Bathroom Sink Buying Guide
How to Choose Your Bathroom Sink
Bathroom sink options for today's consumer are vast, covering a broad spectrum of types, colors, and styles. Knowing all the options available to you can make the process of choosing your bathroom sink less confusing and more enjoyable.
Types of Bathroom Sinks
Self Rimming Sinks
Self rimming sinks, also called Drop in sinks, are installed above the countertop. These sinks have a rolled and finished rim that sits above the countertop and keeps it in place. A self rimming sink is the easiest type of sink to install because it can be replaced without having to alter your countertop. It can be used with any kind of material which makes it easy to adapt to your bathroom style.
Undermount sinks are installed from underneath a solid surface countertop such as granite, marble or concrete. These types of sinks are customized, meaning that the hole that is cut into the countertop is specifically sized for the sink. The customization can make replacing an undermount sink challenging.
Pedestal sinks are freestanding sinks that are supported by a small column that sits beneath the sink. These types of sinks are not set in a vanity. A pedestal sink is an excellent way to offer more space in small bathrooms, that don't require storage space.
Vessel sinks sit atop the vanity counter so that the bottom of the sink is in line with the countertop. This is called above-counter installation. Occasionally, the sink is partially set in the countertop (recessed installation) but there is still a considerable amount of space above the countertop. Vessel sinks come in various materials such as ceramic, glass, stone, and much more.
Console sinks are wall-mounted sinks that sit upon 2 or 4 legs for support. There is usually no or limited countertop space. The plumbing drain and supply lines are exposed so matching the material with your faucet is best for a more cohesive look.
Wall Hung Sinks
Wall hung sinks are installed directly against the wall, helping to conserve floor space in smaller bathrooms. They don't have a countertop or vanity. Wall hung sinks can have plumbing drains and supply lines exposed. An optional concealed arm or wall support can be purchased to keep these items disclosed. Towel bars can also be purchased separately to be used with this sink.
Vanity Bathroom Tops
Vanity bathroom tops are one-piece countertops that have sinks built in and are made from materials, such as granite, marble, tile, wood or other solid surface materials. These sinks don't come with bases, but a coordinating base can be purchased or you can use one you have. Knowing the exact dimensions of your vanity cabinet is necessary to ensure a proper fit. Tops are generally up to 1" larger than the vanity they sit on, which provides a slight overhang.
Bathroom Sink Materials
There are many different types of bathroom sink materials. Before you choose a bathroom sink, consider how the sink material will influence your bathroom style, how durable the sink will be and the maintenance it will require.
Vitreous china, fireclay and porcelain sinks are very similar in that they are clay-based ceramics and have a lustrous surface. They are very easy to clean and resistant to corrosion and discoloration. These materials are durable but can be chipped or cracked if struck by a heavy object.
Metal sinks including stainless steel, copper and brass are extremely durable. They resist damage that can be caused by heavy impacts. Most household cleaners can be used, but more delicate metals such as copper may require specialized cleaning products. Additionally, metal sinks tend to collect spots over time from hard water.
Glass sinks are mostly made of tempered glass which has been processed under controlled thermal and chemical treatments to increase its strength and durability. Tempered glass sinks are durable and resistant to cracking or shattering. Hard water can leave spots but can be easily cleaned with household cleaners.
Cast iron sinks are made of solid cast iron coated with enamel. These sinks are available in many colors and are easy to clean. The enamel surface can be chipped if it is hit hard enough with a heavy object. Chipping will expose the cast iron and can eventually lead to rust.
Solid surface sinks are made from the same material as solid surface countertops. They can easily mimic other materials such as granite and marble. They are easy to clean and have a durable surface, which make this a good sink material for high traffic or children's bathrooms. Solid surface sinks can be chipped or scratched but can be easily replenished using non-abrasive household products.
Bathroom Sink Sizes
There are many different bathroom sink sizes available. When it comes to choosing between the styles and sizes, it can sometimes be overwhelming. Once you have decided on the sink style, it is important to assess how the sink will physically fit in your bathroom space.
Spec sheets with all the sink information are available for each of the sinks available at FergusonShowrooms.com. Take the time to review the information including the faucet hole configuration and size, drain location and features.
If you need assistance, we can be reached via phone, 800-638-8875 or at your nearest showroom location.
Considerations Before Your Bathroom Sink Purchase
Before making a bathroom sink purchase, here are a few things that you should consider:
How much space do you have in your bathroom?
The amount of room on or adjacent to the sink varies depending on your bathroom style and configuration. Bathroom sinks take up different amounts of space. Some sinks don't offer countertop space which can be frustrating if room storage is limited. Think about the space you need and want prior to your sink purchase.
Who uses your bathroom and is it a high or low trafficked area?
The amount of usage your bathroom will see and who will be using it, adults or children, is very important in choosing your bathroom sink. Stylish bathrooms tend to use more delicate sink materials whereas high-trafficked bathrooms or children's bathroom use more conventional and durable sink materials.
Do you want a high or low-maintenance sink?
Cleaning products are not compatible with all bathroom sinks. Don't assume that you can use any product to care for your sink. Metals, wood and stone materials are sensitive and will need to be cared for differently than a solid surface or vitreous china sink. Know the care requirements before making your purchase.