Bathroom sinks – or basins – have a host of important functions in all homes so it isn’t surprising that they come in a wide variety of styles, shapes, and even different colors.
The question is which type and size is best for your bathroom:
- Insert or under counter
- Above counter
- Basin units
While some types are freestanding, others may be incorporated into a counter or cabinet.
Totally freestanding, the pedestal-type bathroom sink has a central column that is designed to support the fixture and often to hide pipework as well. They are available in a variety of heights and in numerous sizes and styles from retro to contemporary. Some have concealed wall brackets that may be used to increase stability.
Typically, pedestal basins have a central hole for a mixer or two holes for a hot and cold tap. Generally the back ledge provides sufficient space on either side of the taps or mixer for soap and a mug or other bathroom accessories. The front ledge is usually relatively narrow.
Some of these basins feature an integral towel bar mounted in the front, which is a great idea for minimal spaces.
Rather basic but retro in style, wall-mounted basins are kept in place with brackets and screws. Back in the day (a long, long time ago) people would often attach a curtain just under the rim of the basin to hide the pipes. Nowadays, a much more attractive option comes in the form of a half pedestal or acrylic shroud.
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of a wall-mounted basin is that it allows easy access to clean the floor beneath it. The most obvious disadvantage is that the space between the basin and floor cannot really be utilized even with a base unit cabinet, because it simply won’t fit neatly and nicely.
Insert or Under Counter Sinks
Designed so that they can be dropped into or installed at the top of a work surface or bathroom cabinet, insert basins sometimes have a lip that sits on the surface. Some, though, are fitted so that they are flush with the surface or just below the surface. Either way, it is important that the join between work surface and basin is well sealed otherwise water might leak.
A great advantage of under counter sinks is that they can easily be incorporated with bathroom cabinets particularly when more than one sink is required.
Both round and rectangular above-counter sinks have become increasingly popular during the past few decades. Some rectangular types mimic old-fashioned Victorian sinks and those found in old farmhouses. Round bowls often take on an art form using a wide variety of materials including glass, pottery or fine ceramics, wood, and of course more conventional glazed vitreous china.
While some do have holes to accommodate taps or mixers, many don’t. Instead, the water is plumbed behind the sink with a tap or mixer attached to the surface onto which it has been fixed. The water then drains through a pipe below the surface.
An advantage of above-counter sinks and basins is that they can be mounted on virtually any surface at all, from tables to closed bathroom cabinets. The challenge with open designs though is to hide the pipework.
Molded from some sort of acrylic material, basin units are designed to sit on or over a bathroom cabinet. Like other bathroom sinks, they generally have holes to accommodate taps and plugs. Because they are molded, like vitreous china basins, they don’t have seams or joins so are just as easy to clean.
So first decide what will meet your needs and then find out what is available. You will probably be amazed at the choice.