Thursday, January 17, 2013

On tap(s)

No staircase news YET since even our normal Mondays, Tuedays and Wednesdays are crazy days, always jam-packed with school and work and homework and chores (laundry ...ugh) and sports and other activities and no time (and energy) to love on the house. Most of our projects happen on the weekends ... I did, however, go shopping, so here goes:

Shortly after we moved in and met our next door neighbor John, he gifted us with a vintage cast iron sink as a housewarming present. We were very excited about any vintage touches we could bring back into our Ugly Duckling House which had suffered many ... ahem, updates, some of which had removed a lot of its 1914s charm, and we gratefully accepted the awesome present!

It weighs about a metric ton, takes two men (or one Sam) to haul up the stairs, and has quite a few years of service left. There is some rust around the drain and near the overflow, and I refinished it with one of those DIY kits from the box store The results were really nice and the new finish has held up over the past year, but slowly the rust is creeping through again This time I'm considering having it professionally re-glazed. I'm hoping that our awesome neighborhood sounding board has a good recommendation for me. It's one of those things I really love about my 'hood. Word of mouth is golden here.

Anyways, the vintage sink features a two tap set-up, one for hot and one for cold. Lately, these two faucets had started to develop 'issues.' They started to leak, and you had to crank them close really tight to stop the water from running. That was pret-ty painful because the edges of the handles are rather sharp, and finally enough was enough.

Time to go shopping!

Taps are more difficult to find than regular faucets, mainly because we they are old-fashioned. While you cannot adjust running water to whatever temperature you prefer, you can mix it in the basin which conserves water in the long run, and electricity since you end up washing your hands with cold water instead of warm.

I started looking ,and I scored at Van Dykes' Restorers of all places! I love browsing their catalog and their webpage, we bought our vintage door bell there and some of our window hardware, and their customer service, shipping and handling have always been great.


 On top of that, their "Restorers Lavatory Faucet with hot and cold cross handles" was on sale: reduced from a very reasonable $74.99 to just $67.50!
Score!
They also sell a vintage tap set with levers instead of cross handles for the same price (look here).


Only a week later the VanDykes package arrived!
 Those taps are just lovely! Surprisingly heavy and solid, and much nicer looking than the price tag would suggest.


They are a bit more substantial than the old ones. Taller and reaching more into the sink they will also work much nicer than the old ones, let alone be much more comfortable to handle.


Very sweet! I love the cross handles with their label for hot and cold. I can't wait for the husband to install them!

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