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Where to find a vintage bathroom sink with chrome legs and towel bars?

vintage sink with chrome legsLanding on our story about a house with six – yes, 6 — colorful vintage bathrooms, Staci wrote to ask:

Q: Where can we buy a vintage sink with the towel racks? We just bought an midcentury modern ranch and have to have the sink! TIA. 

Answer: Where to find integral towel bars for your vintage bathroom sink

Sinks with the chrome legs and integral towel bars can be difficult to find — much more difficult than finding just the sink. I often see sinks at my ReStore Habitat for Humanity, but almost never with the legs or towel bars. Perhaps the old chromed items are just too beat up? Pitted or rusted? Or, just discarded in the hustle and rush of demolition.

1950s bathroom
The sink I found via craigslist. Note the style of these towel bars on my sink is different from those in the Comer House.

That said, here are some ideas starting with those that would likely be least expensive:

  1. Get to know your neighbors — are they renovating? Maybe they have one they will give you.
  2. Scan craigslist like a maniac. This is probably your best bet.
  3. Put an ad in the “wanted” section of craigslist.
  4. Put an ad in the “wanted” section of your local newspaper, especially if it’s super local. This is how I found my sink with original legs, towel bars and faucet some 15 years ago. A woman in the next town over had it in her basement. We hauled it right into the back seat of my car. It cost me $65. 
  5. Scour the ReStore regularly — maybe you can make friends with the management and they’ll watch for you?
  6. Ebay is always worth checking, especially for the legs and towel bars. Shipping a vintage sink is going to be expensive.
  7. Check salvage places in your local area. For an entire sink, the closer to home the less the cost — these things are heavy as well as fragile, and shipping will be a bear.
  8. Check salvage places further afar. Many have online shops and if you’re looking for something very specific I’d also call. One of our favorites is deabath.com
  9. Buy new: Waterworks has this set of legs + towel bars, they ain’t cheap, and they don’t include the sink. These do come closest to the original midcentury look, though, and any other present manufacturer that I know of.
  10. Buy old beat-up and have the legs and towel bars rechromed professionally. I’m putting this last on the list, because I recall being told by readers that getting real re-chroming done is wicked expensive. 

Where to buy new chrome sink legs:

You can buy just legs at a few places new today including deabath.com —  go for the “Deco” style at the bottom of the page. Deabath also has sinks, and you could ask them to watch for a vintage set of legs and towel bars.

You can also find them on Amazon – Lasco is the brand, you shop elsewhere too. Also check Franklin Brass (Amazon links earn me a commission if you buy). Note, I don’t know how these compare in terms of “heft” to the vintage originals, but I will say: The vintage originals are pretty darned hefty, in my experience.

More research on where to find bathroom sinks for a midcentury home:

Finally: Please note that old materials and products may contain hazards, so consult with pros to know what you are dealing with so that you can make informed decisions. For more info see our Be Safe / Renovate Safe page.

 

  1. Andrea says:

    I found an American manufacturing company that will custom make chrome or nickel plated legs for console sinks. http://www.sinklegs.com/styles-gallery I think the tapered leg or the modern leg would look good for a mid-century bathroom. There are no prices on the website, but I was told the prices are comparable to non-custom console leg prices.
    In my area, I can use Ferguson plumbing to order the consoles.

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