If you are refitting your bathroom, one of the key elements to consider is the sink. However, if you have already started your search, you will know that nowadays, they come in an almost bewildering array of shapes and sizes.
If this sounds like a familiar problem, you might be wondering about the different options available – so to help, here we talk about the different types of bathroom sinks you might encounter.
Two main types of bathroom sink
Very broadly speaking, bathroom sinks can be divided into two categories – those that fit in, on or under and existing countertop (like a vanity) and those that don’t.
Here, we’ll break them down into these two categories and look at the different options that exist within each.
1. Drop-in bathroom sink
Drop-in sinks are among the most popular in part due to the fact that they are so easy to install. If you have an existing vanity, you can simply drop the sink into the hole, which makes fitting it a breeze.
They often also come with their own faucet holes, something that facilitates fitting one of these sinks even further.
Once in place, the lip or rim sticks up about the surface of the countertop, giving them their other name, self-rimming sinks.
They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, giving you plenty of choices and making it easy to find one that will match your preferred style as well as your existing vanity.
You can find drop-in sinks that are suited to modern, contemporary bathrooms, classic, old-style bathrooms – and just about everything in between.
Perhaps the only downside with one of these is that, since they are so popular and common, they are not really the kind of sink to opt for if you are looking for something that will make a striking visual impact in your bathroom.
However, if you are looking for something simple, reliable, and inexpensive, a drop-in could be a great choice.
2. Under-mount bathroom sink
An under-mount sink looks superficially similar to a drop-in sink since the bowl is situated below the level of the countertop.
However, the main difference here is that the under-mount is mounted from beneath the countertop, hence the name, while the drop-in is installed from above.
This might not sound like a big difference, but it makes under-mounts a lot harder to install.
With a drop-in, you just place it in the hole in the vanity and gravity holds it in place, but with an under-mount, since it doesn’t rest on anything, if you don’t support it somehow during installation, it will simply fall on the floor.
Apart from the technical aspects of installation, the main difference between the two is that the rim of an under-mount is below the level of the countertop rather than above. This makes them easy to clean and also gives them a classy contemporary feel.
Due to the fact the rim doesn’t stick up above the counter, they can also help save a little extra space in your bathroom.
For these reasons, they are a good option if you want a sink for a modern, more minimalist bathroom.
3. Vessel bathroom sink
Until relatively recently, vessel sinks were mainly found in chic hotels and restaurants, but nowadays, they are present in more and more homes too.
With a vessel sink, the whole thing sits on top of the vanity or counter instead of being dropped into it. This means one of these sinks can become the striking centerpiece of a bathroom, and many eye-catching designs now exist.
Perhaps one negative aspect is the fact that these sinks tend to be shallow due to their extra height above the countertop. You also need to be careful when measuring for the faucet since you need the faucet to be tall enough to reach over the side.
However, these can be among the most visually appealing of all bathroom sinks, and they come in a variety of shapes and materials, so if you are looking for a model that was designed to be noticed, this is a style that could work for you.
4. Trough bathroom sink
Trough sinks are just that – they are large sinks, usually with more than one faucet, that can be used by at least two people at the same time.
They have long been common in public restrooms and other similar situations, and now they can be found in people’s homes too.
They take up a lot of space, so you should only consider one if you have a large bathroom. However, the advantage is that more than one person can use them at the same time, so they could be a great solution for families who need to get ready at the same time in the morning.
Free-standing Types of bathroom sinks
5. Pedestal bathroom sink
The pedestal sink is a type of sink that has stood the test of time. As the name suggests, the sink itself is supported by a pedestal, which also hides all the plumbing and connections.
This type of sink gives a bathroom an unmistakable classic style – although modern options also exist.
The main advantage here is that, since a pedestal sink is not installed in a vanity, it can save you some space in a smaller bathroom.
Yet, even though they help save space, almost paradoxically, the sink itself can still be bigger than you might have if you owned an under-mount or drop-in sink, giving you an extra level of luxury and convenience for your daily wash routine.
6. Wall-mount sink bathroom sink
A wall-mount sink is just that, a sink that is attached directly to the wall. In other words, they look a bit like a pedestal sink – but without the pedestal.
This is another extremely common style of sink due to its obvious advantages – it can help save space in a smaller bathroom and is also very easy to install.
With these sinks, the plumbing is not hidden, and, depending on the model, this may look a little ugly. However, better-designed examples turn this into a positive by using the connections as an attractive decorative element.
These sinks are functional and practical and will appeal to anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much on their bathroom sink and who also needs to make the most of limited space.
On the downside, since this is one of the oldest types of bathroom sink, this might not appeal to anyone who wants a more up-to-date, cutting-edge look in their home.
7. Corner bathroom sink
If you need to save even more space than a wall-mount model allows, then you may be interested in looking at a corner sink since these are the kings when it comes to conserving space.
They come as both wall-mounted and pedestal versions – although wall-mounted models are more common. This makes sense since wall-mounted sinks help save more space, and this is probably your primary consideration if you are looking at corner sinks.
Since they are designed not to take up too much room, most models are accordingly small. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be ugly, and many stylish versions exist.
The obvious downside is that they can feel cramped and poky to use, and even things as simple as washing your hands or cleaning your teeth in one of these won’t be as comfortable as in a larger sink.
However, if you only have a small bathroom, that’s something you’re probably going to have to accept, and by choosing a corner sink, you can help make the rest of your bathroom feel just that little bit bigger.
8. Console bathroom sink
Console sinks are less common and can be described almost as a kind of hybrid between a pedestal sink and a wall-mount sink. They are fitted to a wall like a wall-mount, but they are also supported by two or four legs in the place of a pedestal.
Since there is no pedestal, the plumbing and connections are not hidden. However, the legs are usually made of a metal like brass, and the plumbing and fittings are often made to match, giving them a sumptuous old-style look that many people find highly desirable.
Single or double?
Another option you can consider is whether you want a single sink in your bathroom or a double one.
We saw how a trough sink can be used by two people at once, but if you have a larger bathroom, you could also think about having two identical sinks installed next to each other.
This is something that would work best with sinks installed in vanities, like drop-in sinks, under-mount or vessel sinks.
The advantage is that two people can comfortably use the bathroom at the same time, and having two separate sinks is more convenient than sharing a single trough sink.
However, there is also a very obvious disadvantage – having a double sink will take up a lot of space, so you should only consider this if you have a bathroom that is large enough to accommodate a double sink.
Many options to choose from
As you can see, there are many options to choose from, and to make the right decision, you will need to consider factors like which style you prefer as well as practical aspects like the size of your bathroom.
In any case, whichever you choose, we hope you now have a better understanding of the different types of bathroom sinks that are available on the market today.