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Choosing a Bathroom Vanity & Sink

Get expert advice on choosing a bathroom vanity and sink that work well together.

When it comes to outfitting your bathroom with the perfect vanity and sink combination, the possible configurations can seem overwhelming. Use the following expert advice to help.

There are three primary types of sinks that are paired with a vanity:

Vanity-top sinks are installed in three ways: 1. Drop-in sinks drop into a hole slightly smaller than the sink's rim and rest on the countertop surface. 2. Undermount sinks attach below the counter surface. 3. Integral sinks are made from the same material as the countertop.

Console sinks merge the function of a vanity with furniture styling. Wood or metal legs form an air base for a countertop.

Above-counter or vessel sinks bring a sculptural presence to the vanity. If you opt for an above-counter sink, you might need a shorter vanity or console because the sink will be above the countertop rather than level with it.

What to Consider

When matching a sink and vanity, keep the following factors in mind:

Bathroom type. One of the biggest factors driving your vanity and sink selection is how the bathroom will be used. Countertop and storage space is in high demand in master and family bathrooms. "For these baths, I typically use undermount sinks. This allows for maximum countertop space and doesn't draw attention to the sink," says Karen Kassen, a certified master kitchen and bath designer (CMKBD) with Kitchens Unlimited in Memphis. Kassen recommends being more creative in powder rooms, where storage and countertop space is not as necessary. "This gives us an opportunity to use open vanities or console pieces or maybe even a piece of furniture as a vanity," she says. "In these cases, I love using a vessel sink or a sink that can be just as much a focal point as the vanity it is in."

Vanity depth. A typical vanity is 21 inches deep, but that number can vary. Make sure the sink you select allows enough space for the faucet. "Sometimes we will step out the sink base cabinet of a vanity to allow for a bigger sink or larger faucet," Kassen says. "Another solution is to do a wall-mount faucet, but many times this adds cost."

Design style. Kassen often recommends an oval sink for a traditional vanity and a rectangular or square sink for a contemporary or transitional vanity. Richard Landon, a CMKBD with Richard Landon Design in Bellevue, Washington, suggests choosing a sink that connects to the vanity in at least one of the following ways: shape, color, texture, and pattern. "The more different the sink and vanity styles are from each other, the more important it is you have something that connects them," Landon says. "Start with one connection and build on that."

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