Bathroom Sink 101: Choosing the Right Material

Written by Josh McDermott

bathroom sink materials St. Louis MOBathroom sinks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Did you know they also come in a pretty big range of materials, too?

From simple functional bowls to an elegant bronze statement piece, your bathroom sink’s material can affect its maintenance, durability, and, of course, style.

If you’re getting ready to remodel one or more of your home’s bathrooms, here’s a guide to understanding the benefits of different materials available for your bathroom sinks.

Sink Materials

Traditional bathroom sinks are made from vitreous china and enameled cast iron. Durable and sturdy, they’re also pretty darn heavy. But these dependable materials are built to last, which may explain why you see so many outdated ones when you’re buying an older home. Why replace what works just fine?

Other popular materials include stainless steel, stone, tempered glass, solid surface, and acrylic. Each material has its own unique characteristics:

  • China and enameled sinks are available in a beautiful array of colors.
  • Glass sinks in vivid colors, smoky whites, or blacks show off textured and swirled surfaces.
  • Copper, stainless steel, and bronze sinks feature a variety of finishes including rustic hand-hammered textures.
  • Acrylic sinks can be a fun and fabulous neon-colored addition to contemporary baths.

Now, the details.

Ceramic Sinks

With their extremely strong surface and resistance to scratching and chipping, ceramic sinks are designed to withstand the onslaught of everyday use. A completely sealed surface that dirt cannot penetrate makes cleaning a breeze.

Porcelain Sinks

Highly durable, porcelain is made of the hardest clay, yet one of its biggest assets is its soft- looking appearance. It cleans easily, making it a perfect choice for family bathrooms.

In older homes, you’ll find sinks that have a ceramic coating over a base of cast iron. The modern approach is to have a stainless steel base that the porcelain is fused to. Glass and metals mixed in with the clay do give it additional strength, but porcelain is still sensitive to stains and chips. White is most common, but porcelain does come in a wide range of colors.

Stone Sinks

bathroom sink materials St. Louis MO

Carved from granite, marble, travertine, sandstone, onyx, and green jade, stone sinks are individual works of art that make an incredible impression when you enter the room. Veining and minor pits are distinctive traits that make each sink entirely unique.

Stone sinks are porous and need special care, including regular sealing. Mineral deposits like iron, salt, soap, or lime that are not wiped away can affect the stone’s surface. A stone sink is probably not the best choice for a bathroom that sees a high volume of traffic, but they can be stunning in a less-used powder room.

Stainless Steel and other Metal Sinks

Seen more frequently in kitchens, stainless steel is a great bathroom option as well. It resists germs and bacteria, is resistant to rust and staining, and is extremely durable. Proper care is necessary to prevent scratches or scuff marks; avoiding harsh cleansers helps. A plus is that minor scratches can be removed with a kit designed for that purpose. If you live in a community with hard water, spotting can also be a problem. Other popular metal options include copper and satin, white, weathered, or polished bronze.

Wood Sinks

bathroom sink materials St. Louis MO

The most popular wood sinks are made from teak, a versatile hardwood prized for its beauty and strength. Thanks to its moisture-resistant characteristics, it’s a terrific option that creates a warm and inviting environment. Teak is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and fungi and is easy to clean. Bamboo is also used to make wood sinks and is a great choice for eco-friendly applications. Keep in mind that as all types of wood darken with age, you can expect the color of your sink to change a bit.

Resin Sinks

bathroom sink materials St. Louis MO

Super easy to clean and incredibly durable, resin sinks are made of a poly-resin blend that many times resembles stone. They often come in very fun colors and unique designs, adding a beautiful pop of color to an otherwise neutral room.

Glass Sinks

Tempered glass sinks are a beautiful option for any bath and are ideal for countertop sinks. Clean-up? Any non-abrasive cleanser will do. Though tempered glass is extremely strong, it can break if dropped, but it doesn’t shatter like regular glass. Instead, it breaks into small, cube-shaped pieces with no jagged edges, reducing the risk of injury.

Learn More

One final note: while most sinks are available in a wide variety of materials some styles, such as undermount sinks, can only be made from specific materials.

To learn more about choosing the right bathroom sink material for your upcoming remodel, why not schedule a consultation with us today? We look forward to meeting with you!

For Josh, it’s always been about relationships. As J.T. McDermott’s 2nd generation owner, he believes nothing matters more than the enduring friendships that are built with the homeowners he serves. “If I can help both our clients grow and the team grow, everything else will take care of itself.”

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