June 13, 2009 12:28:59 am
We are renovating our kitchens and bathrooms. What are our options of materials for bathroom basins and washbasin faucets? What are the options available to us for kitchen sinks? Also how do we decide which sink to buy? What is general price range of kitchen sinks and bathroom washbasins for local makes and branded? Please tell me about their day to day maintenance.
Armaan and Somit,Mumbai
There is a wide range of materials in which bathroom washbasins are now available other than ceramic such as glass, soapstone,concrete,terrazzo,copper,plastic and enamel over steel or cast iron etc. Also there are various options for mounting them such as on counters,pedestals,cabinets and counter style basins. The price range for bathroom washbasins range between Rs 500 to Rs 4000 approximately and designer washbasins of reputed brands would range up to Rs 15000 and imported brands can go up to Rs 50000 approximately.
Now let us talk about the different kinds of wash basin faucets: Single lever mixer faucets- These are designed for installation in a single hole in the basin. The hot and cold water is mixed in an integral cartridge before it reaches the spout. It is preferable to go for a faucet with ceramic discs and wide operating angle for smooth and precise control.
Two handle mixer faucets– This kind of faucet has independent controls for hot and cold water supplies,and the mixed water comes from a single spout tap. Therefore its installation requires a single hole in the basin.
Three hole faucets– These have independent controls for hot and cold water and they deliver water via a central spout. These are available in a variety of designs.
Pillar faucets– These deliver hot and cold water from independent supply sources or faucets.
Electronic faucets– Two kind of electronic faucets are available. They are either touchless or sensory controlled faucets which sense the presence of the user by using an infrared light. Secondly there are one touch faucets which require the user to touch start the water.
Wall mounted faucets– If there are no faucet holes in the wash basin or there is a vessel style basin,a wall mounted faucet is the choice. These are installed in the wall above the basin and hence it is essential to do the necessary piping before the wall tiling is done. These are some basic type of faucets.
Kitchen sinks are essentially flat bottomed and made of stainless steel to ensure durability and longevity. Stainless steel kitchen sinks come in many combinations such as a single bowl,single bowl with drain board on one side or two sides,double bowl,double bowl with drain board on both sides and one side. Nowadays kitchen sinks are being used with the waste food disposal system as well. The system for waste food disposal is basically for disposing the wet garbage. With this system installed into the kitchen sink you can get rid of unwanted left over food waste inclusive of fruit and vegetable peels,egg shells,bones etc. Therefore discouraging the creation of smells,bacteria and insects in the kitchen. The food waste is flushed directly into the kitchen sink and once the disposal system is switched on the food waste is crushed and disposed off. This product works on electricity. Also seamless sinks are now available,these sinks have less taper that makes the capacity of the sink bigger. Synthetic resin and quartz sinks are used nowadays as well in designer kitchens to match the colour of the sink with the colour scheme of the kitchen. Regarding the price local sinks range from Rs 500 to about 3000 approximately. Branded sinks would range between Rs 2500 to Rs 4000 approximately
The choice of either kitchen sink or bathroom washbasin depends on your budget and available space and position specific to the particular toilet or kitchen and the overall style of décor. Regarding maintenance of the bathroom washbasin and kitchen sink the most important thing is that that basins and sinks must be properly fitted and carefully mounted to begin with. For day to day maintenance sinks and basins should not be cleaned with any abrasive material as this can scratch their surface. Also no corrosive liquid should be used for cleaning the bathroom washbasins or stainless steel sinks.
Please advise on how to get niches or alcoves made in our home or office.
Niches in walls can be both a functional requirement and an aesthetic feature in homes and offices. In case you plan to have these for a functional purpose,its size can be worked out by you as per the specific requirement. A niche or alcove built for aesthetic purposes can be used in various manners. It can be used to display pictures or artefacts. These can be wall-hung or placed on glass shelves. I am specifying glass shelves for the reason that if a light is placed on top of a niche,it would filter through all the shelves and would add to the beauty of the objects displayed. A long niche can also be used to place a planter with a real plant or a dry arrangement. If you paint the inside of the niche in a nice bright colour it would make it stand out and add to its dramatic effect. I would definitely recommend putting a light on the ceiling of the niche as mentioned earlier. However,it is better to use a light fixture that has a completely recessed bulb so that the bulb cannot be seen from a horizontal view,and the light beam only focuses downwards into the niche. The size of a niche is something you would have to decide on your own depending on its placement in a particular wall in your home and dependent on what you plan to keep in it. A niche is generally in a cuboidal shape (with all 5 faces being rectangular at 90° angle to each other,and except for the back face opposite faces being of identical dimensions). In a vertical niche,the height of the niche is greater than its width. In a horizontal niche,the width of the niche is greater than its height. l
The author is an architect
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