Sinking Into Christmas


| 12/18/2011 12:33:41 PM


Tags: home improvement, kitchen sink, plumbing, Allan Douglas, Allan Douglas,

How could I help but love a woman who says, “Forget diamonds and gold, I want a new kitchen sink for Christmas.”  Well, OK, this is not so much *my* gift to Marie as it is Marie’s gift to herself from her Christmas bonus at work.  But still she could have spent her allowance on jewelry, or slinky clothes, a day at the spa or whatever it is that “normal” women desire. 

sinkswap2oldsinkBut she chose a sink swap.  The sink that came with the house is a standard stainless steel double-bowl sink.  It’s OK.  But we often wish the bowls were larger and much deeper.  And the steel sink doesn’t go with anything in our kitchen.  Marie has spent a year (by her own reckoning) researching kitchen sinks: what is available, what is good what is not and in what colors she can get the good ones.  When she made a decision, we drove into the big city to clap eyeballs on it in real life; sometimes the colors and textures are not quite what you see on-line.  Even after seeing it up close and personal, she liked it.  We bought the sink and a Christmas tree; our Christmas celebration is officially under way.

sinkswap1theboxThe box it came in is huge.  If we had younglings hanging around I’m sure a box like this could become all manner of wonderful things.  But we don’t so I’ll break it down and tuck it away in case I need to ship something big one day.

 sinkswap10plumbingattachedI’m not a big guy but, even so, wiggling into the cabinet under a sink and contorting myself to work on plumbing ranks about 287th on my list of all-time favorite ways to spend an afternoon.  So I decide to assemble the sink *before* mounting it to the counter.  I install the faucet, sprayer, strainers, I even swipe the water supply lines from the old sink and install them to the new faucet so I won’t have to be reaching up behind the sink to try and attach them later. This Price-Phiester faucet uses a push-on connector that is secured with a small clip, and getting that clip into its slot in a nearly inaccessible spot while working blind does not seem to be the way to go.

 sinkswap9plugThe first “Oops” moment comes in the fact that the sink is pre-drilled with three holes for a standard faucet, but the faucet Marie selected is not “standard”.   It needs only one hole for the faucet and one for the sprayer.  Marie tried to find a “plug” for the third hole, but could not find any in the right color.  So I whip up this walnut mushroom to do the job.  OK, “whip up” is something of a euphemism; it took several hours and required some ingenuity to mill it to shape while not losing any fingers.  But that is a tale for another time, and another blog.  The stump fits snugly onto the extra hole, a little caulk under the cap will prevent water from working down into the cabinet, and it’s held firmly in place by a spring disk from the underside.  I finished it with polyurethane so it will be water resistant.

I crawl into the cabinet and remove the plumbing and clamps holding the old sink down to the countertop and we lift the old sink clear.  We bag up the clips and leave the fixtures attached.  We’ll probably take this sink to the Goodwill, so we’ll let them decide whether they want to break it down and sell it piecemeal or as a complete unit.

nebraska dave
12/23/2011 2:10:32 AM

Allan, that would have been a shocker to be sitting on the throne and fall into the crawl space. If you have followed my blog for any length of time then you will know that when I touch plumbing, I just expect a huge project. That way I'm not irritated when it happens. May 2012 only have easy projects with no unexpected surprises.


linda lewanski
12/21/2011 6:46:27 PM

If only I could borrow you for a few weeks (months?) -the projects that could be done. Love the sink!


allan douglas
12/21/2011 4:44:51 PM

Thanks Dave, we're both pleased with the way it came out. I think my WORST plumbing nightmare was the time I wanted to install new linoleum in a half-bath. Removed base boards, unbolted toilet and lifted it - half the bathroom floor came with it! Floor was rotted, joists were rotted, what a mess! What was to be a couple of hours job took most of a week. Lucky no one fell through into the crawl space! Merry Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you a deed for your stocking!


allan douglas
12/21/2011 4:40:51 PM

Thanks Jean! I'd be happy to help with that project, it just won't be *this* week!! :-) Merry Christmas to you too!


jean teller
12/20/2011 8:58:38 PM

Nicely done, Allan! Would you like to come to my house and replace the stainless steel sink in my kitchen?!? :D That's on my need-to-do-some-day list (actually the entire kitchen needs work!). Have a Merry Christmas!


nebraska dave
12/20/2011 7:49:09 PM

Allan, good job with the sink. Your trials with the clamps, extra sink hole, and plumbing leaks remind me of my days wrestling with the plumbing in my bathroom a couple months ago. Nothing ever seems to be easy when replacing old with new. The designers always have to change things just enough to make life interesting. The new sink looks a lot better than stainless steel. I know the new trend is stainless steel by my preference is the enamel or in your case composite sinks. I hope you have many decades of use from your new sink install. Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.





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