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Before Buying Your Bathroom Sink: What You Need to Know

Bathroom renovations are a fact of life, and there are a number of decisions that go into it. One of the choices you need to make is to pick out the bathroom sink. Most people are surprised by the vast number of options available when it comes to a sink, and there are many styles, shapes and materials. Here are some of the things you need to know about bathroom sinks before you start shopping:

The Installation Options of a Bathroom Sink

The first decision you have to make when you are ready to purchase a bathroom sink is the type of installation you want. This is called the mount of the sink. Here are your top options:

Countertop Installation

The countertop installation is the most common bathroom sink option, and as the name implies, these sinks sit on top of a countertop and usually is part of a vanity unit. Countertop sinks are popular because they offer good storage options on the surface and gives more elbow room. There are many sink styles you can put in a countertop mount including a self-rimming sink, a top-mount sink, undermount sink, vessel sink and integral sink.

Pedestal Installation

Another option for the bathroom sink installation is a pedestal sink. This sink style consists of a basin with a slender, tall base. This often gives a vintage look to the bathroom, but there are certainly contemporary versions of this sink, too. These are good choices for small bathrooms or powder rooms since they are smaller than other sink installations.

Wall-Mount Installation

A wall-mount installation is usually found in institutional and commercial settings, but they also work well in a home bathroom. These sinks are mounted to the wall, but they do not have a vanity or countertop. This, however, means the water supply and drainpipe is exposed. They are affordable, work well for small bathrooms, and help to create an open look.

Console Installation

A console installation is a popular option for those who also like a wall mount sink, but in this case, it is a wall mount sink with legs. Most of these have two legs, but they can also have four with some designs.

Sink Shape and Size

Once deciding about the installation, you then must choose the sink shape and size. There are no standards for size when it comes to a bathroom sink. There are very small basins that are only large enough for washing the hands, and then there are large sinks that are big enough for washing your hair or clothing.

Sink Faucets

It is also important to make sure that the faucet is compatible with the type of sink you choose. Most sinks have a hole drilled into them for a faucet, but others have three holes. In most cases, but not always, a faucet with one handle mounts into a single hole sink, but there are single-handle faucets that go into a sink with three holes.

A center set  faucet is one that pairs with a sink that has holes that are 4-inches apart, but those with a widespread faucet fits a sink with holes ranging from 8 to 16 inches apart. These are designed for a faucet that mounts over the sink or wall or for vessel sinks or those that are undermount styles.

Sink Materials

Finally, you will need to consider the material of the sink. There are some intriguing options available when it comes to sink materials including porcelain, china, fireclay and glass. Also, there are metals, solid- surface and natural stone sinks.

One extremely popular option is ceramic. This is a sink that is glossy, smooth and resistant to stains. Many people like ceramic as it is very durable and easy to clean. Glass is also a sink material option. Though it sounds like this would be a fragile choice, it is very strong as it is tempered glass, and it can hold up to normal bathroom activities. It can, however, chip or crack if a heavy object is dropped onto it.

Stone sinks are also gaining popularity, though these are high-end sinks. The sinks, which are made of granite, marble, onyx or travertine, are luxurious items to have in the bathroom. They have natural colors and veining, and no two sinks are exactly alike. These sinks offer undermount installation, but they are porous, so routine cleaning and care is a necessity.

Alternatively, you can get the look of natural stone by choosing a soli-surface sink. This is a man-made material designed to look like stone, but without the need for moderate maintenance. Metal sinks are also becoming popular, as they are unique and stand out. These can be finished to a gloss or have a textured finish thanks to hammering or brushing. Steel, cast iron, nickel and copper are all popular choices.