The Pros and Cons of Vessel Sinks

March 28, 2019

Vessel sinks are essentially a bowl-type sink that looks like it is sitting on top of a counter. This unique sink is a popular choice for bathroom vanities and homeowners who want to add an interesting look to their bathroom design. As with any type of sink or other options for your home, there are pros and cons to consider. If you’re not sure whether a vessel sink is right for your custom home, take a look at these pros and cons of vessel sinks to help you decide:

What is a Vessel Sink?

Originally called a “bowl sink”, the vessel sink is a type of free-standing sink that is mounted to sit directly on top of a surface. Instead of more traditional drop-in sinks that are mounted into a countertop or underneath it, the vessel sink sits above the surface and is not installed into it in order to create an elevated basin.

They gained mass popularity in the late 2000s and come in a variety of materials. Although ceramic and glass tend to be the most common materials used for vessel sinks, there are other options available including marble, natural stone, concrete, copper, stainless steel, wood, and more.

Pros and Cons of Vessel Sinks

Here are some pros and cons of vessel sinks to help you decide if this is the right type of sink for your bathroom:

4 Pros of Vessel Sinks

Vessel sinks can provide several benefits to any bathroom and can be a great fit for a powder room. Here are just a few pros of vessel sinks to consider:

1. Vessel Sinks are Stylish

Vessel sinks are stylish and can upgrade the overall look and feel of a bathroom. They add an interesting and high-end element to your bathroom design. Because they come in a variety of materials, they can fit in with almost any type of bathroom decor.

2. They are Versatile and Customizable

The most common type of vessel sink is bowl-shaped, but they are available in other shapes as well. You can find vessel sinks in boxy rectangles, rectangles with flared edges, nature-inspired shapes, and even creative, swooping sculptures. There are also a ton of different materials available from glass and ceramic to stone, copper, and more.

You can also play with the depth of the sink by going with a deep bowl or more of a broad, shallow dip. All of these elements allow you to end up with a vessel sink that works for you and complements the rest of your bathroom.

3. Vessel Sinks can be More Comfortable

When building a custom home, you can work with your designer to determine a good height for your bathroom’s vanity and vessel sink. Because a vessel sink rises a few to several inches above the countertop, it can end up being more ergonomic and comfortable to use. Plus, they can be installed to sit above the counter or slightly recessed into the countertop.

Aside from potentially more comfortable use, vessel sinks can also be easier to swap or change out than undermount sinks if you find yourself wanting a change down the road. An undermount sink is generally wedged, glued, and sealed underneath the countertop, which can be difficult to change if you want to try a different material. Because vessel sinks require less surface area of the countertop for installation, they can be swapped out relatively easier.

4. They Can Help Free up Space for Storage

Because they sit above the counter, vessel sinks can help free up space for storage, especially in smaller bathrooms or powder rooms. A potential downside to powder rooms, which are typically much smaller than a full bath, is the lack of storage. Although a powder room doesn’t need to house the accumulation of toiletries, makeup, and first-aid supplies found in a master bath, it will still need adequate storage for enough essentials and amenities to make your guests feel comfortable.

Vessel sinks can help solve plenty of powder room storage issues. Traditional sinks, which are nestled into and dip below the countertop, eat away at storage space below the sink. Vessel sinks, which reside solely above the countertop, free up much-needed space that can then be filled with other items.

3 Cons of Vessel Sinks

There are some potential drawbacks to vessel sinks as well. Here are a few cons of vessel sinks:

1. Vessel Sinks May Splash More

With their above-the-counter bowl shape, vessel sinks can be more prone to splashing water back up at you and also outside the basin onto the surrounding counter. Getting the right combination of bowl shape, bowl depth, and faucet as well as faucet height, reach, and placement can go a long way in minimizing splashing. You can also choose a faucet with an aerator, which will help create a non-splashing water stream and makes it a great pairing for vessel sinks.

2. They May Require Extra Cleaning

Vessel sinks may require a little bit of extra effort when it comes to cleaning. Not only do you have the countertop surface to clean, but you also have the interior and the exterior of the sink basin to clean.

Also, some materials, like glass, may show water spots and dirt more obviously than other materials, so may need to be wiped down more often. Plus, you’ll need to clean the tight space between the base of the sink and the countertop. Using a long, thin brush or wedging a cleaning rag to reach this space can help make cleaning that area easier.

3. Vessel Sinks can be Less Durable.

The durability and stability of your vessel sink depend a lot on the quality of the installation and type of sink material. An above-the-counter installation with a taller vessel sink may have stability issues over time, especially in a home with younger children who may put unnecessary weight on the edges of the sink. A recessed installation where the sink base is set partially into the countertop can help bolster its stability.

Some sink materials are more durable than others. It’s important to consider this with a vessel sink because so much of the basin is exposed and will take on a lot of wear and tear. Because the edge of the sink is exposed, some sink styles and materials could be prone to cracking, chipping, or other damage over time. For a vessel sink made of hardier materials, like concrete or copper, this is not as much of a concern.

When it comes to items that will receive a high amount of use and suffer a lot of wear and tear, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right options for your custom home. There are many types of sinks to choose from, but looking at the pros and cons of each option can help you make the right choice for your home.

Partnering with an experienced custom home builder can help you evaluate all of the options for every room in your custom home to ensure you end up with the home of your dreams. If you’re ready to bring your dream home to life, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!