Here is a buying guide mentioning all the factors you must check for before buying a washbasin for your home.
1. Types of Wash Basins
Washbasins are available in various types and models. You can choose a model that suits your style and the interior of the house the best.
Full Pedestal Basin:
A full pedestal washbasin features a basin that is connected to a tall and slender base. This pedestal present below the sink reaches all the way to the floor of the bathroom and hence, it hides all the pipe works and prevents it from looking messy. As the basin is mounted on the wall, the pedestal does not take the entire weight of the washbasin.
A full pedestal washbasin is helpful in concealing the pipework of the basin that goes to the floor. However, if the pipework of the washbasin goes directly to the wall, you can check for a wall-mounted basin or a semi-pedestal basin.
Semi Pedestal Washbasin:
Semi-pedestal washbasins are basically hung on the wall. However, they still feature a pedestal below them. The length of the pedestal is shorter than that of a full pedestal basin though and it does not reach the floor. The advantage of buying a semi-pedestal washbasin is it hides all the pipework or plumbing with very few fittings set on the floor. Thus, it makes the entire room or bathroom look more spacious.
Wall Mounted Washbasin:
Unlike a pedestal or a semi-pedestal washbasin, a wall-mounted washbasin is a space-saving option that looks great too. Wall-mounted washbasins are available in different shapes and designs. Most of these designs are made keeping space-saving features in the mind.
Another advantage of buying a wall-mounted basin is you can get it fixed at any height. It is an important feature if you want to install a smaller washbasin at a lower height so that the kids can use it easily. To give your house a smarter look, you can opt for a metallic bottle trap and similar pipework below the sink.
Semi Recessed Basin:
A semi-recessed washbasin is half or partly sunk to the bathroom counter or its vanity cabinet structure. Hence, only the rim of the washbasin is visible to the users as it protrudes out the cabinet or counter line. The entire pipework is hidden either below the counter or inside the cabinet.
It is the most common type of washbasin that is installed in most of the bathrooms where the sink is sitting in or on the countertop. This design of a countertop washbasin is basically a part of a vanity unit along with cabinetry. These models allow for sizable surface around the basin and cabinetry. They provide good elbow room and storage room. Different models included in this category are as follows:
2. Drop-in or Self-rimming Washbasin:
These models are called as drop-in or self-rimming basins because the sink is generally lowered to the counter with its lip overlapping the countertop. They can be used with any countertop material. These types of sinks are easy to install and are available at affordable prices. Hence, if you are tight on budget, you can look for washbasins of this model. The only disadvantage here is that a top-mounted sink can detract you from the entire look of the countertop. Also, the grime can start building up around the lip of the washbasin.
3. Under-mount Washbasin:
An under-mount sink is a traditional type of basin. Not many users prefer buying this type of model. It is mostly available as a part of the vanity unit. Rather than sitting above the countertop line, an under-mount washbasin sits below it and thus provides a continuity between the basin and the countertop.
4. Vessel Sinks:
Most users prefer buying these models of washbasins as they look stylish over the countertop. These basins are made using glass, stainless steel, and other materials. While buying a vessel sink, make sure that the faucet is extending well over the sink to prevent water from dripping over the counter. Also, one pointer that you must remember is these sinks might require new faucets and some other minor changes which might actually add to the total cost of the sink.
5. Corner Sink:
Corner sinks can turn out to be a space saver, especially in smaller bathrooms. You can see how small you want the unit to be. However, washing face in a very small sink can be a bit messy. To give your bathroom a good finish, you can give preference to a metal bottle trap over a plastic one.
6. Console Washbasin:
A console washbasin is a popular model and is preferred by many users. It looks similar to a traditional console table that is often found in a hallway or in an entry.
It is basically a wall-mount sink with legs (mostly two legs, but it sometimes contains four legs too). It provides decent counter space along with decent shelving below the sink.
