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Bathroom Sinks: A Buying Guide

Before choosing your new bathroom sink, you need to consider the room where it will be installed, the individuals likely to use it, and the amount of space available. The selection process can be quite hectic and overwhelming if you lack enough information about the market’s best available options.

Whether you are buying a new bathroom sink because you are updating an old or outdated bathroom, or you are installing an entirely new bathroom in your home, there are several key factors you’ll need to consider. They include:

  • The material the sink is made from
  • The size of the cabinet
  • How the sink is installed
  • The shape of the sink
  • The number of holes
  • The color of the sink

Each of the factors has an effect on the look and function of the sink (or sinks, since it is possible to have two sinks in a single bath). They create a sense of style or décor, they can help you to work within the limited amount of space in the average bathroom, and they allow you to make the most of the features your sink and faucet offers.

Here, we’ll guide you through additional aspects you should consider for a comfortable and convenient choice.

The Materials

The most immediate choice to be made is that of the materials from which the sink is crafted, with two dominant options being:

  • Porcelain
  • Marble

There are options for solid surface materials and even options such as glass, metal, stone, and enamel coated cast iron. “Vessel” sinks exist, too and they are made of any number of materials, including pottery and even wood.

Some of the other materials to consider for your bathroom sink include the following:

  • Ceramics
  • Resin
  • Bamboo
  • Petrified wood
  • Teak
  • Acrylic

Once you have a material in mind, you need to consider what type of bathroom sink you’re looking for.

Types of Bathroom Sinks

The market is flooded with numerous sink types, and choosing the wrong type for the wrong bathroom size or wrong cohort of individuals can be very expensive. The following are the available types:

Freestanding Basins

These are sleek, sculpted basins perfect for relatively large bathrooms. They take up more bathroom space than other types and are impactful when paired as double basins. 

Other types of bathroom basins to check out before selecting your choice include these:

  • Wall-mounted basins
  • Pedestal basins
  • Inset basins
  • Countertop basins
  • Semi-recessed basins
  • Corner sinks
  • Washplane sink
  • Integrated sink and countertop
  • Vessel sink

The Installation

Also referred to as the “mount,” this describes the way the sink is attached or affixed to the counter or vanity. While there are pedestal sinks that sit on a base, the most common installation or mounting types are:

  • Drop-in – Also called a self-rimming type, it is the easiest to use as it just drops into place and is held by the lip molded into the sink’s outer edge.
  • Undermount – As it sounds, this type is mounted from under the countertop and is a sleek and modern look that is easier to clean than many other styles.
  • Vessel – This is an actual vessel that is mounted to a surface, such as a free-standing bowl that sits on a countertop, and is a stylish and modern way to install a bathroom sink.

With the choice in material and mounting style, you can then start to consider the overall look of the sink. That means considering factors like color and shape.

Stylish Features

If you are looking to remodel your bathroom, choose a sink whose style improves the aesthetics and blends with the bathroom’s architectural highlights. A variety of styles to choose from include and are not limited to the following:

  • Traditional bowls
  • Sleek futuristic designs
  • Warm wood that matches bathroom furniture 
  • Porcelain look that matches with the tub
  • A basin with curvy legs

The color you choose for a bathroom sink is going to always need to coordinate with the overall style of the bathroom. Common colors are white, black, and beige, and each will create a specific mood. For example, a black sink is extremely modern and sleek, while the white sink may be a traditional or transitional style.

Paying attention to what the color says is important, and so too is the shape of the sink. For example, the most common are:

  • Rectangle
  • Square
  • Round
  • Oval

Each conveys a specific look and function differently in space. The round or oval bowls will always present a more fluid feel than a square shape.

Final Thoughts

Once you have considered these basics, there are still such factors as the cabinet size and the number of holes for the faucets. These are functional more than anything else, but the most common installation type for faucets include single holes and no holes (i.e. vessel sinks or wall-mounted tap styles).

Cabinet sizes typically range from 18” and under, 21” and 24” and over. This can allow room around a sink and a unique sort of faucet, or it can greatly limit you based on space around the cabinet. Either way, as you narrow down the options in bathroom sinks, it is important to consider all of the factors and not just single issues like color or general design. This way, you get the look and function desired.