Most bathrooms consist of a shower and bath. But they are in no way complete without a bathroom sink. Bathroom sinks are one of the most important components of a household where the majority of shaving, tooth brushing and appearance maintenance occurs. This is why it is so important to find a bathroom sink that not only suits your bathroom and house, but one that you can stare at several minutes everyday just before you go to work or go to bed.
With this site, I hope to address the many options you have as well as the many variables you must consider before proceeding with your choice.
There are a wide range of sinks that you can buy that will suit any bathroom. The most traditional models are constructed from porcelain and are round, oval or square. Porcelain is the most popular material because it is smooth, strong and waterproof. If you want something more personalized then it is possible to have custom-made sinks made to your color and liking. This is of course a more expensive option than buying off the floor.
The more modern bathroom sinks can be made from glass or metal, like a beautiful copper vessel sink. Glass bathroom sinks can be made with a colorful and unique look. Metal sinks can be constructed from brass, chrome, copper or stainless steel. While these are more expensive than porcelain sinks they can look fantastic in more modern bathrooms.
Fundamental Types of Bathroom Sinks
There are two basic designs of bathroom sink fixtures. There is the vanity and pedestal sink arrangement.
The vanity sink is simply a sink on top of a vanity unit. The vanity unit is the most obvious thing about the fixture that you can inject a bit of your personality into or help to create a theme in your bathroom. There are many different styles to choose from, including a corner bathroom vanity, but ultimately it comes down to what you like. The unit has two purposes. The first is to store stuff in. If you have a need for lots of storage space in your bathroom then this might influence your choice of vanity unit. The second purpose is to hide pipes that connect the sink to the water supply. The piping is relatively unobtrusive but some people prefer not to see it. Vanity sinks can utilize an undermount bathroom sink.
A pedestal sink is the exact opposite of a vanity sink, in that it does show the piping. It simply attaches to the wall with a bracket or two. All the plumbing behind the sink is exposed. This is probably the easiest sink to install as there is very little to do. Simply turn the water off and remove the old unit. Add the brackets if needed and then attach the sink. Connect the pipes and it should be ready to go. Bathroom pedestal sinks are also used in small bathrooms where there is not much space for vanity units or other storage units.
Design Styles of Sinks
Self-rimming (top-mount) sinks sit in appropriately-shaped holes roughly cut in the countertop (or substrate material) using a jigsaw or other cutter appropriate to the material at hand and are suspended by their rim. The rim then inherently forms a fairly close seal with the top surface of the countertop, especially when the sink is clamped into the hole from below.
Bottom-mount or under-mount sinks are installed below the countertop surface. The edge of the countertop material is exposed at the hole created for the sink (and so must be a carefully finished edge rather than a rough cut). The sink is then clamped to the bottom of the material from below. Especially for bottom-mount sinks, silicone-based sealants are usually used to assure a waterproof joint between the sink and the countertop material. The advantage of an “under-mount” sink is that it gives a contemporary look to the kitchen but the disadvantages are extra cost in both the sink and the counter top. Also, no matter how carefully the cut out is made, the result is either a small ledge or overhang at the interface with the sink. This can create an environment for catching dirt and allowing germs to grow.
Solid-surface plastic materials allow sinks to be made of the same plastic material as the countertop. These sinks can then easily be glued to the underside of the countertop material and the joint sanded flat, creating the usual invisible joint and completely eliminating any dirt-catching seam between the sink and the countertop. In a similar fashion, for stainless steel, a sink may be welded into the countertop; the joint is then ground to create a finished, concealed appearance.
A Belfast sink is a large ceramic sink with a traditional appearance, often set under work surfaces.
A farmer’s sink is a deep sink that has a finished front. Set onto a countertop, the finished front of the sink remains exposed. This style requires very little “reach-over” to access the sink.
A vessel sink is a free-standing sink, generally finished and decorated on all sides, that sits directly on the surface of the furniture on which it is mounted. These vessel-style bathroom sinks have become increasingly popular with bathroom designers because of the large range of materials, styles and finishes which they can show to good advantage.