Intuition tells most homeowners it is a simple matter to find the perfect sink for a small bathroom remodel. Not too long ago, this was true. But today, there is an array of possibilities. There is great variety in sink materials, installation styles, colors, shapes, and even hardware (or fittings and faucets). All of these factors will determine the suitability of a particular sink for your small bathroom remodel.
The sink you choose for your small bathroom remodel and the specific place you position it in the room will define a great deal of what else you can do in a small space. A new sink for your remodeled bath can cost as little as $100 or somewhat over $1,000. It is usually a good idea to decide how much you can afford to spend on a sink and decide on the major design features and style of your bathroom before you shop for a sink. This will help you stay on track when you see some of the trendy or flashy styles that are available. Keep in mind also that many stores display only the most popular styles and colors in their showrooms. It will probably be worth your time to ask about other options and to check online stores and manufacturers.
Materials: Most sinks are made of enamel, porcelain or china over cast iron or steel. These materials have been used for a very long time. Their durability and ability to resist stains and mildew have made them extremely popular. They are available in almost any color imaginable and any installation style. As bathroom design and décor has become more important in recent years, sinks are now produced in a wide variety of materials, including solid surface materials, acrylics, glass, metals, concrete, cultured stone and genuine stone. Consider who will use the sink when you decide on the material, because stone and concrete will be relatively high maintenance and need sealing and regular re-sealing and glass and metals can scratch easily.
Installation: Your decision to include or not include a vanity in your remodeled small bathroom will narrow your sink installation options.
If you are not using a vanity, your sink will probably be a free-standing or a wall-mounted style. These sinks use very little space, making them ideal for a small bathroom. They are also highly preferred in bathrooms fitted for accessibility. Whether they rest on a pedestal or attach to the wall, the plumbing will be visible (considered a downside by some). They also offer no storage space. In addition to actually requiring less space, these models make your bathroom appear larger.
If you are including a vanity, you might choose the smoothness and sleek continuity of a solid surface vanity top and sink. This is one continuous piece that includes the sink. This style is also possible with stone (granite, marble), cultured stone and concrete. Stone and concrete will require sealing and resealing. These sinks tend to be shallow as compared to some other styles.
Drop-in sinks have a rim that overlaps the edge of the countertop. These are inexpensive and easy to install, making them a great choice for the do-it-yourselfer. Look for a style that has some depth to limit splashing on the surrounding area of the countertop.
Under-mounted sinks attach to the underside of the countertop. These are very popular because they create a smooth surface that takes full advantage of every inch of surface space. This style of installation, however, limits your countertop choices to a material that is completely waterproof (no standard laminate or wood and no natural stone or concrete unless it is carefully sealed).
Countertop installation has become very popular in recent years, although this trend is beginning to wane. This type of installation uses specialty styles of bowls which sit atop a counter or piece of furniture. These styles tend to be costly and installation can also be expensive.
Current trends in bathroom design have focused on exotic materials, unusual shapes, vivid colors, and attempts to use furniture for vanities and cabinets. Small bathroom dimensions will probably prevent you from using furniture, unless you have been able to find a very small antique piece that can serve as your countertop.
Special considerations for small bathroom remodeling: One of the most important considerations in small bathroom design and decoration is maximizing space. This tends to suggest wall-mounted or pedestal sinks or very small and open vanities or surrounds for the sink. Color, shape and material will be largely determined by your style and design and your budget. Remember that lighter colors tend to make rooms look larger, as do vertical stripes. Think carefully also about what you want to be the focal point in the room – the sink, the shower, the tub surround, etc
To create the perfect small bathroom remodel, take the time to shop broadly for the sink. Consider how the bathroom will be used (guest bath, children’s bathroom) in choosing the material of your sink. In designing your small bathroom, consider first and foremost the type of installation and the position of your sink to leave maximum floor space and create the impression of spaciousness in the room. No matter what your decorating style or your budget, you can find the perfect sink for a small bathroom remodel.
Copyright 2010 by Dan Fritschen