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Bathroom Ideas: Choosing Glass, Ceramic or Stone Vessel Sinks

Jun 8, 2008
If you want to change the design of your existing bathroom, a simple way to transform the look is by adding a new vanity. Installing a vessel sink vanity can instantly change the look from traditional to contemporary.

The two most important decisions to make when installing a vessel sink are the material and the faucet type.

Vessel sinks are made from many materials, including natural stone (granite, travertine, onyx, etc), glass, ceramic, metal and even wood. Here are a few things to consider:

Stone
Natural stone can include travertine, onyx, granite, and marble. Stone vessels are considered more traditional, and are very heavy in weight. They are the most expensive of the material choices. Natural stone does require more care than the other choices, as it is a porous material and can require routine sealing to prevent water stains. The benefit of stone is that nature's beauty is difficult to reproduce. If you like a natural look, this is the best alternative.

Glass
Tempered glass is moderate in both price and weight. There are many color and sizes to choose from. Glass is considered a contemporary look. And glass is virtually maintenance free - you can use a standard glass cleaner or mild soap and water.

Porcelain
Porcelain sinks are the lowest cost and maintenance of all the material choices. Porcelain is considered a more traditional look. Porcelain has a high resistance to heat, and comes in many unique colors and patterns.

Metals
Vessel sinks can be made from copper, bronze, nickel or brass. They tend to be higher in price due to the higher cost of metal. Metal is not easily maintained and may result in a corroded finish depending on the use and the quality. This is generally considered a better alternative for a decorative feature in a bar rather than a highly utilized vanity in a bathroom.

The next decision is the faucet. You can have a top mount faucet, where the faucet comes up out of the cabinet (like a traditional sink) but the stem is longer to allow the spout to reach over the top of the vessel. This is needed if you choose to mount your vessel on the top of the counter. Another alternative is to have the faucet mounted to the wall. This does require special plumbing though and may only be an alternative if you will have open walls during your remodel. If you are not completely gutting the project, a top mounted faucet is the cheaper alternative.

Another option is to mount your vessel partly recessed, so a portion of the bowl is under mount, and a portion is above the counter top. In this case, you need to make sure your faucet stem will be tall enough to pour into the bowl, but not too tall that the water splashes all over. The advantage to this is that there are standard faucets that can be used with this application, but it also requires a precisely cut hole in the counter top to ensure a proper fit of the countersunk vessel.
About the Author
Julia Ritzenthaler is Owner of boutique online furniture stores, http://www.UniqueVanities.com, http://www.UniqeMirrorsOnline.com, & http://www.UniqueLightFixture.com. For more information about unique bathroom vanity ideas, visit us online or email us with your questions at uniquevanities@msn.com.
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