The material that is used to make a washbasin plays a crucial role in determining the durability of the sink if you are using it on a daily basis. While some materials are sturdier than others, some materials come with a set of disadvantages too. Here are some materials that you can check for.
Acrylic washbasins are made using plastic, resin, and fiberglass. Acrylic is considered as an attractive and cost-effective material. It is available in multiple colors and designs. As acrylic sinks are light in weight, they can be installed easily with any counter material.
Since acrylic washbasins are made using a single and solid material, there are high chances of moderate scratches that can either be sanded or polished out. These materials are resistant to rust and staining. However, one thing that you should be careful of is heat. You must never leave a hair straightener or curling iron or any hot item on or near an acrylic sink as it might start melting. Apart from this, they are decent and tough.
Stone is another common material that is used to make washbasins. These models of washbasins are quite trending these days. The ones made using marble stone are considered as luxurious options. Talking about the price, these sinks are on a higher side than the ceramic sinks. However, they are durable too.
Stone sinks often look classy and are mostly carved using a single piece of stone. If you are an art-lover, you might prefer buying these models of washbasins. Each block of stone features a distinctive trait such as minor pits, color variations, veining, or flecks of different minerals like silver, gold, or copper,
Sinks made using natural stone are available in different colors offering varying characteristics. While some models of sinks are shaped and polished completely, others are left like that with unfinished features to provide dramatic contrast.
- Vitreous China and Ceramic:
Vitreous China and ceramic washbasins feature a smooth and glossy surface. These types of washbasins are durable and stain resistant. They are easy to clean as well. Even though the material is quite durable, it can get chipped off or cracked if you are hitting it with a heavy object.
- Cast Iron:
Cast iron washbasins are made using solid cast iron that is coated with enamel. These types of sinks are available in multiple colors are very easy to clean. Its enamel surface might get chipped if hit with a heavy object. Due to chipping, the cast iron will get exposed to water. This can lead to rusting.
- Stainless Steel:
Stainless steel is considered as the most durable material used to make a washbasin. It can handle almost anything and won’t get damaged even it is stuck with a heavy object. It neither chips off nor cracks down. The only disadvantage of the stainless steel material is it shows up water spots that are caused due to hard water. The surface can get scratched too. Hence, it is suggested to not use any rough or abrasive material to clean the sink.
Glass washbasins are also gaining immense popularity these days. They feature a minimalist design that can blend well with the modern interior of the bathroom. There are some innovative models available too that feature irregular shapes as the glass can be molded and designed to any form. The price of a glass washbasin depends on the type of glass that is used to make it.
Contrary to the ceramic and stainless steel washbasins, the surface of the glass washbasins doesn’t get scratched easily. However, the breaking point can be an issue of concern here. Depending on its thickness, if the glass washbasin is exposed to any type of thermal shock, it can crack down easily. Even if you are dropping a heavy object accidentally over the sink, it might lead to cracks o breakage easily. Hence, you should be very careful.
- Solid Surface:
Solid surface washbasins are made using similar material that are used to make the solid surface countertops. Some common materials that they mimic are marble and granite. These sinks are easy to clean and they feature a durable surface. Hence, they are safe to use if there are kids at your home. The chances of chipping or scratching are high with solid surface sinks. However, these minor damages can be replenished easily using non-abrasive products.
There is no standard size as such for a washbasin. You can select a size depending on the space available in your bathroom.
- A round washbasin generally measures about 16 to 20 inches in diameter.
- Rectangular washbasins are generally 19 to 24 inches wide with a depth of 5 to 8 inches (distance between the top of the basin till the drain. The front to the back of the sink measures about 16 to 23 inches.
- For pedestal and console-style washbasins, the height is about 29 to 36 inches.
Before buying a washbasin, make sure you are taking the measurements correctly and ensure that its outside dimensions will fit properly in the space allocated.
