Choosing the right basin

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Be comfortable using your basin everyday.

Wall, inset, semi recessed, above counter or vanity basin? It all depends on the size of your bathroom and how much room you have available.

The first step to choosing a basin is to decide who will be using it. Adults, children, guests or all three? This is important when considering how many basins you need, what shape and material. If you experience the 'morning rush hour', then a double basin might come in handy. An above counter basin is perfect for an ensuite, but for the kids or family bathroom, the inset or vanity basin might be easier to use. 

Are you going for a classic look, or soft-edged and organic, or perhaps something minimalist and contemporary? Whatever you decide, be clear about your choice and stick to it. With the amount of basin designs out there, knowing exactly the look you're after will help you make the right choice. 

Bathroom basins can be divided into 5 basic types; Wall Basins, Vanity Basins, Semi Recessed Basins, Above Counter Basins and Under Counter Basins. Most bathroom basins in Australia are available with a choice of either one or three tapholes. Three taphole basins use conventional basin taps whereas one taphole basins require the use of a basin mixer. Learn more about the different types of basins below. 

Wall basin

The wall basin is fixed directly to the wall with brackets and does not require a vanity for installation. These are ideal for saving space and offer a minimalist look in your bathroom. The basin is enhanced with a pedestal or shroud to improve the finish of the bathroom as well as conceal plumbing. 

Wall basin - pedestals

Basin pedestals are optional extras for wall basins. They sit between the basin and the finished floors of the bathroom, are often used to conceal plumbing and offer a unique designer appearance. The pedestal does not, however, support the basin and does not sit flush against the wall (there is a small gap). 

Wall basins - shrouds

A basin shroud has the same function as a basin pedestal but is shorter in length, designed only to conceal the plumbing fittings. The shroud also does not sit flush against the wall. 

Vanity basin

Vanity basins are designed to fit into a variety of counters or console sinks. These basins are not standalone products, but rather can be complemented by the vanity to create a functional bathroom experience. Vanity basins come in all the styles and materials available with standard bathroom sinks, and are built into the counter or installed separately. Vanities traditionally came with matching sinks or basins, but modern bathroom designs now favour mixed and even contrasting materials. Below are the different types of vanity basins available.

Self rimming vanity basin

This is installed directly into a vanity, with a self rimming design to fit flush to the top surface of the vanity. The rims are wide or flared defining the edges and slightly raised above the counter surface. The elevated rim helps control spills and protect the counter's edge treatment. Most of them are drop-in, which means that they fit into pre-cut openings on the countertop. 

Above counter vanity basin

This is installed on top of the vanity surface with the tapholes aligned with the drainage pipes. These are the easiest bathroom basins to install, since they do not require tapholes or advanced plumbing to mount in place. They are ideal for tall people because the rims are positioned above waist level. This design can also compensate for low counters in the bathroom. 

Under counter vanity basin

The basin is installed underneath the vanity level, creating a streamlined minimalist look. This design is the most secure because the basin's sides are protected from bumps and impact. However, this bathroom basin design is fairly complex to install because a custom shaped cavity must be cut into the counter to accommodate the sink. Also, they only work with sturdy countertop materials that need no edge treatment, such as granite. 

Inset vanity basin

The basin is installed into the vanity top, similar to the self rimming vanity basin, but give the look of an above counter basin. 

Semi recessed vanity basin

Designed to give more usable vanity space, these basins overhang the vanity space. 

Tapware and the number of tapholes

Remember that the type of basin you choose will influence your choice of tapware, so it’s important to get it right.

Basins with No Tapholes (NTH or 0TH) - Suitable tapware: Wall or hob (in the bench top) mounted mixers or tapware 

Basins with One Taphole (1TH) - Suitable tapware: Basin Mixer

Basins with Two Tapholes (2TH) - Suitable Tapware: Pillar Taps 

Basins with Three Tapholes (3TH) - Suitable Tapware: Three piece tapware

If you have any questions about the above information, ask a Caroma retailer for advice.