Decorating & Design

December 17, 2008

Bathroom Sink Shopping

The bathroom sink has come a long way from the builder basic white porcelain bowl. Available in a myriad of styles, shapes and colours, sinks can be found in a wide variety of materials such as glass, concrete, marble, onyx, mosaic tile, granite, metal, stone and wood. Consider these elements when shopping for a bathroom sink.

Mounting Styles

  • Drop-in sinks have a rim or lip that sits on top of the counter, are usually the least expensive and most traditional in style.
  • Undermount sinks are increasingly popular. They can be used in a contemporary or traditional space and offer a clean, finished look. Installed under the counter and secured with silicone, undermount sinks are best suited to solid counters like granite or other stone, wood or a solid surfacing such as Corian. Undermounts are easier to clean than drop-ins as there is no edge under which dirt and grime can collect.

Sink colour tip: When in doubt, choose white. Crisp and clean, white always looks stylish and is a good neutral colour for resale.

  • Bowl or countertop sinks sit on top of the vanity counter and come in many different shapes. Long ceramic or metal troughs, glass bowls or carved wooden squares or rectangles are just some of the options. Most countertop sinks require either a gooseneck spout or a wall-mounted or elevated faucet.
  • Wall-mounted sinks are quickly becoming a chic and smart space-saving solution. Paired with a wall-mounted faucet, this particular style is a good choice for a compact bathroom.

Faucet buying tip: Purchase a faucet from the same retailer as your sink. You can pair up the two in the showroom, avoiding potential style or sizing problems.

  • The pedestal sink is a popular choice, especially where space for a vanity is not available, or simply because the room design calls for it. Storage may be an issue with a pedestal sink however, so you may need to make up for it with large medicine cabinets, shelving, built-in storage in tub surrounds or a bathroom or hallway linen closet.

Choosing a Sink Material

Although typically much more expensive than traditional porcelain, sinks made from unconventional materials can be dazzling focal points in a luxury ensuite or powder room. Glass, stainless steel, copper, cast iron, stone and marble are just some of the many sink materials available. Consider durability, ease of care and overall aesthetics when selecting the best material for your space. Costs can run from $100 for a simple store-bought vessel to upwards of $10,000 for an artisan-designed one-of-a-kind sink.

Before You Purchase

When ordering a new sink, be sure to obtain all the specifications from the dealer for your contractor to ensure correct installation. Most sinks come with pre-drilled holes for the spout and handles, so when shopping for a faucet, be sure that it will fit your sink (holes are typically 2” to 4” apart, centre to centre).