Do you like having a window sill to set things on over your sink?

artemis78December 11, 2010

Getting ready to buy our moulding, and one thing that came up today was whether to have a window sill with a ledge of sorts over the sink. Originally I had planned to simply match the moulding in the rest of the house---previous remodelers took the original moulding in the kitchen out in a 1940s renovation but it's intact everywhere else in the house. However, we have pretty shallow sills on our other windows---maybe half an inch past the stop.

DH brought up the idea of having a deeper sill on the kitchen windows that we could set things on, something our neighbors did when they renovated (same trim except theirs had never been ripped out!) It blends in well with the old trim, so I don't think it would look out of place in that regard. I can envision putting things like vases and such there---but can also imagine it getting cluttered.

Do you have one, and if so, do you like it? What kinds of things do you use it for? How deep is it, if you know? Thanks!

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Mine must be about 4 inches deep. If you do it, make it at least 5. I usually have plants setting there. It hasn't become a catch all yet.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 9:29PM
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When we bought our fixer-upper almost 30 years ago....small, 1500 sq. ft tract of the first things I asked Mr. Amity to make me were window sills.

Over the years, we went from the 3" he originally added to all the front windows, including the kitchen windows, to 4" and now I've just had him replace two of the sills to 5".

Now I don't have to be moving my home-grown herbs to bigger pots and then to a shelf in the sunroom.
They can stay right on the sills much, much longer in pretty ceramic pots...the way the Heavens meant them to be. :)

Bay Laurel, Several varieties of Mint including Chocolate Mint (wonderful on these chilly nights we've had lately in our Hot Cocoa), Lemon Grass, Oregano, Two types of Chives.
As soon as the paint cures on the sills, I am going to buy/try growing those little miniature hot peppers. So colorful!

My sills have never collected clutter (unless one considers an arrangement of ceramic potted plants-clutter), but I must admit they collect dust because I have the windows open daily almost all year 'round.

Whether it's trinkets, a couple pieces of nice, smaller pottery or plants, I suggest the use of Quake Hold to keep your things steady on your sill.
Especially if you are in earthquake territory (me), have kitties that like to swat at the plant leaves (me) or have clumsy people who when reaching up to open the window, seem to always knock down a plant, or two (not me, but the rest of my family).

I've used Quake Hold for years and years and have never had a problem with it damaging painted or stained wood or any surface for that matter.
It's like Silly Putty but it doesn't bounce. :)
Just keeps things in place on your sills.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 11:23PM
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The only potential negative I can think of depends on your faucet type and location vs. where the sill is located.

Some faucets have parts that either move towards the back or decorative bits that protrude towards the back. When combined with a big sink and your style of cabinets, sometimes the faucet needs to be positioned very far back. A deep sill can protrude into the area needed by the faucet or sometimes interfere with handle use.

I have two small 4" deep sills and a 6" deep sill. Plants, oil and prep bowls, basket o'sink stuff, occasionally drying something small.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 10:05AM
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My window sills are all about 5 1/2", the one over the sink is a smidge bigger (any bigger and it would have interfered with the faucet). It has a pitcher, trinket box (for jewelry), candle and several plants on it.

The place I lived before (a city brownstone) had really deep window sills, maybe 12". Loved it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 11:42AM
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Thanks! I think we're clear on the faucet front, as we have a wall-mount faucet with handles and the windows are above it. Just need to check that it wouldn't project enough to hit the spout itself, but I think there's a bunch of space there.

Question for those with this the projection of the sill from the wall, or measured further back into the window opening itself? Trying to figure out how this works if we have window stops along the bottom of the window---noticed in a friend's house last night that they have a sill in place of their bottom stop, so it simply runs back into the window opening...maybe this is the normal way to do it? Right now ours have stops and aprons in front of them with no sill, if that makes any sense.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 12:10PM
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You're right in that the sill takes the place of the bottom stop. The sill is measured not exactly from the window itself, but allowing like a 1/16th ish gap to about 1.5"-2" beyond the wall surface. I'd measure another window in your home that I thought had the original trim.

It's called a stool when its inside of the house - which may help find more info on the internets. In our house, it extends about an inch beyond the side casings but this can vary between houses. The cut out on each end for the change in depth of the wall surface I think is called an ear for some odd reason.

Under the stool is a trim board that extends the same width as the windows plus the side casings, its called an apron. The top of it kicks out as it was a second molding, but its really just cut into the main board.

Our side casings have a strong round over on both sides, but are otherwise plain and go by the really attractive name of sanitary casing.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 9:45PM
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Thanks bmore! Unfortunately the original windows in the house all have the narrow stool plus apron combination, so not a sill to be seen. These would be the first windows to get them---so I may have to wing it!

But augh, that means I have to take the stool out, huh...just finished putting the stops in those windows back and priming/painting them this weekend. *sigh* Ah, well.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 10:10PM
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You can just add on to the front. That's what is done with a lot of wood new construction windows. Cut the stool down to the depth you want and attach with a trim nail gun. You'll get some strength against downward movement from the apron piece.

Because its a "recycled" edge - you might have a fit issue; Bondo to the rescue. :) Seriously, don't caulk the joint, use wood filler or bondo.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:19AM
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Yes, I love having a window sil with a small but sturdy
shelf. I used to have my crackle glass vases there, and wow
the morning light coming in made them just shine.

