! We know we want a mid or high arc 2-handle with straight or wristblade handles, and a sidespray. I just can't decide on a style and brand!

Reliability is a major concern. I worry about high-arc spouts starting to leak at the base over time. Should this be a concern? If so, are there ways to avoid it?

I've noticed that most of the 2-handle designs have an escutcheon that bridges the handles and spout. To me that just looks like one more thing to clean. Is there an advantage to having an escutcheon that I don't know about?

We want quality and are willing to pay for it, within reason, but I'm more concerned about mechanical quality and durability than style.

I've looked at a somewhat modern style like the Kohler Triton. But then there are more transitional styles like the Kohler Revival, Victorian styles like the Moen Waterhill, and traditional styles like the Kohler Fairfax and Moen Vestige. I'm really not sure what would look best. As you can see from the pics, the typical design photos don't really apply to our situation. :)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice? Comments?

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We bought a house with pink kitchen counters! I like the way you "embrace the funkiness!"

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You're probably looking at doing a top mount sink over the tile installation to tide you over until you can rip everything out. I'd be looking at something in a granite composite in a black or dark grey. Both coordinate well with pink and can be re-used down the road in an undermount situation when you remodel.

I'm curious as to why your wife doesn't want a flat bottomed sink? It's a heck of a lot more user friendly when you can put a glass in the sink and have it stand up rather than fall over or slide down towards the drain.

Here's the Blanco single sink in Graphite. It has additional knockouts if you choose to use something other than a single post faucet. It's not even a bad price from Amazon, at $329, but remember that you need either a strainer basket assembly or decorative disposal flange that matches either the sink or faucet that you choose. Most people also opt for the sink grid as well.

If you aren't on septic, you'll need to replace the disposal as well. It will come with a stainless flange, or you can pick something decorative to replace it with as mentioned above. It will also need an electrical supply cord if you are in a location where it's plugged in. Some are hardwired. Pick one with a stainless steel grinding chamber and blades like the Insinkerator Evolution series and it'll be quieter and won't rust out on you like on of the cheap $100 Badger series ones will.

As far as your faucet, anything that's domestically produced and fits your style is likely to work well for many years. The key to avoiding leaks with any faucet is to have good water going through it (have your water treated if necessary) install it correctly, and don't use it to support your body when leaning into the sink. Any of the faucets that you list will do well if you do all of those things. And they'll still be around to be re-used when you remodel fully.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:22AM
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I've got the Vault, it's great and I love it (glasses definitely do not tip over in it, ha). It does show water spots and is very angular, so the aesthetic is quite different than your current sink. Mine is the low divide version (absolutely fantastic for those of us who like/need divided sinks, which I do). Definitely choose your faucet at the same time so you'll know how many holes to get -- I only needed one.

I can't speak to installation with the tile, but you might want to have a think about putting a topmount sink with such a low profile rim on it. There might be gaps at the tile/grout intersections, if the grout is not the same height as the tile (if that makes sense), and I don't know how that'll look filled in with whatever you use to seal it. Might be fine, it's just a thought.

Aesthetically speaking, I would vote for another enameled cast iron sink for you (Kohler even still makes tile-in sinks, if they fit your current cutout). I know composite sinks like Silgranit are very popular on this forum, but the ones I saw in person just look very different than the cast iron and I didn't care for them myself. I am a bit skeptical of the look of the Vault for your kitchen too, but since I like it in my own (semi-vintage-esque) kitchen I don't want to say no for sure. I am not the best imaginer, sometimes.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:36AM
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I'm agree with Northcarolina that the stainless wouldn't be right with your kitchen's aesthetic. I also agree that enameled cast iron would look right, but also my heart is with a Blanco Silgranit sink (that Hollysprings mentioned) because I have one and love it. Hollysprings' pic is the black color, but Silgranit sinks come in several colors (not pink tho!). I think the Silgranit biscuit color would go well and be similar to what you have now, but there are several other colors that would like nice. Anyway, we had a stainless sink before, and I would never go back to stainless with its water marks, scratches, dull film and tinny sound. I am confused by your comment about seeking a sink not having a flat bottom - not sure what is the issue, but our Silgranit sink is mostly flat, with a gentle slope toward the drain so that the water drains properly.

It looks like your sink base cabinet is 36" since you are looking at that Kohler Vault sink which requires a 36" cabinet base. The Blanco Diamond Super Single that HollySprings pictures is that size - we wanted that one, but had to go one size down due to our cabinet size not being 36". The corner drain is fabulous. You can fit so much more under your sink with the drainpipe out of the way, and you can fit so much more in your sink without covering the drain. Price-wise the Silgranit Diamond Super Single is about the same as the Kohler Vault, especially if you order online and get free shipping.

As to a faucet, I am wondering why you want a 2-handle design, and why you want a side spray. While some people prefer side sprays, ask any plumber and they will tell you an integrated spray (i.e. part of the faucet) is preferable. A side spray is more prone to repairs, has significantly less water pressure, and when you are spraying you have to hold down the handle in order for it to stay on spray. Plus it's another hole to clean around. So my vote would be for a faucet with an integrated spray. As to two handles, that is a personal preference, but I like one handle because it is easier to set the temperature, and to turn on and off the water with, say, greasy chickened-up hands, when there is just one handle. As to the leaking you mention, that would have nothing to do with a high-arc design; leaking is a function of a poor installation and/or poor-quality faucet, regardless of the design. I'll link one of my favorite faucet threads, which has so many pictures of faucets installed in kitchens, it should help you decide more what you are looking for.

Blanco Diamond Super Single in Biscuit

Thread called Which Kitchen Faucet Did You Pick?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Thank you all for the replies. They have given us much to think about.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 6:15AM
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Gannet, I am not sure where you are located, but another option is the reclamation warehouses. I have seen many, many sinks there that would go PERFECT in that kitchen. And the hunting is fun.... well, hubby and I find it extremely fun and seeing as you love that house, you would find it fun also. Do a search online for architectural salvage in your area. We have 4 places near us in MD that we go to regularly. You don't always have to replace with new.

And I have to say, I am glad a house that had so much love poured into it from it's previous owners found new owners who could appreciate what they did and at least their hard work and quirkiness. Most often the new owners would have come in and ripped out and painted over everything while making it boring and bland again. I love the double arch doorways and the paint job on them. I don't think I have ever seen anything like them.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:38AM
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