Home Building - Bathroom Sinks & Lavatories


4/25/2012

Bathroom sinks, also called lavatories, are available in an infinite range of colors, patterns, styles, designs, heights, depths, widths, and materials. They can be pedestal style, wall hung, under-counter mount, above counter vessels, integrated, self-rimming, or freestanding. This variety affords you a great opportunity to express yourself.

Materials

Sinks are available in many materials including vitreous china, enameled cast iron, fireclay, glass, stainless steel, brass, nickel, copper, stone and both real and synthetic stone. Each material has its own unique characteristics.

Clay is one of the oldest material used for sinks, but can be chipped or broken.

Earthenware has a very porous clay body and is usually glazed and decoratively painted. Because it tends to crackle over time, most people opt to use china and cast iron.

Fireclay, which is sometimes called ceramic offers a smooth, non-porous surface that won't fade, discolor or rust. These sinks can be plain, sculpted, or hand-painted to produce many different looks.

Vitreous China is an earthenware product that is cast and glazed to provide a glossy, durable and stain-resistant surface. It is available in many different colors, as well as in hand painted, etched, hammered, matte, and carved finishes.

Glass and crystal sinks are the hottest trend in high end bathrooms. They are available in vessel, pedestal, wall mount, over-the-counter and under-the-counter models. While glass sinks are a little more durable than you may think, they will and do break. Visually your bathroom sink may be stunning, but practical it is not. Even the best of tempered and laminated glass will crack and break - the only comforting thing about it is it won't shatter into a million pieces. Glass sinks come in a variety of finishes like textured, colored, frosted and etched. If it's a must have on your design list then caution would be the advice of the day.

Stonel is the most durable of the sink materials and is available in granite, marble, travertine, onyx,limestone,sandstone...
Styles

Pedestal sinks feature a basin that rests on a pedestal base to conceal the drain and supply lines. They are generally made from vitreous china, but can be found in stone, copper etc. They may look good, but the provide basically no counter or storage space. Because pedestal sinks require specific placement of supply and drainage lines, it is best to select your sink before construction of your bathroom begins.

Vessels are very elegant and usually made from spun glass, lead crystal, china, fireclay, earthenware, stone and stainless steel. Vessels can rest above the countertop, be wall-mounted or installed in a self-rimming application or under-the-counter. Because these vessels are usually fully exposed it's not the type of sink you want in the family bathroom.

Wall-mount sinks feature a basin that is hung from the wall at a desired, functional height. They can be mounted flush to the wall, recessed or semi-recessed. They are available in a wide range of sizes, including small hand sinks, but afford little to no storage space.

Self-rimming sinks are the least expensive and most common option. It edges lap the countertop.

Undermounted and integral sinks are sinks where the edges are hidden. Undermounted sinks attach below the countertop. An integral sink is made out of the same material as the countertop and is fused to it, creating a seamless transition. Stainless steel, solid surface,stone and composite materials are flexible enough to mold integral sinks. The benefits of both these sinks is that they give a clean look and provide easy cleanup - no rims to push crumbs over.

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