Your choices of sinks, tubs and other bathroom accessories do a lot to determine how your bathroom will be used, the way its traffic will flow, and what its general ambience will be like.
Sink designs have become wildly varied in the last few years. You will see both pedestal and wall-hung sinks, in a rainbow of colors and finishes and in classic, retro and contemporary styles. Both deck-mounted and integral sinks are sporting new looks.
No longer just a basin and a mirror, the sink area has become a thought fully planned environment for grooming and personal care. Layouts with two sinks – housed in one continuous vanity, in side-by-side alcoves, or in matching configurations on opposite walls – are popular.
Bathroom Sink Styles
Sinks are available in a huge variety of styles, shapes and materials. The style you choose will depend on your taste, budget and the size of your bathroom:
Self-Rimming Sinks – The self-rimming sinks is still the most common type of bathroom sink. They are easy to install. They have a rim that overlays the countertop and makes them easy to retrofit into existing countertops, as long as they are the same size.
Under-Mount Sink Basins – These sinks are installed below the countertop surface; so there is no raised lip, emphasizing the countertop material and making cleanup easy – debris sweeps directly from the counter into the sink without catching on a rim. Keep in mind, that because under-mount sinks expose the counter substrate, they require expert sink and countertop installation for a precise, clean fit. The advantage that these type of sinks provide is that it gives a contemporary look to the bathroom but the disadvantages are extra cost in both the sink and the counter top.
Integral Bowl Sinks – A solid surface countertop can be coupled with a molded, integral sink for a sleek, sculpted look. Manufactured from stainless and solid surfacing, they are fused with the countertop to form on seamless, easily maintained unit. This type of sink is perhaps the most hygienic one. They are usually custom designed with an integral bowl with no joints; so installation and cleaning are easy.
Vessel Sinks – Appear to sit on top of the vanity counter, allowing their shapes and colors to function almost as a sculpture within the room. In reality most rest in a custom-cut hole in the vanity top. Vessels are made of everything from fireclay, stone or metal to heavy-duty glass.
Pedestal Sinks – Pedestal sinks are making a huge comeback. They are available in a wide range of traditional and modern designs. Fitted on top of a pedestal-shaped base, they are ideal for small sized bathrooms. They have a classic, traditional look. Keep in mind, however, they provide no storage space below the basin and little surface area for toiletries.
Console Sinks – Standing on either two or four furniture like vanity legs rather than on a central pedestal, these sinks provide wide, practical decks that allow a clear space underneath for knee space and wheelchair access. The disadvantage though, like pedestals, is that they offer no storage but some versions include storage space below.
In a high-traffic bathroom, the bowl should not be less than 19″ wide, 15 to 16″ front to back, and 6″ deep.
In a powder room, the bowl may be narrower, but no shallower from front to back.
Bathroom Sink Materials
When shopping for a sink, you’ll also find a wide selection of materials, including vitreous china, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, enameled steel, enameled cast iron, marble and other stones, solid surfacing and stainless steel.
Other materials such as glass, hammered metal, concrete, wood and stone have taken vessel sinks to new heights of style. Just keep in mind that these products are most appropriate for a powder room, where they’ll receive less wear and tear.
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