My window happens to be high enough that I have no issues
with the faucet. But I do agree if you have a window right
behind the sink with no space things can break when
washing or using your faucet. I truly love my space.


See how close this window is? Somethign to think about
if you have a high arc faucet

No space :* (

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:10AM
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I do love having a window sill behind my sink. I usually have a plant there and some other small vases or something like that.

We replaced our kitchen windows as part of the remodel and that gave me a chance to also replace the wooden sills, which were always a problem for me. No matter how much I tried not to put a dampish pot on the sill I always did and the paint was constantly bubbling and peeling.

So we replaced the wooden sills with soapstone tile sills (our counters are soapstone). We used the tiles because it was closer to the thickness of the wood sills than the 3cm counter stone was. I love that the sills are impervious to water. And I just like the way it looks.

I'm not sure how deep they are but I wish we had made them just a bit deeper. I think we could have gone another 3/4 inch and not crowded the faucet.

Here's a picture:
From Finished Kitchen

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:42AM
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Irma Bombeck, a humorist writer from my childhood, once mentioned that if she left a bowl out on a table, in no time at all, it would have all kinds of objects in it, beginning with a single paperclip I think.

That phenomenon is a factor in our house--perhaps a tomte [pronounced TOM-tee or TOOM-tee in our family] comes out from under the house and starts the process [tomtes also rearrange sock drawers and hide a few socks for sport]. Window sills are also victim to this crap collector phenomenon. In our new kitchen, I really didn't want window sills but I wanted a formica backsplash sill even less--I call these penny catchers because so many coins and paperclips and screws and nails and etc. perch on them. People will put something on a narrow windowsill whether you want them to or not and whether there's really sufficient space--witness the photo immediately above with green cabs.

A wide windowsill is another matter, though. These are blessings, if you're into plants. The wider the better. Best is a window cantilevered outward so that you have a true plant niche.

In any case, be sure that you leave enough space on a window sill for a shade to fully come down to touch the sill when lowered. This improves energy efficiency tremendously because it prevents a circling draft that drops down the window side. Even if you're not going to put in a shade, someone will want one some future time.

Here is a link that might be useful: fyi tomtes and their influence on otherwise rational people

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I have two windowsills, each about 5" deep, and I do like them for displaying knickknacks, things the kids bring home, and herbs I'm trying to grow (though they all die, I have a true black thumb). Right now they are relatively uncluttered, but give me a few months:

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 10:14AM
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VERY OT for Florantha & Bmorepanic 

I knew zip about Tomtes....never even heard the word.   
Thank you so much for that very interesting link!   
My Great Grandma would tell us about her favorite Gremlin....they were best pals.   
If we left a little candy in the package before we went to bed, the darn candy was gone in the morning!   
Darn Favorite Gremlin went around our beds specifically looking for left\-over candy...ate it.   
Favorite Gremlin also did other strange things: Put Christmas tree up after we all went to bed, made cookies with our names on them for our birthdays, etc.   
But if we were bad to Great\-Grandma, look out! Favorite Gremlin didn't like us going against her and would find a way to get us back. LOL   
Again, really enjoyed reading link! 

I've seen you mention bondo before.   
I bought what I thought was was in a tube, rolled. To activiate it you cut a piece off and kneaded it with your fingers. 

After prepping the area well, I thinly applied it to the very deep gouge left in our fridge by the pro restorers after the water damage in our kitchen. 

So the Bondo got put on, thinly and I thought all was going to work out perfectly as once I sanded it I would cover it with the matching appliance paint. 

Not so.   
That stuff can not be sanded!   
I got so tired (arms ached & hand cramped up) the first day trying to sand the bondo to a somewhat smooth finish that I gave up.   
Tried a couple hours the next day, gave up. 

Now I just leave all the sanding discs/blocks on the corner of the counter and if I walk by with nothing else to do, I'll give the area some sanding....not that it's doing any good.   
What's the best way/what tool? to sand this stuff once it's sets? 

I've got lumps and bumps on the door of a fridge where a gouge used to be. At this point, I'd rather have the gouge!
    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 10:36AM
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I've never seen the tubes - I get bondo from the big box store in the same location they sell wood fillers. It sands pretty easily - but it comes in a can and is flamingo pink.

I saw a tube listed as glazing putty, but I don't know what that does or if its the same thing you bought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bondo fillers

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 10:53AM
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Also, to hijack my own thread...

I see that lots of these photos have backsplashes that are tiled right up to the window sill, with no (or minimal) apron below. Thoughts on this?

Our house has 3.5" aprons on the rest of the windows, and we have plenty of room to do this in the kitchen too---13" between finished counter and the window edge. Not sure if it makes sense to drop the apron in this case or not---we're using 3" x 6" subway tile for the backsplash. Pros/cons to this?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Hi artemis...

I don't feel qualified to answer your question about the pros and cons...I can only provide a visual of mine...which I enjoy decorating with potted plants. I feel that it is important that the sill, being so close to the splashing of the sink, is tiled with something waterproof.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 12:51PM
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I honestly can not say if there are pros and cons...
Sometimes in these situations I think if it looks better
than go with the look you love.
But, I do have a few more images that might help you
see more moulding ideas.


I wonder if splashing gets on the window

Naughty Kitty from usone vip

Here is one with more space between sink and window

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 12:54PM
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