Sink Choices for Small Bathrooms
Sink choices for small bathrooms.
Synopsis: This article highlights the advantages of using stand-alone sinks, rather than one adjoined to a vanity cabinet, in small bathrooms. Pedestal, console, and wall-mounted sinks can free up a lot of space and make your bathroom feel bigger. Learn how to compensate for the lack of counter space without feeling compromised, and read our guidelines for placing wall-mounted storage accessories and utilities to maximize accessibility and style.
When choosing a sink for a small bathroom, you’re faced with a dizzying array of choices: self-rimming, undermount, bowl on top of a counter, pedestal. The list seems endless, and each type has its advantages. But all these sinks can be divided into two categories: those that stand alone, such as wall-mounted, pedestal, or console lavatories; and those that are part of a vanity cabinet. In spite of its integral storage, a vanity is not usually the best choice for a small bathroom.
Stand-alone sinks make small rooms bigger
Although many of my clients like the way pedestal, console, and wall-mounted sinks look, they’re concerned because these lavatories don’t provide any storage. But think about the kind of storage that a small vanity offers: Most of the cabinet is filled with drainpipes, supply lines, and the underside of the sink. The only available storage surrounds these sweaty, awkward invaders from above. There isn’t room for a shelf, so everything sits on the bottom of the cabinet. And typically, things get lost in the back.
Most items stored in a vanity are relatively small: shampoo, shaving cream, extra rolls of toilet paper, hair dryers. This paraphernalia can be stored more conveniently on shelves and in wall-mounted cabinets. A shallow storage cabinet that has been hung above the toilet or inset into an adjacent wall is more useful and space-efficient than a larger vanity cabinet. And the combined cost of a stand-alone lavatory and small storage cabinet is generally less than the total cost of a component sink, vanity cabinet, and countertop (especially if the countertop is made of stone or a solid-surface material). Wall-mounted toothbrush, tumbler, and soap holders also can be used with a stand-alone lavatory, making a vanity cabinet unnecessary.
When they are combined with the appropriate storage options, wall-mounted, pedestal, and console lavatories are excellent choices for use in small bathrooms. The open area below and around the sink makes the room feel less crowded, and the freedup wall space creates more room for hanging towel bars.
Well-placed accessories let small spaces work harder
For a small sink to work best, mirrors, shelves, and lighting need to be placed comfortably. To get the details right, it’s a good idea to make a scale drawing of the area. My example gives an idea of dimensions, but you should base the actual dimensions both on the fixtures that you are going to use and on the height of your family members.
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