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Bathroom Sink Buying Guide

When you're in the market for a new bathroom sink, the vast array of types and configurations can seem daunting. Some bathroom sinks are installed in the vanity, while others rest above and there are even some sinks types (such as pedestal sinks) that create the look of a single unit. Here a few examples of different lavatory sinks and materials as well as installation types to help you find the right sink for your needs and to fit your personal style.

Sink and Installation Types

Console Sink

Console Sink

Recognized by their metal, porcelain or wood leg supports and open design, bathroom console sinks allow room underneath for storage, often with visible plumbing. The result is a definitely stylish look that can vary from traditional with shapely porcelain legs, to industrial looks with shiny metal legs. Often, the legs on console sinks feature bars that allow you to conveniently hang hand towels.

Corner Sink

Perfect for limited space areas, corner sinks feature a basin with an angled back for fitting into the corner of a wall. These sinks may come in variety of installation types, including undermount, wall-hung and pedestal styles, depending on the look you prefer. If you have a tiny powder room or guest bath, the corner sink is a wonderful option.

Drop-in Sink

Also called a "self-rimming sink," a drop-in sink features a basin that hangs below the vanity counter and a rim that rests above. Some drop-in sinks can also be used for undermount installations where the rim is completely hidden.

Pedestal Sink

Easily recognized by their single-column support, bathroom pedestal sinks are designed to gracefully hide plumbing pipes. Since they occupy less space than a vanity sink, pedestal sinks are perfect for small baths and powder rooms.

Semi-recessed

A type of sink installation where the bottom portion of the sink is hidden beneath a counter, while the upper portion is exposed. Usually, the exposed portion of the sink is finished, while the recessed part is not. This is a stylish option that adds a modern look to a bathroom decor.

Trough Sink 

A rectangular sink similar in appearance to a horse trough, a tough sink is designed for kitchens or bathrooms that require greater space, usually length-wise. They're also great for areas that see a lot of use or simply an offbeat look.

Undermount or Recessed

Sink installation where the sink's rim is hidden below a counter. This type of allows for easier counter cleanup, as debris can be brushed or wiped directly into the basin without being obstructed by the sink's rim. 

Vessel Sink

Often used interchangeably with the term "above-counter sink," a vessel sink features a basin that rests atop a counter. Designed to show off the sink's material or a striking design, vessel sinks come in a wide variety of materials, such as stone, metal, porcelain and even bamboo. Because of their height above the counter, a vessel faucet or a faucet mounted to the wall is usually necessary.

Wall-mount 

As its name suggests, a wall-mount or wall-hung sink is attached to a wall, rather than installed in a vanity or other supportive structure. This is useful when space beneath a sink is limited for a vanity or a pedestal sink. A single-hole other compactly designed faucet usually accompanies a wall-mount sink.

 

Sink Materials

 

Bamboo

Fast becoming a popular material in the home, bamboo is incredibly strong and durable. One of the fastest growing plants known to man, bamboo is quick to replenish, making it an eco-friendly option for bathroom sinks and vanities.

Metal

Metal sinks, such as copper, bronze and nickel add an opulent appearance to a counter. An alloy of copper, bronze is sometimes preferred for its aged, rustic look. These metals are prized for the durability and resistance to corrosion, well as what are believed to be anti-microbial properties inherent in copper.

Petrified Wood Sink

Petrified Wood

Actually a stone rather than a wood, petrified wood is a portion of fossilized tree that's been formed over many, many years. Affected by the minerals within the specific location of where they originate, petrified wood sinks may feature red, black, brown, beige and other colors. Owning a petrified wood is akin to having a natural work of art in your bath.

Porcelain

A durable, non-porous material, porcelain is a type of ceramic made from refined clay and fired at temperatures between 2,192°F and 2,552°F. Typically a translucent white color, porcelain is commonly used in sanitary ware for its low moisture absorbency and ease of cleaning. Porcelain is also used for trim on items such as faucet handles, inset buttons, bath hardware and shower heads. While porcelain has long been the choice for bath fixtures, you can find a wider variety of shapes and style in this material than ever before.

Resin

Easy to clean and incredibly durable, this stone-like material is made of a poly-resin blend. Also known as "man-made stone," resin is solid and consistently colored throughout. Because it can be cast into nearly any form or size, resin sinks and tubs are available in unique designs.

 

Stone

Stone sinks come in marble, onyx, travertine, sandstone and granite, in a variety of veining characteristics and colors. Some sinks are completely shaped and polished, while other stone sinks are left with unhewn features, for dramatic contrast. Created under natural conditions, each stone sink is different. 

Teak

Prized for its beauty and strength, teak is a versatile hardwood and can be used in the bathroom, thanks to is moisture-resistant qualities. It's a great option for those who want a more natural or unexpected material for the bathroom, creating a warm and inviting look to a space.

 

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