Bathroom sinks are called lavatories, and they offer an even wider variety of styles than kitchen sinks do. They are available in an infinite range of colors, patterns, styles, designs, heights, depths, widths, and materials. They can be pedestal style, wall hung, under-counter mount, above counter vessels, integrated, self-rimming, or freestanding.
They offer the greatest opportunity for personal expression of all plumbing fixtures. But as in the case of kitchen sinks, they must be drilled to match the faucet, so make sure you buy your faucet and sink at the same time and from the same source to make sure they are compatible. Always ask your salesperson to verify that they will go together.
Styles and Types
Sinks are offered in a variety of sizes and configurations. They come with one bowl, two bowls, or even three bowls in the case of kitchen sinks. They come with deep or shallow bowls, straight or sloped sidewalls, offset drains, under-counter mounts, tile edging, or self-rimming. They may be porcelain, glass, stainless steel, Corian, or cast iron. The may be white, or any color of the rainbow. They will fit a variety of faucet styles, but no sink will accommodate all faucets. Also remember that the most expensive models require the least maintenance.
Sinks and lavatories are available in many materials including vitreous china, enameled cast iron, fireclay, glass, stainless steel, brass, nickel, copper, marble, and both real and synthetic stone. Each has unique characteristics, both good and bad. Tubs and whirlpools are made of some of the same materials. Many are available in different configurations and styles, which are largely a matter of personal taste or space requirements.
Options to Consider
Most homeowners install different types of sinks and lavatories in different rooms. Guest baths and children's rooms are usually more Spartan in nature, while main hall powder rooms display dressier, if less practical fixtures.
The powder room is where you show off your artistic side. This is where people typically install above counter vessel sinks with designer, wall-mounted faucets, as well as ornately decorated toilets, cabinets and accessories.
If you want a vessel type lavatory, you must make this decision before construction begins, because the wall-mounted faucet pipes must be roughed in before the drywall is installed.
Likewise, pedestal sinks require specific placement of supply lines and drainage lines unlike vanities, which allow a certain amount of leeway, so they should be selected prior to construction.
When selecting a lavatory, be sure that it is compatible with your chosen bathroom faucet.
Lavatories/bathroom sinks are drilled for faucets with a distance of either 4" (centerset) or 8" - 12" (widespread) between the hot and cold faucet handles.
Centerset drilling accommodate most single-control faucets with escutcheons.
Many lavatories/bathroom sinks are also offered with centered single-hole drillings to accommodate single-hole faucets.
Some lavatories/bathroom sinks do not have faucet drillings and the faucet is mounted directly on the countertop or on the wall.