The washbasin is the undisputed star of the bathroom area. From a purely functional object, in recent years it has become an object of study and experimentation in the field of design and furnishing.
Many designers and architects have in fact ventured into the design of a washbasin, trying to make it attractive, modern and elegant and providing classic or bold stylistic solutions, worthy of arousing curiosity and interest. The washbasin is able to focus attention and determine the style of the bathroom, which can be modern, classic, extravagant, vintage or much more.
Shapes, materials and installation methods of the washbasins can vary and change from model to model, leading to always different aesthetic solutions able to adapt to the most diverse needs.
How to choose the right sink for your bathroom?
Choosing a washbasin means taking into account several variables, starting from the structural ones concerning the positioning of the water pipes and drains.
Beyond this often binding assessment, what must be considered when choosing the washbasin is the functionality, space and shape.
The washbasin is used on a daily basis and therefore needs to be convenient and easy to clean. The evaluation of space is important because there are washbasins of different sizes that can be suitable for small or large bathrooms depending on the needs. The size must be proportionate to the surrounding space. A washbasin that is too large in a small bathroom gives a sense of oppression; on the contrary, a small washbasin in a large space is probably not very functional. Therefore, a good balance in proportion is needed.
If you have a very large bathroom, you can choose a freestanding washbasin, placed directly on the floor; it has total flexibility in positioning inside the bathroom as it can also be installed in the middle of the room, becoming a real sculptural element on which you focus your attention. It may be equipped with floor-standing mixers. The freestanding washbasin can be considered the successor of the pedestal washbasin, a convenient, traditional, economical and durable solution that is becoming less and less common because it is bulky. The column acts as a support for the basin of the washbasin and hides its pipes to make the aesthetic impact more pleasant. Cleaning the back of the column, however, often becomes complex due to the narrow space between the column and the wall. The freestanding washbasin circumvents this problem by not leaning against the wall.
The flush-mounted washbasin is installed directly with the washbasin unit, thus optimising space. The fact that the washbasin is "incorporated" into the cabinet or top means that there is no interruption between the top horizontal surface of the cabinet and the washbasin itself; the surface is perfectly continuous as the top of the cabinet and the washbasin appear as a single piece.
The only disadvantage of this solution is that the washbasin cabinet loses some of its capacity to make room for the washbasin. Depending on the position of the bathtub, we can have built-in washbasins on top or built-in undercounter washbasins: elegant, practical and functional, with a great aesthetic impact, they are perfect if installed in contrasting colours with the furnishings that accompany them. The first has edges protruding from the surface of the top, the second is totally recessed into the top, both laterally and deeply, and the edges are hidden under the top itself.
An alternative proposal to the two types of built-in washbasins is the semi-recessed washbasin in which the bathtub protrudes a little from the edge of the cabinet. Aesthetically you get a good effect through this creative and particular solution, able to give a note of modernity to the environment.
In the case of small bathrooms, you can make the most of the space with corner washbasins as they occupy a space that would otherwise have remained empty.
Wall-hung washbasin or built-in washbasin for the contemporary bathroom
The wall-hung washbasin is an alternative to all the types of washbasins analysed so far. It is a very common and creative sink despite having the siphon in sight that can be disguised as a half-pedestal. This type of washbasin is available in all shapes, with the advantage of having free space underneath, which can be cleaned regularly and easily. No column or support is provided, as it is fixed directly to the wall. Another advantage is that it can be positioned at the desired height.
From an architectural point of view, it is possible to combine different accessories, such as shelves or wall-mounted soap dishes, since there is no constraint to insert washbasin furniture.
If we are looking for the highest expression of modernity, we must inevitably choose a countertop washbasin. Literally placed on top of a plane, it creates a sharp stylistic interruption through the contrast with the material of the surface on which it rests. The countertop washbasins are more or less deep depending on the model chosen. If the mixer is too high, however, there is a risk that the water jet will run out of the basin. Conversely, if the washbasin is positioned too low, it will be uncomfortable to use. The right height could be between 80 and 85 cm. The overall dimensions of a countertop washbasin are larger because the adjacent surface area cannot always be used to its best advantage and requires more thorough cleaning than a built-in model.
