"Sink shapes include round, oval, rectangle and asymmetrical. Some are specially designed to fit into corners while others work better out in the open. 

  • Deeper sinks minimize the chances of water splashing out.

  • Choose the largest sink you have room for to maximize available space.

In smaller bathrooms, powder rooms or guest bathrooms, pedestal, vessel and wall-hung sinks provide style without taking up a lot of floor space. 
Because they do not provide storage, however, they may not work well in large or frequently used bathrooms. 
Vessel sinks, also called countertop sinks, sit directly on a counter and make a bold design statement. Faucets are often wall-mounted above a vessel sink. 
Wall-hung sinks are economical, easy to install and can easily accommodate wheelchairs.


Most sinks are available in a wide range of materials, though some styles, such as under-mounted sinks, can only be made from certain materials. Commonly used sink materials include cast polymer, copper, enameled cast iron, enameled steel, glass and stone.

Sink materials

Cast polymer

  • Polyester resin mixed with ground marble and finished with a gel coating

  • Includes cultured marble, cultured granite and cultured onyx

  • Extremely durable

  • Gel coating may eventually crack or shine may fade


  • Made from acrylic resins and ground minerals

  • Color is solid throughout sink

  • Tough and durable

  • Higher upfront cost

  • Requires nonabrasive cleaners to prevent scratches

Copper/ bronze

  • Very durable

  • High upfront cost

  • Acquires a warm patina with age

  • Requires nonabrasive cleaners

Enameled cast iron

  • Thickness provides a substantive look

  • Easy to clean

  • Available in many rich colors

  • Chip-resistant

  • Heavy weight; may require extra counter support

Enameled steel

  • Made by spraying enamel on die-cast sheet metal and firing at high temperatures

  • Resembles cast iron

  • Lightweight

  • Slim edge profile

  • Susceptible to flexing that can result in cracks or chips in the finish


  • Comprised of thick, tempered glass

  • Won't shatter

  • May show water spots

  • Ideal for countertop sinks

  • Requires nonabrasive cleaners


  • Made with acrylic and/or polyester resins baked into sheets

  • Resin provides flexibility while polyester provides dramatic coloring

  • Stain-resistant

  • Can withstand heavy use

  • Requires installation by an authorized dealer to maintain warranty

Stainless steel

  • Quality varies according to thickness, or gauge, and nickel content

  • The thicker the gauge and greater the concentration of nickel, the better the quality and higher the expense

  • Easy to clean

  • Thicker steel (18 gauge) resists water spots and dents

  • Thinner steel is more economical but may dent or show scratches more easily


  • Marble, granite, soapstone and onyx are commonly used

  • May also be cultured stone, a mixture of crushed stone and plastic resins

  • Highly durable

  • Heavy; under-mounted and wall-mounted units may require extra support

  • Requires periodic resealing

Vitreous china

  • A pottery product made of clay fired at high temperatures

  • Often features a decorative pattern

  • Easy to clean

  • Low moisture absorption inhibits mildew growth

  • Resists discoloration and corrosion

  • May chip when struck by heavy objects


  • Typical species used include oak, birth, mahogany, teak and maple

  • Natural resins are extracted and replaced with artificial ones, after which wood is sealed with layers of epoxy

  • Expensive

  • Should be cleaned and wiped down after every use

  • Features intricate construction

  • Wax periodically to ensure durability


Choose from features such as painted motifs and etching to personalize your bathroom sink to match your décor.

  • If you choose to install a wall-mount sink and don’t like how the pipes look, use a shroud to cover them and provide a stylish look.

  • Hand-painted designs may add some cost, but they provide a unique, exquisite look. Designs range from simple and classic to modern and intricate. You can even find animals and cartoon characters for sinks being installed in children’s bathrooms.

  • Glass sinks with etched bottoms are less likely to show water spots.

  • Console sinks are a sort of hybrid of a pedestal sink and a vanity. They feature a large basin and two to four table-like legs. Some models include storage space below for added utility."