A bathroom sink can either be simply a functional basin or it can be an integral part of the design and décor of the remodeled room. Today there are so many colors, styles and materials available that the choice of the best sink when remodeling a small bathroom can seem overwhelming. Costs can range from $100 to upwards of $1,000.
The sink you choose when remodeling a small bathroom and where you position it in the room will influence other decisions about design and décor in a small space. Once you begin shopping for a sink, you will see everything from the simple and traditional to the flashy, trendy and even opulent. Setting your budget and deciding on placement of the sink will help you stay on track when you start evaluating the options available.
When you shop for the best sink, keep in mind that showrooms generally have only enough space for the most popular styles and colors. You will probably find it helpful to ask about other options. Once you make some of the basic decisions, you can also shop online and visit the manufacturer’s web sites for more options. Here are some of the basic choices you will need to make.
Most sinks are still made of enamel, china or porcelain over cast iron or steel. They are durable, stain resistant and mildew resistant. They are available in almost any color and installation style. As bathroom design and décor has become increasingly important in recent years, manufacturers responded by making sinks in any number of other materials, producing some very striking visual effects, especially in a small space. You will also be able to choose a sink made from solid surface materials, acrylics, glass, metals, concrete, cultured stone and natural stone. In making this choice, think carefully about who will use the sink. Stone and concrete are high-maintenance materials which need sealing and re-sealing. Metals and glass can scratch easily.
The sink you choose for remodeling your small bathroom will be installed in one of five ways.
> Free-standing or wall-mounted sinks do not use a vanity. This type of installation requires very little space and has little or no footprint in the room. Because of this they tend to make the room look larger. They are also preferred in bathrooms that are being designed for accessibility. Either installation style will leave the pipes visible, which some people do not like. They also provide no storage space.
> If you plan to use a vanity or a piece of furniture, you might opt for a solid surface top and sink. These are made of a single continuous piece of material that includes the sink. The appearance is smooth and sleek. It is also very easy to clean. This style can also be created with stone, cultured stone and concrete. Keep in mind, however, that stone and concrete will need to be sealed and will need periodic resealing. These sinks also tend to be shallow as compared to some other styles. This can encourage splashing around the sink.
> A drop-in sink is made with a rim (metal or the same material) that overlaps the edge of the countertop. This style is extremely popular because they are inexpensive and easy to install, which also makes them a perfect choice for the do-it-yourselfer. If you choose this sink installation style for your remodeled small bathroom, look for a style that is deeper in order to limit the amount of splashing on the surrounding counter area.
> Under-mounted sinks are popular because they attach to the underside of the countertop, creating a smooth surface that leaves the full surface available for use. Choosing this sink installation style will, however, limit your countertop options to a material that is completely waterproof.
> Countertop installation has been very popular in recent years, although the trend seems to be fading. This type of installation works with specialty bowls that sit on top of the counter or a piece of furniture. The drain is centered in the bottom of the bowl and requires a matching hole in the counter or furniture. These styles tend to be expensive and installation when you remodel can also be expensive.
Recent design and décor trends have focused on bright colors, uncommon shapes and exotic and natural (or natural-looking) materials. There has also been a trend toward using either a piece of furniture as a vanity or choosing a vanity that looks like a piece of furniture. This trend is difficult to accomplish in a small bathroom unless you happen to be able to find a small antique piece that can serve as your vanity/countertop.
Remodeling a small bathroom offers unique challenges. Maximizing space is one of the most important issues in room design and décor. Most people choose wall-mounted or pedestal sinks or very small vanities with an open design. Keep in mind that lighter colors tend to make the room look larger, as will vertical stripes. Think about what you want to have as the focal point in your small bathroom. It might be the shower, the tub surround, or the perfect sink.
Choosing the best sink when remodeling a small bathroom requires time to shop broadly in the beginning to know what is available. Consider how the bathroom will be used and by whom before choosing the material of the sink. Think first about placement and installation of your new sink to leave maximum floor space or to create the illusion of more space. Regardless of your budget or your décor, you will be able to find the perfect sink for your remodeled small bath.