Vessel sinks have been extremely popular over the past few years, with many folks selecting them as they upgrade their bathrooms. While they definitely up the fashion quotient in any bath space, there are a few things to keep in mind as you make your vessel sink selection.
Vessel sinks come in thousands of options, from glass or porcelain to copper or stainless steel, in all sizes, shapes and colors. They can sit completely above the countertop or recessed partially into the countertop. While there are dozens of options to work in any space, adequate planning is required before you make a final decision on your sink selection.
If you plan to replace your vanity cabinet, you MUST select your vessel before you finalize your cabinet height. Because vessel sinks sit above the countertop, at least partially, the height of these sinks varies greatly. A taller vessel sink may sit above the countertop 8″ or more. If you install that sink on a standard cabinet with a 32″ height, the rim of your sink will sit at 40″ – far too high for average people to use comfortably. The standard height for a “tall” vanity is 36″, the same height as an average kitchen countertop. For best results, you want the rim of your sink to fall somewhere between 32″ and 36″, which requires a shorter-than-standard cabinet to be custom made in some cases.
If you plan to keep your existing vanity cabinet, you will need to take the height into account when you shop for your new vessel sink. You will likely need to choose a vessel that sits slightly recessed into the countertop in order to keep your sink rim height between 32″ and 36″. If your existing vanity is already at 36″ high, either select a much lower sink style or consider replacing the vanity cabinet for best results.
Next, consider the material of your vessel sink. Glass vessels are popular, but they can chip and water spots and fingergprints can be an issue on clear versions. Metal sinks – especially copper – can develop a patina over time and require more maintenance. Stone sinks, including granite and limestone, are subject to staining and also require more maintenance. Porcelain vessel sinks are among the most durable and require the least amount of maintenance. They come in an array of colors, including handpainted and textured options.
When deciding on what sink material works best for you, think about where your bathroom is located and how it will be used. Is your bathroom right off of your garage, where it will be used by your husband after he works on his car? Or, is it off the living space, and will likely be used mainly by your guests? In lower-use areas, high-maintenance sinks may be okay; in high-traffic baths where staining could be an issue, consider a low-maintenance option.
The next thing to look at is your plumbing situation. If you plan to gut your bathroom to the studs, you can reroute the plumbing to fit your needs. However, if you plan to replace just the vanity, sink and faucet, you will need to work with the plumbing you have (also a much less expensive option). This means that you need to pay special attention to the faucet you select to work with your vessel sink.
Some faucets are made to be installed in the wall above the sink; this arrangement requires that the plumbing be moved, as it traditionally passes below the sink, into the vanity cabinet and through the floor. Be aware, as well, that if you live in a cold climate and your bathroom is on an outside wall, installing plumbing fixtures on that wall may be problematic due to insulation/freezing issues.
If you choose a faucet that is mounted into the countertop, be sure the height of the faucet will work with the height of your vessel sink. The last thing you want is a faucet too short to reach into the bowl properly!
Vessel sinks add style to any bath. By considering the size, durability, cleaning, maintenance and plumbing requirements for your space, you can make the best vessel sink choice for your home.Pin It