The bathroom sink is either the centerpiece of a bathroom or the unsung hero. Stylish or function. And often both. But since a vanity sink doesn’t handle dirty dishes and hot pans, a vanity sink has a lot more leeway to be adventurous with materials, shapes, and styles. Whether you just want a simple porcelain drop-in sink or dare to show some flare with a fossilized-wood pedestal sink, we have the best sinks for your home remodel.
These are the different types of bathroom sinks to consider:
- Drop In
- Vessel Sink
- Wall Mount
- Parts & Accessories
Each type of vanity sink has pros and cons, but really, it’s all about style and budget. Choosing the best bathroom sink for your remodel has little to do with how you use your bathroom and more with how you want it to look.
Types of Bathroom Sinks
Vanity sinks come in a variety of installation types. Each mounting type has advantages over others. It all depends on your personal aesthetics.
Drop-In Bathroom Sink: The DIYer Sink
Often referred to as a top-mount sink, a drop-in bathroom sink is the easiest mounting option to install because you simply lower the sink onto the counter. For this reason, it’s a favorite among the DIYer because it doesn’t require much expertise to install. The trickiest part of the installation is making sure the cutout on the countertop isn’t too big or too small. You want the sink to sit flush to the countertop with enough space, between 1” and 2”, for a secure seal.
Drop-in vanity sinks are typically round or oval, though you can get them in squares, rectangles, and other shapes. They are among the most affordable options available, with porcelain drop-in sinks starting at around $30. However, drop-in bathroom sinks made of copper, vitreous china, antique bronzes, ceramic, and other high-grade materials can run between $200 and over $1,000.
A minor inconvenience with drop-in sinks is maintenance. Since the lip of the sink rests on the countertop, you can’t wipe debris into the sink, causing you to wipe around the sink rather than into it.
Undermount Bathroom Sink: The Convenient Sink
An undermount bathroom sink installs to the underside of a countertop, eliminating the lip issue of a drop-in sink. They’re popular because cleaning your counter space is much easier – simply wipe anything on the counter into the sink. It’s also popular in bathrooms with natural countertops, like marble and quartz, because it turns the focal point of the bathroom to the beauty of the material. With bland materials, an undermount sink turns the focal point to the toilet. Not ideal.
Undermount vanity sinks have a similar price point to drop-ins, starting around $30 and reaching over $1,000 if you choose high-grade materials.
Vessel Bathroom Sink: The Centerpiece Sink
Vessel sinks have grown in popularity since the early 2000’s, but they hearken back centuries to an era before modern plumbing when vanities had washbasins on a table with a pitcher of water. Contemporary vessel sinks are often meant to mimic these washbasins, albeit with the advantages of modern plumbing. Some faucets even mimic the look of a pitcher, completing the look.
For some, cleaning around a vessel bathroom sink is a hassle because it can be difficult to reach behind a vessel sink and you can’t wipe stuff from the counter into the sink. But for others, the striking style is worth it. It’s the focal point of the room. And since a vessel sink sits on top of the sink with the drain at countertop height, it’s easy for a DIYer to install.
Vessel sinks start at around $35, making this stylistic centerpiece within grasp on most budgets. But some more artistically focused vessel sinks, made from materials like fossilized wood and hand-hammered copper, cost over $2,000. It’s all about how far you want to take the style and how much you want to spend.
Wall-Mount Bathroom Sink: The Space Saver Sink
A wall-mount bathroom sink is ideal for powder rooms and small bathrooms because they take up less space. Most wall-mounted sinks have enough counter space for hand soap and a toothbrush holder, but not much else. It does provide storage space below the sink.
Wall-Mount sinks start at around $45 for simple, square porcelain basins but can reach over $1,000 with high-grade materials and artistic flare. As with most bathroom sinks, wall-mount sinks range between the simple utilitarian and the ornately stylish.
Installing a wall-mount sink requires some precision, as you must make sure mounted level to the wall, but it’s not beyond the scope of average DIYer. If you know how to find wall studs and how to use a level, you can install a wall-mount sink.
Pedestal Bathroom Sink: The Powder Room Sink
A pedestal bathroom sink is like a wall-mount sink because it can make a bathroom feel roomier and lacks a countertop. But rather than attaching to the wall, exposing the plumbing, a pedestal sink reaches the floor. This makes it easier to remove if plumbing repairs are needed or you want to take it with you to a new home, but it lacks the storage space below the sink a wall-mount sink provides.
Pedestal sinks start at around $100 for simple porcelain models but can run over $1,000. Whether you go with a simple design or an ornate fancy bathroom design, pedestal sinks provide an elegant look for a classic bathroom.
Integrated Bathroom Sink: The Seamless Sink
An integrated bathroom sink combines the countertop with the sink. In some cases, the sink and countertop are made from one solid piece of material, usually solid-surface because it molds easily. In other types, the sink and countertop are separate pieces but made from the same material. However, the seam between the countertop and sink is typically invisible, making it look like one piece.
Installing an integrated sink is very simple. It rests on the vanity base cabinet, making it among the easiest types of sinks for the DIYer. You just need two people to move it into place, as it is heavier than most types of sinks.
Integrated sinks start at around $80 for simple designs made of cultured marble or solid-surface. But depending on how much countertop space you want and the style you’re searching for, they can run as high as $1,300. The higher-end integrated sinks typically have a sink carved out of a large block of natural materials, like Italian marble.
Bathroom Sink Parts & Accessories: Drains and Such
Once you pick the type of sink you want in your bathroom, you need to consider the fixtures, parts, and accessories required to complete the installation. These bathroom sink parts & accessories include:
- Mounting Rings for drains
- Mounting Clips for undermount sinks
- Mounting Systems for drains
- Backsplashes for protecting the wall from water
How to Choose a Bathroom Sink
Your vanity sink sets the tone for the style of your bathroom, but you still need to consider size, function, mount type, and material.
There are many stylistic directions you can take with a bathroom, from themes like tropical and nautical to common styles like traditional and modern. Since bathroom sinks aren’t the workhorses of the kitchen, you can focus more on style over function. As such, chasing a sink based on the style you want to achieve is the best place to start.
Modern style sinks are simple in design and often rectangle. Usually white, off-white, or cream, modern sinks have crisp, straight lines with minimal curves and almost no decorative features. Modern sinks feature a minimalist aesthetic that pairs well with modern chrome faucets.
Often conflated with modern style, contemporary style sinks are all about what’s trendy and new in sink designs. Contemporary sinks are often more asymmetrical and experimental. Some contemporary sinks are abstract, using shapes and designs not typical of a sink, like a waterfall or trough design.
Traditional vanity sinks are typically oval or round, though they can square or rectangular. Often, a classic vanity sink features rounded corners and decorative beveling. They are most often white ceramic but are also available in cream and off-white. You can find traditional sinks in greys and blacks, as well as copper and bronze, but it’s less common.
Transitional sinks either mix styles together, like using a classic sink with a modern faucet, or the style features aspects common in two styles, like a pedestal sink with a modern basin but traditional feet.
Eclectic sinks focus on artistic value over everything else. These are incredibly unique and are often hand-made or made from rare materials, like fossilized wood. The shapes variety is limited only by your personal esthetic.
Mediterranean sinks have an old-world vibe with ornate designs, often even in the basin. Often made from metals like copper or bronze, the basin of a Mediterranean sink typically features an intricately hand-hammered design. If it’s ceramic or china, these sinks often include detailed, colorful mosaic designs.
Considering Mount Types
Once you know what style to chase, you can decide what type of mounting you want. If you have a countertop and a sink base cabinet, a drop-in, undermount, vessel or integrated sink all work. Of these, the undermount sink is the most difficult to install.
For small bathrooms or powder rooms, a wall-mount or pedestal sink is ideal. These sinks don’t require as much space. A wall-mount sink is more difficult to install and typically exposes the plumbing but provides easy access to the floor. However, while pedestal sinks are easily moved, they aren’t as easy to clean around. Really, it comes down to how you want your bathroom to look,
Unlike kitchen sinks, the material of a bathroom sink isn’t as necessary to the purchasing decision because it doesn’t have to handle hot pans, clanking silverware, and stacked plates. As such, you have a lot more variety of materials to choose from. From porcelain and vitreous china to glass and lava rock, the variety of materials used to make vanity sinks is exceptional. As long as you avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners, each of these materials is made to handle the day-to-day use of a vanity sink.
Porcelain Ceramics are probably the most common material because it’s extremely durable, easy to clean, and affordable. All porcelain sinks are a ceramic fireclay shaped and then heated at extreme temperatures to make it dense and nonporous. High-grade porcelains, like vitreous china, include a type of glaze that makes it tougher and shinier.
Porcelain bathroom sinks are brittle. They can chip or crack if heavy items like hair dryers are dropped on them. That said, porcelain sinks can last up to a century when proper care and maintenance is given.
Natural Stone sinks are carved from blocks of granite, lava rock, marble, or other natural stones. This material is typically used for vessel sinks because it shows off the beauty of the stone. And since it’s a natural material, every sink has unique features, like veining in marble, the shape, color variations, pits, or flecks of minerals.
However, since stone is naturally porous, it requires more maintenance than other materials. The bowl needs a sealant applied once or twice a year to make up for the porous surface while maintaining the stone’s natural sheen.
