Basins - The Ultimate Buying Guide
When you’re renovating your bathroom, finding the right basin is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind. Whereas at one time, there were limited options to pick from, these days there are plenty of different bathroom sinks on the market to suit all kinds of preferences, styles, and needs.
In fact, there’s some confusion about whether the correct term is bathroom sink or bathroom basin. Technically, if it’s located in a bathroom, it should be called a basin – but for the purposes of this article, you can give it whichever name you prefer!
In this ultimate buying guide, we take a closer look at the different types of basins out there, and some of the considerations you should bear in mind when you’re ready to choose the best option for your home.
The different types of basin
There are many different types of basin to choose from these days, some of the most popular choices include:
- Full pedestal basins – Full pedestal basins are the traditional basin that comes to mind when imagining a bathroom. They come in many styles so there is a model to suit every bathroom. Although the basin appears to entirely be supported by the pedestal, in fact, it’s mounted onto the wall and primarily, the pedestal is there to hide the unsightly pipework.
- Semi pedestal basins – A semi pedestal basin is entirely mounted on the wall since the pedestal is just half of the size of a full one, only covering the pipework beneath the basin. These basins are just as elegant as a pedestal basin but take up less valuable bathroom floor space.
- Wall hung – Fixed onto a wall, this basin type has nothing to cover the pipework below so most people choose a decorative bottle trap to accompany it for a more stylish look. Often, wall hung basins are more modern in style than pedestal basins.
- Semi recessed – Semi recessed basins are partly fitted into a worktop or vanity unit, leaving just the front part or rim of the basin visible and the pipework hidden inside the unit.
- Counter top basins and vessels – these basins sit on a worktop or vanity unit and almost appear to be an entirely separate bowl which could be moved. The look is luxurious, modern, and designer, making it a popular choice for contemporary bathrooms.
- Corner basins – corner basins sit neatly in the corner of the room, saving valuable floor space which is crucial in small cloakrooms or ensuites.
- Inset basins – an inset basin is also known as an undercounter basin which comes with a vanity unit. Rather than sitting above the countertop, it sits beneath it, giving a sleek and uninterrupted line between the basin and the worktop.
- Console basins – these period-style basins are similar to a countertop basin but instead of being paired with a vanity unit, they come with a frame below that may be made of metal or wood. It may or may not have shelving below for additional storage.
What do I need to consider when buying a basin?
Some of the top considerations when purchasing the right basin for your bathroom include:
- Size – there is an enormous variety of basin sizes to pick from, ranging all the way from just 300mm in width to 1200mm in width. You need to consider which size will work best in your room and the amount of space you’re going to need. If you have a very compact bathroom, you will benefit from choosing a smaller basin so that you can maximise your floor space and fit in all the fixtures and fittings you require.
Don’t forget, while you’re measuring your available basin space, to take into account the depth of the basin too from the back to front. You don’t want the basin to stick out too far into the room as it may get in the way of the door, toilet, or other furnishings. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to have a large bathroom, you have a world of options to select from.
You may even want to go for a pair of basins in “his and hers” style with a large vanity unit to give yourself even more washing space and storage.
- Style – with so many different basin styles to pick from, it isn’t always easy to find the right one to suit your home, but style is always going to be a consideration. You’ll probably want the basin to coordinate with the rest of your bathroom fixtures, and it should complement the theme of your room, whether modern or traditional.
There are plenty of different options that will work in both contemporary designer-style bathrooms and in classic period-style homes. Basins also come in both square and round shapes, so you should consider which one will work best in your available space and will best complement your shower, toilet, and bathtub.
- Taps – many people don’t realise that there is choice of how many holes your basin can have. You can choose from 1, 2, or 3 holes, and you need to choose the option that works best. You can even find basins that have no holes for use with wall mounted taps.
You’ll need to consider the type of tap you’re going to choose and where you’ll be mounting it so you can make the right selection. The most popular choice is the one hole basin.
- What will it be used for? – you should consider who will be using the basin most, and how frequently it will be in use. If you’re installing it in the main family bathroom, you should choose a style and shape that can easily be cleaned.
If it will regularly be used by someone in a wheelchair or below average height, a wall mounted basin may be best so you can fit it at the most appropriate height. If you’re choosing a basin for an infrequently used bathroom, you may want to choose something more ornate as you won’t need to clean it so frequently.
- Do you want storage space? – bathrooms often lack sufficient storage space for accessories and towels. If you need more space in your bathroom, a vanity unit could be your best option, with the basin sitting on a cupboard.
A wall hung basin may also be a good alternative as it gives extra space beneath it where you could store items. A pedestal basin is the least space-friendly option as the pedestal will take up valuable floor space in your room.
- Is it a replacement or a re-design? – if you’re entirely redesigning your bathroom, you have a lot more freedom of choice when it comes to selecting a new basin. However, if you’re replacing your existing basin, it’s usually best to choose one in the same style and size for speed and convenience.
- Do you want it to match other products? – many people prefer to choose a basin that matches their toilet, shower, or bathtub, and therefore opt for a model from the same range.
How high should a basin be?
The height of a basin will usually depend on the preference or needs of the user. Typically, a basin is mounted with its rim between 800mm and 850mm high, but a wall mounted basin will give you more flexibility if you need a higher or lower basin.
Do basins come with a waste?
Basins do not normally come with a waste as the waste typically comes with the tap. The reason for this is because the waste is designed to go with the specific type of tap that you have chosen. However, it’s always worthwhile to consider the type of waste you’re going to need.
There are two types of basin waste:
A slotted basin waste – this type suits basins that have overflows where the overflow water runs through the slot.
An unslotted basin waste – this type is used for basins that don’t have overflows.
It’s essential to choose the right type of waste to go with your basin as otherwise it won’t fit.
How long will a basin last?
Basins are typically durable and long-lasting. For example, a ceramic basin should have a lifespan of at least twenty years. There are, however, some other materials that are used to make basins that have a shorter lifespan. These include solid surface materials which have a more designer look but a less durable finish which has a negative effect on how long they will last.
Now that you have all of the above information, you can start to make a purchasing decision for your bathroom basin. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or modern, a large sink for your family bathroom, or a small corner unit for your compact cloakroom, or whether you need a vanity with plenty of integrated storage, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for in our extensive range of attractive and practical bathroom basins. We have a broad spectrum of styles that are sure to suit any taste and any budget.