Upgrading to a vessel sink is fast becoming a popular choice for luxury and modern bathroom renovations. But installing a new vessel sink, while not more complicated that installing any other type of sink is more involved. While swapping out your sink is a great way to give your bathroom a fast facelift, upgrading to a vessel sink means you’re also going to have to replace your vanity top and faucet as well. So if you love the look but aren’t sure how to go about getting it, here are a few things you should consider before you take the plunge.
Vessel Sinks Are Shaped Differently Than Your Standard Sink
Vessel sinks obviously serve the same function as undermount or drop in sinks, but they tend to be more obviously bowl-shaped (like this beautiful Cascade Vessel from Barclay) and, most importantly, sit directly on top of your vanity instead of nesting inside or underneath your counter. That means that the hole you have for your current sink in your current bathroom vanity is way, way too big for a vessel sink to be a simple, easy swap. In fact, the opening in your counter should be just big enough to accommodate the sink drain, with the base of the sink sitting on the counter around it.
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Vessel Sink Faucets Are Different, Too
Not only is the hole for the sink in your current bathroom vanity too big for a vessel sink, chances are you also have too many holes for a vessel sink faucet. Because vessel sinks sit above the level of the counter, faucets that feed them have to be taller, too. A traditional three-hole installation would mean that you’d have to reach around and underneath your vessel sink every time you wanted to turn on the water, and as a result most vessel sink faucets are tall, post-style faucets with a single handle and a single-hole drilling like this Tower Vessel Faucet from Pegasus.
How Much Does Height Matter?
Replacing your vanity top is probably an issue that would come up pretty quickly in the process of installing a vessel sink whether you’d thought of it or not, but one issue you probably won’t realize until it’s too late is that the height of the sink itself can also be an issue. Vessel sinks, when installed, can rest a good 6 inches higher than a standard sink, and if you have a very tall bathroom vanity and happen to not be so tall yourself, it can make for some awkward angles when you’re washing your hands. So before you upgrade, double check to see just how tall the finished product will be, or look for a shallower sink like this Copper Glass Sink.
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How Are You Going To Install Your Faucet?
I mentioned that vessel sink faucets are shaped differently out of necessity, but they still come in a wide variety of shapes and styles, from unique matching waterfall-style faucets (more on this in a moment) to ultra-sleek modern and even surprisingly ornate vintage designs. But if you hate post-style sink faucets no matter how they’re packaged, another option for a vessel sink is to mount the faucet directly to your wall. Now, this requires a little more complicated construction and installation, but creates a sleek, finished look that works equally well for a modern or vintage design, and makes for an easier-to-clean counter top. I love this combination of Herbeau’s simple Powder Room Vessel and their Royale wall mounted faucet, but you could get a completely different look with a sleek chrome faucet and a glass sink.
Do You Want Your Faucet Made To Match?
The majority of vessel sink faucets are the post style or wall mounted versions I described above, but many glass vessel sinks are designed with gorgeous matching waterfall-style faucets made of the same type of glass and with a similar bowl-shape. Many vessel sinks come paired with specific faucets, but something like this Bronzed Glass Sink from Vigo Industries goes beyond simple pairing to true coordination, creating a unique, eye-catching, innovative design that truly integrates your faucet into your sink, but is anything but traditional.
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Is It Worth Buying A Package Set?
Since you’re going to have to buy a new faucet if you get a vessel sink anyway, it can make a lot of sense to look for a packaged set and buy the two together. But even so, I’d caution you to shop around a little, especially if you aren’t totally in love with the faucet that comes with the sink, or if you have a simple ceramic vessel sink you want to dress up with a decorative faucet. Typically you can find anything that comes as part of a set available separately as well, so you can be sure to get a look you’ll really love. That said, buying a faucet/sink combo can save you money, and should be a no-brainer if you plan on buying a faucet that matches your vessel sink. You might also want to consider combo sets if you’re looking to buy a metal sink – especially copper – because it can be difficult to match finishes across different brands or collections. Whatever kind of sink you buy, look for value in your package deals, and be sure to note what all is included. This Wired Rim Sink from Premier Copper, for example, can be purchased with a matching drain assembly, copper wax and cleaner, and a special colored silicone for a seamless installation.
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A vessel sink can be a beautiful part of a bathroom remodel, and a spectacular focal point for a bathroom of any size or style, but they don’t come without their own little trials, so be sure you know what you’re getting into before you buy! What do you like most about vessel sinks? Is there a type of material you prefer? What kind of vessel sink faucet appeals to you the most?
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