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Stone, Granite, Ceramic and Glass Bathroom Vessel Sinks

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Vessel bathroom sinks from white porcelain, decorative ceramic, natural stone, granite, onyx, transparent and colored glass, copper and stainless steel from $65 to several hundred – that’s what Home Walk In Showers is about this week. Why? Because vessel sink designs are not only one of the newest bathroom decorating trends, but a preferred basin style in modern wet rooms, also incorporated in bathrooms with the latest open walk in showers.

What’s so special about a vessel design vs. a regular sink?

Perhaps the biggest difference is how the washbasin or lavatory is displayed as a singular work of art rather than just a functional washing area built into a modular cabinet unit or hidden flush with the level of a countertop. For example, stone vessel sinks are often a feature of a wet room that has stone floors and an open concept with a rustic natural SPA feel because the entire basin, often chiseled from a solid block of stone, will sit like a sculpture above counter level. Also a clear or colored glass vessel will rest on a vanity or pedestal or counter to add artistic continuity to a shower area that may be separated from the rest of the bathroom only by panels of glass and no walls or solid doors. Some ceramic and copper vessel designs may rest on sculpted pedestals, antique cabinets, wrought iron stands or rustic Spanish stucco counters to give an old-world or exotic flair to a room. In essence, the sinks that sit on top of a counter, vanity or pedestal are a more stylish choice no mater if the overall concept is classic white porcelain, retro glass, ultra modern chic, rustic stucco or Moorish/Turkish bathhouse style with colorful mosaic accents – it’s about bathroom elegance.

Choosing A Vessel Sink For Your Bathroom

Rustic bathroom designs are well suited to incorporate antique farmhouse copper vessel sink designs that accent wood or stone walls, terracotta floors and even unfinished pine cabinets. In the bathroom, it’s possible to choose a much more decorative design than you might if looking for a copper basin for a kitchen. There are small round styles that can rest on a pedestal, slab of stone, or be built into specific vessel sink vanities that match the basin.

Copper Sinks Online have a selection of such basins and ideas for installation and cabinets that allow for the rustically artistic display of such wash areas. Choose something like the tortoise medium round copper sink design and pay as little as $99.

For more decorative designs, that come in a variety of finishes and colors, you can choose a 16 gauge copper basin, select a matching drain style, and customize the finish and outer lip motif, for around $145. You can also choose matching tile to place on the wall or around the countertop in patterns and motifs identical to those found on the sinks, and in similar rich rustic copper colors, dark browns, earthy sienna and metallic hues with country-style or antique finishes. All copper tiles are hammered by hand by the same artisans who create the gorgeous sinks.

If you have an antique bathroom theme, but not a rustic or country design, then it may be better to go with a classic ceramic white vessel sink set in an antique vanity, or go with an Asian design like those in the Zen Porcher vessel sinks collection that retail for under $275 and are perhaps the most uniquely shaped products available.

When choosing such unusual basins, please remember that you will require a special size vanity or table and perhaps even special vessel sink faucet styles to accommodate placement in odd areas or from unusual angles.

Another thing you need to keep in mind before deciding to go with a “no-cabinet” or an open concept style is that the tubing and bottle trap will be visible and therefore you need to budget a little extra for more decorative piping. If you go with the Porcher models, you will be able to order tubing in finishes to match the theme of your room, like polished or brushed chrome, black iron and brushed bronze or nickel.

One of the most expensive aspects of deciding upon a unique basin instead of a regular one is not the porcelain, glass or stone bowl itself but the special vessel sink vanity that you may need to accommodate the unusual size or shape. Some of the matching designs sold as packages may cost you an extra $500 to over $800, even for simple wooden tables with holes in the right places. However, here is one suggestion: American Standard has a reasonably priced walnut vanity unit that is made for vessels and is just as elegant as the $800 ones but costs just under $250. It’s the kind of design that will work well with a minimalist Zen or Asian theme, a simple modern glass vessel sink style or even an antique or rustic bowl in sculpted porcelain or copper.

When you’re designing a standard bathroom with a ceramic or porcelain toilet, sink, tile shower area and regular faucets or taps, you usually make every attempt to have all the fixtures and faucets match. However, when designing a space with vessel bathroom sinks, it’s totally the opposite. The basin or bowl will be a focal point, a piece of art so to speak, and therefore it is unnecessary, in fact preferable, if the sink is not part of a matching set so that it stands out on its own. This allows you the freedom to select a bowl, basin or vessel from an artist or manufacturer without it conflicting with your other fixture choices. This is especially useful when renovating a bathroom. It’s easier than ever to renovate by adding a washing area, new mirror, small pedestal and a fancy faucet while keeping the other fixtures as they are. That’s why the uniquely innovative Kohler vessel sinks that are glass, porcelain and even china, in odd plate styles and strange bowl shapes, can be used in bathrooms that may not necessarily have another piece that matches or is even similar.

Although the high quality Kohler products tend to be expensive, it’s possible to save by purchasing their products online through dealers who offer discounts that are not available in the stores. However most designs are still between $250 and $600…..and the plate style glass vessel sink that has been featured recently, even with discounts, costs around $345 – $370 at it’s cheapest.

Two Dramatically Different Granite Vessel Sink Choices

If you think granite is granite and a sink is a sink, then you need to have a look at the very different styles of granite bowls you can select – the high polished, ultra smooth, pearl granite finishes are sleek and contemporary, especially in black or slate grey, while the natural granite is rugged and polished only on the inside of the bowl.

The cost is between $400 and $500 when purchased through places like the Eden Home and Plumbing Group who have an online shop with bathroom fixtures and supplies including one of the most comprehensive selection of vessels you will find online.

Tall Slender Faucets

Choosing the vessel sink faucet design is almost as much of a challenge as selecting the bowl, the vanity or counter and all the other accents combined. Why? Because the faucets, in most cases, will be mounted on top of a counter, pedestal or vanity in a way very different from how regular sink faucets are installed. They will have to be much taller or longer or angled in such a way as to reach over the bowl. They also tend to be more expensive – between $180 to $250 for a modern chrome or antique bronze style that is a slender one piece model. Antique and Victorian styles are usually between $300 and $450.

It’s obvious why the vessel sink design is not the most affordable lavatory solution. That said, if you can get a slender chrome faucet on sale at your local hardware shop, choose a handmade bowl in ceramic or copper, and place it on a simple stucco or tiled counter, you can create a design that is unique and somewhat affordable even if you’re renovating or building a bathroom on a budget. Try getting your bowl at a flee market or second hand shop that has antiques, and if the bowl is the old Victorian style without a drain, you can cut a hole very carefully using a ceramic drill bit.