Vessel sinks are those sinks that sit on top of, or are mostly separate from the counter. They look like bowls that sit on top of a vanity, but they are connected to a drain. These types of sinks have become extremely popular because of their eye-catching style. They are also easy to install and prices have been dropping, which only helps their reputation. However, if you talk to a Roto-Rooter plumber in Brooklyn, they’ve likely experienced the downsides of vessel sinks as well. Before deciding on which type of sink to install in your own home, weigh the disadvantages against the advantages.
When sinks are placed on top of a counter instead of being recessed within, they are more prone to chipping and similar damages. A recessed sink can only be damaged from one side, whereas a vessel sink can be chipped from any side. All it takes is a single drop of an electric razor, one clumsy moment, and that nice sink can have a permanent chip. However, vessel sinks come in many materials, and some are more prone to damage than others. Ceramic, glass, stone, and marble are more easily damaged, whereas stainless steel and copper are more durable.
A vessel sink makes contact with the countertop at only one spot, but the area around that spot can be difficult to clean. The arc of the sink means that you have less and less clearance the closer you get to the drain, so you will be left with the few cleaning options that can fit in that space.
While many sinks have the option of an overflow, vessel sinks do not. An overflow is an extra drain in the sink. If your current sink has an overflow, it is marked by an opening higher up on the sink. These overflows provide a bit of water relief in case the sink overflows, but even with this mechanism, plumbers would want you to know that overflows can still happen. The more important and common function of a sink overflow is to route air from the drain, so even when the sink is rather, full it can drain efficiently. Without an overflow in a vessel sink, it may have difficulty draining after it has been filled to capacity.
None of these disadvantages to vessel sinks are necessarily deal-breakers, but they are something to consider when choosing between sinks. If you can avoid damage, don’t mind a bit of extra effort when cleaning, and can live without an overflow, a vessel sink is still a great option.
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