Want a quick project to spruce up your bath, kitchen, bar or powder room? Consider installing a new sink. Today’s sinks are crafted to not only suit your needs, but also your fancy. And there are so many design choices, ranging from farmhouse to funky, that the possibilities for updating your space are endless.
Back at the Farm A particular sink that is regaining popularity is the apron-front, or farmhouse, sink. These cast-iron basins are reminiscent of sinks found in turn-of-the-century butler’s pantries. This style is perfect if you are looking for a small sink, or it could serve as a second sink in a smaller kitchen. Kohler manufactures several models of these apron-front sinks. The Alcott is a basic, cast-iron model that comes in several colors and also with a coordinating 2″x 6″ ceramic accent tile. It is also available in tile-in and under-the- counter models for flexibility in installation. Remember that an under-the-counter model will give you more options when choosing and installing your faucets. For a more authentic, turn-of-the-century look, choose faucets that are wall mounted. Kohler also offers several apron fronts with a decorative flair. Kohler’s Artist Editions represents their new line of surface- decorated fixtures. Tidings features a carved apron front that can be ordered with or without a Game Bird Motif. This model is available tile-in or under-the-counter. Tidings would be the ideal choice for a weekend lodge or camp house, carrying that theme just a bit further. For a more classic, yet decorated, look, Alencon Lace is the sink for you. As the name implies, this sink features a carved apron suggestive of French lace. The cast-iron model is, again, available in tile-in or under-counter installation. The beauty of this sink is the fact that ‘the pattern is organic and abstract and will blend easily with many decorating schemes,’ says Mary Reid, director-advanced concept development for Kohler decorative products. Alencon is available in Black, Sandbar and Cashmere.
Show your Style Another product in Kohler’s Artist Editions line is the decorated basin. These sinks provide a great opportunity to make an impact in your powder room or in a smaller bath. Both over-counter and under-counter models are available. Kohler offers four choices in these surface-decorated sinks. Inspired by the raised enamel reliefs typical of fine dinnerware, the pattern Flight of Fancy is scattered with beautiful bees, butterflies, flora and subtle colorings with metallic touches. To bring the design full circle, you may want to check into Kohler’s new Vas and Bol faucets. These porcelain faucets are inspired by Victorian design. The water streams from a single spout, providing excellent water delivery in a very dramatic way. Both the apron-front and surface- decorated sinks require minimal maintenance. Each should be cleaned with a non-abrasive kitchen cleanser. As with any surface, you should test the cleanser on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire sink. You should also never allow the cleanser to soak into the surface. Apply, rinse and then rub dry with a soft cloth. To minimize scrubbing, you may want to place rubber mats in the bottom of your cast-iron sinks; this will prevent black marks from appearing when cleaning pots and pans.
Copper ‹ Not Just for Kettles The copper sink is making a bold return. Copper has typically been used for bar sinks, but it is gaining popularity in the home, as well. A leading producer of copper sinks, The Rachiele Group, can provide you with just about any shape or size sink, and they are ideal for custom kitchens, bars or older kitchens in need of a retro-fit. Designs range from an apron-front, to corner sinks with recessed drains (perfect for use as a potting station), to the new and very innovative Eclipse. The Eclipse is the first copper and stainless hybrid ever developed. The Rachiele Group has perfected the technology necessary to fuse copper and stainless, producing a sink with a stainless interior and copper front. One reservation you may have about copper is the material’s tendency to turn green with age. Contrary to popular belief, this oxidation only occurs when the sink is directly exposed to outdoor elements. To keep your basin in its original condition, the manufacturer suggests applying Bar Keeper’s Friend. You can also polish the sink and then apply furniture polish or car wax to seal the surface and prevent a patina from forming. A cheaper alternative is to rub the surface with salt and lemon wedges, or rub with ketchup and then rinse. This deep cleansing routine should be performed once a month, depending on your water quality. If you prefer a more natural look, clean with regular kitchen soap or liquid detergent and a beautiful caramel brown patina with hints of blue and purple will eventually appear. Vessel The Vessel basin is the sink of choice for the extreme modernist. Ideal for powder rooms and baths, the Vessel provides a somewhat rustic, yet streamlined, approach. If the rustic look appeals to you, consider installing the piece within a wooden or concrete countertop. For a truly modern, sleek approach, ‘float’ the vessel on a glass vanity. The latter method will require much more labor, and possibly the assistance of a professional. Another complement to this line of lavatories is the wall-mounted faucet. The faucet must be mounted at least 4″ above the rim of the bowl, and the spout must reach at least 5″ for proper positioning and to minimize splashing.
There are typically three installation methods: under-counter, over-counter and tile-in. In choosing the Vessel, it is best to refer to the specific manufacturer’s installation instructions. For under- and over-counter methods, specific installation instructions can be found in the packaging of your new sink. For questions or problems, contact your local retailer or the manufacturer’s help line.