How to Pick the Best Bathroom Sinks & Taps

 

sink with tap runningAvailable in a vast array of shapes, designs, sizes and materials, choosing the perfect sink and taps for your bathroom can be rather complex – especially as you’ll need to factor in their functionality just as much as their aesthetic appeal.

The sink and taps can set the tone for the entire bathroom. They are a key element that can bring together the overall look and feel of your bathroom, and are often one of the first things you notice in this space.

At KNB we’re specialists in helping homeowners to choose the perfect bathroom suites to match not only their lifestyle requirements but also their personal taste. Read on to find out more about the different types of bathroom sinks available and which one will beautifully complement your dream bathroom.

What is the best Bathroom Sink?

It’s important to think practically about what sink will fit in your bathroom, not only in terms of style and design but also in terms of size, shape and who will be using it. As bathrooms tend to be relatively small compared to other rooms in the house, sinks are typically designed to be compact, but they will vary in height and fixtures.

Below is a list of some of the most common types of sinks and the pros and cons of each:

Pedestal Sink – Pros and Cons

These simple, wall-mounted sinks are space-saving models ideal for the smallest of bathrooms and en-suites. They come in a range of styles and shapes to suit both contemporary and traditional suites, and feature sleek, sophisticated lines that can visually enlarge your bathing space. Unfortunately, pedestal sinks can be tricky to clean around, due to the gap between the wall and the back of the pedestal, and they don’t provide the option of storage space.

Wall-mounted Sink – Pros and Cons

Featuring a basin fixed directly to the wall, wall-mounted sinks provide an attractive, streamlined finish and are great for maximizing space. They can be positioned on the wall at your chosen height and all the plumbing is neatly fitted behind the wall. Due to the lack of countertops, wall-mounted sinks are not ideal if you need a lot of storage space. They are however well suited to wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

Top Mounted Sink – Pros and Cons

These are one of the most common types of sinks in bathrooms today. Designed to sit on top of the countertop, top mounted sinks are suitable for a range of countertop materials and are far cheaper to install than undermounted designs. Modern and distinctive, they tend to be best suited to simple, contemporary bathroom schemes, and they provide a dramatic focal point.

Undermounted Sink – Pros and Cons

Undermounted or undercounter sinks are fitted so they sit underneath a counter; creating a seamless, clean appearance. They free up valuable counter space and are an easy-to-clean option for busy, family bathrooms. If you choose an undercounter sink, you’ll have to make sure the countertop material is of a good quality, solid material that can be sealed well against moisture. Good materials include solid surface and laminate. If you have a small bathroom, installing a sink fitted in a countertop may take up valuable space.

Semi-Countertop Sink – Pros and Cons

Also known as semirecessed sinks, semi-countertop designs sit proudly towards the front of a countertop; providing easy access to individuals of all ages and abilities. Like the undermounted and top mounted sinks, countertop designs come with cabinets for storage to free up floor space, but they are compact enough to fit into the smallest of bathrooms. The only downside of these designs is that more water, splashes and spills can end up on the floor.

Picking Bathroom Sink Materials

The type of material you choose for your bathroom sink will not only influence how it looks, it will also determine its durability and the level of maintenance it requires. Take a look at some of the most common bathroom sink materials below to find out which is the best option for your bathroom:

Porcelain

Porcelain is the most traditional bathroom sink material. It has low moisture absorbency, is highly durable and very easy to clean – making it ideal for bathrooms with a lot of traffic. It is one of the more affordable sink materials and is available in a wide range of styles and colours. Unfortunately, porcelain is not the sturdiest of materials and over time can crack or chip.

Vitreous china

Made from clay-based ceramics, vitreous china is a luxurious sink material that is smooth, aesthetically pleasing and really easy to clean. It’s also one of the most durable materials, but can be easily chipped or cracked if struck by a heavy object. Available in a wide range of styles, shapes, colours and designs, they offer a lot of freedom for creativity in your bathroom and can make a strong visual statement in both contemporary and traditional suites.

