Thursday, March 11, 2010


This house is getting older and so is what's inside it. For years now the bathroom sink has needed replacing but my dearest and I couldn't agree on what to do with it. My disagreement stemmed mostly from the fact that I hate the hideous green counter top and flooring. Those are the bits that aren't showing as much wear and the pieces that I'd like to be rid of.
A couple of years ago I tried to persuade him that a one piece moulded sink and counter would be a great idea and I was delighted that he agreed and after careful measuring to see if it would fit, we brought one home. After ripping the counter top off of the cabinet we laid the new unit it and it was wonderful. It got rid of both the ugly green counter top and the disintegrating sink. There was only one problem, the position of the drain hole didn't match up with the drain in the house and while we could move it, we ran into some additional problems because the perfectly square counter top didn't fit neatly against the less than square walls. So the counter top sink went back.

Fast forward a couple of years and the subject came up again. One of the issues with the old sink is that it was glazed metal and around the edges the glazing had worn away leaving bare metal that rusted. We covered it periodically with enamel paint, but it needed to be replaced and my sweetheart was all for going with a material that wouldn't rust. So when a ceramic sink came on sale he thought we should take a look.

We popped into the local Home Depot and had the clerk haul one out and open it. It looked a lot smaller than our existing sink. At 6 foot 3, my sweetie is a lot of things, but petite isn't one of them. A tiny basin, just won't do. So we went back to looking at the metal one. It would have worked, I guess, but I didn't like the idea of all the work, just to have something exactly the same. Then I looked at the display and saw something with a bigger basin, but in ceramic. It looked like it might fit So we brought it home along with some new valves.

Another one of the things that puts me off working on the bathroom plumbing is that there are no shut offs for it. As soon as work needs to be done in the bathroom, all the water has to be shut off. So for the duration of the project there's no water and worse no toilet! I don't know whether it's just the fact that the facilities are out of commission or whether I have an uncanny knack for drinking a gallon of water just before, but I always seem to be in desperate need of them when I can't use them.

So the first thing that went in was the shut off valves. Some precision cutting, a little flux, a little solder, apply a little flame and in these babies go. Ah relief! I don't care how long the project takes as long as I have access to that one primary piece of porcelain plumbing.

The next problem was making sure that the drain hole on the new sink matched up with the drain in the house. It wasn't just a matter of having to cut a new larger hole in the counter top, it was essential that when the hole was cut, that the pipe coming up fit into the hole going down. Easy, right? Not so. To match up the existing pipe the sink had to be moved forward about as far as it would go. It was a near thing too because while the sink fit into the counter top, under the counter top a section had to be cut out of the cabinet framing.

All that holds this baby in is weight and a lot of silicon caulking so just to make sure that it does hold in it was clamped down for 24 hours to make sure that it was fully dried before we used it.

Once everything was in place we reattached the drain pipe, but it didn't sit flat down without applying a lot of pressure. Continual pressure on a ceramic basin sounds like an invitation for trouble, so we moved the drain pipe 11/16 of an inch. More precision cutting and a little sleeve slipped on both cut sides. Not much, but enough for everything to fit neatly together.

So here it is looking much like it did before we started. I still have that hideous green counter top, but I'll never see rust again ... at least not here.
It makes it sound simple doesn't it? Well, it was simple for me. All I had to do is watch. All of the hard bits were done by my honey. It sure helps to marry a talented and gifted guy. And he's cute too!

1 comment:

Beelizabeth said...

A couple of years ago I wanted to do some remodeling in our bathroom. We actually got a custom job done by professionals complete with a custom taller vanity, a higher shower head, both to accommodate my 6'4" to 6'6" sons and a counter and sink of acrylic all as one piece. Of course I don't recommend our method for getting this kind of job- the bathroom fan started a fire that destroyed the bathroom, part of the attic and roof, water damage and displacement of our family for 4 months. The new bathroom is really nice!