Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Bathroom Sink: A Simple Buyer's Guide

In the world of bathroom remodeling, we pay a lot of attention to the bathroom vanity--and for good reason. As we wrote recently, "the choice of a vanity can certainly make or break your bathroom's design...the bathroom vanity is often the most glamorous part of a bathroom remodel." Yet with all the attention paid to the vanity, many homeowners tend to overlook the most basic of bathroom elements: the bathroom sink.

Please read: "The Bathroom Vanity: Glamour & Function."

With all due respect to the vanity, the bathroom sink can also contend for the coveted spot of "most glamorous part of the bathroom." This is especially true if you're remodeling a smaller space, where an outsized vanity just won't work. Despite the sink's appeal, though, our experience at MKBD has revealed an odd fact: many homeowners treat the sink as an afterthought. Some have even asked, "Can you choose the sink?"

Believe it or not, it is not typically a remodeling company's preference to choose the details of a client's project. We prefer to gently guide you to the choices that make the most sense for you.

With this in mind, we've created a simple bathroom sink guide. The information and inspiration below should empower you to choose a perfectly suitable bathroom sink.

This little blue gem of sink is a riff on the classic vessel sink--
a perfect choice for a smaller space.

Types of Bathroom Sinks

While timeless and popular, the vessel sink (above) is only one of many sink types. Your choice of type will be defined by your available space and plumbing requirements as well as your personal preference.

The classic pedestal sink consists of a single basin supported by a pole. This sink is best suited for small bathrooms, but its timeless and simple appeal can work in any bathroom.

The wall mounted sink, a basin connected to the wall, is also good for smaller bathrooms. Instead of the pedestal sink's pole, you might need to invest in some sort of screen or shroud to cover the pipes.

A vessel sink (above) is simply a basin that sits directly atop a counter. As noted here, this style is "based on the centuries-old design of Chinese washbasins used in the days before running water." The vessel sink is easily adapted to many bathroom designs, small and large.

The under-mount and drop-in sinks are similar with one notable difference: both sinks are mounted beneath the counter, yet the drop-in includes a rim that rests above the counter. Both will work with vanities. The under-mount offers a more seamless appearance, yet the drop-in, perfect for bathroom renovations (as opposed to a full-scale remodeling project)  can easily be retro-fitted to most countertops.

Two under-mount sinks from Toto offer a seamless presentation in this Eastern Montgomery County bathroom remodel

Bathroom Sink Materials

Bathroom sinks come in a variety of materials including the ever-popular porcelain (often called vitreous china), enameled cast iron, brass, copper, nickel, marble, granite, and stainless steel. Phew. And that's just the most popular materials.

You might be tempted to default to porcelain, and we wouldn't blame you. Porcelain is both beautiful and durable. It's also easy to clean. Consumer Reports, however, offers a different view:

"Porcelain may be the first thing you think of for bathroom sinks. But think again: Our tests of eight materials found several that stood up to our barrage of everyday wear and tear even better than porcelain for about the same price."

For an interesting view of bathroom sink materials, read, "Bathroom sinks, traditional to trendy."

After reading that article, you might be tempted to try a new material, but our suggestion is to limit your choices by considering, first, a material's durability and ease-of-cleaning. You just might find that porcelain is the best bet for your money.

A porcelain pedestal sink from Kohler is the perfect match for this marble powder room. 

Faucets for Your Bathroom Sink

Your choice of faucet can determine the look of your sink as much as the choice of the sink (basin) itself. At MKBD, we love today's stylized faucets, which come in a variety of materials and, well, styles.

To complement this simple vessel sink, a brushed nickel wall-mounted faucet also looks amazing against the white and charcoal grey porcelain tile.

The choice of faucet, however, shouldn't entirely be limited to aesthetic concerns. Talk to your remodeling company about appropriate faucet shapes and sizes for your basin.

Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk bathroom design and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment