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How to Choose the Right Vessel Sink for Your Bathroom

by Guest on Mar 5, 2010

Vessel sinks are the hottest new trend in bathroom design. In many ways, vessel sinks are a throwback to a time before plumbing when people washed up each morning in elaborate china basins that sat atop their bedroom vanities. During Victorian times these beautiful China fixtures were paired with matching floral and gilt pitchers to hold the water, and some people still collect these sets. Vessel sinks are a beautiful new take on an old idea.

Today's vessel sinks offer many more choices than their Victorian counterparts. Copper vessel sinks enhance Arts & Crafts Revival décor in bungalows and foursquare homes. Ceramic and pottery vessel sinks make charming accents for modern country bathrooms.

To choose the perfect vessel sink for your decorating style, start by matching material to design. Some of the most popular vessel sink materials include:

  • Copper. Copper has always been popular in kitchens, but with the resurgence in popularity of sleek Arts & Crafts cabinetry and fixtures, copper vessel sinks are coming back in a big way. Look for hammered antique finishes, verdigris effects, or smooth glossy copper surfaces. Copper does dent easily but also has the advantage of being a natural germ repellent.
  • Glass. Glass is the most popular of all materials used for vessel sinks. A glass vessel sink can be purchased for as little as $100, all the way up to thousands of dollars for specialty or hand blown glass. Glass comes in a range of colors and effects, but do keep in mind it must be cleaned with each use.
  • Stainless Steel. Stainless steel vessel sinks look great with industrial or ultramodern décor, or next to a stainless stove or wet bar with stainless accessories. Stainless steel can be noisy though, and it does show water spots. Look for heavy gauge stainless to help keep noise to a minimum.
  • Stone. Vessel sinks made of granite, onyx, marble, travertine, or concrete are a sturdy, easy to clean option, and they last forever. Stone can be expensive, but it comes in such a wide array of styles, shapes, and colors it can fit well into any bathroom décor.
  • Ceramics. Ceramic vessel sinks come are easy to clean and can be affordable or pricey depending on the quality and degree of ornament. One-of-a-kind artisan ceramics that feature specialty glazing, hand painting, or mosaic work are especially popular and make a dramatic accent when used with simple fixtures.
  • Wood. Wood vessel sinks are specially treated to resist water and look fabulous in bathrooms with a spa-like feel. Wood needs special attention and care, and for this reason is put to best use in low use bathrooms, like second baths or half baths.

Once you have identified your decorating style and chosen the material best matched to it, you also have your choice of shapes. Some of the most common are:

  • Round or oval. Traditional and easy to find, round vessel sinks are usually not as expensive as more uniquely shaped bowls.
  • Square. Square vessel sinks are often found on smaller counters, in half or quarter baths, or next to bars or kitchen counters.
  • Rectangle or oblong. Rectangular sinks provide more room for washing up when more than one person is present, making them a good choice for family baths.
  • Triangular. Triangular vessel sinks are specialty shape, but can make a bold design statement when used well as an accent.
  • Shells and other free shapes. The truth is that any shape that will hold water can be used as a vessel sink. You are limited here only by imagination and budget.

No matter which vessel sink you choose for your new bathroom, keep in mind that too much ornament can be overwhelming. So, for instance, if you choose a unique artisan vessel sink for a small bath, you will want to keep the cabinetry and fixtures simple.

If you are designing a bath with lots of floral accents and specialty tile, you may want to go with a vessel sink that is solid glass or simple stone. Balance is the key.

Enjoy your vessel sink. Your new take on this old idea will serve you well for years. And when you grow tired of it, just change it!

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