Posted in Blanco, Sinks

The One That Won Me Over

Blanco introduced the ONE – the most recent addition to Blanco’s stainless steel collection offering a fresh approach to single bowl sinks. The Blanco One XL single bowl shape offers convenience for the things we need at the sink. This is a work horse sink allowing for many function that happen at the

sink. A magnetic, removable sponge holder allows for convenient access to hold sponges or long-handled scrubbie brushes. There is a thoughtfully designed two level stainless steel grid bottom to allow for prepping, stacking and cleaning. It is like you have two sinks! Resting delicate lettuce leaves in a colander is not a problem in this single bowl because Blanco designed the bowl with with an elevated grid so your food prep area can share space in the bowl on a higher tier and away from dirty mixing bowl you just used to mix a sauce. Mise en place removable containers to customize your foodie habits for having your cutting board, knives & cooking utensils where you need them while prepping.   The single bowl sink you can customize. There are five kits to work with your needs. For more information visit

Posted in Apron front sinks, farmhouse sinks

Friday Finds

Today I have my eye on Texas Light Smith Metal & Glass Designs. 
See what they have done with the Apron Front Sink. Gorgeous! Stop in at their website and be sure to look at their vent hoods, chandeliers and more. 

The Lightsmith® Farmhouse Sink Luminescent LineTM. 

Change out your sink front to change the mood or the season. It’s as simple as changing out a lightbulb.
Design: Firepool with medium copper basin.
Monochrome: single hued insert with medium copper basin. 

Scripted with Burnished Nickel Silver Basin

Victoriana, pieced together by hand using individually cut stippled art glass. Medium copper basin. 


  • Fused glass panels manufactured Austin, Texas
  • Features an illuminated glass apron. 
  • Long life bulbs last 30,000 hours. Energy efficient.
  • Pricing: contact manufacturer for a quote. Each sink is made to order. 

For more information: Texas Light Smith Metal & Glass Designs

Posted in Bathroom Faucets, Lavatory sinks, Planning, Plumbing, Sinks, Working with a Kitchen Designer

Lead times: How soon do you need it?

There are times when I scratch my head in disbelief when do-it yourself remodeling types do not plan out the project details. Here is my “fly-on-the-wall” experience with a moral at the end of the story.

This weekend I was in a plumbing store with a client, helping with her plumbing selections for an upcoming project. What happened next placed me in a suspended state of disbelief.

A lovely woman walked into the store and explained she needed a lavatory sink and faucet and another faucet for the kitchen. Nothing too unusual about that.
The sales person proceeded to ask the customer the usual questions:
S: Are you looking for a self-rimming sink or under-mount?
C: Self-rimming.

S: Ok. Do you have a preference for wide-spread faucet or single faucet mounted on the deck of the sink or on the counter?” Do you know what your new counter surface will be yet?

C: New granite top. White self-rimming sink. Single hole faucet style mounted on the sink

S: Ok, great we have several options we can look at.”

S: Next, is this for new cabinetry or are you replacing an existing sink and counter and keeping the cabinets?

C: Existing.

S: Alright, do you know what are the existing sink dimensions?

S: “‘What’s that? your existing cabinet is 15 1/2″ front to back?” What’s that? Oh, It’s for your boat?
Oh, I see. Hmm, would you mind if I made a suggestion for an undermount with the single faucet mounted on the rear left or right and not centered. Or we could look at some stainless steel bar sinks that could work. Self rimming sinks with a faucet mounted on the porcelain are just not made that small. We can check the catalogs, but I am pretty sure it is a tall order to fill, I can think of two or three small sinks that may work.

C: No, no, we have that style now, and I really don’t like it at all. I really want to change the style.

S: “How soon do you need it?”

“I am running out of time, I have the granite fabricator coming this Monday and need to get this done today.”

When the customer said she needed it by Monday, the salesperson could have been a deer struck in headlights. That was Saturday with a customer looking for a specialty item she could take with her or have by Monday.

There was a line of people needing help and this customer insisted on going through all the catalogs to prove to herself that the salesperson indeed did not have a sink in stock that met her requirements.

Ideally, when planning a remodel, the cardinal rule is to plan in advance to have all the components on site or in stock ready to ship to you.

Lead times: Not all plumbing stores stock inventory. The specialty plumbing stores carry thousands of models from the plumbing manufacturers they buy from and most will have a lead time from as short as two weeks and as long as 6 weeks for special order items. Chances are, unless you walk into a big box store with product on the shelf ready to buy, there is little chance you will be able to walk away with it the same day.

Check ahead: Not all competing stores carry the same stock. One store may stock Kohler and another down the street may stock Grohe. Call in advance, save yourself the aggravation and wasting gas and time driving all over town. Ask the store manager or head of the dept. what brands they stock or that you can get within the week. Sales people should be able to help you over the phone with these basic questions. Check with your plumber where he buys from. Industry insiders are the best people to ask.

