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Bathroom basins and special bathroom basins

Bathroom basins and special bathroom basins

When choosing a bathroom basin, consider how tall you and members of your household are to decide on a convenient height. The height of standard pedestal bathroom basins is usually 80-85cm (32/34in), but if it needs to be lower or higher, select a wall-hung or countertop design that can be set at a convenient height.

Basin types

Pedestal basins come in a huge variety of styles and it is little wonder that they are the most popular choice for bathrooms. The pedestal conceals unsightly pipework and provides a stable support for the basin. One - piece designs give a smoother, seam- free finish. Consoles, complete with ceramic basin, countertop and legs, are also available but these are generally more expensive. Semi-pedestal designs, where the pedestal sits flush against the wall, permit easier access to the basin, A wall-hung bathroom basin eliminates the need for a pedestal altogether, but it must be securely fixed to a wall that can bear the weight of the basin and water. Water pipes can be recessed into the wall but the waste outlet must be accessible, This can be concealed with a syphon cover or made into a feature with an attractive chrome bottle trap waste pipe.

Semi-inset basins are designed for mounting on a narrow, low duct or cabinet, The front of the bathroom basin projects beyond the duct to allow room for your feet to be placed comfortably beneath. The back is recessed into the top of the duct so pipework can be cleverly concealed. Inset and under-mount basins are designed to be recessed or fitted under a countertop or into a cabinet. The rim of an inset basin stands proud of the countertop and must be well sealed to prevent water from seeping into the surrounding cabinetry.

Under- mount basins fit beneath the countertop for a flush finish. When using this basin design, check that the countertop is non-porous: solid materials such as mineral resin, marble or stone are ideal. Other features worth looking out for are self- rims that help retain water and direct splashes back into the basin. Check whether your chosen basin has one, two or three holes so you can select the relevant taps. Some glass basins can be supplied only by wall-mounted taps.

First and foremost, your choice of the basin should reflect the needs of those who will use it, so consider if it will be practical to wash in, easy to clean, and able to withstand regular wear and tear. Whether you choose a round, oval, rectangular, or square basin, run your hand over it to check that it is smooth and that there are no awkward corners to harbour difficult-to-get-at dirt. Basins supported on stands should be sturdy and secure.

Where there are young children or someone with special bathroom needs to consider, avoid sharp corners and edges that could cause injury if knocked into.


Laminated safety glass is both safe and practical for basins, but more expensive than vitreous china. Although glass can withstand knocks, the heavier impact will cause cracks to appear. Most glass has a natural aquatint that complements cool colour schemes but, if you want to add warmer tones, consider the latest glass basins with burnished finishes such as gold, platinum, or copper. The beauty of glass is most evident when light filters through it, so, if you are planning to install such a basin, plan to position it where it will be seen to its best advantage.


Metallic finishes look superb when set against surfaces that enhance their natural lustre, so choose fittings that complement rather than compete with the basin's style. Stainless steel basins are strong, lightweight, and easy to clean and are available in satin, linen, and mirror-polished finishes. The latter may be scratched by heavy use and abrasive cleaners, so if the basin will get a lot of use, opt for satin or linen textures to limit signs of wear. Polished brass and copper bathroom basins look exotic but need a great deal of care to maintain their gleaming good looks. Such surfaces are coated with a protective layer to prevent discoloration.

Hardwood & ply

Oiled hardwoods carved into bowls make natural receptacles for water and are easily drilled to take taps and waste outlets. Extreme heat and dryness can cause splitting, but regular oiling will keep the wood in good condition. Marine ply is bonded using strong, waterproof adhesives; when steamed under pressure it can be bent to create unusual-shaped basins that can be drilled to take your choice of fittings.

Stone & mineral

The colour and veining of granite, limestone, and marble add a luxurious touch to bathroom fixtures. Mineral composites, reconstructed stone, and marble are cheaper options. They are formed by mixing powdered minerals with resins to form a durable, scratch-resistant material that can be coloured, carved, routed, and joined to make integrated basin/countertops and lust about any shape of basin you wish. The colour is solid, so any burns and scratches can be smoothed out and the surface repolished.

Basins: Make sure you follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions or the basin could be damaged and the guarantee invalidated. Avoid abrasive chemicals and scourers. A cellulose sponge and a soft cloth for buffing the taps should be sufficient.

Basins: Vitreous china or ceramic is the most popular material for basins as it is hard wearing and very easy to clean. There is a wide range of colours to co - ordinate with other fixtures, but avoid near colour matches which will look wrong when placed in close proximity.

Plumbing: The mechanism for most pop-up plugs requires an area beneath the taps for it to be raised or lowered. Check that the finish matches the taps you have chosen.