Looking remodel your bathroom? One of the most important things to consider is what type of sink you want to install. Getting the look you want should always be your first consideration. But different sinks are better for different types of bathrooms, and can be more or less difficult to install. From style to ease of cleaning, here are a few pros and cons of the main types of bathroom sink.
Undermount sinks are exactly what they sounds like: a sink that mounts underneath your counter. This style gives a great, finished look and a totally seamless surface, maximizing available counter space. The edge of a nice countertop will be more visible, and cleanup is a snap; just swipe any debris off the counter directly into the sink. If you’re aiming for a clean, finished look, this is the way to get it. The main drawback? The sink needs to exactly match the hole in your countertop, which can make it difficult to replace. You’ll also need a solid surface counter (aka, stone or composite); that lovely visible edge means tile or laminate would be exposed to water damage. They’re also a little more difficult to install, and benefit from a professional touch to ensure they’re totally secure.
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Drop-in sinks are also just what they sound like: sinks you install by “dropping” them into the hole in your counter. They have an oversized rim all around the edge of the sink that sits on top of the counter; the sink is secured in place by its own weight. Drop-in sinks are the most DIY friendly in terms of installation and work with any type of counter. They also don’t have to be an exact match for an existing drilling; you have more wiggle room to replace your sink without replacing the entire countertop. The main drawback? They create a seam between the sink and counter, which can accumulate gunk and make it harder to clean. Drop-in sinks are best for a quick and easy update, if you want to avoid a full bathroom remodel.
Above The Counter
Part of a larger class of “self rimming sinks” that includes both drop-in and vessel sinks, above counter sinks are a midpoint between the two. All three sit on top of the counter and use the weight of the sink to secure them in place. But with drop-in sinks, the main body of the sink lies beneath the level of the counter. The body of an above the counter sinks sits… You got it, above the level of the countertop. The key difference between these and vessel sinks? Vessel sinks need to be fitted to a single drain-sized drilling. But larger above-counter sinks can be used to hide existing holes with a sink that’s a new size and shape. You’ll get a look that’s very different, and more options when removing the previous bathroom sink. A great option if you’re having trouble finding a sink to fit an existing hole.
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Vessel sinks are both the most stunning and the most complicated type of bathroom sink to install. Essentially bowls that sit atop your counter, the hole drilled for the sink is the size of the drain pipe. They also use tall, single-holed faucets that are different from standard bathroom faucets. The required specialized drilling means you’re looking at some pretty serious renovation to install one of these; they’re only interchangeable with other vessel sinks. They also can leave you with some slightly awkward-to-clean counter space, near the base of the sink. On the other hand, though, vessel sinks make great centerpieces. They come in a wide variety of materials, from stone to glass to copper, and are designed to be one-of-a-kind art pieces. Though they’re a pain to install, they can give your bathroom a dramatic modern flair.
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Wall Mounted Sink
Wall mount sinks are among the least expensive bathroom sinks because they’re the most bare-bones. Literally just a sink mounted to your wall, these are especially good for small spaces or small budgets – but obviously don’t offer a whole lot of room for storage. The adjustable height might be a pro for some, if you’re particularly tall or short. But mostly this type of sink is best for a bathroom that doesn’t have room for much else. Most models have exposed plumbing below the sink. The best ones upgrade the look with add-on towel racks to help make up for the lack of storage.
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Pedestal sinks are a good compromise for smaller spaces. They’re more expensive than wall mounted sinks, and take up slightly more space, but are a lot more stylish. If you think all pedestal sinks have the same traditional, cottage style, you probably haven’t checked out your options recently. While a lot of the market caters to vintage-inspired small bathrooms, lots of modern designers have started offering updated pedestal sinks that can be a fun and daring addition to a much wider range of styles. Just keep in mind that while you’ll have plenty of room for your toothbrush and a bar of soap, going this route will mean a lot less space to store things you’d rather not have out in plain sight.
If you’re in the market for a new bathroom sink, there are tons of options out there. But understanding how the main types of sinks are installed – and a few pros and cons of each – can help you narrow down your choices and ensure you wind up with a look you love.