Salad Bowl / Mixing Bowl Sink Revisted – With Quick and Easy Vanity

Ever since Papa renovated our bathroom walls, I have been slow in putting back our bathroom sink.  I knew that it would require a bit of work and I still wasn’t convinced of just what we wanted to incorporate into the design that would give us the best of all worlds.

Then, the work in our pantry to move the fridge, and the consequential reorganizing and decluttering of our kitchen area started putting strange and unusual ideas into my head.  I have been in love with our chrome shelves.  They require no dusting, are very flexible and adjustable, look nice and the appearance of wood and chrome is one that is pleasing to (my) eye anyway.  We have large chrome shelves, small chrome shelves and a chrome and wood kitchen cart.  It should have been only natural that I began seeing a strange love-child between our kitchen cart and a bathroom sink.

And that’s what happened.  I started contemplating the kitchen cart and imagining a sink bowl installed in it, complete with a tap and backsplash.

Quick consultations revealed that it would be too deep and not wide enough for the bathroom.  I began looking online and could only find one that fit the bill dimension-wise, but it was somewhat expensive, and I could see that the wood top was actually just pressboard.

I had already purchased a piece of project pine for the vanity top – so it occurred to me that perhaps I could still use it with just a small chrome shelf could for the support?  Some measurements made it seem plausible, and shockingly to me, Donna green-lit this venture.

A trip to Wal-Mart and I had their $25 shelf in hand.  Some assembly was required, but I did get it wedged into the bathroom on a trial basis.  I could see that the water inlet pipe was quite close to where one of the shelf supports would go.  I started to plan the chrome shelf to be off-centre, so that we could store a humanure bucket and sawdust pail side by side.  Donna mused whether we could hang a tasteful curtain in front, or if I could try to attach some sort of doors.

Test run of a chrome shelf for a vanity.
The water pipe and extra bucket dictates that it needs to be off-centre.

It immediately looked much more organized and clean than when everything had its home on the floor.  It has the added advantage of circulating more warm(ish) air into the corner, where we could see that frost had built up on the cedar panelling, in spite of Papa’s work with insulation and a vapour barrier.  I’m hoping that with the new airflow, combined with a future baseboard and perhaps some extra caulking, the frosting will be minimized or eliminated.  Donna also reminded me that I’m considering insulating the crawl space underneath the cabin, which should contribute to warmer floors and baseboard areas.

Next up was the assembly of the vanity top.

Screwing AND gluing the joints.

Checking the old sink diameter.

Then checking on the clearances for the sink.

Already cut into the shelves.  The Rubicon has been crossed.

A return trip to Wal-Mart for a 5 quart mixing bowl, and we had our sink.  There is still the issue of a small amount of standing water in the bottom of the bowl.  Not sure how that can be addressed really, we’ll see if it becomes a big issue.  In our previous incarnation, the bowl actually had a recessed ring around the outside of the base that was really annoying.  This time the base of the bowl is at least flat all around – so hopefully that will make a difference.  I installed the drain off centre in the bottom of the bowl too, as I will put a slight tilt on the vanity towards the back wall, to ensure that things roll or drain towards the back of the structure, and not towards the front edge.

Four coats of Varathane – when using cheapo Dollarama foam brushes, it pays to sand between coats, lest you leave lots of foam flecks on the surface you are treating.  Luckily I learned that lesson quickly, and on the bottom of the counter top.

Sanding between coats.

Always nice when Kenny shows an interest!

I popped the rubber caps off the top of each chrome post, and then simply put screws into the bottom of the counter top where they lined up with the posts, leaving a good half centimetre sticking out.  This  gave the counter top some stability from sliding around on top of the posts.

I had to cut out some parts of the chrome shelves to make room for the fixtures.  Then to install them, I positioned them so that one was down near the base, where we can set the pails on.  Then one at the very top, where the counter very nearly rests on it.  And finally one down about ten centimetres from the top – just below the bottom of the bowl, but with enough space to store a few rolls of toilet paper, or in our case, a basket that we can put a few toiletries in.

Hot cloth on the pipe softens it up before inserting into the adapter.

Things are looking good.

Firm up the plumbing connections, and there you have it.  An attractive vanity that really fits the decor, cost me about $100 if you include all the fixtures, and can be easily disassembled and re-arranged if the need ever arises.

Pretty sharp!

And the first test run!

1 thought on “Salad Bowl / Mixing Bowl Sink Revisted – With Quick and Easy Vanity”

  1. It's a shame HGTV never learned about your homesteading journey; this would spark the interest of so many people. Here in Denmark there is a show about a young family who run a farm using traditional Danish technologies and methods (the hand-cranked honey extractor was pretty neat!) but also uses modern implements here and there. It's apparently the most popular show here overall. There is a precedent for this genre :).


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