Ash Chilver, Sales Director at HiB, takes a look at which basin is best for the bathroom.

In recent years, bathrooms have become more than just functional spaces, for some homeowners they have evolved into a key area for interior design. More than ever, designers are looking to break free from the confines of traditional, restrictive bathrooms schemes and create an altogether more stylish look.

With this in mind, manufacturers have been developing new approaches to the standard vanity unit and creating combinations to satisfy the need for a wider personalisation of design and individual style choices.

An example of the new and creative product ranges now available as part of the bathroom revolution, is the variety of wash basins and vessel basins now on the market. 

Along with the WC, the washbasin is one of the hardest working facilities in the bathroom and needs to withstand the pressure of everyday use. But, as lifestyles and habits change, the way we interact with the basin has also shifted, with overall style and feel also gaining importance alongside the practical aspects of using the product. 

Many of us no longer fill a basin for our bathroom routines and instead are in favour of using continuous water from the taps in order to wash. With less need for large volumes of water, more product diversity has become possible, allowing for further innovation to take place that steers bathroom style into a new era where we have more options than ever before.

But when installing a basin, which way do you go? Washbasin or vessel basin with countertop? There are pros and cons for each, but homeowners must first understand their own needs and what they want to achieve from their bathroom space.

Washbasins are a usually a safe bet for families wanting a one-size-fits-all approach. They are designed to do a job and they do it well. With a larger washing area and a familiar composition, they are easy to clean and provide a practical tool to complete everyday tasks. Though they’re usually less stylised than their more modern counterparts, traditional washbasins that are set into furniture can look sleek, clean, and elegant in most spaces. 

There are now a number of furniture units on the market that are designed to accompany different sizes of washbasins, including ensuite, cloakroom, and larger pieces ideal for family bathrooms and suites. A white ceramic washbasin can still be an aesthetically-pleasing choice when fused with a fashionable furniture unit and contemporary brassware.

Vessel basins and countertops are an alternative that have become increasingly popular as more designers seek to add flair into the bathroom. There is now wider variety of shapes, colours, and textures all available on the market, allowing consumers to mix and match styles to get the desired finish, and it is easy to see why style-conscious consumers are looking to vessel basins as a method for extending their design choices. 

Previously reserved for boutique hotels and hospitality, vessel basins have become a preference among many consumers who want to bring that sophistication into the home.

Geometric, striped, plain, and coloured finishes, varying depths and shapes, including oval, square, and round, have all become considerations when choosing the right vessel basin for the job. There is also the added decision to be made about the style and material of the countertop, which can add another dimension to the overall look of the vanity unit. A countertop also allows homeowners to benefit from a ‘set down space’ next to the bowl, giving them additional storage space for items such as a wash bag, make-up, or decorative items.

The variety of dimensions available also means that installers can mix and match brands with ease, opening up a whole new world of combinations, while still remaining confident that with a quick check of the dimensions, the vanity unit can safely and securely be fitted in the space.

So, with all the options on the market, which style of basin is best? Arguably both, but for different reasons and ultimately the decision depends on design, budget, and practicality for the family. But it is the opportunity to choose which now makes the vanity unit all that more interesting when planning a beautiful bathroom.