Choosing an Undermount Bathroom Sink

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Mar 14, 2010 | Steve Graham

Undermount bathroom sinks are a major trend in bathroom remodels. They offer a clean, contemporary look, are easy to clean and come in a wide variety of materials and styles.

Before settling on an undermount bathroom sink, keep in mind that they can be difficult to install. If you are replacing the whole vanity or countertop, consider a one-piece unit that already has the sink attached. Choosing from the variety of colors and shapes is obviously a matter of personal preference. However, there are some important considerations when choosing between various materials.

Ceramic Undermount Bathroom Sinks

China and fireclay ceramic are the standard for bathroom sinks. Basic ceramic sinks are non-porous, durable, germ-resistant and relatively inexpensive. They can be painted and patterned, and formed into any shape. Of course, heavy objects may chip ceramic sinks.

Glass Undermount Bathroom Sinks

Glass is trendy, but it may be impractical for some homeowners. Glass needs to be wiped down after every use to avoid ugly water spots. Like ceramic, glass will not rust or stain. Be sure to pay extra for tempered glass, unless you plan to put a fragile, non-tempered sink in a sparsely used bathroom. Also keep in mind that even tempered glass can chip relatively easily.

Copper Undermount Bathroom Sinks

Copper sinks bring a classic, antique look to a bathroom, and they have a beautiful and distinctive texture. Copper also has a natural anti-bacterial quality. However, copper requires significant upkeep. It must be cleaned regularly, and it should be wiped dry after every use to avoid water spots and discoloration. Copper also changes color over time, so it is difficult to predict what the sink will look like in a few years.

Cast Iron Undermount Bathroom Sinks

Most cast iron sinks are basically damage-proof, and they are a great high-end option for the kitchen. However, they are heavy and difficult to install, and their industrial look may clash with your bathroom.

Stainless Steel Undermount Bathroom Sinks

Similarly, stainless steel is a great option for the kitchen, but may be less attractive in a bathroom. Steel sinks can be noisy, although newer sinks may be undercoated with sound-deadening finishes.

Stone Undermount Bathroom Sinks

Granite, soapstone and other stones can be carved into an undermount bathroom sink. They can be porous, and may trap germs and stains. Composite undermount bathroom sinks are rare, but they are available. They are typically less porous and can be formed into a wider variety of shapes. Most are made of quartz, granite or other stone mixed with acrylic binders. Like cast iron, stone sinks are heavy and expensive, and may be costly and complicated to install.

Undermount bathroom sinks are very popular, and they come in a wide range of styles and materials. Ceramic undermount bathroom sinks remain a versatile favorite, but other materials have benefits.

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