Bathroom Sink Buying Guide

Published on: 07/04/2018 Last Updated: 27/08/2019
Bathroom Sink

Choosing a new wash basin can be a deceptively arduous task, given that there is now a multitude of styles to pick. When making your decision, you should look at the current design of your bathroom in order to pick something that will complement the style. A washbasin can either be made into a feature and be the centrepiece of your bathroom design, or it can be unassuming, allowing space for other features to govern the style of your space.

When choosing your perfect bathroom sink, it is, therefore, best to first consider the general design of your bathroom and whether the style is traditional, ultra-modern or transitional. Pedestal and counter top washbasins usually offer more of an old style, while wall-hung is usually more contemporary in design. It is important to think about the use of space as well, as this can affect the size of basin available to you. Making these decisions before you buy will help you navigate through the plethora of options that are available and narrow it down to something that is best suited to your style.

For example, a small en-suite, which is undergoing a redesign to fit in a larger shower enclosure, can commonly benefit from the installation of a corner basin, which makes access easier, despite the sometimes-reduced space.

Know the Materials Before you Buy:

Ceramic, porcelain and marble are some of the most popular materials, and each of these has unique benefits. Ceramic is a durable material that will stand the test of time. It is produced from moulded clay that is then fired in a kiln and is great for a simple, clean bathroom style or a traditional Victorian look. Ceramic is easy to care for, can be cleaned easily, and will not stain. Dust and other particles can settle easily on ceramic sinks, but it can easily be wiped with a wet cloth.

Porcelain is also made from ceramic within a kiln, but it comes in two different types - fine fire-clay, which is fired at a low temperature, and Vitreous China, which is fired at a very high temperature. Of the two, fine fireclay is a more porous material, and so the final basin product needs to be glazed to stop it from absorbing too much water. Porcelain can offer the best value for money as a material although higher-end, versions are also available.

Marble sinks might be considered the luxury option and are more expensive than ceramic or porcelain. They are usually made from a combination of marble fragments and resin and form a strong non-porous material, giving a multi-layered and natural look. Marble gives an extremely decadent style to any bathroom, perhaps offering more of a spa feel or it can suit minimalist or contemporary bathroom designs. Due to the strong nature of this material, it is not susceptible to scratches and is easy to clean.

Know the Types of Basins Available:

Cloakroom Wash Basins

Cloakroom Wash Basins

Counters and cabinets are an extra expense, they occupy more space than a simple basin, and space is often a critical consideration in the design of bathrooms. Fortunately, cloakroom basins are available in shapes and sizes to suit a variety of spatial constraints and are suitable for compact bathrooms. From corner units to narrow widths, there are many specialised options available. Check our range of Cloakroom Basins.

Countertop Basins

Countertop Basins

Countertop basin units are a great option if you do have a little more space available and you are looking for something that has both style and storage capacity. Countertop sinks can come in traditional or contemporary styles. The storage unit or cabinet on which they sit offers the perfect cover for piping work, and they usually have a monobloc tap. Having a cabinet under the sink can work well as a convenient storage space for towels and toiletries and keep the rest of your bathroom clutter-free. Counter-top also look very attractive, although may not be best for children who can find it hard to reach the taps.

In this case, you could opt for a set-in (inset) bowl that is buried within the counter surface. Counter tops will seamlessly blend with a wooden or natural themed bathroom or look great in a variety of modern settings, from a downstairs toilet to a modern family bathroom.

Basins with Stand

Basins with Stand

Washbasins with a stand offer an updated version of the classic style bathroom and are still popular for many reasons. They generally offer good value for money, are easy to install and are reliable. Although they can be viewed as the 'basic' option, there is still a huge range of choice and style that can be applied to their design. The basin section itself can be round or rectangular or even frilled whilst the stand is usually made of chrome or wood, making it easy to clean and maintain. Tap attachments can further enhance the look and pedestal sinks look great if you are going for that old English classic style with separate hot and cold taps. The stand gives a practical function to the space beneath the sink while maintaining a clean minimalist style. If you like the idea of a washbasin cupboard but do not want to add bulk to your bathroom, then the stand basin can be the solution. The stand often comes with a number of features that add functionality, such as a glass shelf for storing towels and other items, a rail to hang a hand towel from and even side hooks that serve multiple purposes.

Why Select Wall Hung Basins

Wall Hung Basins

Wall mounted wash basins usually offer very contemporary designs and save a great amount of space in the bathroom. They can either come with a semi-pedestal or a bottle trap underneath. These sinks are available in a variety of sizes and the smaller ones are appropriate for use in small toilets. Many larger wall-hung units now come in an attractive angular trough style. If you have a large space, it can feel very luxurious to have so much sink space. As space is freed up under a wall mounted basin, it is also possible to fit a towel bar underneath. This is very convenient for hanging towels and can also hide the piping out of view. Minimalist designs are ever popular and by adding a little dazzle of accessories, you can turn up your bathroom into an exquisite place.

Inset Basins

Inset Basins

These amazing basins are beautiful blends of impressive design and functionality. Available in shiny and glossy finish, these masterpieces make a splashy addition to your bathroom. Apart from the style of attachment, it is also necessary to consider the overall shape and design of the unit you choose. A sharp angular edge looks modern and can sit well with other sharp lines in the room such as the shower unit or a rectangular bath. However, if other features in the room have rounded corners, then a sink with curved lines for both the basin and base might be best. If you like to keep your bathroom fairly simple with pale colours on the walls and in other features, then it may not work to incorporate a dark and heavy looking marble sink, unless you are planning on redecorating or updating other features that can balance it out. Check our range of Inset Basins.

Glass Variants

Glass Variants

The glass basin boasts one of the most stunning contemporary looks available. There are two main types to be enjoyed. The first very much resembles a normal sink while other models are actually comprised of a large glass "bowl" accompanied by a separate tap. Nearly any colour imaginable can be chosen and manufacturers offer interesting options as mottled glass. For those who are looking to punctuate their room with a bespoke style, such wash basins are excellent to employ.

Accessories You Need to Consider

Many basins will come with complementary accessories; if they don’t then these are something that is worth considering. Taps, wastes, basin support and bottle traps can all change the overall style of your sink.


The amount you spend can vary considerably, and it depends on the style you are going for, your space availability and the materials you choose. It can make sense to make an investment in a good quality basin that will not chip, scratch or stain over time and, therefore, cost more money in the long run. Basic basins can be bought for under £100 if the expense is your primary concern, but generally, a good quality will cost around £150-£200. High-end products come with an average price range of £150-£300, with top of the range models costing up to £500.


Size and shape are not the only issues to consider in choosing a washbasin style; simple white porcelain designs are only the beginning. Today, it is possible to find units that fit into a limited space and complement the visual design, too. For a look that's chic and unique, choose a bowl-style basin crafted from an unusual material. For a minimalist modern look, try a washbasin in black or white with simple geometry and strong lines. Combine a stylish basin with the right taps, and the look will be complete.

Sarabeth Asaff

Reviewed By: Sarabeth Asaff
Sarabeth Asaff is a former kitchen and bathroom designer who now works as a home and garden industry writer and expert. She has a working knowledge of all areas of the home improvement industry, and specializes in functional design and material advice.

Posted by Kylie Wall

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