By Ande Waggener
Knowing how to choose the right bathroom sink style is key to creating a bathroom you’ll love to look at and love to use. It doesn’t matter whether you pick the right vanity and the perfect bathroom tile; if you make a mistake with your bathroom sink style, the whole bathroom will suffer for it.
To help you make the wisest choice for your bathroom, you need an understanding of how various styles of sinks work within a bathroom space. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Here’s a line-up of the seven most common bathroom sink types and how they can either enhance or detract from your perfect bathroom.
1. Drop-in Sinks
Drop-in sinks are close to what their name suggests; they’re installed by being “dropped into” the countertop. (Actually “set-in” would be a more accurate description because dropping a sink is never a good idea.) Also referred to as a self-rimming sink, this sink style has a curved rim that sits above the countertop to keep the sink in place.
Because drop-in sinks can be used with any kind of countertop material, you can merge these sinks with any design style that suits you. The traditional drop-in sinks are often used with solid cabinet vanities, so only the sink’s rim is visible. A new modern take on this style of sink is installing them in slab countertops attached to the wall so that the sink shows under the counter. This is a fun way to create some contrast and depth in your bathroom. You can still add storage under the sinks with cabinets made to fit beneath them.
2. Under-mount Sinks
Under-mount sinks are also as their name suggests; they are mounted from underneath the countertop. Also, like drop-in sinks, under-mount sinks can be used with nearly any countertop material. Because these sinks must perfectly line up with the hole in the counter, they need to be custom-fit to their space. Installing under-mount sinks tends to be more challenging than installing drop-in sinks because of this size-specific requirement.
Under-mount sinks disappear into their surroundings better than drop-in sinks. They create a smooth counter surface, which can result in easier bathroom cleaning and slightly more counter space. These sinks work well in his and hers bathrooms because they offer a clean, spacious countertop area for optimal bathroom functionality. Also, because they have no sink rims to contrast with the countertop, under-mount sinks are a good choice if you want to style your countertops with bold bathroom accents.
3. Vessel Sinks
Vessel sinks, again, fit their name. They are “vessels” that either sit entirely above the bathroom counter, like a bowl sitting on the flat surface, or sit just slightly set into the countertop. The latter configuration is called recessed installation.
Although these sinks can be made of the usual ceramic sink material, they can also be made of glass, stone, copper, or even treated wood. These materials tend to turn vessel sinks into functional sculptures for your bathroom. Depending on the materials used, these sinks can be the most expensive of the bathroom sink styles. But if a wow factor is what you’re looking for, vessel sinks will certainly give that to you.
4. Bathroom Vanity Top Sinks
Unlike the three sink styles above, which are set into or on the bathroom counter, a bathroom vanity top sink is the counter. These sinks are either joined to a countertop material such as granite, tile, wood, or marble, or these sinks are one solid mass of sink and minimal counter space combined.
Bathroom vanity top sinks are purchased on their own; they don’t have vanities included. However, they are designed to be used with a vanity; so you’ll either have to purchase a coordinating vanity, or you can use a bathroom vanity top sink with a base you already own.
To get a good fit, you have to have the exact measurements of your vanity before you purchase your sink. These top sinks can overhang their vanities, but they need to look like they belong with their vanity partner.
This type of sink isn’t a good choice if you need lots of counter space. If your bathroom is on the small side, though, this type of sink will minimize the sink/vanity footprint to create a clean look.
5. Pedestal Sinks
Pedestal sinks are, once again, as their name suggests. They are sinks sitting on top of a pedestal that’s mounted on the bathroom floor. If you’re looking for ways to make a small bathroom look bigger , a pedestal sink could help you out. They take up very little room, and because of the space beneath the sink, they seem to manufacture space in the surrounding area. Given their lack of storage, pedestal sinks are ideal for guest bathrooms, but they don’t work as well in family bathrooms or master bathrooms unless you have storage cabinets someplace else in the bathroom.
6. Wall-Mounted Sinks
Another good choice for a small bathroom is a wall-mounted sink. Again, living up to their name, wall-mounted sinks are attached directly to the wall. Because they require no base whatsoever, they take up even less space than a pedestal sink.
Because wall-mounted sinks leave plumbing lines exposed, they may not be the best match for an elegant, more traditional bathroom. Given their minimalist tone, however, these sinks work well in a modern bathroom. Again, if you need bathroom storage, you’ll have to pair it with a nearby cabinet or shelving.
7. Console Sinks
Console sinks are like wall-mounted sinks in that they’re attached to the wall. But instead of hanging out on their own, these sinks get support from two or four legs. Essentially, they’re like sinks set on tables. As with wall-mounted sinks, console sinks have exposed plumbing, so their lines are more modern than traditional. Also like their free-hanging friends, wall-mounted sinks, console sinks offer no storage.
Now that you have an understanding of the seven basic bathroom sink styles, you have what you need to make a smart choice of sink for your bathroom. The beauty of all of these styles is they can be married to whatever materials you desire to have in your bathroom, so you can pick any one of these styles to blend with the character of your room.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com