Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 16, 2014

Kitchen Progress: That Sinking Feeling


The kitchen sink and faucet have been installed!  So have the counters.  And the drywall.  You know, when you live with naked insulation for awhile, bare drywall starts to look really fancy.  But don't let that fancy drywall and elegant window frame(lessness) detract your attention from the real showstopper: the faucet.

Do you remember how many moons ago I asked for your help choosing a new faucet for the kitchen, because Pfister had kindly offered to send me one for review?  The one we ultimately chose - the Lita - was not available right away and when it arrived we had already listed the townhouse for sale.  I think there were more votes for black, but Hubby really pushed for silver (as did some of you).  I'm thankful that I was convinced of the merits of the stainless finish - and not the black finish I loved - because we ended up sandbagging the faucet for the lakehouse kitchen, where the black wouldn't have worked with my plans.


The lovely Lita was straightforward to install.  You might remember that it's a pull down model, which is a feature we've become overly dependent upon.  Both the townhouse and lakehouse boasted older faucets with that feature, and it's handy for filling a pot of water on the counter, or winning a kitchen water fight.  We didn't even look at any models that weren't a pull down, we're that committed.  This one feels different, though: it's sturdy and slides smoothly, and then clicks back tightly into place.


It has two settings for spray, which is also a feature we prefer.  The old lakehouse faucet had this feature too, but it was broken, and I really missed it!  Stuff that works properly feels like a real novelty around here.


I'll keep you posted on durability and how the finish wears.  For the $449.00 MSRP (!), I'm expecting outstanding quality, and I hope to salvage the faucet for our phase II reno.  The shape is clean and modern, but not too trendy, so I hope it won't look tired in a few years.  Strangely, what drew Hubby and I to this style originally was the unassuming handle: some are really curvy and seem more traditional, while some really angular ones look exceptionally modern.  This one is so simple.  We like simple.



The sink is also a stunner, but it gave us a little trouble.  It's a beast - much larger than what was there before - but we found it at Costco for $199, which is a good price for a sink this size and quality.  Plus it was fun to put "kitchen sink" on our grocery list.  It's an Atlantis Commercial Grade Pro Series, in 18-gauge stainless steel.  The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel but I've read conflicting reports about whether the gauge really impacts durability.  Reportedly, around the 22-gauge mark, a stainless sink will be more prone to denting, but I think 18-gauge is pretty standard.  We'll see how this one wears.  It does have two stainless steel basin grids with rubber feet, which keeps knives and cutlery from scratching the bottom (plus it makes a good dry rack for the things I hand wash).  Hopefully the basin grids will keep this sink looking new.


We actually bought the sink in Ottawa and drove it up here to Thunder Bay.  I'm sure we measured . . . okay I'm not sure, I just assumed that sinks are a relatively standard overall size because I thought cabinetry was pretty standard.  Nope.  The front of the cabinetry needed to be shaved away to make room for the sink.  The weight of the counter mostly sits on the vertical supports so it shouldn't be a problem, but we can always add horizontal support pieces. 


The sink sits a little farther back than I envisioned, but it's as far forward as we can put it.


This sink has the option of under mount or drop-in and we chose the latter.  Under mount required a frame be built to support it, because it wasn't designed to attach to the underside of the counter.  Bah!  Too much work.  Plus, cutting the hole was tricky enough, without making it pretty enough to show off (it wasn't).  Hubby used a jigsaw to cut the hole and although he did an amazing job, there were some areas where the cut jogged a bit.  Not a problem for installation, just not show-pretty.


More relevant than our laziness, we love the sharp lines of this boxy sink and the rectangular edge looks perfect with our thick, blocky counters.  Hubby and I have been admiring the counters with the sink, and we're so happy we didn't hide most of the fanciest sink we've ever owner with under mount.  (Not that doing dishes in the laundry room sink wasn't fancy).  



As a reminder, here's the old sink and faucet (is the new one freakishly tall, or what?):


Because the new sink's shape and proportions are different than the old sink's, Hubs spent quite a bit of time under the sink playing plumber.  So long, in fact, that while he was on his stomach, fussing, Szuka wandered over and decided his bum would be a good place for a nice, long snooze. 