Washbasins are designed in different shapes such as round, rectangular, oval, and sometimes asymmetrical too. Some models are designed specially to fit to the corners. You might also find a few stand-alone models of washbasins too.
Different models of washbasins are designed to be mounted or installed in a certain way. For example, you cannot mount a countertop model of washbasin to a wall. Hence, you should also check the style of fitting it requires before buying a washbasin.
Additional Features to Consider Before Buying a Wash Basin
Apart from the type, style, shape, and materials, there are some additional features that you must consider while buying a new washbasin. They are as follows:
The most popular colors that you will find in the market are white, beige, and copper. However, you will also find washbasins in multiple colors and finishes such as blue, green, gray, metallic, or nickel. You can select one that matches the interior of the bathroom.
12. Faucet Hole Options:
The size or the shape of the washbasin should work well with the faucet that you have selected. Most of the sinks are pre-drilled with 1 to 3 faucet holes so that you can install either a single-handle faucet or a model with different handles for hot and cold water. A single-handle faucet usually requires a single-hole sink. Some single-handle faucets units come with escutcheon plates that can work with three-hole sinks as well.
Centerset faucets fit in the sinks have holes that are placed 4 inches apart. For widespread faucets, the holes in the sink should be about 8 to 16 inches apart. Some models of washbasins don’t have faucet holes at all. Such models are designed for faucets that can be mounted either above the sink on the wall or behind the sink on the countertop. The same goes for vessel sinks and a few under-mount models of washbasins.
13. Water Conservation:
Some models of the modern vessel sink and faucets offer water conservation benefits. The flow rate can be controlled here so that you use water efficiently.
14. Wall Type:
If you are buying a wall-hung washbasin, you should check what type of wall you are fitting it to. As many users tend to bend or lean over the sink while using it, the fitting of the sink should be secure.
You will not face any issues with a wall made using brickwork, masonry, or blockwork. You must be careful if you are installing the sink to a stud work wall though. If you are not sure about the type of wall, knock it once. If it is sounding hollow, it means that it is a stud work wall.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I clean the washbasin?
You can clean the washbasin depending on the material it is made up of.
- Stainless steel/Porcelain:
To remove hard water stains, toothpaste residue, hair, and build-up of soap scum, you can use a solution of baking soda and water. Coat the surface of the sink with this solution and rub it using a soft cloth or sponge to remove all the residues. To remove any leftover baking soda, you can use a solution of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1:1 ratio. Take some paper towels, dip them in this mixture, let them stay there for 2-3 minutes, remove, and clean off using lukewarm water and mild dish soap. The same method can be used to remove stains from cast iron basins.
- Cast Iron/Copper/Stone:
Use only non-abrasive cleaners like a mild dish soap along with warm water. Wipe off the surface with a soft cloth and pat dry.
For everyday cleaning, you can use non-abrasive cleaners. If there are tough stains, fill the sink with warm water, add one cup of chlorine to it and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Take a soft sponge and scrub against the stains. Drain the sink and wipe it off using a dry cloth.
2. Why do bathroom washbasins often feature an overflow?
Overflows prevent the sink from overflowing when it is filled with water. An overflow drain also allows air to flow in the main drain to make the drainage process easy and quick.
There is no fixed price as such for a washbasin. It is up to the user how much he/she wants to spend on it based on choice and requirement.
There is no harm in using non-ceramic sinks. They are manufactured in such a way that they are long-lasting and meet the usage requirements.
There are several styles available that hide the plumbing work. You can buy that specific design. The cabinet washbasin is perfect for you in that case.
There are soft marble chemicals in the market so that you can pour it on the surface and use a scrubber to clean. Also, you use warm water and a soft cloth to clean the washbasin.
No, washbasins are meant for multipurpose washing tasks like washing hands and face, washing small cloths like handkerchiefs or hand towels, etc. However, some models are purpose-specific. So, it’s better to understand the purpose of each washbasin model before finalizing it.