06 April / 2018
Choosing A New Sink, Part 2: What Type Is Right For You?
If you recall our March 23 post, we stated that material (i.e., ceramic, fireclay, etc) was the first step in choosing your sink. Now it's time to settle on category or type. The six we focus on here may seem similar, but they differ in key areas such as cost, suitability for your space, and degree of installation challenge including required tools, project time, and so on. Although it's mainly bathroom sinks discussed, there is information on kitchen sinks as well. Read on to get one step closer to your perfect sink.
If you've got a big family or anticipate heavy traffic in your bathroom, undermount sinks are the way to go. Because there is no bump, right angle or crevices created by a sink sidewall, any water, messes, or debris can be wiped straight into the sink opening. Be advised that installation is more challenging (especially for heavier models) because of the support bracket holding sink up against the vanity or counter top. A thin bead of silicone or plumber's putty will be necessary to prevent water seepage.
Tip: Undermounts work best with solid surface countertops such as granite or stone countertops.
We're huge fans of sinktops. For starters, they look so elegant with those high walls and broad edges that line up with your cabinet or vanity base. Second, the way they just plop onto your cabinet base requires only a few dabs silicone for sticking it into place. Last but not least, many sinktops have the sink integrated into the countertop material. This baked-in quality offers ease of cleaning and no separate hardware components for install.
Tip: Depending on the thickness of your countertop, you may need a longer-size drain with tailpipe to reach the p-trap built into you wall.
By far the easiest option is a drop-in-sink because they slide right into the designated hole of your countertop. The ridge created by the sink's edge serves as a protective barrier against objects sliding into the sink opening. Converesely, debris and/or water can also pool along the edge.
Tip: In many cases drop-ins don't include faucet holes so make sure your counter or vanity top contains either a single hole or 8" widesperead faucet hole.
Vessel sinks are a step up in terms of cost, aesthetics, and installation challenges. Whether yours is stone, ceramic or bamboo vessel sinks make a bold statement in any bathroom. Generally, these art-piece style sinks have no faucet holes, and due to their upward angled sides your fillers need to be tall enough to reach over the rim. Plus, vessels oftentimes don't come with overflow.
Tip: For vessels that have rounded bottoms, it's a good idea to get a stabilizing ring to sit between the countertop and the bottom of the sink's drain hole.
With its signature front apron, cast iron material, and double chamber design, farmhouse sinks -- an older style once popular in the country -- are experiencing a comeback. With deeper basins, ability to separate tasks, and excellent heat insulation, you can't beat a farmhouse sink for practicality. Just know that you will have to modify your cabinet and perform additional carpentry.
Tip: Power hand-saw required to fabricate a platform for the sink to rest on. Click here for a step-by-step how-to.
The wall mount sink is an excellent option for a smaller bathroom or anytime you want a spare minimalist look. Because of the way these types of sinks hang from wall-mounted hooks, some of the supprt work is already taken care of because the bottom half of the sink pushes up against the wall naturally due to gravity.
Tip: Make sure your wall is sturdy enough to bear the load of your sink. Mounting a crossbar between struts for extra support is a good idea.
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