Getting the best service: Don’t abuse a salesperson’s time on the phone. Yes, that’s right. To get the best service and best price keep your questions over the phone, simple and direct. Most will not be able to quote prices, but will be able to take care of your general questions. Ask your salesperson what’s the best time to come in. They want your business, but if you need more handholding in product selection and need to look at every catalog and get a price on multiple styles, showing up during prime time hours means they have to hustle to take care of several customers and cannot focus on you alone. Most salespeople are knowledgeable and want to help. If you find yourself in a busy showroom, write down model #’s. Tell the salesperson you are working on a large project and have several things you need to order. Ask if they can fax or email a quote back to you. If you are willing to be flexible, you can get a lot more in the way of service and probably a better price.

Unfortunately, waiting till the final hour before the plumber arrives, can lead to some very unhappy compromises in your selections.

Better idea yet, if your request is for the unusual and your taste is very selective, your best value is hiring a designer to begin with. A designer has the capability of sourcing out custom features and will be able to recommend the best showrooms to find product. In addition, a designer may be able to recommend a much more efficient floor plan, so that you are not at the mercy of unusual dimensions.

There was more delays in her selection process. Most all the faucets had a red and blue dot indicating hot and cold and she needed one that did not have that. A few more customers came and went, not able to stick it out waiting for service. While the salesperson, (poor chap- he did the best he could in the limited amount of time he had), went off to assist another customer, I felt a little sorry for this lady’s predicament. I whispered quietly to the lady looking for the unusual sink, “that is a very uncommon sink, have you tried a specialty plumbing supplier that carries sinks for marine and rv equipment?”

Answer: “Oh, I didn’t think of that! I had no idea it would be so difficult.”

Moral of the story: When you fail to plan, plan to fail.

Posted in KBIS, New Products, Seamless Sinks, Sinks, Stainless Steel

Reports from KBIS: What’s new in sinks.

Reports from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2009 tell of a shift towards design trends that show cleaner and simpler lines that not only look good but are easy to maintain.

Case in point: A fundamental shift in sink and drain design.

Look! Kim and Aggie would be proud. No seams for bacteria to hide.

Affluence Seamless Sink is putting a spotlight on the drain opening of the kitchen sink.
The problem with drains is that they become dirty, pit, or rust over time with use.

The affluence seamless sink is seamless and easy to keep clean. No more unsightly plumbers putty, silicone, or seams, just pure smooth stainless steel. No more seams to collect water and debris that breed bacteria and germs. Affluence looks nice over time, since the downturn is a smooth transition and all parts are made of 100% solid 304 stainless steel.

Be sure to see the video at to see the garbage disposal installation.

18 gauge sink. Sink and strainer are made out of 304 stainless steel. The disposal splash guard is removable for easy cleaning.

Seamless beauty.
For more information, visit Affluence Seamless Sink.

Posted in Apron front sinks, farmhouse sinks

Farmhouse Sinks

Apron front sinks continue to maintain their popularity. Believe it or not, there are so many styles and features to choose from for your farmhouse sink from cast iron, fire clay to copper to stainless steel, depth of bowls, single, double, flushmount, undermount, decks, no decks, angled front, straight front, decorative front, smooth front and so on. I will point you in the direction of a website that maintains a wonderful database of all your farmhouse options: Luxury Home Products has an article “What you need to know about apron front farm sinks!” that is indispensable reading before you buy. They were very clever to include a user height chart for selecting the sink depth. If you don’t consider the sink depth now, you will end up with a backache later. If you can’t find the sink you were looking for, email them and they will research it for you.

Think copper needs too much tlc for your taste? Think again. Check out this YouTube Video.

Posted in New Products, Sinks, Stainless Steel

MicroEdge Inset Sinks by Blanco

Blanco announces MicroEdge Inset Sinks.
MicroEdge inset sinks are engineered with ultra-fine 1- to 1.25-millimeter sink rims. The nine models–including variations of the 20-inch single bowl, the larger super single bowl, and the 1¾ bowl model–are made from 18-gauge, 304 series stainless steel with 18 percent chrome and 10 percent nickel content. The products have a satin polished finish that is easy to clean and resists water stains and calcium deposits, according to the manufacturer. 800-451-5782.

Posted in Historical Influence, Plumbing, Sinks, Sustainable Design

When shiny and bright will not do

Here is wonderful picture of a very old and original German silver sink. The homeowner was able to preserve the original sink from the butler’s pantry.

The homeowners were updating a 100 year plus home in Maine. It is quite an accomplishment when you can remodel by adding modern day conveniences and still maintain the character of the home. For the full article please see House Beautiful online article, Kitchen of the Month.