Despite the lack of storage space that an antique pedestal sink offers, they are surprisingly fashionable right now. In fact, antique or not, the pedestal sink is a delightfully minimalist addition to a bathroom and can help to keep the decor simple and uncluttered.
Rescue a Vintage Sink For History’s Sake
For homeowners who enjoy bringing the past into the future, the beauty of old furnishings and fixtures creates special joy. Choosing to install an antique pedestal sink often comes from finding that perfect piece at an auction or rescuing it from the home of someone who wants to update their interior. It becomes the focal point of the bathroom and all other decorating options revolve around it, including the color scheme, the choice of bathtub or shower stall and the kinds of curtains and mats used.
As with all pedestals, an antique pedestal sink will deprive you of storage space but installing built-in cabinets or adding a beautiful antique dresser to match can rectify this. Many people use free-standing sinks because they take up less room, especially in the case of powder rooms where it is not an actual bathroom as such, but the sink and toilet are the only fixtures in the room.
Wicker baskets can sit on the floor or be suspended on shelving and can look beautiful with pretty soaps and fluffy towels in them. Hooks for towels are also useful storage options.
You’ll find an antique pedestal sink, or indeed a range of them, at vintage plumbing stores, at auctions and even on ebay, as they are collectable. Obviously, the ones in better condition will be the most costly so you may have to be prepared to pay for restoration.
With restoration, however, comes a range of options such as changing the color entirely, or adding a gorgeous new spout and faucets. Your restoration alternatives will vary depending on the material the sink was made of. Antique pedestal sinks were most commonly made of three main materials:
Solid vitreous china: check for hairline age cracks in the top or on the base. Finding examples without cracks is not easy but definitely preferable.
Porcelain enamel coated cast iron: these will often show signs of wear and tear related to cleaning agents that will have been applied over decades of use. They might suffer from chips in the enamel, exposing the cast iron beneath, and might be vulnerable to rusting. These flaws will have to be repaired. Re-porcelainizing to restore the surface can bring the sink back to its former glory.
Solid porcelain: if you find an antique pedestal sink made of solid porcelain, grab it as these are extremely rare. In fact, U.S. production of these fixtures ceased at around the beginning of the first World War. They were expensive then and are definitely expensive now. These are the ones that will show fine crazing all over, as you would find in porcelain plates or cups and saucers. They may have small chips in the surface glaze and will need restoration before being used.
For a beautiful bathroom fixture that’s not only functional, but also brings yesterday into today, you can’t beat an antique pedestal sink. Such an item becomes a conversation piece and helps you put your own individual stamp on your home decor. Your bathroom will have a personality that can’t be compared with others because it features a rare and specialized item – one that you have rescued from oblivion and restored to wonderful purpose.