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Tips for Renovating Your Bathroom: Luxury Sinks

News | 28th Aug 2012

Are you thinking about remodeling your bathroom? Are you worried about spending too much? One way to renew your bathroom without blowing your bank account is by simply replacing your sink. There are many things to consider, though, to ensure that you don’t break the bank.

General Considerations

First of all, forget about brand names. Tests by Consumer Reports show that a sink’s manufacturer is less important than the material from which the sink is made.

Second, as most bathroom sinks have mounting holes drilled for faucets, make sure to count the number of holes so that the hardware matches the number as well as the spacing of the holes. While you can install base plates to go over an extra hole, you should never try to drill additional holes to an already-installed sink or countertop.

Third, replace the sink and faucet together. Believe it or not, it’s easier to do them together because the spigot can be mounted in the sink or in the counter before the sink is installed.

Fourth, when buying the faucet, make sure it extends far enough into the sink so that any dripping doesn’t fall onto the counter. Also, avoid faucets that are too large for the sink, as this can cause excess splashing.

Materials

Study which material will work for your bathroom. Almost all have drawbacks as well as advantages, so think about your bathroom before you splash the cash.

  • Porcelain, of course, has been the traditional choice for decades. Also known as vitreous china, it chips easily, however, when sharp objects fall on it.
  • These days, stainless steel, normally found in kitchens, is becoming more popular. It’s strong and very damage-resistant.
  • Enamel sinks are a common material, but when damaged, they allow rusting of the metal underneath.
  • Solid surfacing look great, but can damage easily from things such as curling irons.
  • Acrylic also looks good – resembling enamel – but it’s even more less damage-resistant.
  • Tempered glass is, believe it or not, very strong. Though it resists drain cleaner and stain agents quite well, it’s still susceptible to sharp objects such as scissors or even nail clippers.

Types of Sinks

There’s a variety of sinks to choose from, so consider your bathroom size and dimensions before you choose. The following are common types of sinks:

  • Pedestal Sinks – For a smaller bathroom, pedestal sinks are often the choice for homeowners, especially if it’s a half bath or it feels crowded because of a vanity or some other reason. Pedestals come in a multitude of styles from the newest in sleek and modern styles to the traditional old-fashioned ones. However, don’t forget this: a pedestal sink will make a small bathroom seem larger or more open, but the drawback is that you lose storage space. There’s neither a cabinet below nor counter space above.
  • Top Sinks – Also known as drop-in or self-rimming sinks, these are lowered into the counter. The lips overlap the countertop, which some homeowners consider a negative. However, they work well with nearly any countertop material. They’re also fairly simple to install, which makes them ideal for smaller budgets. Two other drawbacks are that top-mounted sinks can take away from the look of a fancier countertop, and grime can accumulate around the sink lip.
  • Under Mounts – Instead of being lowered onto the counter, under-mounted sinks are put into place from below. Faucets are mounted on the wall or installed in the counter. Under-mounted sinks also look sleek and are easily cleaned up. They sit just below the counter surface, so water can be wiped directly from the countertop into the sink. Additionally, there’s no lip to catch dirt. However, there are drawbacks, most notably that under-mounted sinks are more expensive to buy and install. Because they’re lower than top-mounts, they may require you to bend slightly more, which may affect anyone with persistent back troubles. Finally, these sinks should not be mounted on a countertop that isn’t waterproof, which includes laminate or most woods.
  • Vessel Sinks – These are the latest trend, the lure being their stylishness, and they rest atop the counter. They come in glass, stainless steel, and more. It’s imperative to make sure that the faucet extends far enough into the sink to avoid dripping onto the counter. However, vessel sinks will probably require new faucets and other necessary changes, likely driving up costs.

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