Monday, April 16, 2012

Design Tips: Vessel Sinks!

Where did you see one first? You know, those lovely bowls that look like someone just set them onto the bathroom counter. A show house? A fancy new restaurant? Your trendy neighbor who’s first with everything? The expensive section of a plumbing fixture showroom?

Vessel sinks are hot. And, fun! And, not necessarily expensive. Because they are so interesting, you can go with whatever you like, and not worry about the style of the rest of your bathroom. Or your house. Just your taste.

Go crazy with red or copper tones. Square, round, shell shapes, rectangles, anything. Glass, metal, hand crafted ceramic, wood, stone, antique cookware or farmer buckets, you name it. Even, white!

According to the article “Vessel Sinks: Bathroom Style to Spare” that appears on Kohler’s website, just because your toilet and tub are white, you definitely don’t need to match a vessel sink to other fixtures. But you can if you want to.

Some other things to consider:

Function. Since the prettiest and most interesting finishes for a vessel sink are generally not very durable, unique vessel sinks will be happiest in a lightly used bathroom, such as a guest bath or a powder room. And… clean gently!

But if you like the vessel style for a heavily used bath, stick to traditional sink-like finishes, such as enamel over cast iron or porcelain. Kohler has a wonderful selection of interesting shapes in basic white finishes that will take whatever your kids can dish out.

Counter height. Since you’ll be reaching over a higher rim, you’ll probably want a lower counter. With a standard bathroom sink, I usually like to make the surface of counters between 34 and 36 inches, in fitting with people’s preferences these days. (Most kitchens are 36 inches high.) Counters in older houses may be as low as 30-32 inches.

If you’re remodeling and getting a new vanity cabinet, make it low. Keep the rim of the vessel sink in the 34-36 inch range, unless you’re short or have a strong preference for lower.

Bonus! If you’re just updating an old

-fashioned bathroom with a low counter, you might be in luck with all the math working out! Anything goes if you’re getting a new countertop, otherwise, your options may be dictated by the shape of the hole left by the old sink. You’ll still need plenty of support for the new vessel sink, and room for the appropriate faucet. Talk to a licensed contractor or plumber if you’re not absolutely sure.

Faucets! As many options as there are for vessel sinks, there are at least that many options for faucets. Except that most standard ones probably will not work for you. You’ll need something taller or wall mounted.

You’ll need to consider the height of the vessel bowl. Too high, and the water will splash all over the place. Too low, and you won’t be able to get your hands under it to wash up. The neck of the faucet should allow the water stream to reach the center of the bowl, or you may have splashing problems. Again, consult with a licensed contractor or plumber. Specialized plumbing showrooms such as Ferguson and Chown also have helpful staff who might be able to


Until next time!

-Elaine Bothe

Photos courtesy of Kohler, Stone Forest and Duravit.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


Anonymous Bathroom Sinks said...


Vessel sinks come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you are remodeling your bathroom and want to create your own concrete vessel sink, it’s a fairly simple process. Vessel sinks provoke many emotions, not only from homeowners but from industry professionals such as designers, contractors, and bathroom remodelers. Thank you.

May 3, 2012 at 11:31 PM  

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