Because of its central position and frequency of use, choosing your bathroom sink is actually one of the most important decisions you have to make when designing a bathroom. In a busy household, the bathroom sink is used dozens of times per day, for a variety of reasons. To choose a bathroom sink, you need to weigh both practical and aesthetic considerations in the balance.
The Size of the Bathroom Sink
The first thing you need to consider is the size of sink you need. This includes not only the sink basin, but the benchtop, if any, and the cabinet that houses the sink. While you may want to have a big storage cabinet under the sink and a nice wide benchtop around it, do you really have enough space for it or will it make the bathroom feel too cramped? If you do have room to spare, there are a few types of bathroom sinks you can choose from:
- Drop-in sinks are the most common. These have a lip around the edge of the sink which holds it into place on the benchtop. Drop-in bathroom sinks are the easiest to install, give you a little more underbench cabinet space and are often the least expensive option.
- Underbench bathroom sinks are mounted underneath the benchtop. These give a clean, stylish look to your benchtop. You can only use an underbench sink in conjunction with a solid bench top material, such as granite.
- Vessel sinks are sinks that sit on top of the benchtop. These sinks have become very trendy in recent years and can definitely give your bathroom a distinctive look.
If space is at a premium, don't worry, all is not lost. Some of the most stylish bathroom sinks on the market are designed for smaller bathrooms.
- Pedestal sinks rest on a single pedestal, usually, but not always made of the same material as the sink. The recessed pedestal is generally just big enough to cover the plumbing, giving the bathroom a more spacious look.
- Wall mounted sinks are the most compact sinks available and are often chosen for ensuites, where space is at a premium.
Choosing Bathroom Sink Materials
You are no longer limited to white porcelain when choosing a bathroom sink. For a distinctive and stylish touch, you can choose glass, timber, copper, brass, stainless steel or even stone. If you choose a "solid surface" material (such as Corian) for your benchtop, you can have your sink included as an integral part of the unit.
Whatever type of sink you decide on, you will need to select tapware that complements the sink design. If your sink does not have a distinctive shape or design, you can make it look fantastic by spending a little more and getting distinctive tapware for it.
Don't make your bathroom sink an afterthought. It can be the most striking visible element in the bathroom, so it is not unreasonable to start your bathroom design work with your sink and build around that. If you start the design process with the sink and/or its cabinet, you will find that everything else will fall into place nicely around it.