What Is a Vessel Sink and How Does It Enhance Bathroom Décor?

What Is a Vessel Sink?

A vessel sink is a type of sink that sits on top of a counter-top, rather than being recessed into it.

These sinks are typically higher than the counter-top’s surface and come in various styles, designs, and materials, including wood, glass, and copper.

They can have different basin shapes such as bowl, rectangular, square, or nearly flat.

Vessel sinks do not have overflow relief drains, and faucets for these sinks must be installed separately.

While vessel sinks can be a space-saving option for smaller bathrooms or powder rooms, they can also cause water splashing outside the basin, requiring more cleaning.

It is important to ensure proper installation and use high-quality materials to ensure durability.

Considering the pros and cons and consulting with an experienced custom home builder can help in making the right choice for your specific needs.

Key Points:

  • A vessel sink sits on top of a counter-top, rather than being recessed into it.
  • Vessel sinks come in various styles, designs, and materials.
  • They can have different basin shapes such as bowl, rectangular, square, or nearly flat.
  • Vessel sinks do not have overflow relief drains, and faucets must be installed separately.
  • Vessel sinks can be a space-saving option for smaller bathrooms, but may cause water splashing outside the basin.
  • Proper installation and high-quality materials are important for durability.

Did You Know?

1. Vessel sinks have been used for centuries in ancient civilizations like Egypt, Greece, and China. They were often made of precious materials such as gold, silver, and marble, and were considered a symbol of wealth and luxury.

2. Did you know that the term “vessel sink” comes from the Latin word “vasellum,” meaning small container? This name perfectly describes the sink’s design, as it resembles a small vessel or bowl placed on top of a countertop.

3. Vessel sinks can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, porcelain, stone, and even bamboo. Each material has its own unique characteristics, such as glass vessel sinks being easy to clean and stone vessel sinks adding a natural, rustic touch to any bathroom.

4. In Japan, vessel sinks are commonly used in traditional tea ceremonies. Known as “chawan,” these specially designed sinks are used to rinse tea utensils and represent purity and simplicity—a central theme in the Japanese tea ceremony.

5. One lesser-known advantage of vessel sinks is their flexibility when it comes to installation. Unlike traditional undermount or drop-in sinks, vessel sinks can be easily placed on any countertop or vanity, allowing for more creativity in bathroom design. This versatility makes vessel sinks a popular choice for those seeking a unique and personalized touch in their bathroom.

What Is A Vessel Sink?

A vessel sink is a contemporary style of sink that sits on top of a counter-top, instead of being dropped into it like traditional sinks. This distinct design adds a visually stunning element to any bathroom. Vessel sinks can either rest completely on the surface of the counter-top or be partially recessed, depending on the desired look and functionality. A key feature of vessel sinks is their elevated position, which allows them to be higher than the counter-top’s surface.

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A Unique and Versatile Style

Vessel sinks offer a wide range of options in terms of styles, designs, and materials. They can be contemporary or traditional, and there is something to suit everyone’s taste. Some of the materials used to create vessel sinks include wood, glass, and copper, which adds excitement and variety to the selection. In terms of shape, you can find classic bowl shapes as well as rectangular, square, or even nearly flat designs. The beauty of vessel sinks is that you have the freedom to choose one that complements the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. It’s no wonder that this style is becoming increasingly popular.

Different Styles And Materials Of Vessel Sinks

The beauty of vessel sinks lies in the endless options available when it comes to styles and materials. For a rustic and warm feel, a vessel sink made from wood can create a unique focal point in your bathroom. The natural grain patterns and textures of wood add a touch of nature to the space.

On the other hand, a vessel sink made from glass can provide a sleek and contemporary look, allowing the sink to become an artistic piece within the bathroom. The transparency of the glass also gives a sense of openness, making the room appear larger.

Copper vessel sinks offer a unique and eye-catching option. The warm tones and metallic sheen add a touch of elegance to any bathroom. The natural patina that develops over time creates a charming and antique look.

With the variety of styles and materials available, it’s easy to find a vessel sink that perfectly complements the overall design and theme of your bathroom.

  • Wood vessel sinks: rustic and warm feel, natural grain patterns and textures
  • Glass vessel sinks: sleek and contemporary look, artistic piece, creates a sense of openness
  • Copper vessel sinks: unique and eye-catching, warm tones, natural patina develops over time

Considerations for Sink Shape

When choosing a vessel sink, it is crucial to take into account the shape of the basin. The different shapes available offer distinct aesthetic appeals:

  1. Bowl-shaped sinks: These provide a classic and timeless look, exuding a sense of luxury.

  2. Rectangular sinks: Perfect for contemporary bathrooms, they offer a sleek and modern appearance.

  3. Square-shaped sinks: With a clean and geometric aesthetic, they can enhance any design style.

  4. Nearly flat sinks: Ideal for those who prefer a subtler look, these sinks provide a minimalistic and streamlined appeal, seamlessly fitting into any bathroom design.

