Creating the perfect bathroom can be quite the hassle, but luckily, choosing the right bathroom sink doesn’t have to be. Below, we will look at all the different sink styles on the market so that you can choose the right sink to brighten up your bathroom today.
Sink Type and Style
Sinks are important for creating a sense of style and cohesion in your bathroom. In combination with your faucets, they are typically the first and last thing a guest visits before leaving a bathroom. So it is best to choose a style that is right for you.
This sink is installed underneath the counter with it’s rim fixed to the underside of the countertop instead of being installed on top of the countertop. The purpose of this is to create a seamless clean look that is less visible to the user. This type of sink is best for busy families as it is easy to clean compared to other sink styles. The largest drawback to an undermount is that it is not possible with certain materials such as resin, laminate and natural stone.
The reverse of the undermount sink is the top mount sink. This is a sink that has it’s rim on the countertop while the rest of the sink is below the counter. The benefit of this style is that it is suited for all countertop materials including laminate, and it is much less costly than an undermount sink to install, making it ideal for Master bedrooms or areas that don’t see heavy activity. The drawback however is that you can’t easily wipe water and spills straight from the counter to the sink. sits on the top of the counter with most of the sink below the counter
Vessel sinks describe a bowl or basin that is placed on top of a countertop, providing the look and feel of an older sink or washroom. The benefits of a vessel sink is that it requires very little maintenance as it is simply a large bowl of water. The drawback to vessel sinks is a bit more complicated. Since the design is so simplistic, there should be careful planning to the rest of the space to ensure that all users can use the sink comfortably. Also, since it is just a large bowl of water, this limits the amount of available space on your bathroom countertop, so plan accordingly.
A pedestal sink is a classic sink for those that want the freedom of a wall-mounted sink but their plumbing limits their options. The pedestal under the sink conceals the pipework underneath and gives your bathroom a more classic feel, making it ideal for older homes. The drawback to this style is that there isn’t room for any additional storage similar to normal vanity, plus the pedestal can be quite a great deal of a hassle to clean over time.
For those with space issues, a semi recessed sink is more than ideal. This sink sits above a cabinet or vanity space, combining the options and allowing for more additional cabinet space. This also makes this style ideal for younger children as they can use the cabinets to reach the faucet without any obstruction. The drawback to this style is that due to the lack of an actual counter space, splashes and spills will be much more common.
For those with space issues, wall mounted sinks are another viable option. These are fixed directly to the wall and as such function as their own anchor without the need of a vanity or counter top. The benefit of a wall-mounted sink is of course saving space, plus it gives your bathroom a more stream-lined look. The drawback to this style is that without a countertop or storage area, there is little space for additional amenities with this style. A wall mounted sink is ideal for a powder or washroom where space is a premium.
Similar to a wall mounted sink, washplane sinks are shallow sinks that are installed on the wall. These are typically made from denser materials such as granite, marble or engineered stone. The purpose is to create a sleek design that catches the water into a stainless steel trough, which will save you space. The big drawback to this style is that it offers little in additional storage space and the sink itself is particularly shallow, making it really ideal for powder or washrooms as opposed to a bathroom that sees heavy daily use.
Self rimming sinks
A common staple in the kitchen, self-rimming sinks are drop-in sinks that are flush with the countertop. This means that they create a seamless surface between the sink and the counter. This is ideal for cleaning the sink, but also helps to save space. The biggest benefit to self-rimming sinks is that they are affordable, durable and easy to clean. The largest drawback is that their look is a bit plain for most bathrooms, making it more ideal for the kitchen than the bathroom.
As its name suggests, a console sink is essentially a large sink that is a cross between a wall-mount and a pedestal sink. These are usually mounted on two or four supporting legs, leaving the space between the counter and floor typically open for a shelf or drawer. The benefit of this style is that it’s quite large and modern, able to handle multiple guests at once and is handicapped accessible. The size of this sink is also it’s drawback as it requires a large amount of space to house and doesn’t necessarily give you that much additional space for the amount it takes on the wall.
