what are you sinking about?
May 1, 2011 12:40 PM   Subscribe

My bathroom has his-and-hers sinks, but just a her to use them. Suggestions for what to do with his sink?

I am thinking about changing out the countertops anyway... I'd prefer to just get rid of the second sink, but that seems wasteful?
I guess mostly I'm looking for something nice to just cover it so I can use it as extra counter space. Any suggestions for something that looks ok or better? Or a completely different idea?
posted by cheemee to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you plan on selling your house, ever, I recommend leaving the double sink set up.
posted by shew at 12:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you have any pets? Could make for a killer water bowl.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:48 PM on May 1, 2011

Clean them half as often and use both? Get a him or another her?

A photo of what you are looking at might help.

You could designate one as a "hand sink." It might be nice to have a sink you aren't brushing your teeth in after washing the grime away.

Also, leaving alone unless you're going to stay there forever. People like those things. (Seconding shew on preview.)
posted by cjorgensen at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2011

You could get a cat.
posted by amtho at 12:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]

It would be a bad idea to use it as a planter, wouldn't it?
posted by incessant at 12:54 PM on May 1, 2011

posted by Nomyte at 1:00 PM on May 1, 2011

I'd keep them, being able to soak handwashables while brushing your teeth is no small luxury.

Is the sink's lip flush to the surface of the counter? You could remove the faucet fixtures* and find a pretty tray that is big enough to cover the sink opening and fixture holes. To keep the tray from sliding around, glue something like rubber bumpers or wine corks to the bottom of the tray so the bumpers butt up to the inside of the sink.

*keep the fixtures and fasteners in case you decide to go back to having a second sink, it will be a PITA to match the other sink's set.
posted by jamaro at 1:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I actually just bought this place (apartment), and I take possession tomorrow, so I won't be able to post a picture today. My current (previous?) home also has double sinks in my bathroom, with the second sink just gathering dust since my brother moved out of our parent's house several years ago.

This new place could by my forever home, and I don't anticipate having a him live with me anytime soon... though you never know what life can bring.

This is probably obvious from my next question, but I know less than nothing about plumbing. If I do get rid of the second sink but leave most of the piping in (maybe just cap it where the sink drain would go?), how difficult/expensive would it be to just cut out a new hole for a new sink when I want to put one back in?
posted by cheemee at 1:03 PM on May 1, 2011

That would largely depend on what material you choose to use when changing out the countertops. Saving and capping the plumbing in the undercab is something you would definitely want to do.
posted by scottymac at 1:18 PM on May 1, 2011

Sink cutouts generally aren't done in the field; it's possible, but it's a lot of work, the possibility of making a very expensive error exists, and it looks like crap compared to a factory made sink hole (although you don't see it unless you look under the vanity).

I'd leave it but make a cover so I could use the space for countertop. You don't want to permanently cover it unless you do seal the drain line, because the water in the trap will eventually evaporate and allow sewer fumes to escape. Traps depend on occasional water being added to keep them full.
posted by localroger at 1:21 PM on May 1, 2011

You can cap the in/out pipes at the wall; there would just be a few inches of pipe and cap sticking out (and hopefully hidden by whatever cabinetry that's hiding the intact pipes now). Cutting a sink hole into the countertop post-install depends on what kind of new counter material you use. Laminate: doable. Granite: very very tiny maybe and highly problematic. Tile: can't normally be done, a giant PITA when possible (assuming there's lots of spare tiles and matching trim leftover from the original job) and the end result will look like crap more often than not. Corian: no for undermount sinks; the new second sink will have to be a drop in. It's cheaper for whomever follows you to replace the entire countertop rather than try to jig in a new sink opening.

All that aside though: modify your home the way you want to, you're its owner, not the custodian for the people who might buy it someday in the future.
posted by jamaro at 1:21 PM on May 1, 2011

Make it a fishbowl with a glass top. Easy to change out the water, and gives you a nice thing to look at.
posted by svdodge at 1:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Since you're planning to take the countertops out and presumably replace the sinks no matter what: get two sinks that are flush to the counter surface, get relatively tall faucets, install a filter on the not-gonna-use-as-a-sink side, and then follow jamaro's tray advice. You now have a great way of filling your water glass at night/flower vases anytime, counter space, and options for the future.
posted by SMPA at 1:37 PM on May 1, 2011

The pet-related ideas are definitely making me smile.

Thanks jamaro... so far leaning towards removing fixtures and covering with a tray.
I was thinking corian for the new countertops. But if it's cheaper to replace than to rejig, maybe I'll hold off a year or so on changing the countertops. Hopefully by then, I'll have a better idea how long I'll be in that home, and him-less.

SMPA, that sounds like a good idea, but I can't visualize...
posted by cheemee at 1:44 PM on May 1, 2011

If I had two sinks, I would make one into a morning sink and one into a night sink. That is, all cosmetics, sunscreens, and other products you use in the morning go around one sink, and the evening stuff goes around the other (night creams, different facewashes, etc). Stuff that you presumably use morning and night (toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lens cases, etc) goes in the middle. You could even subtly alter the decor to reflect the time of day; brighter colors on the morning side, softer ones for evening.

You would have to clean two sinks instead of one, but that's really not a big deal if you have cleaning supplies out anyway.
posted by charmcityblues at 1:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]

When I didn't have a him, I would have still loved to have a two-sink vanity. I grew up in a house that had them, it was great. I would keep both sinks as they are. I wish I had a two-sink vanity now.
posted by fifilaru at 2:41 PM on May 1, 2011

I would totally keep it and use it for washing stuff in. Currently I use a convoluted bucket arrangement and the times I've spilled it have not been fun, let me tell you. I would add tall faucets, too. And make sure the stopper is well fitted. I really want one (two) of these now.
posted by anaelith at 4:26 PM on May 1, 2011

I would find or create an in-sink organizer and make a cover to hide my make up (storage + increased counter space). Would also be handy for after-shave, razors, etc.
posted by smirkette at 6:28 PM on May 1, 2011

You've already been told about the resale value but if you truly are planning on living there for many years, go with one sink if that's what you want. Why not? It's your place and you deserve to live the way you want.

You can definitely have the waste pipe and supply lines capped. If you go with surface mounted sinks, cutting the hole for the drain and faucet(s) would probably be pretty easy on Corian. A flush mounted sink or undermount sink will require a larger hole and the installler might need to remove the whole counter to make the sink cut.

Since you might re-install the second sink at a later date, I would advise you to either buy the second sink/faucet/taps when you buy the first or be prepared to have to replace the first set when you install the second set down the road. If you go for anything beyond the most basic fixtures & sink, you will probably have trouble matching them just a few years later.

(PS save some money and look for remnant countertop pieces. You can find some awesome deals if you take your time & search all over - bathroom countertops are the perfect place for remnants.)
posted by jaimystery at 6:28 PM on May 1, 2011

If I'm going to re-do the countertops I'm going to want undermounted sinks. But it sounds like that would be expensive to rejig on Corian.
An in-sink organizer sounds ideal, but not sure how I would go about making one... will try to mull that one over.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone... will keep watching this thread.
posted by cheemee at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2011

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