BASINS AND VANITIES
Self-rimming vanity basins: This kind of basin boasts a drop-in design that gets installed into a pre-cut opening in the vanity countertop. Boasting a self-rimming design, the edge of this kind of basin is usually wide or flared, and it is slightly raised from the countertop, which aids in controlling spills and splashes. Above-counter vanity basin: As its name implies, these basins are installed on top of the vanity counter. They are ideal for tall people, as their rims are usually positioned at about waist level, and their added height can also be used to compensate for low bathroom counters.
Under-counter vanity basin: Installed underneath the vanity level for a streamlined, contemporary aesthetic. These basins can be fairly complex to install.
Inset vanity basin: Similar to the self-rimming vanity basin, these basins are installed into the vanity countertop, but create the illusion of being an abovecounter basin.
Over the top
Vanity tops need to be able to withstand water, soap, toothpaste and cosmetics. They are available in a number of different materials, the most common being: Granite and marble: Both these natural stone materials offer great aesthetics, they are incredibly durable, and they are impact-, fire- and water-resistant. However, they are positioned at the top end of the price scale and need to be professionally installed. Granite has the ability to shrug-off most stains, but since marble is a porous material, it is prone to staining.
Laminate: Offering great value for money, laminate is the top choice for any budgetconscious bathroom remodel. Laminates comprise chipboard that has been covered with a durable plastic layer, which has been glued down to the chipboard using high heat and pressure. The drawback to laminate tops is that they can burn, crack and dull over time. Also, if the water gets into the wooden layer below the plastic layer, the wood will swell and ruin the surface. They are available in a plethora of colours, patterns and textures.
Engineered stone: Made mostly of stone fragments (quartz) and a resin or adhesive, engineered stone can also contain recycled glass for a unique aesthetic.
Solid surface materials: This countertop is made from a mixture of resin, or adhesive, and powdered bauxite (an aluminium ore) or marble. Colours can be added for a variety, allowing homeowners to choose a look that matches their design. Another benefit to solid surface materials is that this countertop can be formed into a shape that serves as both the basin and countertop all in one seamless design.
Tiles: Countertops in your bathroom space can be tiled for an attractive, durable and affordable finish. The main drawback of tiled countertop surfaces however, is the fact that the grout lines tend to trap dirt and encourage mildew.
Wood: Although wood is probably the least practical option when it comes to bathroom countertops, it does offer an incredibly attractive, warm and inviting appeal. It is also comparatively quick and easy to install. However, wood is inherently prone to water damage, and its porosity makes it difficult to keep clean. It can be sealed with a polyurethane or marine varnish to make it more water-resistant, but remember, you will need to maintain it to keep it looking beautiful.