Page 8 - Ultimate Kitchen & Bath Planning Guide
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Sink Styles & Vanities
These basins are much more than utilitarian pieces—they can create an elegant focal point and set the tone for the bath’s overall design.
1. VANITY-TOP SINKS are among the most budget- friendly. Round, oval, or square bowls of porcelain, glass, ceramic, or metal can be installed in three ways:
1. Drop-in, or self-rimming, sinks simply drop into a hole slightly smaller than the sink’s rim and rest on the countertop surface. The slightly raised rim helps capture splashes. 2. Undermount sinks attach below the counter surface, which is usually made of stone, quartz, or solid-surface material. The sink’s edges—and those of the surrounding countertop—must be  nished perfectly for a neat, tidy look and easy cleanup. 3. Integral sinks are made from the same material as the countertop. Professional installers  nish the seam to be invisible.
2. CONSOLE SINKS merge the function of a vanity with furniture styling. Wood or metal legs form an airy base for a coun- tertop of wood, glass, or stone. If you don’t like the look of exposed plumbing pipes, choose a console with shelves to hold stacked towels, baskets, or trays.
3. PEDESTAL SINKS bring vintage character to the bath- room. These sinks occupy less space than boxy vanities, which offer more storage. Choose a model with a wide deck or a towel rail to amplify storage space. Opt for a model with a more streamlined design for an updated take on classic style.
4. ABOVE-COUNTER or VESSEL SINKS bring a sculptural presence to the vanity area. These statement sinks come in many shapes and are available in glass, ceramic, wood, or metal. The raised bowls can mean less bending and greater comfort for adults, but may be dif cult for children or people with disabilities to use. With the outside of the bowl exposed, you have more surface area to clean. If you opt for an above-counter sink, you may need
a shorter vanity or console and a taller or wall-mount faucet. As a compromise, recess the sink partially so only some of its exterior shows above the countertop.
5. WALL-MOUNT SINKS are a boon to cramped quarters. They can be installed at any height, with open space beneath for wheelchair access or free-standing storage. Most wall-mounts are porcelain, but you can use hefty brackets to support a countertop with a drop-in or vessel-style basin (be sure the brackets can bear the weight).
Vitreous china is inexpensive and cleans easily, but it can chip. Stone and porcelain-enameled cast iron are durable, but heavy. Fiberglass-reinforced plastic is lightweight, but it can show wear. Cast polymer and cultured marble may chip. Brushed or satin- nish stainless steel hides water spots. Glass must be tempered for safety.
Exotic woods, specialty  nishes, and milled details can bring a furniture look to the vanity area and upgrade your bath’s overall style. Remember the decorative im‐ pact of knobs and pulls. Use this cabinet jewelry to dress up a simple style or emphasize a design theme. Match your faucet  nish or not—it’s up to you.

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