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Basin buying guide
Buying guides

Basin buying guide

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 3 years ago 5 min read

Basins, sinks, wash basins… Whatever you call them, read our expert guide before you buy for your bathroom.

Washing your hands thoroughly has become more important than ever, which is why the basin you choose should meet your specific needs.

There are many different styles, shapes, and sizes to choose from, so you can always find something to perfectly suit your bathroom and your taste. Whether you’re replacing an old basin, or buying a whole new suite, this guide will give you an overview of what you need to think about.

Things to consider:

1. Size

Basins come in a range of shapes and sizes to suit different rooms, such as a cloakroom or ensuite, so it’s best to start by considering the type of bathroom you’re buying for, and how much room you have.

Corner basins or cloakroom basins are designed to make the most of the space in a smaller bathrooms by utilising corners and eliminating pedestals.

For larger bathrooms you have a wider range of styles to choose from, such as the classic pedestal basin, or a countertop basin for a more contemporary and striking look.

Orchard Eden wall hung corner basin 370mm

A corner basin makes great use of space in smaller bathrooms. Find out more about them in our corner basin buying guide

2. Mounting

Different basins are designed to be installed in certain ways, such as mounted on a wall, or placed on top of a unit. A countertop basin can’t be mounted to a wall, for example, so always check to make sure your basin can be fitted in the style that you want.

You will also need to take note of what style of basin waste you will need, as these are generally not included with the basin. You can find out what type you need by checking the full specification tab under any of our basin products.

Handy tip: Find out which basin waste you need by reading our guide.

3. Taps

Choosing the taps for a basin is really just as important as choosing the basin itself. You need a tap that matches the style of your basin and your bathroom, as well as one that can be fitted to your chosen basin. For example, some basins have only 1 central tap hole, so will need a mixer tap, whereas others have 2 for traditional separate hot and cold taps.

The Bath Co. Dulwich basin mixer tap

Many basins come with just 1 tap hole, so a basin mixer like the Dulwich basin mixer tap from The Bath Co. (pictured) must be used

Types of basin

Full pedestal

This is the classic basin that most people would think of when they imagine a bathroom. Pedestal basins come in a range of styles, both traditional and contemporary, and can suit almost any bathroom. While it may appear that the basin is supported entirely by the pedestal, it’s actually mounted on the wall, and the pedestal is mostly there to cover unsightly pipe work.

Mode Tate 1 tap hole full pedestal basin 550mm

The Tate full pedestal basin is a good example of a contemporary full pedestal basin

For more in-depth information, please see our full pedestal basin buying guide.

Semi pedestal

The semi pedestal basin is completely wall mounted, because the pedestal, as the name suggests, is only half the size of a full pedestal and is only there to cover the pipe work under the basin. This means it can provide the elegance of a pedestal basin without taking up floor space in your bathroom.

Mode Foster 1 tap hole semi pedestal basin 600mm

Go for designer style with the Foster 1 tap hole semi pedestal basin from Mode Bathrooms

For more in-depth information, please see our semi pedestal basin buying guide.

Wall mounted

This style of basin is fixed against the wall, with nothing covering the pipework underneath. This is why most people opt for more decorative bottle traps, which are designed to look more stylish. Wall mounted basins often create a more contemporary look than the traditional pedestal basin.

Orchard Constance 1 tap hole basin 405mm

The bottle trap makes an interesting feature on the Constance 1 tap hole basin

Find out more about wall mounted basins or read our in-depth wall hung basin buying guide.


A semi-recessed basin is partly sunk into a vanity unit or worktop, so that only the rim or the front part of the basin is visible. This means the pipework is also hidden within with the unit.

Mode Carter 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin 550mm

The Carter semi recessed basin from Mode Bathrooms can be used with fitted bathroom furniture

For more in-depth information, please see our semi recessed basin buying guide.


This type of basin sits on top of a vanity unit or worktop, so it appears almost as if it’s a separate bowl that could be picked up and moved. This can create a very modern and luxurious look, and can suit a wide variety of bathrooms.

Orchard Eden countertop basin 400mm

The Eden countertop basin from Orchard Bathrooms has genuine, designer appeal

For more in-depth information, please see our counter top basin buying guide.

Undermount sink

A more traditional and far less common type of basin is the undermount sink which usually comes as part of a vanity unit. Instead of sitting above the line of the countertop, the undermount sink sits below it. This gives a pleasing continuity between the countertop and the basin itself.

Undermount sinks are far more common when choosing kitchen sinks and you can find out more about these by reading our kitchen sink buying guide.

The Bath Co. Dalston floorstanding vanity unit and black marble basin 650mm

The Dalston floorstanding vanity unit from The Bath Co. contains a black marble undermount sink basin

Discover more about this type of furniture and sink combination in our vanity unit buying guide.

Shop basins

Got a better idea of the type you want? Why not browse our basins now?

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Your basin FAQs answered

Do you have gaps in your knowledge when it comes to basins? Allow us to fill them in... Discover answers to FAQs about basins.

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 3 years ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

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