It’s hard to imagine a time when design experts considered the above-counter basin a short-term fad. These modest basins have dominated the bathroom design landscape for the last decade and don’t seem to be leaving any time soon. However, one basin doesn’t necessarily fit all, with many still opting for the traditional under-mount sink — and for good reason, too.
So, if you’re looking for a new bathroom sink, we’ve curated a list of our above-counter basin pros and cons so that you can be as informed as possible about your next bathroom purchase.
They’re visually appealing and versatile
There’s no denying the visual appeal of above-counter basins. Their conspicuous positioning on top of the vanity naturally draws the eye and centres the space.
They’re also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re after a singular statement-style sink or a simplistic pairing to lend cohesive symmetry to a space, above-counter basins are available in various shapes, sizes, and materials that can be adapted to suit any design scheme.
Above-counter basins are also able to be installed on a variety of countertop materials such as granite, marble, wood, or even glass, providing even more flexibility for overall design choices.
Pro-tip: If you’re after a distinctive contrast, consider mixing colours and textures with our Atelis Concrete Basin in dark grey and our Wall-Mounted Spout in brushed brass for a sophisticated yet warm tonal aesthetic.
They save space
If you’re tight on space, above-counter basins are the perfect solution. Due to their installation, they free up valuable bench space and under-counter storage — aside from plumbing — for all your pampering necessities.
For smaller countertops, install a wall-mounted tap and mixer such as our Milani Progressive Mixer and Spout Set to further save space, whilst also adding a unique and contemporary focal point alongside your basin.
They’re easy to install
Above-counter basins are considered the easiest and most inexpensive basins to install as they do not require any countertop cut-outs or excessive mounting. Because of this, they are often favoured by those keen on a DIY approach and quick turnarounds. They are also just as easy to uninstall, meaning you can swiftly interchange your basin to suit your evolving design and lifestyle needs whenever you like.
Although it is possible to install an above-counter basin yourself, we do recommend that you contact a licensed tradesperson to ensure the utmost safety and integrity of your basin and countertops.
They’re ergonomically designed
Sitting conspicuously on top of a vanity, the raised height of an above-counter basin makes for a more accessible experience for those with mobility issues, as they require less bending or stooping compared to traditional under-mount basins. Depending on your specific requirements, you can opt for a deep-set basin, such as our Celine Basin Sink, or a more shallow one with wider edges for easier access, such as our Willow Basin Sink.
They can be harder to clean
Due to their installation, above-counter basins naturally create hard-to-reach angles, and their tendency to cause splash-back often causes water to sit and dust to accumulate in these crevices, increasing the chances of bacterial growth. Their exposed edges also require more detailed cleaning time than their inset or under-mount alternatives.
For high-traffic bathrooms, we recommend choosing a basin with a matte finish or in a textured stone that will help disguise everyday marks and fingerprints between cleans.
They can be prone to breaking
Although having exposed edges can be aesthetically pleasing, it does require a higher level of care. Without any superficial support, above-counter basins are prone to cracking and chipping from careless knocks.
If you are considering renting out your home or have young children, stainless steel basins such as our Harlow Round Basin Sink are highly recommended due to their strength and durability.
They can be more expensive
Above-counter basins can be almost any material and shape you desire. Whether it’s stone, cement, glass, or even an ancient terracotta artefact, their flexibility in design can both help or hinder the price tag and, more often than not, it’s the latter.
However, because above-counter basins are designed to be both functional and aesthetic, their construction is typically high-quality materials that are durable and visually captivating, making these basins worth the extra cent.
Additionally, if you’re renovating from a more traditional sink mount to a contemporary above-counter style, you may encounter further expenses when modifying the plumbing to meet your new basin standards.
They sit higher on the bench
Depending on the height of your vanity, above-counter basins may be challenging for some people to access, particularly children. Kids commonly climb onto basins to clean their teeth or wash their hands, warranting concerns not only for the integrity of the sink itself but for the child's safety.
Although above-counter basins are an easy way to create depth and style in your bathroom, they have some disadvantages that should be considered. With our curated list of the above-counter basin pros and cons, we’re confident that you can choose a bathroom sink that best fits your unique design and lifestyle needs.
Re-vamping your bathroom? Read our blog, Bathroom Tile Ideas To Transform Your Space.