Disclosure: I was provide the Lita faucet for review, courtesy of Pfister, but was not asked to, or otherwise compensated for, providing a review.  Time will tell how well it wears, and I'll be sure to keep you posted on the faucet, and our new sink, once we've had a chance to break them both in. 
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11 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks!

      I seriously wish I could read (or say) the word "Hot," without feeling some strange compulsion to start rapping:

      This is why I'm hot [2x]
      This is why [2x]
      This is why I'm hot (Uh)
      This is why I'm hot [2x] Who
      This is why [2x]
      This is why I'm hot
      I'm hot cause I'm fly (fly)
      You ain't cause you're not (not)
      This is why [2x]
      This is why I'm hot
      I'm hot cause I'm fly (fly)
      You ain't cause you're not (Mims, Mims, Mims)
      This is why [2x]
      This is why I'm hot

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  2. I think the drop in style of sink was a better choice, the stainless "border" around the sink looks fantastic against the light wood of the counters!

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    1. Thank you! It was a difficult decision to make because drop-in sinks are so popular and I've been coveting them in other homes. I agree, it trims the light wood nicely. It could get lost on trendier dark wood counters, so I can see how drop-in suits them perfectly.

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  3. Yep, that sink really takes the prize! I know you love the faucet, and I'm sure it's wonderful... But I've been living with a shallow-double-sink-with-slanting-bottom for three months now, and I am drooling over that beautiful, deep, HOT (!) sink!! Now, my main question is: how hard is it to clean those square corners inside the sink? I've only ever had sinks with rounded corners, and am trying to imagine how much time it might take to clean a tight right-angle corner like that. Looking forward to your review, after a few months. Meanwhile, I'm going back to look at how you finished those counter tops. I had my doubts before you installed them, but now... Amazing.

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    1. I've used the sink quite a bit in only a short time because I've finally been able to unpack some kitchen things and I'm washing every one of them. The corners of the sink aren't so sharp that I can't push a rag into them for cleaning, but the pull down faucet is incredibly useful for rinsing them out, though. I wouldn't pair a square sink without that kind of faucet. I've washed a few gooey-er things (like a mac and cheese pot) and rinsed it right away - it's a powerful spray. No leftover goop. I'll definitely keep you posted as I use it more.

      The counters looked a lot whiter at my father-in-law's (and without the clear coat). They are much creamier now, which was shocking at first. But Hubby loves that they are a bit more natural-looking than what I intended. And I do like them too. I have a full kitchen tour (cabinets, counters) scheduled for Wednesday.

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  4. Why does nearly every comment I make on your posts begin with, "I'm so envious of..."?
    That sink, oh my! And those counters look stunning. The previous post showing the finish looked great but now installed and alongside with the new sink, just gorgeous. I'm chomping at the bit to see it all come together- walls finished, cabinet doors restored and styled. I can imagine how anxious you must be to have a complete kitchen just for full functionality.

    Exciting times!

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    1. I'm sorry, it's not my goal to incite envy :) My Mom has the same reaction, as her kitchen also needs some lovin'. But she has these huge reno plans and I told her that she needs to dream smaller. I proposed a plan to build new cabinet fronts (her laminate ones bubbled and peeled), replace her worn laminate counters for inexpensive butcher block (pre-fab, but we can stain), add a simple sink. Just a spit and polish like what I'm doing, to give her time to save for and plan a more extensive renovation. Hopefully she'll let me share it on the blog! And hopefully she won't be so envious of my kitchen once I make hers even prettier.

      Yes, I'm very anxious to get the shelves up so I can finish unpacking my pyrex and dishes. Wednesday I'll share photos of the cabinet doors installed and show the counters in their full glory. Friday Hubby will share the counter tutorial. He's working extra for the next little bit so the paneling and shelves have been delayed, but once we get going that should happen quickly so hopefully the following week I have more photos of kitchen progress. I have other updates I still need to photograph (dining room light is one of them!).

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  5. You must have got this sink on mega sale.......the only one I see like this on Costco site is almost $600. The single basin is $400. Was gonna try and talk someone into it when I got my new counters ...... but I don't think $600 will go over well lol.

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    1. I looked online too before posting, hoping to include a link and noticed they are pricey now. Different brand, too. We found ours in store, and it was only available. For a couple of weeks. Might have been dead stock. I've seen some on kijiji since, new in box.

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