When I wrote about Joe and his project to replace his timeworn porcelain drainboard sink with a similar, new Elkay stainless steel model, I had the darnedest time finding the Elkay examples on their website. As in: I could not find them at all. Elkay’s communications team was very helpful, though. So, here for your reference — shown above — are the eight models and model-numbers of Elkay Lustertone stainless steel drainboard sinks you may want to consider for your retro kitchen renovation. They start at 48″ wide, one drainboard, one bowl… and go all the way up to 84″ wide, two drainboards, two bowls.Heck yeah there is more →
If you love the functionality of the classic farmhouse drainboard sink — but don’t necessarily want vintage or reproduction porcelain — perhaps a drop-in stainless steel drainboard sink is just the ticket. After searching far and wide — I’ve come up with seven places where you can find drop-in stainless steel drainboard sinks today — in a range of sizes, styles and prices sure to fit any kitchen and budget.
Note: We are not experts on manufacturing and materials specifications issues, so we did not try to try to assess these sinks for gauges / construction / durability. There could well be differences model-to-model, so if you are in the market, this is something you should/could research further. We do tend to believe that if your stainless steel drainboard sink is of good quality, it will last virtually forever. Regarding scratches and the like, we do not get in a tizzy when it comes to hard working surfaces like this. We quite like patina, actually.Heck yeah there is more →
Classic farmhouse drainboard sinks look quite charming in a vintage kitchen. Whether you are looking for a reproduction drainboard sink, or are hunting for vintage, I’ve pulled together all my research to help you find what you are looking for in this buyer’s guide. Overall, I count 9 difference sources depending on the age and material of farmhouse drainboard sink that you are looking for.
1. Authentic vintage farmhouse drainboard sinks:
If you are the owner of an older porcelain enamel bathtub or sinks — or are considering buying one — please see my May 2, 2016 story Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age; this article focuses on raising awareness around three other potential sources of lead dust exposure in your home – old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any era — and steps you can take to assess and, if required, address them.
A note on terminology: I have seen the terms “Porcelain Enamel”, “Enamel”, and “Porcelain” each used to describe the top coating that is baked onto metal substrates on bathtubs, sinks and other products. As such, you may see the various terms used interchangeably on this blog by me and by others who are interviewed or commenting. To verify what types of products you have and what they are made of, do your own research including consulting with the original manufacturer or your own professionals.
Prewar and mid century drainboard kitchen sinks were, I believe, generally manufactured using a cast iron or steel substrate, covered with porcelain enamel. They were available in white…… and in pastels and other colors, as in Erica’s Jadeite kitchen (shown above.)
Here is slide show of 16 vintage Kohler kitchens that give you some idea of the designs.
Where to find vintage drainboard sinks:
Vintage sinks can usually be found at salvage companies, on craigslist, your area ReStore / Habitat for Humanity, etc. See this story I did on Ken, who specializes in collecting and selling original-condition vintage kitchen sinks.
2. Re-porcelain a vintage sink:
If you already have a vintage drainboard sink in hand, but it needs restoration, it can be done. Yes, vintage sinks can be re-porcelained. Custom Ceramic Coatings is one resource we found that can re-porcelain cast iron sinks (photo above is an example).
Reader Barb had a porcelain-enamel-on-steel sink (not cast iron) and found another source Independence Porcelain Enamel, to reporcelain it.
- Do your own research with these companies to ask what materials and processes they use in their re-porcelaining processes.
3. Cleaning a porcelain enamel drainboard sink:
I reached out to Kohler to ask about various cleaning products for their porcelain enamel on cast iron products made today. See this story:
- Kohler says “no” to: Magic Eraser, Comet, Bar Keepers Friend, Zud, vinegar, etc…. for cleaning its porcelain enamel cast iron.
Please consult with the manufacturer of your sink you buy new; and again, if your sink is vintage take care considering this story.
4. Farmhouse sink reproductions — porcelain enamel on cast iron:
Now I’m diving into reproduction / new farmhouse drainboard sinks with porcelain enamel coatings on cast iron substrates.
I know of several sources for a reproductions of apron style farmhouse drainboard sinks. These designs below are porcelain enamel on cast iron — the very old school way to make these sinks.
Above: Strom Plumbing also has a 42″ design – also in cast iron.
Another available option — also in cast iron — is the Clarion farmhouse drainboard sink. It is made by Strom Plumbing and marketed by a number of companies such as our longtime advertiser, deabath.com — but you can shop around. This apron sink is 60″ wide.
These sinks will all use a vintage style wall-mount kitchen faucet. As some examples, see our story 8 vintage style wall-mount kitchen faucets.
Another source for cast iron drainboard sink reproductions, like the one shown above (more designs on their website): Ready To Re.
5. Steel drainboard kitchen sinks:
Next up: Drainboard kitchen sinks made out of metal — steel, mostly, but check before you buy.
