How to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink
There is a lot more involved to deciding on the right bathroom sink to fit your needs, than just finding one that goes with your decor. Of course, you will want a sink that fits in with it's surroundings and a sink can be the focal point of your bathroom. However, before you decide on a sink for your bathroom there are some things to consider.
Choosing the right bathroom sink from the countless assortment of sinks that are available requires a little knowledge of some of the types of sinks that are available. When you have a solid understanding of all your options, you will be able to choose the bathroom sink that fits your needs and one that stands up to years of use.
There are three main areas to take into consideration when choosing a bathroom sink.
- How you will need to install it
- The configuration of the faucet and handles
- The material the sink is made out of
Wall mounted sinks, as the name implies, are attached to the bathroom wall. These type of sinks work well in small bathrooms and allow for the space under them to be used as well, giving the bathroom the impression of being larger.
Pedestal sinks are similar to wall mounted sinks since the sink basin is attached to the wall, however, the sink also rests on a pedestal. This is another type of sink that works well in bathrooms that have limited space. The drawback of having a wall mount or pedestal sink is that you don't get the storage space you would from a bathroom vanity.
Top mount, also known as self rimming and drop-in sinks, are sinks that are placed into a cutout in the top of a counter or vanity. These types of sinks are set into the cutout and secured by a rim on the sink which overlaps the hole.
Undermount sinks are mounted to the vanity from underneath the counter or vanity top. This option gives you an uninterrupted surface between the vanity top and the sink.
A Vessel sink is a sink that is made up of a free standing bowl that sits on top of the vanity. However, there are some that are partially recessed and mounted into the countertop.
Bathroom Sink Configuration
The configuration of a bathroom sink refers in part to its method of installation, as well as how it matches up to the faucet.
The configuration of your bathroom sink needs to match the type of faucet you plan to combine it with. In other words, the sink you choose needs to have the correct number of holes that are required by the faucet you are planning to use.
The material a bathroom sink is made out of is important in regards to the style and decor, it is also very important when considering the durability and usability. Of course, you will have an interest in the sink's material because of the way it will fit the decor of your bathroom, but you also need to keep in mind how that material will hold up to years of use and maintenance.
Here are some of the more popular materials used for bathroom sinks and some of their characteristics.
Cast iron is a heavy and durable metal which is usually coated with enamel. The smooth surface is easy to clean and comes in several different color options. There is the chance of chipping the enamel if it is hit hard enough with a heavy object and this can lead to rust on the exposed metal.
Porcelain, Vitreous China and Fireclay
These are clay-based ceramics that create a durable sink with an easy to clean surface. They can also be chipped or cracked, but they need to be hit hard enough to do so.
Glass is the material that a lot of vessel sinks are made of. There are numerous colors and style options for glass sinks, which allow for endless decorative possibilities.
Tempered glass is the most widely used type of glass used for bathroom sinks because it is more durable and resistant to cracking and shattering.
One drawback to having a glass sink in your bathroom is that if they aren't wiped clean after every use, hard water deposits can leave stains on them. This adds to the maintenance of the sink, because you will need to clean them more often.
There are several kinds of metals used for bathroom sinks. The more common ones include copper, brass and stainless steel. One thing to note is that copper sinks should be welded, rather than soldered because the solder will turn black over time. The "gauge" of the metal refers to its thickness, the lower the gauge, the thicker the material and the less likely it will dent.
Stone sinks are available in vast assortment of styles including the vessel sink. Polished stone has a smooth finish which has a tendency to show water spots, over time, especially on darker colors.
Stone sinks usually require sealing to protect the surface from staining. Another thing to keep in mind is that different types of stone will react differently to various cleaning solutions and a polished surface is less porous than a honed surface, so it will be protected better from staining.
Concrete sinks can be custom made or bought pre-made. They are usually heavier than other types of sinks depending on their size and shape, so sufficient support is required. Concrete is also porous, so it should be sealed to protect it from staining. They also come in a variety of colors to fit just about any bathroom decor.
A solid surface sink is an extension of the countertop. This type of sink is easy to clean and has a renewable surface which makes it a good choice and a durable sink for a bathroom that children will frequently use.
Know what your needs are
Knowing the style of sink you want for your bathroom is a large part of the decision making process, but its not the only part. There is also how the sink will function and it will fit your needs. Many people take their bathroom sink for granted, so here are some things you need to consider before choosing a sink that will fit your needs.
What you need to know about vessel sinks
Most vessel sinks will sit on top of your counter or vanity. This means that they will require a faucet that is compatible. Since they sit higher than traditional sinks, vessel sinks will require either tall deck-mount faucets or one that is mounted to the wall. You need to make sure the faucet's handles will also be easy to reach, and not obstructed by the sink.
Lifestyle and family
Before choosing your bathroom sink decide how it will be used and who will be using it. Stylish and 'delicate' looking sinks are more suited for adult use. If children will be using the bathroom on a regular basis, you will want to go with something that is more functional and durable.
You also need to consider the size of your bathroom and how much functional space you have to work with when deciding on a sink. You don't want a sink that will take up too much space. If storage is an issue, you will also need to take this into consideration as well.
Care and maintenance required
A bathroom sink is one of those things that you will have for several years, so one of the most important factors to consider before deciding on one is the care that is required to keep it looking good and lasting for years to come.
Some of the cleaners you currently use can't be used on some types of finishes or materials. There is some additional upkeep to certain sinks as well. It is very important to consider all of the facts before you make your final decision and make sure you are willing and able to properly care for your investment.