This article can now be found at thePlumber.com
This article can now be found at thePlumber.com
Whenever you’re thinking about adding a new plumbing fixture to your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework first and purchasing a laundry sink is no exception. If you’re replacing an existing sink, you probably have a few more limitations than someone installing a sink fresh, but you should still be asking yourself the same types of questions.
This is probably the most important question you should ask yourself as it will influence all of your other sink-buying decisions. If you’re a single lady who only wants a handy place to rinse delicates and scrub stains, chances are you don’t need the same kind of laundry sink a family with 10 school-aged boys all on various sports teams needs. Ask yourself what you do in the laundry room already and what you would *like to do in the laundry room – and try to be realistic. A utility sink is really more of a convenience, and it helps to be specific about how this purchase is going to help you. For instance, will it save you having to run upstairs/downstairs just to rinse a quick stain, does it solve a practical problem like providing drainage for your washing machine, or is it going to keep your house cleaner or more organized by offering a designated place for wet towels, muddy soccer uniforms, handwash only items, etc.?
You should also ask yourself if there are any not-so-frequent laundry tasks you need to be equipped for. Some families dye hand-me-down clothes to hide old stains and give them a new look before they’re passed on to younger siblings, others use the laundry sink as a place to rinse cloth diapers before washing, and still more rinse mops, paint brushes, and gardening tools in their laundry sinks. Consider how frequently you really will use the sink and for what kinds of jobs before you begin shopping – it will definitely save you a lot of time and keep you from making an impulse purchase you might regret later.
This will directly depend on your answers to the first question. If you’re only doing small jobs in the laundry room, a small sink is just fine. If you need to soak a whole soccer team’s grass-stained uniforms, you might need something bigger. Also, take into consideration the space you actually have available, especially if you’re buying a larger sink. This might require some prioritization on your part – for example, can another element of the laundry room be moved or eliminated to make room for a big sink? Or could the sink be relocated to another area close by like the garage?
Many people like the traditional freestanding laundry tub, and this can be a good option for areas where you have enough space for a big sink, but not enough and/or you don’t want to add a cabinet. Most wall mounted models also let you put a big sink in a small space, but keep in mind that you’ll need an available wall area sturdy enough to hold a tub full of water. On a side note, you can store things underneath both of these types of sinks, but it won’t be terribly aesthetic.
If you don’t need a large sink, your money and space might be better utilized with a counter mounted model. Counter mounted sinks definitely offer you the most versatility in style and construction materials since you can use pretty much any sink you want (kitchen, lavatory, or one designed specifically for utility/laundry rooms), but you will have to also install a cabinet for them to rest in – which can serve as extra hidden storage for supplies.
Our customers tend to favor stainless steel or Veritek™ (a compressed molded material) laundry tubs over the other options we offer. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t great utility tubs available in other materials, but we find that our customers are generally satisfied with these sinks and they’re great at standing up to the abuse of typical residential use – stainless steel is preferred for commercial applications due to its strength and heat-resistance.
A stainless steel laundry sink is going to be a lot pricier than Veritek™, but at the same time it will most likely last you longer. The biggest thing to consider when purchasing stainless steel is what gauge you’re buying. The lower the number, the thicker the steel – we suggest anywhere from 20 to 16 gauge. Why? Well, 22 gauge stainless steel is builder quality and super cheap, but it’s also very thin and isn’t going to wear well. On the other hand, 14 gauge stainless steel will last a single family home a very long time, but you really don’t need a sink that heavy-duty or that costly for typical family use or even for use by a small to mid-sized apartment complex.
If you’re not super committed to stainless steel, it won’t fit into your laundry room design, or you just don’t have the budget for stainless steel, Veritek™ could be the option for you. Veritek™ has two main things going for it – it is incredibly affordable and it is super easy to maintain. The way this material is made, a solid color runs throughout the material so it won’t fade, and it is non-porous so it is easy to clean and resists mold and mildew. Generally, it only comes in white or beige, and it isn’t the prettiest sink you ever saw, but it will serve the purpose of a reliable utility sink at an affordable price.
And there you have it. Now, we’re sure there are other considerations for choosing a quality laundry sink, but hopefully the tips discussed here will help you get started on the right track. Happy folding!
Anyone who’s into DIY, crafts, fine arts, or anything else where you create or repair things knows that the part you need can often be found under multiple different names, often in five different sections of three different stores, and labeled in four different ways… even though it’s all the same thing.
For example, copper tubing can be used for installing refrigerators, in a still, for a craft project, hammered to make jewelry, even work hardened to create a hanger for your stuff. You’ll find the tubing in a variety of places such as plumbing supply houses, craft stores, jewelry supply catalogs, corner hardware stores, and here at PlumbingSupply.com.
Okay, but so what? Well, to continue the example, while copper tubing is typically called copper tubing pretty much everywhere, it comes in different grades and sizes, as well as soft and rigid versions. Your project might require refrigerator grade soft copper tubing because you plan on repairing a water cooler, while an art project may just need the malleability, color, or patina of copper, so the grade may not matter as much.
Some places will label their tubing differently depending on what type of person or profession they are marketing to, so whatever you need, definitely confirm that the copper labeled simply as 1/8” is really 1/8” OD (outer diameter), 1/8” ID (inner diameter), or something else you never thought of (what do you think nominal means in the plumbing world?).
While we used copper tubing as our example in this post, the idea really holds true for any component for any project, be it a computer chip, a paint color, or a pipe fitting. So, always be sure to double check the specs of what you need against the specs of what you find to make sure it will work for your project. If you’re not sure, ask! Better “waste” a few minutes double checking and be sure you have the right thing than have to start the hunt again.
Ever found something you needed for a project in an unexpected store/department/location? What was the weirdest project component or component experience you’ve had?