How To Choose Your Basin Wisely

If you’re in the market for a new bathroom basin, get excited, because this is a fun project to sink your teeth into. And, as something that’s likely to be used several times a day, you’ll want to be basin your decision on all the right functional factors too.

In all seriousness, the basin can make or break your bathroom look and usability. So, here is our advice on how to choose your basin wisely.

But first, an overview…

Bathroom basins come in a mind-boggling range of styles, shapes, sizes, colours and materials. At Tradelink, we summarise them into eight main styles:

Above counter/vessel         Under-counter/undermount         Self-rimming
Semi-recessed Semi-inset Wall-hung/wall-mounted
Pedestal All-in-one

If you haven’t already, check out our buying guide on bathroom basins for a rundown of what they are and the brief pros and cons of each.

5 key questions to answer before choosing your new bathroom basin

1. Where is your basin going and who will be using it?

A basin in a family bathroom may need to allow space for extra storage underneath, in which case above counter, self-rimming or semi-inset basins are a great choice. Whereas a basin in a powder room may not need any storage at all, so you could opt for a wall-hung or pedestal basin.

A couple’s or family’s bathroom may benefit from two basins, in which case you might consider a smaller basin to maximise space.

Children might appreciate a basin that’s easier to reach. This could rule out above counter basins that they have to stretch over. However, it might rule in a recessed basin, which is easier to get right up close to.

If the bathroom is used a lot, you might prefer a basin that’s easier to clean. Undermount basins are great because water and spills on the bench can be wiped up quickly and easily; however, some users find the silicone seal hard to clean. An all-in-one vanity with a moulded basin offers the same wipe-down convenience.

Finally, you might be tempted to splurge on a statement basin for your guest bathroom, but consider if you’re better off splurging for yourself on the basin you’ll use and love every day. With so many basins on offer, you can still find a beautiful budget-friendly basin for your showstopping guest bathroom.

2. What are you coordinating it with?

When you’re browsing basins and you absolutely fall in love with one like this gorgeous Fienza above counter dark grey basin you might be tempted to pop it straight into your virtual cart. However, if the rest of your house has a classic style, this bold piece may not necessarily be the wisest choice.

Consider the overall style of your bathroom or home before rushing into any decisions. If you’re after some style inspiration, have a look through our lifestyle blogs. We especially love Creating a soft, simple and stylish space and On-trend bathroom looks for 2022… and beyond !

If knowing the difference between transitional and contemporary isn’t really your style (so to speak), show your bathroom basin consultant pictures of the rest of your house so they can direct you towards the best fit.

Our tips are to match your colours and shapes rather than have a mishmash of squares and ovals. If possible, stick to the same manufacturer for pieces that will sit near each other as your white bathtub from one brand might be a disappointingly different shade of white to your basin from another. Also, try to buy your vanity, tapware and basin together to make sure they’re the perfect match.

3. What material do you want?

When it comes to materials, these are some of the key ones:

Ceramic, porcelain, acrylic, chinaThese are generally the most common, inexpensive and practical. They give a classic look and can be quite versatile so there is a wide range of shapes and colours. Ceramic is generally the easiest to clean. Porcelain may be a little less durable and more prone to chipping.

GlassGlass provides an endless range of shapes, styles, colours, patterns. It’s a very modern, designer look. Some people might be concerned that it would crack easily, or you could see the plumbing through it. With the right design and plumbing fixtures, this won’t be an issue. As for cracking or scratching, it may not be as durable as ceramic, but a quality product will still be safe and long-lasting.

ConcreteThis perfectly imperfect material offers you a truly unique basin design. Concrete can be made into any shape, but it’s colour and grain is almost impossible to replicate. One downside is that it is porous, so it needs to be sealed and maintained properly to prevent eroding over time. Having said that, you will still enjoy decades of use.

Marble, stone, terrazzoLike concrete, these materials each provide a signature style with exciting flair, especially their unique patterns and veins. They sit at the more premium end of the price scale, and marble in particular is porous and requires extra attention over time to make sure it stays stain-free and in good condition.

Stainless steel, brassThese offer a very sleek, standout look if you’re brave enough to try it. They are extremely durable.

Timber, bambooThese typically custom materials are gaining traction amongst commercial brands. They look good but have to be treated perfectly. If water gets through, bye bye bathroom sink!

4. How much space are you working with?

This is particularly relevant if you are upgrading or renovating. Gather the measurements for your vanity or vanity space – height as well as width and depth, and of course, the actual hole in your vanity. You’ll struggle to fit a round basin in a square hole. If you have your heart set on an above-counter basin, but there’s a giant hole where your inset basin once was, you could explore a semi-inset option, like the Raymor Alpha. Or, if your bathroom is already a little squishy, you might like a narrower vanity with a recessed basin.

5. What are your waste and tap configurations?

Measure the exact location of your wastewater pipe and taps. Your new basin will have to fit in front of, beside or under existing taps, and in line with existing waste, so make sure your new basin is not too far, too close, too big or too small.

If you’re up for it, you can always change your waste and tap configurations at a cost.

A wise Tradelink showroom consultant once said…

“Let me show you what we have…”

Our showrooms have a lot of basins on display and our showroom consultants are eager for you to see them. Checking out different basins in person is the best way to see how your favourite basin pairs with your favourite vanity and tapware (and we have heaps of them to show you too).

Feel free to browse our range online for an idea of what you like.

Then, find a store and come on in.

See you then!