Choosing the Right Bathroom Sink
There are many available bathroom sink options out there these days, which can seem overwhelming — especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Here are eight types of sinks, and their pros and cons, to help you find the perfect sink for your bathroom project.
Before you start, be sure to consider which room you are shopping for (family bathroom, master bathroom, powder room, etc.), who will use the room, and how much space you have to work with. From there, consider the information we’ve gathered below and narrow down the best options for your project.
1. Undermount Sink — Sits underneath the counter. The rim of the sink is fixed to the underside of the countertop, as opposed to sitting on top of it.
Pros: Because less of the sink is visible, it creates a seamless, clean look. Water and spills can be wiped directly into the sink from the countertop, making it easy to clean. A great choice for family bathrooms.
Cons: You must have a solid-surface countertop, like stone, to accommodate an undermount sink. Laminates aren’t suitable because they are not able to be sealed very well against moisture. Undermount sinks also tend to cost more than top-mount sinks.
Good for: Frequently used family bathrooms.
2. Top-mount sink — Also called a drop-in sink, this type is designed to sit on top of the counter. Typically, just the rim of the sink sits on top of the counter and is visible, with the rest of the sink sitting below the counter. The rim can be thin or chunky depending on the style of the sink.
Pros: Can be used with most countertop materials, including wood and laminate, as the cutout is covered by the sink rim and will not be exposed to water. Also, top-mount sinks are less expensive than undermount sinks to install in a stone countertop because the cutout edges do not need to be polished.
Con: Water and spills cannot be wiped straight from the counter into the sink.
Good for: Classy master bathrooms and minimalist projects.
3. Pedestal sink — A great option for those seeking a simple wall-mounted sink, but whose waste pipe goes through the floor and cannot be changed.
Pros: The pedestal base that the sink sits on helps to conceal any pipework running between the floor and the sink. In addition, this type of sink is perfect if you want to give your bathroom a more classic vibe.
Cons: No storage space under the sink and no counter space around the sink. Also, it can be a bit tricky to clean around the pedestal base since there is usually a gap between it and the wall.
Good for: Period bathrooms and traditional projects.
4. Vessel sink — Generally sits completely on top of the counter, although some options sit partially below the counter.
Pros: Vessel sinks demand attention and are perfect for making a statement in your bathroom. Basically a large bowl, they are a great choice for those seeking a deep sink that holds plenty of water.
Cons: Because vessel sinks sit on top of the counter, careful planning is required when it comes to the height of the counter as well as the height of the cabinets below. You don’t want the sink to be too high and uncomfortable to use. The height issue can lead to less storage space available under the counter. Also, cleaning around the base and back of the sink can be difficult.
Good for: Master bathrooms and powder rooms.
5. Integrated sink and countertop — An all-in-one countertop with a sink are offered by many off-the-shelf vanity cabinets. The sink is molded as part of the countertop and can be made from various materials, like porcelain or acrylic.
Pros: Easy to clean, there are no ridges or seams to deal with which makes it a great choice for busy family bathrooms. Generally, they are available in set standard sizes, but some suppliers may offer the option of having one custom made.
Con: Integrated tops typically slope down and inward gradually to create the sink in the middle, leaving you with less flat counter space than with other styles.
Good for: Those looking for off-the-shelf options due to speed and cost rather than opting for a custom vanity.
6. Semi-recessed sink — Perfect for a bathroom with limited space, but needing cabinet space below the sink.
Pros: Because this type of sink sits at the front of the cabinet and countertop, it allows for shallow cabinet space — sometimes as shallow as 12 inches depending on the model. This not only frees up valuable floor space, but also keeps counter space free. Also, because you are able to get closer to the sink to reach the faucet without a countertop and cabinet obstructing the way, semi-recessed sinks are a great option for people with limited mobility and young children.
Cons: Cabinet space under the sink is limited. Also, splashes and spills onto the floor are generally more common because there isn’t any countertop around the front of the sink.
Good for: Children’s bathrooms and tight spaces.
7. Wall-mounted sink — This option is fixed directly to the wall without any countertop. It is a more streamlined look, giving the room a minimalist feeling.
Pros: Because there are no cabinets, it saves on space and leaves more of the floor open making the room feel larger. To make this type of sink work, the plumbing must all be positioned inside the wall to have a clean look.
Cons: There is no storage space and no countertop space with a wall-mounted sink. Evaluate your storage needs when considering this option and maybe reserve it for a powder room, where storage is less important.
Good for: Small spaces.
8. Washplane sink — Often found in high end hotels and restaurants, washplane sinks are the simplest option available. They’re small, stylish and streamlined.
Pros: Washplane sinks take up little space so can work for projects with space limitations, such as powder rooms.
Cons: Best suited for washrooms where the sink will only be used for hand washing. They don’t have a plug and are extremely shallow, so will not hold water.
Good for: Powder rooms.