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Apron-front bathroom sinks — with metal hudee rings or to tile in

When these rare(ish) vintage bathroom sinks show up in old advertisements or actual bathrooms, I often get questions about them. What are they, exactly, and how are they installed? Some answers…

The photo above, from deabath.com, is, specifically, a:

  • 1960’s Case Apron Front Hudee ring sink
vintage yellow bathroom
From our look back at all the names for “yellow” and designs from various manufacturers over the years. 1962 American-Standard catalog image: Building Heritage Library

I was intrigued by it in particular because it has that original metal hudee rim. I don’t recall seeing these very often “in the wild,” and it’s amazing someone actually saved that rim when they took this one out!

From Susan’s Jack ‘n Jill bathroom way early days o’ the blog!

So: This style of bathroom sink is called an apron-front bathroom sink (just like all the apron-front kitchen farmhouse sinks so popular today). On wall-hung sinks including those with chrome legs, the part you lean up against to brush your teeth — that’s also called the apron. 

“Apron-front”: because the front edge of the sink hangs over the cabinetry below, ala the photo above.

Apron-front sinks could be either hudee-rimmed or tiled-in. I asked my go-to expert at deabath.com, John, some questions re the sink with hudee that he has for sale:

Q: Do you think this was meant to go on a laminate countertop — or on a tile countertop? 

John: Definitely this sink would have been in a laminate countertop.  Tile-in applications don’t use a Hudee ring.

Also from wee early days: Jane’s pink bathroom remodel
vintage blue bathroom
Tiled-in American Standard sinks from our story on the history of the color blue in bathroom fixtures. From that same 1962 catalog in the Building Heritage Library. 1962 must have been a year for tiling in!

Q: If you don’t use the hudee, is the sink then tile-in? That is: Was there one design — either use without hudee and tile it in, or use hudee and use it with laminate?

John: Yes, there is a difference, at least in Crane.  The tile-in sinks were a bit thicker where the tile would butt up to the sink.  The Hudee ring versions were slightly thinner.  That being said, I’ve seen Hudee ring sinks being tiled…

Q.  Okay, so I understand they are tiled-in or hudee-finished. But how do they attach to the substrate? Held in place with clips?

John: The tile-in ones are set directly in the mortar on top of ply or whatever the counter in made of.  Hudee ring sinks use clips to hold the sink to the ring, and the ring sets on the Formica/ laminate.  

Thanks, John — you rock my world! 

The one thing I’d add about the hudee-ring installation: If you want this look — that is, apron-front sink with hudee to drop into a laminate countertop — be sure to get the hudee with your vintage sink. While we do have a source for made-new hudee rings, including made-to-order, I can’t imagine it will be cheaper or easier than getting the original with. 

Link love: See all of deabath.com’s vintage bathroom and other wares here. Oh, and I see they have more vintage apron-front bathroom sinks, in plain ole white — here

They are also vintage Crane experts — my go-to place to send folks with questions about that brand and, well, pretty much all others too.

 

  1. Amy says:

    Hi Wendellyn,

    One thing you might do is find a sink shape you like and then have it reglazed to be lavender. We recently updated our 1956 bathroom and found a sink we really liked at a salvage place that was great in every respect but color. A reglazer recommended to us by a neighbor was able to work with us to match the color and have the coating tinted accordingly. It looks great and we’re really happy with it!

  2. Paul-CT says:

    I’m intrigued by re-glazing as a neighbor also told me I should have done that instead. What did it cost?

  3. KStacey says:

    Am I the only one that hates those basin sinks sitting up on the counter? It just looks like unfinished plumbing to me. Although I do understand it when it’s some kind of crazy-unique handblown glass that deserves to be shown off. Still don’t like it though, lol!

  4. Amy says:

    In our case it did run us about $125 (which included the time it took to match our color – it was a surprisingly in-depth conversation with our glazer to get it just right!) so it wasn’t entirely cheap. But, we’re in DC and things are more expensive here than they are in most of the country, so it might well be possible to get it done more inexpensively elsewhere.

  5. Kristin L says:

    Thanks everyone. We’re enjoying renovating without going full time-capsule. Our yellow sink is NOS, found on EBay (darn autocorrect).

  6. Paul-CT says:

    I forgot to add, that your choice of faucet is perfect. Taking a 60 year old sink and adding modern faucets is a great idea!

  7. Paul-CT says:

    That’s not bad. How long did it take? I wish I knew that 4 years ago rather than taking the paint approach.

  8. Amy Lucko says:

    Not long at all! The actual coating process took perhaps an hour? Our guy does this and only this so he really had the process down. And then it had to dry for a day or so. Now the coating’s absolutely beautiful and looks like an original to me. We’ve only had it for several months at this point but I don’t have any concerns about it peeling or the like – it is really solid.

  9. Lizzy says:

    I have one of these. Desperately needs replacing, but the vanity is only 17 or 18′ deep, and wide. Plenty of space for stuff one wants right there. Also, the shallower vanity makes the bathroom much more spacious! I’ve seen the original room with replacement Big Box store vanity, and it’s awful. You feel claustrophobic.

    This set of is also called a recess mount. Just so you know.

  10. Debbie Hobdey says:

    We have a 1960’s apron sink with hundee ring. We’re remodeling our bathroom so is it possible to still use this sink with a resin countertop?

  11. yellow says:

    Do you know the name for an (upside down) rounded triangle sink? We picked one up today (been waiting almost 4 months for it to be demo’d out), and it’s ALMOST the shade of our bathtub and toilet (a slightly dusky teal). We love the shape and I’d love to see other examples, and I haven’t been able to locate another one online, but I’m sure there’s a better search term. The hudee ring is extra thick. We will look into the reglazing, as mentioned above, and hopefully get it to a perfect match. Here is a photo of the sink: https://imgur.com/a/fjOYY

  12. Pam Kueber says:

    No, I don’t know the maker of this. Reglazing is going to be near impossible if it’s cast iron.

  13. Chris says:

    Did he do it “in place?” Or did you have to remove and take to him? We have our old cast iron tub that needs some help, but it would need to be fixed up right where it sits.

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