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My wife found this gorgeous vintage china Trenton Potteries sink she'd like to install in a bathroom. It's big (32"X 22") and we're trying to figure out how to support it. It has no holes in the back for wall-hanging. We haven't been able to find this exact one in any old catalogs, but it looks like these sinks were often sold with the option of using legs and/or brackets as well as a pedestal. I've looked at vintage sink brackets that looks like the ones that were used at the time (see example in photo) but can't figure out how they would attach to the sink. I've also read that, back then, these sinks were sold with some sort of metal rod that ran down the pedestal to the floor, but haven't been able to find anything like that now, even on eBay. I've also read that sometimes they just rested on the plumbing (this one looks like it might have had two drains) but our pipes run to the wall. (She'd also like to restore the original drain mechanism, but that's a hope for another post.) We'd like to avoid using legs if at all possible. Anyone with vintage pedestal sink experience have any ideas?top of sink bottom of sinkeBay bracketsdrain

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It appears that your sink is not set up for a cleat/wall bracket but judging on the ring of porcelain on the bottom it is for a pedestal.

enter image description here

I know the boss would prefer not to use legs but if you show her this web page. (Not affiliated). she may find something to her standards.

I did install a similar sink on wall brackets, the ones you show do NOT seem to have a good solid way to attach to structure in the wall.

You could check with vintage plumbing supplier or habitat restore if, you have one, for a pedestal.

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  • Thanks for this, and for the link. Nice stuff. We have a pedestal, but I'm afraid that without more reinforcement it would be too easy to tip the sink forward. Sounds like yours was installed with wall brackets, right? Looks like Palmer makes brackets, so that might be a way to go.
    – Radiogavin
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:56
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I looked through the 1920 Montgomery Ward catalog but it seems the wall brackets weren’t included.

Montgomery Ward Plumbing Catalog c. 1920

We haven't been able to find this exact one in any old catalogs, but it looks like these sinks were often sold with the option of using legs and/or brackets as well as a pedestal

The legs and pedestals, yes.

typical pedestal sink

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  • Thanks much. These old catalogs are amazing. A 1910 Trenton Potteries catalog I hunted down at the NY public library was my source for how this might be mounted. Still haven't found our exact sink, though. Looks like brackets might have been out of date by 1920s.
    – Radiogavin
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:59
  • Daily Life in the Industrial United States 1870-1900, pg. 107 books.google.com/… might be interesting to look up that Good Housekeeping issue
    – herb guy
    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:57
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enter image description here You need a pedestal to support the sink's weight (and the weight of anyone sitting on it, which is the real issue).

Then you need two brackets to prevent it from tipping forward.

The brackets do not normally bear the sink's weight, which means they can be smaller and easier to hide. They simply keep the sink flat against the wall.

However it is much more convenient if the brackets are able to support the full weight of the sink (without anyone sitting on it) because that allows to remove the pedestal to fix the drain, should it become clogged or leak. So they still need to be strong enough, but not as strong as if they were the only support.

I strongly recommend adding one of these on the drain, and flex lines on the water supply, to make sure no pipes break when the sink moves... because in order to fix the drain, you have to remove the pedestal, and to do so, you have to lift the sink a little bit so the pedestal can move past the lip (red arrow) in the base of the sink. So the pipes need to follow and not be too stiff. This will also prevent the pipes from bending when someone sits on the sink.

enter image description here

If you install a vintage metal trap, you can add a fitting that allows the pipe to move (blue arrow):

enter image description here

If you don't, the trap will flex at the joing indicated by the red arrow, and the screw will eventually break.

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