Why You’ll Regret Choosing a Vessel Sink for Your Bathroom

Vessel sinks have been a design favorite among remodeling homeowners for over a decade because of their unique aesthetic. If you’re one of those homeowners, proceed with caution.

vessel sink in bathroomAngela Brogato/Shutterstock

Everyone can remember the first time they saw a vessel sink. You walked into the bathroom of a friend, neighbor, or fancy new restaurant and saw that beautiful bowl atop the vanity. Maybe it made you feel like you were attending a gala at a modern art museum and the bathrooms matched the eccentricity of the art on the walls. Ok…maybe your reaction wasn’t that extreme but it did leave an impression. Vessel sinks have been a design favorite among remodeling homeowners for over a decade because of their unique aesthetic. If you’re one of those homeowners, proceed with caution. All that artistry is hiding these five not-so-great features.

Want to remodel the bathroom in one weekend? No problem.

  • They can be annoyingly tough to clean. There’s more surface area to attack in the cleaning process with a vessel sink and more chances for gunk to pile up in the crevices where sink meets countertop. They also tend to splash water all over. For a guest bath, this may be fine but for more heavily used bathrooms, daily scrubbing after every use (which is especially likely with clear glass vessels) could get tiring. For fast and spotless bathroom cleaning, follow these tips.
  • Overflows are imminent. If you’ve ever accidentally left the faucet on a drip, you know how quickly your sink can fill up with water. However, an overflow drain typically prevents the resulting puddle when the fill-up isn’t caught. Vessel sinks typically don’t have an overflow drain, so buyer beware. If that overflow is due to a clogged sink, follow these tips to unclog it without chemicals.
  • They can get rocky. Vessel sinks attach in one spot which makes for easy installation (a good thing) and increased likelihood of becoming unstable (a bad thing). This isn’t a huge issue, but does add an extra bit of maintenance.
  • They’re tough for the little ones. Vessel sinks sit atop a vanity which consequently raises the sides above the countertop height. For most folks, and especially their kiddos, this makes for an uncomfortable hand washing experience. Be sure to have a sturdy step-stool in the bathroom if kids will be using a vessel sink. Here are 21 beautiful bathrooms to inspire you.
  • They may date your space. Vessel sinks haven’t completely lost their popularity and are still a trendy choice for remodels and new builds. This seems a point of contention among designers and consumers alike but if you’re the type to play it safe in home design, we recommend a more traditional under-mount sink. Or, consider a wall-hung sink and install it with these simple instructions.

Check out these 14 showstopping bathroom vanities.

If your whole bathroom needs a makeover, these before and after shots may inspire you.

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Hannah Louise
I help people tell stories, whether that's about themselves, their company, or their product. Every project I take on has one priority: make sure the audience connects with the content. I've fine-tuned this skill over the past decade by creating content for audiences from C-suites to new hires in organizations large and small. I launched my career as a generational keynote speaker (think dispelling myths about Millennials/Xers/Boomers) and worked my way to being a principal of a consulting firm and published author by writing, presenting, and editing books, blogs, white papers, and research analysis. I bring my values of collaboration, humility, and research-driven strategies to everything I do. I'm also a cat owner, coffee enthusiast, and new home owner (you know, your stereotypical Millennial traits.)