Wednesday, January 02, 2008
DIY Copper Vessel Sink
I mentioned before that our last house was new construction and boring. Re-doing the kitchen ate up the lions share of our budget and there was VERY little left over to change the builders grade fake oak and beige laminate vanity in the downstairs powder room. Oh how I hated that tiny featureless room. Oh how I longed for a copper vessel sink...
These photos were taken last year before we moved, but this project was actually completed in 2001. Back in 2001 I couldn't find a copper bowl sink for under $800.00. Definitely NOT in the budget.
So, I made one for about $25.00!
We found two old copper bowls at an auction and managed to snag them both - just in case the first try didn't work. It did - so the bowl itself cost about $17 and I still have the other one (with no hole in it!)
We tore out the original cabinet and replaced it with a small old washstand that I think we picked up at the same auction. It was in terrible condition so I didn't have any qualms about drilling holes in it.
What I did to make this sink was to cut a hole for the drain. You can buy a drill bit for this and probably make it an easy 2 minute job. I cut mine by perforating a circle using an awl and a hammer, snipping it out, then dremeling the edge smooth. About a 1 hour job.
I went with a larger kitchen sink drain assembly because it had more surface area and I thought added stability. (That and the silicone caulk between the bowl and the vanity top.) Plus - it looked kinda cool, imho.
Then there was the issue of getting a faucet tall enough to reach. I couldn't afford those either and wasn't up for running plumbing through the wall for a wall mount fixture - which also wasn't in the budget.
I remembered an old oak box I'd been carting around for years that had no particular purpose. Aha! I lucked out - it lifted a standard faucet fixture to just the right height. So, I attached it to the vanity top, drilled some holes, and used flexible plumbing hoses to hook it up.
The chrome and white porcelain faucet wasn't exactly what I wanted and I probably could have spent a few extra bucks for a rubbed bronze, but it was okay and kinda helped tie the white toilet with chrome handle back into the room.
This little "make do" setup turned out to be the most popular feature. My son's girlfriend used to say that it looked like our water was coming out of a box. Everyone who saw it had to "test it" by turning the water on watching with amazement. Our realtors took turns, turning it on and off and laughing like school kids.
The rim of the bowl wasn't thick or rolled - it had a kinda funny little crimped edge. Some glass mosaic tiles from Michael's Crafts finished it off nicely.
The towel hook was free - it's actually a broken candle sconce that I found in the parking lot of a T.J. Maxx.
On a scale of 1 to 10, for anyone with very basic plumbing skills, I'd rate this project about a 4 on a difficulty scale. The most time consuming part of the job was finding the bowls. Putting it together took probably a few hours.