the great faucet dilemma

by Sep 5, 2013ModObjects0 comments


our house, kids bath


our house, master bath

When we bought our home 16 years ago, there were several changes or additions that had been made to the house that simply had to go.  Icky light fixtures, peel and stick floors in the bathrooms, beige plush carpet.  You know, the stuff that just does not deserve space in a classic midcentury home.  All these years later, only one item remains on that list and it has been bothering me for the last 5,840 days (not even kidding!). 

our ‘gas station’ faucets

Everything is original in our bathrooms except the floors, cabinet hardware, and the sink faucets.  The floors we took care of by getting rid of the peel and stick and adding cork and heated slate (nice!).  The hardware was an easy and fun fix with a trip to Bona Hardware in Oakley.  The faucets, however, have not been so easy.  The original American Standard sinks, banded in aluminum, are in great condition and we love the look.  But the hole configuration for the faucets leaves us with few options for replacement (4” centerset, tiny hole in the center for the drain pop up, and larger supply holes on the sides).  More current sinks have a large center hole to accommodate both supply lines to a mixer faucet.  My guess is that the original faucets were the sink version of the American Standard faucets in our showers and bath tub, with two lever handles.  In 1956 when the house was built, you either had American Standard (good) or Crane (better).  There was not much else. 


By the time we bought the house in 1997 from the second owner, the 4 bathroom sinks had what I affectionately call ‘Gas Station Faucets.’  I say this because shortly after we bought the house, I saw the very same faucets in the restroom of a gas station.  They are not exactly high quality – the underside is actually plastic!  But the real issue for me is that the finish on the sides of the spout is pitted and coming up.  They are as nasty as they are fugly!

So for the past I don’t know how long, I have been clicking through faucet options online, unable to pull the trigger because I did not love any of them.  We did buy one once a few years ago to try it out, but it was too massive looking and too contemporary for the space.  So, here we go again! 

the danze

the kohler

We narrowed it down to two choices – a retro looking Kohler faucet and a simple, modern Danze faucet.  We decided to go with the Danze for two reasons – it has a push down drain stopper instead of a pop up, and the handles look more like the original levers that are on our showers and bath tub.  We are a bit concerned that the Danze will look too large, so we only ordered one to check it our before committing to all four.  If the scale seems off for the space, we’ll move on to the Kohler, ‘Plan B.’

our ‘original’ shower faucets with new handles and escutcheons

And for those of you lucky enough to have your orignal American Standard bath faucets like we do in our showers and tub, don’t give up on them!  When one of our bath handles was dripping, Arlen took it apart and we took it to Noel’s Pumbing Supply in Evendale.  Not only did they have the replacement valves for our 57 year old faucets, they had the replacement handles and escutcheon plates as well.  Since the originals were showing slight signs of finish deterioration, these new handles made our showers look like new!  There are online sources for Crane parts, too.  Now if only we had the original sink faucets back….

Watch for our update once the new sink faucet comes!


Submit a Comment

featured publications




research + articles






modern books



some of our listings