Choosing a bathroom basin

The bathroom basin is one of the hardest working parts of a bathroom. We know first hand that "hard working" doesn't mean boring. From classic inset basins to colourful benchtop vessels, there are sinks on the market to suit any décor and bathroom size.


Before replacing your bathroom basin, it is important to check your bathroom has adequate fixing points and plumbing in the area you want to put the basin, and that the basin will suit the measurements of your vanity. It is also important to consider where you want to mount your tap/mixer and if your basin has the correct holes cut out to suit your desired design.


From the material to the style, we’ve put the information together so you don’t have to!



Basin shape


Wall basin A simple wall-mounted basin (wall-hung basin) is fixed to the wall without being connected to a benchtop.


Pictured: Caroma Urbane II Left Hand Shelf Wall Basin, Raymor Lawson Wall Basin.

Pros: A wall-mounted basin doesn’t have any cabinets below it, leaving more visible floor area, making the room feel bigger. Cons: There is no storage space under the sink as there is no vanity.


Notes: To install a wall-mounted basin cleanly in your bathroom, the plumbing, including the waste, must be positioned inside the wall.



Inset basins

Inset basins sit inside a cut-out hole on the top of the vanity and have a raised rim. The height of the rim varies, from almost flush with the vanity top to a featured profile.

Pictured: Roca Diverta Vanity Basin, Raymor Amethyst II Semi Inset Basin.


Pros: Inset basins help control spills because of the raised edge.


Cons: The basin sits predominately in the vanity, taking space underneath, inside the vanity.



Countertop basins/Vessel basin

Countertop basins (aka vessel basins, above-counter basins or top-mount basin) sit on top of the vanity.

Pictured: Oliveri Round Stainless Steel Counter Top Copper Basin, Alape Circa Above Counter Basin 450mm, American Standard Cygnet Vessel Basin, Alape Circa Above Counter Basin.


Pros: Top-mounted basins are compatible to use with any benchtop material including timber and laminate, as the cut out for the waste and water is completely covered by the basin. Countertop basins don’t affect vanity storage space as they sit above the cupboard.

Cons: You can’t wipe water and spills straight from the bench into the basin.

Notes: Careful planning is needed to make sure the basin doesn’t sit too high on the benchtop as to make it uncomfortable to use.



Undermount sinks

Undermount sinks, or undercounter sinks, are installed underneath the vanity top to create a clean, seamless look.

Pictured: LAUFEN Pro S Undercounter Basin, AXA Sink 50 Under Counter Glaze Basin

Pros: water and spills can be wiped directly from the benchtop into the sink without any obstruction. Cons: Under-mounting a basin is only recommended under a solid surface benchtop such as stone. Undermounted sinks aren’t suitable for laminate benchtops as the exposed edges can’t be sealed as well as stone can be.



Pedestal basin If you want a wall-mounted basin, but your waste pipe has to go through the floor, then a pedestal basin will work.

Pictured: Venice Basin and Pedestal, Fienza Compact Pedestal and Basin, Turner Hastings Birmingham Ceramic Basin and Pedestal.

Pros: The pedestal under the basin sits between the underside of the basin and the floor, concealing any pipework in between. Well suited for period properties and traditional décor.

Cons: Like wall mounted basins, pedestal basins will not have storage space under the basin, or any bench space around it.



Semi-recessed basin A semi-recessed basin sits at the front of the vanity cabinet and benchtop.

Pictured: Roca Easy Semi Recessed Basin, American Standard Studio Semi Recessed Basin, ADP Integrity Semi-Recessed Basin.

Pros: A semi-recessed basin is great if you want vanity storage in a small bathroom.

Cons: The benchtop being around the front of the basin means spills on the floor are more common as there is nothing to catch the water on.



Washplane basin A washplane basin is the most simplistic of all basins, often spotted in sleek hotels and restaurant bathrooms.

Pros: Washplane basins take up very little space and are a great option for small bathrooms or powder rooms. Washplane basins can be made of ceramic, porcelain, glass or stone. Washplane basins mount onto a small stainless steel trough under the basin to catch the water before it runs into the waste pipe in the wall behind. Cons: A washplane basin doesn’t have the option of having a plug. It is extremely shallow, so it’s not designed to hold water.


Basin material

Basin material can vary just as much as its shape.



Porcelain basin

- most common and affordable basin

- durable

Pictured: The Posh Solus semi-inset basin




Solid surface basin

- slightly porous, matte finish

- Engineered material mimics the texture of natural stone


Pictured: The Kado Lussi Basin



Stone basin

- Durable and strong

- Relatively low maintenance but needs to be resealed every three years to stop staining and cracking.

Pictured: Adria Stone Basin Sink


Enamelled steel basin

- Strong and durable

- Three layers of enamel steel with a sleek enamel coating

- Scratch resistant

Pictured: The Alape Sondo counter basin




FineCeramic basin

- Lightweight

- Thin edged

Pictured: The Roca Inspira




SaphirKeramik ceramic basin

- Thin edged

- Resistant to all the strong detergents, UV light, and small abrasions and bumps

Pictured: These Living SaphirKeramik counter basin




We recommend speaking to a licensed plumber before buying any plumbing products for your bathroom renovation or bathroom upgrade to ensure they can be installed correctly.


Newk’s Plumbing Gympie service the entire Gympie Region, including Kilkivan, Rainbow Beach and the Mary Valley. Call 0418 800 018 to speak to a plumber near you.