Enamelled Cast Iron

Chip-resistant, affordable and easy to clean, enamelled cast iron sinks are a great option for busy bathrooms. Their thickness adds a unique design element to both contemporary and traditional bathroom suites, although installation can be more complex because cast iron can be quite heavy. This means cabinets will need extra support.

Cast Polymer

These types of sinks are made from polyester resin mixed with ground marble or granite and finished with a gel coating. They are highly durable, aesthetically pleasing and offer a sleek finish in any style of bathroom suite. Although the gel coating may crack over time, and the shine may also fade, cast polymer sinks are stain resistant.

Solid Surface

Made from acrylic or polyester resins, solid surface sinks come in a range of colours and designs and offer a highly durable and stain resistant material for any bathroom suite. As they are made from the same material as solid surface countertops, they can often be installed as a seamless, one-piece assembly. Although the material can be prone to scratches, with good maintenance, solid surface sinks can last a long time. They’re easy to clean and are particularly suited to busy bathrooms.

How to Pick the Best Bathroom Taps

Your choice of bathroom taps will significantly impact the look and feel of your sink and bath tub in your bathroom, so it’s important to make sure they are the right style and size for your chosen suite. If you’ve gone for a contemporary suite, for example, sleek, modern tap designs will be more appropriate, whilst more artistic, vintage-style faucets will be better suited to traditional bathrooms.

Probably the most important consideration is who will be using your bathroom. If yours is a family bathroom used by individuals of all ages and capabilities, taps that are simple in design and easy to use will be more beneficial. If the bathroom is more for show and will be used infrequently, exceptional quality taps of intricate design and fixtures will help to enhance the value and overall aesthetic appeal of your suite.

There’s also a wide selection of materials to choose from when picking the perfect taps for your bathroom. These include brass, shiny chrome, and stainless steel, as well as a range of finishes such as brushed, matte or satin. The quality of these will not only determine the durability and efficiency of your taps, but will affect the water flow, ease of cleaning and maintenance. In terms of aesthetic value, taps should have perfect symmetry and flat lines on the edges.

Bathroom Tap Designs

The following are some of the most common types of taps you can have installed in your bathroom:

  • Pillar basin/bath – These are a pair of taps providing water flow for hot and colder water. They’re cheap, easy to install and come in a range of both traditional and contemporary designs. Pilar basin and bath taps are really easy to use, so tend to be the best option for family bathrooms.
  • Mixer - If you have good water pressure, you have the option to install a mixer tap. These combine hot and cold water in the tap body and feature a single handle to regulate water flow and temperature. Mixer taps come in a range of contemporary and traditional designs.
  • Monobloc - For a more contemporary style of tap, Monobloc taps have a single lever that regulates the flow of water through a mixer tap. They have a clean, neat appearance and are great for ease of use.
  • Dual flow – This design provides a single stream of water, but keeps hot and cold water separate in the body. The dual flow tap is ideal if you want a mixer tap but do not have the water pressure to support a mix of hot and cold water supply.
  • Shower mixer – This style of tap is ideal if you want to be able to use a shower head in the bath, but do not want to pay out for extra plumbing or a shower pump. This mixer features a special mechanism that diverts water through the shower head and you can easily have this fitted on the wall above the bath.

Bathroom Tap Installation Tips

  • Make sure the tap size perfectly complements the size of your sink basin.
  • Check your water pressure so you can install taps that can cater to this.
  • Taps tend to be high or low-rise. The best design for you bathroom suite will depend on the type of sink you have and your personal preference.
  • Traditional taps are mounted on the sink or bath, but for more modern bathroom suites, having them placed behind the fixtures can create a clean, streamlined finish.

At KNB we supply a range of high quality bathroom fittings and fixtures in the Nottingham area. Whatever needs or style preferences, we can plan, design and install your dream bathroom so it perfectly meets, and surpasses your expectations. Find out more and book your free design and quotation on our Fitted Bathrooms page.