A vanity sink is a sink that forms an integrated design with the sink and the countertop. This provides all the additional storage space of a vanity while losing none of the features of a normal sink. Also, with a vanity, there is typically enough counter space for additional storage. The benefits of this style is that this provides a streamlined space that is perfect for busy family bathrooms, as it can typically house anywhere between 1-2 sink spaces.
Your sink’s material will ultimately determine it’s visual flair and it’s durability. It is because of this that your material selection is perhaps the most important step to choosing a new sink, as this material will add more dynamic life into your bathroom. Below are some common bathroom sink materials and some of their pros and cons.
A composite material composed of part natural stone with a polymer solution. The benefit of stone resin is that it attains the look and feel of natural stone while weighing significantly less. It also has a non-porous surface that is smooth to the touch similar to porcelain and ceramic.
- Pro: Versatile, easy to fix, highly durable
- Con: Petroleum based compounds can damage the surface
Similar to ceramic, porcelain is a pottery-based substance that is significantly more dense. It is a popular substance for many bathroom fixtures in older homes as it has an extremely low water absorption rate and is quite easy to clean.
- Pro: Affordable, wide variety of style selection, low maintenance
- Con:Cannot handle heavy weight, avoid heavy impacts on this material, designs are typically very plain without much variation.
A special clay that is glazed and fired at 2100 degrees fahrenheit, fireclay is similar to porcelain and ceramic. That means that it is quite durable and sturdy to temperature changes, but cannot weather impacts from heavy or dense objects too well.
- Pro: Durable, easy to clean, resistant to most chemicals and discoloration
- Con: Cannot sustain heavy impacts, material will stain over time and is mildly more expensive than similar materials on the market.
A steel composite that is comprised mostly of recycled material, stainless steel is perhaps one of the most common sink materials in the market today. In conjunction with it being an eco-friendly choice, stainless steel sinks are highly resistant to corrosion, stains and bacteria build-up.
- Pros: Affordable, easy to maintain, blends well with any modern home and is highly resistant to most forms of staining.
- Cons: Look isn’t suited for older homes, not much variation in terms of look, the 16 and 18 gauge stainless steels are much more preferable to the 22 gauge with the quality dropping significantly as the thinner the metal becomes.
Tempered glass is a type of glass that is bonded through chemical and thermal means to harden the exterior and strengthen the material itself. This creates a very hard substance that is known as tempered glass. Although this material is boasted as being quite tough, at the end of the day, it is simply a harder form of glass. This makes it quite a great deal more fragile than most other materials on the market.
- Pros: Beautiful material with a unique look that doesn’t compare to other sink materials. Low maintenance, tempered glass is available in dozens of different colors and styles.
- Cons: Not very durable to heavy impacts. Shattered tempered glass is toxic, so care must be taken to dispose of it properly.
As with your sink’s style, faucet style plays an important role in establishing the feel and look of your bathroom. Simply by the way you interact with your faucet, changes the way that it feels. Some styles like cross-handles, bridge and knob functions are timeless and classic, but others like touchless faucets provide a sense of modernity, so it is important to choose the style that best suits you.
Bathroom and Sink Size
Before selecting the right sink for your bathroom, it is important to understand how large your bathroom is. Appropriately, larger sinks fit best in larger bathrooms, smaller sinks in small bathrooms. You can try fitting a small sink in a large bathroom and vice versa, but keep in mind that this will require you to alter the rest of your bathroom to accommodate it. And while a sink is pleasant to look at, it is just one part of your bathroom, so it is best to be practical and choose the sink size that is appropriate for your bath space.
As always, price is a large part of your decision making here. Sinks offers a great deal of variety and visual flair, but at the end of the day, they are just one part of a bathroom. Of course they see a good deal of daily use, but it is important that you stay within budget before buying one. Keep in mind that this is a long term investment as most sinks will last anywhere between 5-10 years with proper care, so it is wise to choose a durable material and start from there.
Sinks provide a wonderful visual flair that can elevate just about any bathroom. But with most amenities in the bathroom, they can grow to be pretty pricey over time. So do yourself a favor, stay within budget and choose a sink style that can last through the test of time and will make you happy for years to come.