Traditional washbasin shapes and materials
Washbasins are produced in many materials. Depending on the type and model of the washbasin, one material may be more suitable than another and gives the room a special, dedicated style. For example, ceramic has a different effect than the same sink made of resin and this leads to even more careful thinking about the choice of sink material.
The ceramic washbasin is the most commonly used because it is durable, economical and requires little maintenance. It has disadvantages, however, as it is difficult to model attractive and modern forms. The trend is to always have washbasins with a classic imprint, characterized by traditional shapes such as round washbasins or rectangular washbasins.
Ceramic is usually also used for free-standing solutions or standing sinks, but it also adapts to other possibilities.
Among the special materials we point out marble and stone that can give the bathroom a particularly elegant and minimalist look. Marble and stone washbasins have a refined appearance and are used especially when combined with a shower tray or tiles of the same material. They can be adapted to different solutions and are perfect for countertop or freestanding washbasins.
Exclusivity, elegance and value are the three main characteristics of a glass washbasin that can be particular and practical because it favours the brightness of the room, with a high level aesthetic result. The surface is quite delicate and therefore requires specific products to preserve its shine and transparency. The use of a glass washbasin mainly concerns the surface-mounted or built-in models, which create a single element with the top of the cabinet. The glass washbasins are available in both transparent and matt versions, in natural or pigmented colour.
If we want a highly workable material of great value, with which it is possible to obtain intriguing and innovative colours and shapes, we can opt for a resin sink. In countertop washbasins, the resin gives an excellent aesthetic appearance and allows you to play on geometric asymmetries. The product itself is not particularly expensive and the maintenance required is not excessive, but the higher prices compared to other solutions are due to the sophisticated design, an element thanks to which designers and architects can free their creativity and imagination.
Modern materials for designer washbasins
Increasingly, ultra-technological composites are preferred for modern washbasins with which any shape and colour can be produced. Acrylic stones, stone powder composites (usually quartz) and thermosetting resins, which create compact, monolithic and extremely durable and resistant surfaces, are now widespread.
Among these we point out the Mineralmarmo washbasins, a mineral powder held together by special gel resins to form an incredibly "tactile" material. The effect is very pleasant, especially for wall-hung washbasins.
Corian washbasins are more expensive but once you understand the properties of this wonderful material, it is easy to see why they are among the most popular on the market. Corian is a synthetic, solid, non-porous, extremely resistant and easy to maintain material. It is resistant to stains, heat and sunlight. It is available in a variety of colors that do not fade or change with wear. The same can be said of Cristalplant or Hi-macs washbasins, which are robust, flexible in design and eco-compatible.
A unique tactile effect similar to contact with stone and the particularly soft way it reflects light make Cristalplant almost a natural material. Cristalplant is the only solid surface that does not resemble a plastic imitation of natural stone. In addition, its anti-yellowing properties, mechanical and chemical resistance make this material excellent.
Hi-macs washbasins also meet the highest standards in terms of quality, aesthetics, construction, functionality and hygiene. They also create washbasins with a smooth, non-porous surface with no visible joints.
In addition to Solid-Surface or acrylic stone washbasins, you can opt for a concrete washbasin that is sturdy and overweight but has a strong impact for those who love modern, industrial-style environments.
Classic style washbasins
If we love the classic style we can't not have a console washbasin in the house where the basin is resting on a base, usually metal, often equipped with integrated towel rail.
Classic washbasins can be made of other materials as well as ceramics. Among these we can recommend enamelled steel washbasins because they are robust, resistant to thermal stress and have a high aesthetic value. The enamelled steel washbasins can be moulded into a wide variety of shapes.
If we love a more rustic style, we can opt for a metal washbasin: you can choose, for example, copper or brass washbasins for bathroom environments also in country style.
The stainless steel washbasin, on the other hand, available in both polished and satin finish, although it falls into the category of metal washbasins, is an object with a decidedly contemporary design, characterized by a simple and minimalist look but of impact.