Metal is not used as often for bathroom sinks as is in the kitchen. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a good option for a contemporary, modern, or industrial vanity sink. Metal is versatile, can take any shape, and some metals patina over time, creating a look some people highly value. Hand-hammered copper vessel sinks, for example, are often considered works of art. And stainless-steel sinks provide a clean look when paired with a matching faucet.
Metal is very durable and scratch resistant material. Except for water spots and mineral deposits, it also requires little maintenance compared to other materials.
Wood is commonly used for vessel sinks for similar reasons to natural stone – every piece tells a unique story. With woodgrain, knots, and shapes dependent on source, wood sinks are excellent for eclectic bathrooms because wood provides a warmness other materials lack.
Most wood sinks are made from teak because it’s very hard and moisture-resistant. The natural oils in teak keep it from splitting, warping, or cracking. It’s also resistant to fungi, mold, and mildew. As with most materials, cleaning a wood sink requires mild soap and water with a soft cloth.
If you like the look of wood but you’re worried about sustainability, bamboo is a great alternative. Since it grows faster than most plants in the world, bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials you can choose. And as a sink, bamboo is very strong and provides the same unique story you’d find in wood, varying in color and grain.
Resin is a man-made stone-like material made of polymers and resins. Often referred to as a man-made stone or reconstituted stone, resin is non-porous unlike natural stone. A resin sink can take any form, size, and color, making it a very versatile material. However, they scratch easier than other materials, which also makes them more susceptible to staining.
Glass is a versatile material, capable of taking all kinds of shapes and colors. But it can also be dangerous when shattered. For this reason, glass sinks are typically made of tempered glass – a method involving extreme heat and rapid cooling to create a hard surface that doesn’t shatter into dangerous shards if you drop your electric toothbrush into the sink.
Choosing a Size
The general rule for finding the right sink size is to consider the proportions of the sink with respect to the countertop. After measuring your countertop, subtract at least 2.5” to 3” from the front edge and at least 1.5” to 2” from the back edge. This gives you the maximum size for your sink, front to back, to proportionally fit into your countertop. But since you typically use a vanity sink for general hygiene, size is not as important as with kitchen sinks, allowing you to go smaller if you want. Here are some size considerations with different mounting types:
- Vessel sinks: You can get a vessel sink that covers most of the countertop or a small vessel sink for washing hands. Nearly any size works so long as the lip of the vessel sink doesn’t extend past the countertop.
- Undermount: If you’re replacing an undermount sink, you need to find a sink the same shape and size, otherwise you’ll need to resize the cutout.
- Drop-In: The new sink can’t be smaller than the cutout in the countertop. While it means cutting the countertop, you can always go bigger, but you can’t go smaller. You want to make sure you have at least 1” of space around the cutout for the lip to rest on.
- Wall-mount: This is all dependent on how much space you have. Measure the horizontal space you have and find a sink to fit.
- Pedestal Sink: Like wall-mount sinks, measure the horizontal space you have and find a sink to fit it. The other consideration is the height of the pedestal. If you have children, you may want a lower pedestal.
Capping It Off with a Faucet
A bathroom sink is not complete without a vanity faucet. Pairing your sink with the right fixtures depends on the holes in the sink’s deck. Most bathroom sinks are made for a widespread faucet or a centerset faucet. Each have three holes – one for the faucet and two for hot and cold. The difference is how far apart these holes are. A widespread faucet has the holes far apart with varying distances because the hot and cold levers are usually separate from the faucet. A centerset faucet has the holes close together at a more standard distance, typically 4” from the center.
With undermount and integrated sinks, these holes are drilled into the countertop, so you can choose any size. Vessel sinks require a tall vessel faucet, which is typically one handle.
How to Remove a Bathroom Sink Stopper
If your sink won’t drain or you want to install a new sink stopper, here’s the steps to removing your sink stopper:
- Look under the sink for the lever strap – a flat piece of metal with holes in it. This connects to a horizontal rod. Remove it from the rod, but make sure to remember which hole the rod was in.
- Using pliers or a wrench, unscrew the nut holding the horizontal rod to the drain and remove the rod.
- Pull the sink stopper out of the drain and clean it and clear the drain.
- After cleaning the sink stopper and clearing the drain, put the sink stopper back into the drain or put the new sink stopper in.
- Reattach the horizontal rod by putting it back into the drainage pipe and tightening the nut.
- Fit the horizontal rod back into the hole on the lever strap.
- Pull up on the sink stopper rod to make sure the sink stopper closes into the drain.
- Turn on the faucet and check for leaks.
Frequenty Asked Questions About Bathroom Sinks
How Much Do Bathroom Sinks Cost?
The most budget friendly sinks cost between $30 and $150. These are good sinks for bathrooms in rentals or a children’s bathroom. Midrange sinks cost between $200 and $700. If you want a sink made from premium materials, with an artistic flare, or a unique one-of-a-kind style, you’re looking at between $500 and well over $2,500. These sinks are often more art than sink.