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Consider the shape of the basin carefully to achieve the desired look for your bathroom.

Pros And Cons Of Vessel Sinks

Like any design choice, there are pros and cons to consider when it comes to vessel sinks.

One significant advantage of vessel sinks is their ability to free up space for storage in smaller bathrooms or powder rooms. By mounting the sink on top of the counter-top, you gain valuable under-sink storage space that would otherwise be occupied by a traditional sink basin. Additionally, the elevated position of a vessel sink offers a more comfortable experience, as there is no need to bend over when using the sink.

However, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. Vessel sinks have a tendency to splash more water outside the basin compared to traditional sinks. This can lead to more frequent cleaning and maintenance to keep the surrounding areas dry and hygienic. Another consideration is that vessel sinks may be less durable if not installed properly or made of lower-quality materials. It is crucial to carefully choose a reputable manufacturer or consult with an experienced custom home builder to ensure your vessel sink is of high quality and installed correctly.

Installation And Maintenance Of Vessel Sinks

The installation process for vessel sinks differs from traditional sinks. A vessel sink requires a separate faucet installation, as it does not come with built-in faucet holes like traditional sinks. This means that the faucet must be mounted directly onto the counter-top or wall. It is recommended to consult with a plumber or experienced professional to ensure proper installation.

Maintenance for a vessel sink is similar to that of any other sink. Regular cleaning and wiping down the sink surface are necessary to prevent the accumulation of dirt, grime, and water spots. Taking care to dry the surrounding counter-top area after each use can help minimize the splashing of water. It is also advisable to avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners that may damage the material of the sink.

  • To ensure proper installation, consult with a plumber or experienced professional.
  • Regular cleaning and wiping down the sink surface are necessary.
  • Dry the surrounding counter-top area after each use to minimize splashing.
  • Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners.

Consult An Expert Before Choosing A Sink

When considering the installation of a vessel sink, it is important to weigh the pros and cons associated with it, as well as the available styles and the overall design of the bathroom. Consulting with an experienced custom home builder or interior designer can be valuable in making the right choice. Their expertise will help you select the appropriate material, shape, and design that will enhance the overall aesthetic of your bathroom and also consider functionality and practicality.

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Vessel sinks offer a unique and stylish alternative to traditional sinks. Their elevated position, varied designs, and materials contribute to enhancing bathroom décor. These sinks also have advantages such as space-saving and an attractive appearance. However, it is important to keep in mind certain considerations, such as potential splashing and the need for proper installation.

To ensure a successful installation, consulting with professionals and carefully weighing your options is crucial. By doing so, you can make an informed decision and create a stunning bathroom space with the addition of a vessel sink.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the point of a vessel sink?

The main point of a vessel sink is to provide a more comfortable and convenient experience. By sitting above the counter or slightly recessed, they offer a higher position, which can alleviate strain on the back and allow for easier use. Additionally, vessel sinks offer flexibility in terms of installation, making it simpler to swap or change them in the future if desired. This ability to easily update the sink can provide a refreshing change in style or function without extensive remodeling or inconvenience.

What is the difference between vessel sink and undermount sink?

The main difference between a vessel sink and an undermount sink is their positioning and installation. A vessel sink is placed on top of the counter, creating a striking and prominent visual element. The water flows directly into the basin, creating a distinctive and dramatic effect. On the contrary, an undermount sink is installed underneath the counter, resulting in a seamless and streamlined appearance. The top edge of the sink is flush with the counter, providing a more subtle and integrated look.

Do vessel sinks need a special drain?

Yes, vessel sinks typically require a special drain. If your sink does not have an overflow, you will need a drain without overflow functionality. The standard drains for sinks with overflow, such as pop up or grid drains, are typically too long for the thickness of a vessel sink. Additionally, grid drains may pose an issue with their small holes, potentially causing drainage problems. Therefore, it is essential to choose a specifically designed drain that matches the specifications of your vessel sink to ensure efficient and effective drainage.

Are vessel sinks comfortable?

Not only are vessel sinks comfortable due to their raised height, but they also add a touch of elegance and modernity to any bathroom. The unique design and variety of shapes available for vessel sinks make them a stylish and functional choice for those seeking a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing sink option.

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