Create a Vintage-Inspired Vessel Sink - Restoration & Design for the Vintage House | Old House Online

Create a Vintage-Inspired Vessel Sink

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A salvaged bowl becomes a vintage-inspired vessel sink.

A salvaged bowl becomes a vintage-inspired vessel sink. (Photo: Eric Roth)

Vessel sinks are among the hottest bathroom design trends out there, but today’s ultra-contemporary sinks aren’t exactly suited for old houses. When you create the vessel out of a vintage bowl, though, you get an old-fashioned sink that mimics an antique washstand (especially when paired with a coordinating ceramic pitcher).

How To Make It

1. Pick your bowl
An antique porcelain bowl forms the vessel shown in this photo. To get a similar look, use a vintage enamelware bowl, which are readily available on sites like eBay or Etsy. Make sure the bowl you choose is wide and deep enough to absorb splashback.

2. Drill the hole
Measure the circumference of the drain (1½" is standard), turn the bowl upside down, and transfer this measurement to the bottom. Use a diamond hole saw to gently cut the hole. Drill a pilot hole in the center of the marking to guide the hole saw’s bit, then cut with the saw until you notice a change in material. Switch to a high-speed steel hole saw to get through the metal, then back to diamond for the other side of the ceramic coating. (Keep a spray bottle handy to wet the saw every 30 seconds.)

3. Cut the vanity
Center the bowl on the countertop and mark its location, as well as the drain hole location. Remove the bowl, make another pilot hole, and use the steel hole saw to cut the drain hole out of the vanity.

4. Attach the sink & drain
Check your cuts by placing the bowl and drain assembly on the counter to make sure everything lines up. Once you’re satisfied, use a waterproof epoxy to attach the bowl to the countertop. Finish by installing and connecting the drain assembly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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