Vessel sinks are where artistic form meets function in an alternative to the traditional basin sink. A vessel sink is crafted of a bowl that rests on top of the countertop or vanity on which it’s mounted. The key to buying the right one for your bathroom is a matter of space, counter height, a coordinating faucet and your personal taste in design.
Space and Counter Height
Since the entire bowl of a vessel sink rests on the surface, it requires a counter that's low enough to compensate for the extra height – usually 32 to 36 inches lower. Many vanities are built to this height, but you may need to install a custom-built vanity to get the measurements just right.
Vessel sink bowls are also often very wide and ornate, which means they may need more clearance on either side to make room for toiletries, towels and space between the bowl and any nearby walls.
Vessel Sink Faucets
A vessel sink requires a faucet with additional spout reach and height or a wall-mount faucet that allows the spout to extend over the bowl. You don’t have to buy these items together in a set. If you buy them separately, make sure their dimensions are compatible.
Getting this wrong can literally make a mess of things. If the faucet is too short, it won’t get water into the bowl. If the length of the spout is too short (or too long), the water won’t fall into the center of the vessel where it’s least likely to splash out.
Material and Design
One of the most attractive things about vessel sinks is their uniqueness in shape, color and material. A purple in-counter sink may look odd, but the same finish in a vessel sink is more likely to be taken as a daring design choice rather than a mistake.
Vessel sinks come in a wide variety of materials, colors and shapes. Popular materials include:
- Cast iron
- Fire clay
- Granite / stone
These materials don’t limit the color palette; they expand it. Matched with a shape that fits your home and your sense of style, whether round, square or something different altogether, a vessel sink can bring a new level of class and sophistication to your bathroom.
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