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Updated on September 6, 2009
Apron Sink
Apron Sink

There are two rooms in your home that use a sink, the kitchen and the bathroom. While the sink is often the focal point of each room, there are many differences between the sinks that go into a kitchen and the sinks that go into a bathroom. I think the main difference is that a bathroom sink is its own fixture in the bathroom while kitchen sinks are usually part of a larger design. The kitchen sink fits into the kitchen island, counter, or cabinets that make a complete kitchen. The sink needs to fit into what already exists. In the bathroom, however, the sink can be standing completely on its own. Of course, there are some vanity sinks that are in cabinets in larger bathrooms that need a lot of storage. But, that cabinet is usually the only one and stands alone. Another major difference is in the faucet. Modern kitchen faucets usually have one handle above the faucet rather than two separate handles on either side. The one exception is perhaps vessel sink faucets where the faucet and handles are not wall mounted.

Since kitchen sinks need to be mounted into the existing counter tops and cabinets or in kitchen islands, there are three main types of sinks that you find in the kitchen. The self rimming sink is dropped into a hole cut in the counter and is held in place by an edge that extends over the opening in all directions. In essence, the sink is sitting on top of the counter creating a rim. An undercounter sink is installed under the counter so that the edge of the countertop where the hole was cut is visible. Because you see the cut edge, this type of sink is usually only used with solid surface countertops or stone countertops because those edges can be finished. The last type of sink commonly found in kitchens is the apron sink pictured above. This is a specific variety of undercounter sink where the front of the sink is exposed instead of being behind kitchen doors and drawer fronts.  You will not find this kind of installation if you have kitchen corner sinks.

There are five different kinds of sinks found in bathrooms including vanity sinks, console sinks, pedestal sinks, wall-mounted sinks, and vessel sinks sometimes called glass bathroom sinks. The vanity sinks are similar to the sinks in kitchens because they are mounted in a cabinet. You can have the same types of mounting in the bathroom vanity sink. Vanity sinks are also similar to kitchen sinks because there is counter space surrounding them. The bathroom counter space is perfect for the display of bathroom sets and accessories. Since they are the most common type of bathroom sink, you can get a discount bathroom vanity and basic self riming sink in almost any home supply store like Lowes or Home Depot if you are trying to do a bathroom remodeling on a budget. Console sinks look a lot like a table with a sink in the middle that is attached to the wall at the back and rests on two table legs in the front. The pedestal sink has a basin resting on one center pedestal. The wall-mounted sink has no legs or pedestals and is simply mounted to the wall. The vessel sink is a basin of some sort that sits on top of a counter. It can be any shape but the most common is an oval bowl. This bathroom sink is very trendy and might be found in a home that has a tv for the bathroom or heated toilet seats.

Bathroom sinks are typically only one basin and usually oval in shape and pretty uniform in size. You can sometimes have dual sinks but that is two separate sinks side by side. Even with the wide variety of style available for bathroom sinks, they are all approximately the same size. Kitchen sinks, however, can have multiple basins and be of varying shapes and sizes. Many older kitchens have sinks with only one bowl. A more modern twist is the addition of additional bowls. The most common configuration these days is the two bowl sink. Usually one side is meant for rinsing dishes and has the garbage disposal while the other is meant for washing and soaking dishes. The larger bowl or basin is usually the one meant for washing and soaking and this side should be closer to your dishwasher. There are some kitchen sinks that have a third bowl which is meant as a prep sink. These are not very common and are usually only found in extremely top of the line kitchens. Kitchen sinks are different from bathroom sinks in their depth. Bathroom sinks are usually only about four inches deep while kitchen sinks vary from eight to ten inches in depth. You need more room to wash large pots and pans in your kitchen sink.

Another way that bathroom and kitchen sinks differ is in the material of construction. Bathroom sinks are almost exclusively porcelain unless they are vessel sinks. Vessel sinks are made out of many different materials like stone, glass or marble. Even though they are not made of porcelain, their materials are different than typical kitchen sinks as well. Kitchen sinks are usually made out of materials that are very durable and do not rust easily because they are in almost constant contact with water. They also have to be able to withstand the high temperature of a hot pan. Common materials of construction for kitchen sinks include stainless steel, cast iron, composite granite, solid surface, cast acrylic, fireclay, and copper. Because of the heavy duty materials involved, kitchen sinks are often much more expensive than bathroom sinks. There is also a lot more plumbing and heavy lifting involved in hooking them up so be sure to have professional help.


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