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Semi recessed basin buying guide
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Semi recessed basin buying guide

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 9 months ago 6 min read

Designing a bathroom is often about making the most of your space, and a semi recessed basin and unit is a great way of doing just that. You gain some handy extra storage, as well as a contemporary and stylish look.

This guide will give you an introduction to semi recessed basins and an overview of the range available at Victoria Plum.

What is a semi recessed basin?

This style of basin is halfway between a counter top basin and a fully recessed basin and vanity unit. It sits on top of a unit but projects or hangs over the front rather than being fully fitted within the counter top. Semi recessed basins can come in different shapes and designs, with rounded edges or more angular, and can be contemporary or traditional in style. They are commonly used in combination with vanity units or fitted bathroom furniture.

Before you read on, it is worth noting that, in British English, the terms "basin" and "sink" can be used interchangeably to describe the same product. This means a “semi recessed basin” is essentially the same as a “semi recessed sink”. However, for the purposes of clarity, we will continue using the term “basin” throughout this buying guide.


Semi recessed basins can suit a wide range of bathrooms, whether you want to create a functional family bathroom, a sleek and contemporary retreat or a traditional bathroom evoking classic style.

For a contemporary and practical look, the Elena 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin from Orchard Bathrooms makes an ideal choice, with its rounded bowl shape and understated styling.

Orchard Elena 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin 500mm

Perfect for modern family bathrooms: the Elena semi recessed basin from Orchard Bathrooms

The Carter 1 tap hole semi recessed basin from Mode Bathrooms makes more of a style statement with its sleek design and slim sides, perfect for a minimalist contemporary bathroom.

Mode Carter 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin 550mm

For premium quality and contemporary style, the Carter semi recessed basin from Mode Bathrooms is an excellent choice

If you prefer a slightly more traditional look, you could go for the Dulwich 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin from Orchard Bathrooms, which comes with wonderfully smooth, rounded edges.

Orchard Dulwich 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin 565mm

Create a refined look and feel with the Dulwich semi recessed basin from Orchard Bathrooms

Is a semi recessed basin right for my bathroom?

Semi recessed basins can be a great choice for many different types of bathroom. They can be effective in larger bathrooms when part of a unit layout, but can also be useful in smaller bathrooms, allowing you to incorporate extra storage. Many vanity units are supplied complete with a semi recessed basin, meaning there’s no need to purchase separately.

If you want more of a fitted bathroom look, a semi recessed basin is the ideal choice, as it can easily be incorporated. A counter top basin is another option for this style of bathroom if you want a cleaner, more contemporary look.

Fitting a semi recessed basin

A semi recessed basin needs to be properly fitted into your chosen countertop, which can be a tricky job when you want a really clean finish. It’s always best to employ a professional plumber to install your basin to the get the best possible result, as well as making sure everything is properly and safely connected.

Find out more about installing fitted furniture and semi recessed basins in this handy video:

Choosing the right taps and waste for your semi recessed basin

If you’re set on buying a new semi recessed basin, you will also need to consider the following elements to complete your installation:

Basin mixer tap

As all our semi recessed basins come with 1 tap hole, you will also need a basin mixer tap. This is a single tap that combines both the hot and cold water supplies. There are many different types and styles available. One easy rule of thumb is to complement the general style of your basin with the tap. For example, if you’ve chosen a traditional style semi recessed basin, you may want to choose a traditional style mixer tap.

Orchard Dulwich basin mixer tap

If you wish to create a more contemporary look, seek out on-trend taps in new metallic finishes, like gold, matt black or brushed brass.

Basin waste

Responsible for draining water away from your basin, the basin waste is a vital element of any semi recessed basin. While many people will think of the old-fashioned plug on a chain, modern wastes often come with a handy pop-up or flip-over design.

To work out which basin waste you require, you'll need to find out whether your chosen basin has an overflow hole. Luckily, at Victoria Plum, all our semi recessed basins have overflow holes, meaning you will need a slotted waste.

There are lots of designs and finishes to choose from, however it often pays to match the look to your chosen tap. For example, a chrome waste will go well with a chrome tap. For further inspiration, why not take a look at our basin waste ideas?

Orchard Maine 1 tap hole semi recessed countertop basin 545mm

Choosing the right tap, waste and bottle trap is important

Bottle trap

Another vital component semi recessed basin where the waste pipe goes into the wall, the bottle trap is connected directly below the waste. It helps to keep your bathroom clean and hygienic by blocking potentially harmful gases which may rise up from the sewers. The built-in filter also helps prevent items which may obstruct your pipework from going any further.

Measuring for your semi recessed basin

As with any basin, it is vitally important you choose the correct size to fit your space. Take a look at our video, showing you how to measure for a basin:

Which brand should I choose?

At Victoria Plum, we only sell high quality semi recessed basins from reputable brands. These include Armitage Shanks, Ideal Standard, Mode Bathrooms, Orchard Bathrooms, RAK and The Bath Co.

For high quality, everyday convenience and style, we’d highly recommend Orchard Bathrooms. If you’re looking for something more designer and contemporary in style, Mode Bathrooms is a great choice, while The Bath Co. is ideal for timeless, traditional design.

Shop semi recessed basins

For a huge selection of semi recessed basins, countertop basins and much, much more, browse our range today by clicking on the image below.

Shop basins

More inspiration and advice for your basin

If you’d like to go with the flow and pick the perfect basin for your bathroom, why not browse our other expert buying guides:

You may also wish to boost your knowledge with the following guides:

If you’re interested in seeing how semi recessed basins are made, check out our behind-the-scenes article. And, while you’re at it, why not discover our top bathroom basin ideas?

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 9 months 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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