- Elkay still makes a number sink-top drainboard sinks very much like the porcelain enamel on cast iron. See this story on the different styles of Elkay stainless steel sinks.. above: Read this story about how Joe used one of these Elkay steel drainboards to replace a damaged original sink in his kitchen.
- Second, we did a separate round up eight places to find drop-in stainless steel sinks.
- See this story, too, about ways to do stainless steel sinks and countertops in your kitchen. Check local building codes to ensure these are to code in your locality.
- Also check companies like Ikea and Franke, they may have some “drop in designs”.
Need a faucet? I like the one that Joe used. It looks like << this Chicago model.
I also am a #1 fan of Dishmasters — I use one in my kitchen!
6. Reproduction farmhouse sinks available from Nelson Bath Tub, Inc.:
Next up: Modern technology allows for drainboard sink reproductions to be made from modern polymeric materials.
Above: The second sink from Nelson Tub and Bath is a 66″ wide double sink double drainboard farmhouse sink.
Above: Nelson’s 42″ single bowl, single drainboard sink. And be sure to check their website, they continue to add new designs each year, it seems.
7. Reproduction drainboard sinks in other materials (including colors)
Whitdhaus seems to have one apron-front sink with a small drainboard.
Another new option is this Blanco sink (*affiliate link) lists for $933 plus shipping. While this model has the lovely drainboard — and appears to be made of a composite including hard rock granite — it is not what we’d describe as “retro” in style. Still, we’ll put it out there for you. This model is available in eight neutral colors — but also has the drawback of no faucet holes — limiting counter top options.
There’s a big payoff for blogging day in, day out, for more than five years: You see a lot of stuff. My archives are just brimming with all kinds of rare features found in midcentury American homes. I was thinking, “Golly, I’ve seen quite a few very interesting vintage kitchen sinks,” so I decided to go through my archives and see what I could find. And find, I did. Here are thirteen vintage kitchen sinks — some are super rare, as in one siting in five years… others are a bit more common (although still rare in the grand scheme of things)… all are delightful. First up:
- Youngstown Servi-Center — Very very rare, I think. We have only ever seen one.
Yum, one of our favorite woddity features:
Water + electricity. Not.
Thanks to reader Nutella, who spotted this amazing sink in Baltimore. It’s a vintage Elkay stainless steel three-bowl sink with a very notable, unusual feature: A flourescent light bar that runs along the top. This wonderful oddity — see our entire woddity archive here — combines two of our very favorite things: Water and electricity! JK: Get with your own properly licensed expert to assess safety etc…Heck yeah there is more →
After Joe was unsuccessful in his attempt to epoxy-coat his vintage porcelain drainboard sink, he replaced it with a new Elkay Lustertone stainless steel drainboard sink. Even though the metal drainboard sink looks great, Joe says he would have preferred to keep his old porcelain sink top and have had the original enamel restored, refinished or replaced. But he didn’t know of a source — and neither did I. Until now.
Thanks to reader TappanTrailerTami, who let us know:Heck yeah there is more →
In my recent story about authentic 1950s 1960s and 1970s kitchen remodeling products still made today, I spotlighted Elkay Lustertone stainless steel drainboard sinks — made back in the day and still available today. Over the past year, I’ve been in touch with a reader who was preparing to install a new Elkay sink top onto his vintage steel kitchen sink base. The project was recently completed — and voila, doesn’t it look fantastic? Reader Joe explains that he would really have preferred to find a porcelain enamel drainboard sink, to replace the original — but these are not made new today, and his previous experience with trying to re-enamel his original drainboard sink was not satisfactory. Read on for his report on his experience and several before-and-after photos.
UPDATE: Regarding old porcelain sinks including a discussion of why re-surfacing or re-enameling may be desirable if you have one, see my story: Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age. We also have found two sources that do old-school re-porcelaining today — use the Search box on the blog to get to the stories..
I rarely feature products from Ikea, mostly because I do not live near one but also because so many other blogs seem to spotlight their stuff a lot. However, these two kitchen sinks recently came onto my radar. I will add them to the Product Guide for renovators to consider for their kitchen updates, and hunt and peck their site more diligently for appropriate and affordable choices for mid-century homes. Heck yeah there is more →
I don’t know if these were just recently introduced… or whether I missed them all this time…but these two sinks from Kohler are terrific, authentic choices for a 40s, 50s or 60s kitchen. Both sinks are cast iron. And of course — you MUST get the metal rim.
This selection now becomes my #1 choice for a kitchen sink, if you want white cast iron and don’t want to hunt down or wait for a vintage sink.
- My favorite faucet for a kitchen sink is this model from Chicago Faucets. It is expensive, but wonderful…heavy and with a nice long spout.
Elkay stainless steel sinks
Classic white sink/counter drainboard sinks:
- Now, if we could just get someone to begin manufacturing the classic sink/countertop combo in white cast iron…