Today’s bathroom makeovers aren’t just about making the utilitarian room operate more efficiently but are about creating just the right a mood and atmosphere within the space as well. Creating an ideal bathroom environment requires a careful consideration of both the functionality and the aesthetics of each component in the room. This is particularly important in the choice of a vanity and sink, the most public feature in a bathroom. No single vanity and sink is ideal for every application. Every material and style has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Perhaps the best change in bathroom vanities over the last decade is a broader variety of size options. Taller heights and broader depths offer convenience and comfort. For bathroom suites, vanities that are large enough to fit two sinks are a good choice. For a powder room, a pedestal sink is an option that offers a lot of charm. Vanities are available with a wider range of functional options as well, including units with tilt-down drawers and slide-out trays.
Choices for countertop materials will be influenced by the way that the sink is mounted. Under-mounted sinks attach to the underside of the vanity top. Because this type of mounting leaves the edge of the counter exposed to moisture, they must be paired with countertop materials that are water-tight. Self-rimming sinks are dropped into a hole cut into the vanity top, with the rim of the sink resting on the countertop. Drop-in sinks are easier to install. Under-mounted sinks give a sleeker appearance.
Both vanities and sinks can be wall-mounted as well. While this requires a more complex installation process, they are attractive and space-saving options in small spaces. Faucets can also be installed on the wall, saving counter space.
With integral sinks, the sink and the countertop come fused together. Integral vanity tops are typically made either from natural stone products like cultured marble or quartz or from solid-surfacing materials made from polymers. Highly functional and easy to install, integral sinks are becoming available in a broader array of sizes, shapes and styles.
As a vessel sink sits atop the counter like an old-fashioned wash basin, choices for countertop materials are more extensive. Laminate counters are the most affordable choice and are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Laminate is impervious to water and easy to clean. Surfaces are subject to scratches and burns, however, and repairs usually involve replacing the entire vanity top. Granite remains a durable favorite for vessel-sink countertops. Granite may need to be resealed every few years to keep it resistant to water and stains.
Farmhouse sinks are becoming increasingly popular options for both bathrooms and kitchens. The sink is typically rectangular in shape, with the front of the sink left exposed. The sink is inset into the vanity and is typically mounted flush with the vanity top.
A bathroom’s vanity is not only the room’s most public feature but is the one that is used most often throughout the day. The right choice will set the tone for the entire room.
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