Vintage style kitchen drainboard sinks

youngstown metal kitchen sink

In response to Friday’s post on the patriotic 40s kitchen, Josh writes: I’m in love with that sink. Do they still make any like that? Thanks for the question, Josh. I researched this question, and I have some recommendations:

  • Porcelain-enamel-on-cast-iron or steel drainboard sinks were extremely common in vintage homes, and you can find one vintage if you are patient. Watch your Re-Store Habitat for Humanity or local salvage type place, Craigslist, our Retro Renovation Forum, and ebay. I were looking for a vintage drainboard sink, I would hold out until I found one in near-perfect shape, although you can get these re-porcelained.
  • Historichouseparts.com, one of my favorite places. The first sink (below) was for sale on their site for $725, and count on a hefty shipping charge, too. Others shown are sold for the most part, check in frequently and I’m sure they’ll be glad to help:

historic-house-parts-sink-725.jpg

sink-3.jpg

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  • I also recently found a site, thisoldtubandsink.com that says it specializes in vintage porcelain-on-cast-iron pieces, including refinishing. Honestly, I cannot vouch for the refinishing work – and from what I know about this, it can be truly tricky. But this merchant certainly also seem to have a number of as-is pieces in good shape such as this 42×25 double sink at $635. There are other pieces with drainboards as well:
  • thisoldtubandsinkdotcom

    Click this photo to see how Joe used the Elkay drainboard sink in his kitchen

  • And, don’t forget – that another very viable alternative, are the Elkay Lustertone stainless steel sinks made in the 50s and still available today. While they may not be as “sweet” as the white porcelain, they are probably in reality – more functional, as stainless steel does not chip, is very sanitary, and is easy to keep clean.
  • If you are looking for a vintage drainboard sink, be sure that the length and width will fit your space – and that the height of the integral backsplash will work for you as well. You’ll also need to “mate” the sink to the adjacent countertops, I don’t have any advice on this…

Again – there were millions of these made. For example, in the immediate (and less affluent) postwar period from 1946-early 50s, the sink cabinet/drainboard sink combo was marketed heavily as a standalone piece to be integrated into farmhouse kitchens — the Mrs. would keep her wood cabinets, only buy the steel sink base and complementary sink/drainboard. There were big names all over this action, too — Kohler, American Standard, Youngstown. That’s why you see so many sink bases ONLY (as in the photos from historichouseparts.com, above) for sale.

youngstown metal kitchen sink

Finally, in further researching Josh’s question, I found two reproduction sinks that are made currently – both are very pre-war and are really meant as farmhouse style sinks to stand on legs or freestanding. Note, most cabinets today and in the 50s on, were 25″ deep.

Here’s the Nottingham Brass Sandford sink, it’s 42″x21″ and $969 free shipping from signaturehardware.com:
nottingham-brass-sink.jpgAnd here’s a Strom sink sold as Clarion by plumbingsupply.com (and others) at $1599 plus $175 shipping:

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More info to plan your Retro Kitchen Remodel:

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Comments

  1. Beverly Johnson says

    I have a double drainboard cast iron sink with a metal cabinet. The cabinet needs to be replaced. Where would I find one? I cannot find a cabinet maker who will design a wooden one with shelves on either side.

  2. chuck p says

    can anyone recommend install links for retro-fitting these old doulble drainboard farm sinks into modern countertops?

  3. Marlo says

    I know this is an old post, but I recognized that first photo of the sink with the cabinet. I used to own that sink! Not just the same model- that very sink.

    We owned a 1920s foursquare in Western NY (in the same city as Historic Houseparts). We relocated and sold the house. A few years later, we heard the new owners took the vintage kitchen out and installed a modern kitchen. I was pretty bummed when I heard, but I’m thrilled to know they sold the sink to Houseparts and that someone else is probably using it. I really miss that double drainboard- it was fantastic.

    BTW, the sink cabinet had a poor paint job in brown when we bought the house. I sanded it down a bit and repainted with a white Rust-Oleum type paint. It worked out great. I don’t know what I was thinking with those pin pulls though…

  4. James Prosser says

    I have a 42″X20″ single drain board sink (porcelain over cast iron), with metal cabinet made by Sears,and Roebuck. I am getting ready to pull out. Do you know how much it is worth? And what would be the best way of trying to sell it.

  5. Ann says

    Look around on the internet for stand alone sink with integrated drainboard. There is a company in Florida that makes them, and I have seen others. They aren’t stand alone, though. You have to either make a cabinet fo underneath, find a suitable one, or install it in your countertop.

      • Ann says

        I just skimmed through this article today. I’ll have to look around this site. My Google search showed more than Nelson’s, but they seemed like they had almost exactly what I was looking for. I might Google metal kitchen sink cabinets next.

        • pam kueber says

          I updated my comment and pointed you to the exact story (my first comment mistakenly assumed you were in that story because the titles are similar.) Use the Categories! We have an entire category Kitchen Help/Steel Kitchens.

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