Vessel Sink Home Improvement

by Jane VanOsdol on March 11, 2011

If injecting a bit of style into your bathroom is on your home improvement to-do list this year, chances are you may be considering installing a vessel sink. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of switching from a typical drop-in sink to a vessel sink.

First of all, just in case you’re confused by the term, a vessel sink is a sink that sits on top of the bathroom counter, rather than being mounted into the counter, like most sinks have been in the past. They can, however, be installed in two different ways. You can have them installed to sit directly on top of the counter, or you can have them recessed to rest about halfway down the bowl. They are only used in bathrooms, their design not being practical for kitchen use.  As far as pricing goes, vessel sinks tend to be more expensive than their undermount or drop-in counterparts, with the very cheapest one starting at about $100. Most of the prices range from $235 up to $1200. (That price does not include the faucet.)

Pros of Vessel Sinks

  • Undeniably, the biggest advantage of vessel sinks is their wow factor.  Vessel sinks make for a stunning, stylish display in any bathroom. Their sleek design and choice of materials is unmatched in standard sinks. You can purchase a vessel sink in a wide variety of materials:  fired ceramic, glass, stainless steel, stones such as marble and granite, and copper.
  • Vessel sinks are fairly easy to install for a bathroom remodel project. You don’t have to worry about expensive and difficult sink cut-outs. A vessel sink only requires one hole cut for the drain pipe.
  • The installation of a vessel sink allows it to be changed out fairly easily. If after a few years you decide you want a different look, you can replace your vessel sink with another model.
  • Vessel sinks do give you a little more countertop space to work with than what you have with a typical drop-in sink.

Cons of Vessel Sinks

  • Some designers consider vessel sinks to be a fad and think they won’t be around for long. Others disagree. Ultimately, the decision rests with your preferences and style.
  • Because the edges of the sink are exposed, they are prone to chipping and breakage. You need to be careful about bumping or hitting the sink with objects.
  • Since a vessel sink is secured to the vanity at only one point, it is not as stable as a drop-in sink, although recessing it can help increase its stability.
  • It’s been reported that the area where the sink and the counter meet can be hard to clean. Water and dirt tend to get stuck there.
  • Vessel sinks don’t come with overflow relief drains like under mount sinks do.

Finally, realize that a vessel sink may not work on a standard size countertop. The countertop may be too tall. Carefully check your dimensions. And, a vessel sink also requires a faucet that is tall enough to accommodate for the height of the bowl.

Ultimately, you can decide if the esthetics of a vessel sink outweighs any potential problems. While you may not want to install one in the kids’ bathroom, a vessel sink could be a glamorous addition for a guest bathroom or master bathroom remodeling project.

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