Choosing a new sink style is just one of the many decisions you’ll have to make when renovating. When looking at modern bathroom sinks you’ll want fixtures that support a cohesive, contemporary look. Picking a sink isn’t difficult when you know what to watch out for. Here’s a guide to the most popular contemporary looks, so you can find a design you love.
Undermounts vs. top-mount sinks
Understanding the different types of sinks available can help you choose the right one for your bathroom. Coral Nafie at The Spruce says picking the style and mount are the first most important steps. Undermount and top-mount sinks are the two main sink design styles you’ll consider during your renovation.
Top-mount sinks, also known as drop-in sinks, are the most prevalent type of sink available today, according to Porteus and Son Builders. “These are sinks that have a visible lip around the perimeter that rests flat on the counter. The sink drops into the countertop cut-out, and the lip holds it vertically in place.”
One benefit of top-mount sinks is that they offer easy cleaning. They also provide you with more vanity options, since they can be installed with nearly any type of countertop (with the exception of laminate). This creates for more flexibility and personalization when upgrading a bathroom to a more modern look.
Undermount sinks have a sleek aesthetic, but come with their own pros and cons. Though they free up more space on the vanity, they can be more difficult to clean.
While overmount sinks are typically credited with being more decorative, undermount sinks can also add a creative touch, writes S. Lewis at Home Thangs. “Beautiful metal sinks – whether gold, brass, steel, or copper – are great for adding a regal touch to your space, frosted glass can give your sink an alluringly bottomless feel, and you can even find uniquely shaped or hand-painted undermount sinks that offer plenty of style with all the same benefits.”
Modern Sink Mount Style
Despite the many styles available, there are a few go-to sinks that are more popular in modern and contemporary bathrooms.
For example, an integrated sink adds a sleek look to your bathroom. These are a type of undermount sink that have a number of benefits. Since an integrated sink entails both a vanity countertop and sink, there are fewer decisions to make when remodeling, says Lindsay Cohn at Hunker. On a similar note, integrated sinks are completely customizable. When you’re choosing which material you’d like for the sink and countertop, options include marble, concrete and terrazzo.
The shape and size of the sink can also be customized. In a master bathroom redesign by interior design firm Studio McGee, a custom concrete sink was created. The unfinished look of the concrete sink is paired with more polished features, such as brass tapware and patterned tile, for an elegant design contrast.
A vanity top sink is similar to an integrated sink, foregoing the countertop in favor of more sink space. Anne Zhou at Sweeten highlights a combined sink and counter unit in a master bathroom with a modern farmhouse look. The sleek sink is set on a wood vanity, and the bathroom filled with crisp white elements and metal fixtures. This overall look enhances the interplay between contemporary and rustic in the space.
Getting a brand new custom sink isn’t the only way to add a modern vibe to your bathroom. Antique wash basins can also contribute to a modern farmhouse look, as demonstrated by blogger Lisa Marie Bass. In this home renovation, an old farmhouse sink from a garage sale is used in a custom cedar vanity. The open frame allows for the chrome plumbing beneath the sink to be exposed, which is a popular choice in modern industrial bathrooms.
Another popular style is a self-rimming sink, says lifestyle writer Shelby Deering. She points to a self-rimming sink that sits just above the surface of the countertop, revealing the sink rim. While this may require slightly more cleaning than an undermount sink, it offers a contemporary and unique look. It features both gold and silver fixtures, as well as wood cabinetry and a vintage-inspired mirror style.
Soapstone is a building material that’s increasingly making its way into bathroom and kitchen renovations. Both talc and steatite are forms of soapstone commonly used in buildings, explains the team at Remodel Works.
“Soapstone is softer than most other naturally occurring minerals, but it is dense and non-porous, even more so than slate, marble, and surprisingly even granite. Soapstone, like granite, is heat, stain and liquid resistant, making soapstone countertop care relatively easy.”
Since soapstone is nonporous, it doesn’t need to be sealed, adds Nancy Mitchell at Apartment Therapy. However, because it’s soft, soapstone is susceptible to scratches and knicks. Soapstone is primarily a dark color, so this is also important to keep in mind as you plan the rest of your bathroom.
“Soapstone comes in a range of gray, green-ish to black tones, some with more or less veining. Periodically oiling the countertop will make for a darker, smoother look,” says Mitchell.
Marble Counters and Integrated Sinks
Marble bathroom elements continue to be a popular choice and a smart investment. The best sink styles for marble include integrated, drop-in and vessel, writes designer Becki Owens. She highlights how a vessel sink, which sits directly on the countertop, can work in both modern and rustic homes. The bathroom marble sink sits atop brass legs. The brass plumbing is exposed and matches the fixtures, mirror frame and lights.
A drop-in sink also works well with a marble countertop, as showcased by Corey Willis of the blog Hey There Home. While renovating a bathroom in her home, she opted for a large marble countertop and a drop-in sink to take advantage of counter space. Putting just one sink in the long vanity, rather than two, was a strategic design move because it freed up more room for drawers.
Acrylic sinks are another popular choice today due to their sleek aesthetic and easy upkeep. So how do you know what to look for when buying one?
“Cast acrylic sinks are made of acrylic material molded into a sink using a cast. This makes for a more lightweight material compared to other sinks,” says Stacey Howell at Hunker. Another benefit is that they come in a wide range of colors, she adds. They’re available in either a shiny or matte finish, so they can accommodate a range of design styles.
You might also search for a certain type of acrylic, writes Ashley on her home improvement blog, Domestic Imperfection. She suggests a material called Bio-Lok, which replicates cast iron and porcelain sinks of the past. The benefit of using a more modern material is that it may be more resistant to stains, wear and damage over time.
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