Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Speaking of Bathrooms....

Kristin over at 1902 Victorian showed some eye-popping Victorian bathroom vanities the other day. They had eye-popping prices to boot. In fact, one of the bathroom vanities on the site was listed as “expensive (let’s talk)”. Another one was priced at $7600! Needless to say, those vanities aren’t for mere mortals like myself. Besides, I think I'd be afraid to use a $7600 bathroom vanity.

I’ve been thinking about bathroom vanities myself because I started thinking about the bathroom & mudroom floor tile last week. I only need to tile the mud room now, but the rooms will share a common floor, so I thought I might buy all the tile for both rooms at once, but only tile the mudroom at this point. The more I think about that, the less I like that idea. The smart thing would be to just tile both rooms and get it over with. It’s not that big of a space.

The problem with this plan is that I haven’t roughed in plumbing yet. You can see the snow-ball effect this is having. This all started because I wanted to put up a door to close off the bathroom from the kitchen so I could control dust. I could have just slapped up plywood and be done with it, but I have to deal with this space eventually, so why not now.

Anyway, I had this sink (see below) already. It’s from the 20s, and in pretty good shape. It came out of the addition I removed. I also have a 1930s toilet and tub from the addition as well. The plan was to do a 1920s bathroom, but the more I think about that, the less I like it. Now I’m thinking a Victorian marble vanity like the one I have in the upstairs bathroom would be better. Here’s the direction I’m leaning.

1920s sink. It looks better in person – and when it’s clean. Most of that discoloration is dirt.

Here’s how I’m leaning. This stuff is all from DEA Bath.

Antique marble corner vanity - $150

Reproduction under mount bowl with hardware - $170

Reproduction nickel plated rope brass legs - $295

Faucets and drain $200 (estimated)

Total - $1000 once I get it shipped to me.

Still kind of pricey, but it’s better than the $3500 to the “expensive (let’s talk)” prices of the other, super high-end vanities. I could buy it in installments, you know, one piece at a time over several months. It would seem less expensive that way. I could also go with fancy sink brackets, instead of the legs and probably save $200 or more. Really, all I need now is the vanity and I can do the rough-in of the drain and supply lines. And if you think about it, $1000 is not all that much for a nice vanity. I would pay half that for a crappy press-board vanity with a molded sink and cheap faucets down at the home center.

And before anyone says it, yes, I know about Ebay. Ebay and I go way, way back. Vanities like this do come up from time to time. As a matter of fact, there are 2 marble vanities without sinks, legs, or faucets on there right now. They are about $150 with shipping. My big concern with purchasing something like this off Ebay is getting it in one piece. I know DEA Bath will pack it and ship it correctly, and they won’t haggle if there’s a problem once I get it. That piece of mind is worth the extra 20% I might pay retail for something like this. Smaller, less breakable things, yes, I’ll take my time and wait for the deal-of-the-century on Ebay.

If I bought an 80 pound marble vanity off Ebay it would have to be a good enough price that I wouldn’t be as worried about it showing up in 5 pieces. Some people just have no idea how to pack things. Almost every single cast iron thing I've bought off Ebay has arrived broken. Newspaper and thin cardboard will not support very heavy objects. It's not rocket science! Very frustrating.

I’m still in the formulating stages on this project….We’ll see.


purejuice said...

i'm interested in your caveats about ebay; i haven't had the experience, but i have had the feeling that amateur packing and no return policy and no accountability except my talent at flaming some poor yutz's ebay shop....yadda yadda.
i didn't know cast iron broke.
i think you're smart to go with the pros here.

Greg said...

Cast iron is actually quite brittle, and a lot of people don’t know this. Hit is with a sledge hammer and it shatters. This is why steel replaced it so quickly, and why Andrew Carnegie became so filthy, sinking rich.

Kristin said...

Hey, I was looking at those same marble vanities on eBay! And I just bought a sink that looks similar to your 1920s one. I had never heard of DEA Bath, and now you are making me second guess my decision, darn you Greg! No, no, I think I still like the sink I just bought. I'm posting about it today if you wanna see.