Who hasn’t walked into the bathroom of a fine dining establishment and fallen in love with its ultra-modern vessel sink? Vessel sinks are bowls that are mounted above a bathroom counter, providing a unique option to the standard under mount or drop-in sink. But is the vessel sink a better option than the under mount sink?
While the vessel sink is incredibly popular in the hospitality sector, it hasn’t garnered as much attention in residential applications. Why is this the case? Why do we admire the vessel sink in public, but choose not to use it in private? Of course as a designer I had delve into this debate. So I decided to compare vessel sinks to standard sinks in three categories: aesthetics, affordability, and universal applications to see who comes out on top.
Vessel sinks, which we naturally associate with zen or modern interiors, are now becoming acceptable even in traditional interiors. This is due in part to the fact that these sinks come in a variety of shapes and colors. From glass to porcelain to hammered copper bowls, the vessel sink offers lots of aesthetic options. No matter what material you choose, these sinks are sure to be a statement piece.
Meanwhile, the standard sink is generally found in a simple white, beige or black hue. When it comes to metallic, the standard sink can also be obtained in chrome, gold or copper. But let’s face it if I walk into a bathroom and the sink is pink, I am definitely going to start having heart palpitations. Vibrant colors and standard sinks are not a fad I want to reconnect with.
Point Goes to the Vessel Sink!
The price of a vessel sink can run the gamut from extremely expensive, to very affordable. However, since standard sinks still rein supreme in the residential category, they are often the less expensive option. In addition, if a builder is constructing your home, the builder will usually install standard sinks whereas vessel sinks would be a definite upgrade, if it’s possible to get them at all.
Point Goes to the Standard Sink!
Since vessel sinks can be up to six inches above the counter, they can feel much more comfortable to stand at than a standard sink. As a matter of fact, many people prefer the gentleman’s height vanities, which tend to be around 36” tall. That being said, vessel sinks are not as comfortable for shorter individuals, children, individuals with disabilities, or for aging in place.
Universally, standard sinks work well for the majority of people. Since they are under-mounted, standard sinks do not add any height to the counter resulting in higher levels of comfort for any individual who may need to use them.
Still, whether or not you need the additional height is a personal choice. For instance, I am almost six feet tall so I prefer vanities that are very high. However, if I was already preparing to age in place, I might be more inclined to get a lower vanity.
This one is a tie! (Because it’s all about personal preferences.)
As with most things in the world of interior design, there is no right or wrong when it comes to vessel sinks vs. standard sinks. The only winner is the one that works best for you and your family.