Can You Paint Your Bathroom Sink?
You can paint anything you want but painting a sink is not recommended. Painting a sink is not a good idea for a variety of reasons. For starters, most paints can’t handle the constant moisture of a sink. The paint will quickly peel and crack if used in a sink. And if you use outdoor paint made to handle the elements, it likely has chemicals not meant for indoor use. Secondly, the smooth, non-porous surface of a sink isn’t ideal for taking paint, making it very difficult to get an even coating.
What Type of Bathroom Sink Works Best for a Small Bathroom or Powder Room?
When space is an issue, a wall-mount or pedestal sink is ideal. These sinks are made for areas without countertops, which take up a lot of space. Choosing a wall-mount sink provides easier access to cleaning the floor under the sink, but pedestal sinks are easier to move around and install.
What Is Standard Size Bathroom Sink?
There isn’t a standard size. Vanity sinks come in a wide range of sizes. That said, the average round or oval sink is between 16” and 20” in diameter with a depth of 5” to 8”. Rectangular sinks average 19” and 24” from side to side and 16” to 23” front to back.
Do Bathroom Sinks Need an Overflow?
An overflow is a hole in the sink, usually found near the top of the sink nearest you. It allows the sink to drain when filled too much. The overflow hole ensures the sink doesn’t flood your bathroom by giving the excess water an escape route. Most sinks have an overflow for this reason. However, the overflow is also there to equalize the air pressure in the drain, allowing the water to drain faster. An overflow requires additional plumbing, but it’s standard with most sinks. That said, most vessel sinks don’t have overflows.
What Do You Need to Install a Bathroom Sink?
While installing a sink is challenging, you don’t need to be a plumber to do it. There are countless step-by-step video tutorials available online for every type of sink installation. But regardless of what type of sink you’re installing, you need an adjustable wrench, tools (such as a crow bar) to remove the existing sink, cleaners to remove the old caulking, mounting hardware (such as undermount clips) if needed, and caulk to seal the edges.
How Much Do Plumbers Charge to Install a Bathroom Sink?
Whenever a task has the potential for leaking water if done incorrectly, it’s always a good idea to consider a professional. It depends on where you live and the type of sink, but the average cost for a professional installation is usually between $200 and $1,000.
What Is the Best Material for a Bathroom Sink?
Every material has pros and cons worth considering. However, porcelain ceramic sinks are the most common material. Ceramics, like porcelain and vitreous china, are popular because they are durable, easy to clean, and affordable. But whether it’s the best material for your sink is up for debate.
Which Bathroom Sink Works Best for Large or Master Bathrooms?
Choosing a sink for your master bathroom is a matter of taste, but typically you’re going to choose a drop-in or an undermount sink. With master bathrooms, homeowners tend towards luxury and comfort over style because it’s not used or seen by guests. Since wall-mount sinks and pedestal sinks are made for small bathrooms, they feel out of place in a master bathroom.
Consider adding double sinks if you have the space. In a master bathroom, two is better than one. Double sinks adds luxury for you and your partner.
What Holds a Bathroom Sink in Place?
Bathroom sinks need a generous amount of caulking to both keep the sink in place and create a seal to ensure water doesn’t leak under the sink. If it isn’t sealed, water can get into the cabinet and create mold, mildew, and rot. Just make sure you wipe away the excess caulking.
How Do You Seal a Bathroom Sink?
For drop-in sinks, make sure the countertop is clean and dry. Apply a generous amount of caulking to the sink and drop it into place. Then apply a silicone sealant around the edges between the sink and the countertop or backsplash. Wipe away the excess sealant.
How Deep Is a Vanity Sink?
The average depth of a vanity sink is between 4” and 8”, though larger sinks often reach 10”.
Can A Pedestal Sink Be Used as a Drop-In Sink?
No. A pedestal sink is a basin supported by a pedestal stand that attaches to the floor. A drop-in sink lays on top of a countertop.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove and Install a Bathroom Vanity?
Removing a bathroom vanity doesn’t need to cost anything, save for your own time and effort. But installing a new vanity, which consists of a sink, faucet, countertop, cabinet, mirror, and lighting, costs between $300 and $4,000, depending on what you decide to replace, keep, the quality of the new products, and whether you’re hiring a professional to install everything.
Pre-made vanities cost between $500 and $3,000, but they are easy to install, as you just need to connect the plumbing.
Looking for the Right Vanity Sink? Speak with an Expert Designer
Whether you’re remodeling a powder room or a master bathroom, choosing a stylish sink helps anchor the style of a bathroom, like a centerpiece on the dinner table.
Check out our collection of bathroom sinks to find the best one for you. If you need help deciding on a style or finding products to fit the style you want, consult with our expert designers by calling 855.483.2629 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.