The bathroom sink is one of the most heavily used features in your home. It is also a focal point of the bathroom. The good news is that there are plenty of sink designs and options to choose from. Two things to keep in mind when selecting a new one are the bathroom sink shape and material. While the shape of the basin is limited to only a few choices, sinks are available in several different types of materials.
When selecting a new sink for your bathroom, keep in mind which bathroom is will be used in (master bathroom, powder room, etc.), who will predominately be using the bathroom, and how much space there is in the room. The bathroom sink shape and material will not only affect the look of the bathroom, but the convenience of the sink.
Bathroom Sink Shape
Bathrooms sinks are available in four shapes—round, oval, square, and rectangular.
Round and oval sinks have a more traditional and classic look. Some people might see that look as dated. Round and oval sinks are easy to clean because there are no corners for the dirt to get trapped.
Square and rectangular sinks have a more modern look. They can also be awkward to clean because dirt can get trapped in the corners.
Because round and square sinks are typically smaller than oval and rectangular sinks, they work well in small bathrooms.
Bathroom Sink Materials
Bathroom sinks are available in several materials. When choosing the material for your new sink, keep in mind the durability of the material. It is also a good idea to consider the color, style, aesthetics, and the overall maintenance of the material.
The most common type of material used for bathroom sinks is ceramic. Ceramic is made from clay, earthen elements, powders, and water. Once the sink is shaped, it is fired at a high temperature to dry up any liquid and to harden the material. The sink is then coated in a glaze to make it waterproof. Ceramics sinks are available in a variety of shapes, styles, styles, and colors.
Ceramic is durable, but it should still be treated as fragile because it can chip, crack, or scratch. The material is stain and bacteria resistant. It is also easy to clean.
After ceramic, porcelain is the next most popular material used to make bathroom sinks. Like ceramic, porcelain is made from a mixture of clay, earthen elements, powders, and water. Porcelain is fired at a high temperature. This makes it more dense and less prone to moisture.
Porcelain is slightly translucent and can resemble an eggshell. It is a durable, low maintenance material.
Resin sinks—which are made from an epoxy—–are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. While they can be pricy, resin is resistant to scratches, stains, mold, and mildew. The material is durable, and it will not discolor.
Stone sinks—which can be quite expensive—are available in marble, granite, sandstone, green jade, onyx, and travertine. Because of the wide variety of stones and varying colors, each stone stink will have a one-of-a-kind look. Stone sinks are carved out of a single slab, and they can be carved to any shape and size that the slab allows.
Natural stone is durable and heat resistant, but the edges of stone sinks are prone to chipping. The material is also porous. Stone sinks will need to be periodically sealed to keep them waterproof and to prevent staining. If the stone is kept sealed, it is easy to clean.
Cultured Marble Sinks
If you want the look of granite or marble but do not want to pay the price for natural stone, cultured marble may be the way to go. Cultured marble is a manmade material that is crafted out of real stone particles. The particles are combined with resins and pigments to create a range of colors and natural looking patterns.
Cultured marble is nonporous, low maintenance, and durable. Because it is manmade, cultured marble sinks are available in various sizes and shapes.
Not only is cultured marble great for bathroom sinks, it can also be used for vanity tops, bathtubs, shower walls, and backsplashes.
Granite and Quartz Composite Sinks
These manmade materials combine either granite or quartz dust with resins to create a natural stone look at a fraction of the cost. Granite and quartz composite are both durable, nonporous, and environmentally friendly. The material is also heat, stain, and scratch resistance. Because it is manmade, granite and quartz composite sinks are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
If you are going for a modern, unique look, you might want to consider a concrete sink and countertop. While the concrete can be expensive, it is an uncommon material and long lasting. Because concrete is porous, it will need to be sealed periodically to keep is waterproof. The material also has a tendency to crack.
Another type of uncommon material for a bathroom sink is wood. Wood sinks are usually made from petrified woods, bamboo, or tropical hardwoods such as teak. The natural oils in tropical hardwood make it resistant to water, mildew, mold, and fungi.
Wood is an durable, ecofriendly material. It is also high maintenance. The wood requires regular cleaning and sealing. It is also nonresistant to harsh chemicals.
Tempered glass is mostly used for vessel sinks. Vessel sinks sit on top of the countertop and are reminiscence of old washbasins. Tempered glass is more durable than regular glass. While it can break under tough treatment, it will not chip, crack, or shatter. It is also resistant to heat.
Because it is manmade, tempered glass is available in a variety of colors. The glass can be transparent (see through), translucent (allows some light through), or opaque (impenetrable by light).
The downside of tempered glass is that is can be easily stained by hardwater and will require more cleaning than other materials to keep the sink looking spotless.
Stainless Steel Sinks
While commonly seen in the kitchen, stainless steel sinks are also available for the bathroom. As it has a more modern look, stainless steel is not compatible with a traditional or vintage designed bathroom.
Stainless steels is an affordable and ecofriendly/recyclable option. It is also cheaper than most other materials. Stainless steel will not rust or stain. It is easy to clean and resists bacteria. While it can be scratched and dented, stainless steel will not chip.
Copper is a naturally occurring chemical element/metal. It is a soft and malleable material. A cooper sink will give a bathroom an elegant look. Fresh copper has a pinkish-orange color. This color will darken over time. Copper is easy to maintain, it will not stain, and it has antimicrobial qualities.
Bronze is an alloy combining copper and other metals (usually tin). The addition of the other metals enhances the durability of the material. Bronze is resistant to corrosion and has antimicrobial qualities. It is also vulnerable to dents and scratches.
If you are considering remodeling your bathroom, give us a call at Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. for a free estimate. To see some of our previous bathroom projects, click here. And to learn more about the different types of bathroom sinks, click here.