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A countertop sink is a sink that is also a part of a counter. It’s not a pedestal sink that stands alone on a post or pedestal of some type with no countertop surface. Countertop sinks may be recessed or vessel in style. A vessel sink, which is often bowl-like, sits on top of the countertop, while a recessed sink is mounted under the counter so that the sink’s edge is even with the countertop. Ceramic, metal, glass, and stone are the most popular countertop sink materials used in homes today.
Stone such as granite, travertine, marble, sandstone, or onyx add a naturally elegant look to a sink. Hand-carved stone sinks tend to look artistic and organic. Stone sinks may be rounded, oval or rectangular in shape. Rectangular stone sink shapes may be stylized such as with the corners pointing upwards or the sides of the rectangle shape pushed in slightly in the centers. A stone sink may even be carved in the shape of a flower or leaf. One disadvantage of a stone countertop sink is that stone is a porous substance that tends to hold in water, so a stone sealer needs to be applied to many stone sinks.
Glass sinks are made in the vessel style and a glass sink may look like a decorative glass bowl. The only real difference is that a glass sink features a hole in the bottom for drainage. Many art glass bowls as well as glass sinks are hand blown by artists. Many glass sinks are round, but may be also be oval or square in shape. The glass may be textured or embossed with a pattern and the sink’s edges may be fluted or ruffled.
The transparent look of a clear or colored glass sink can add feeling of lightness and space to a room. Clear glass sinks can bring an airy, contemporary look to a bathroom, but colors such as amber, violet, green and blue are also popular for adding color and style. Glass sinks are easy to clean and maintain. A disadvantage of a glass sink is that it may break easily if something is dropped on it. It's best to look for a glass sink that is made from tempered glass as this type is considered safer and less likely to shatter.
Metal countertop sinks are traditionally made from stainless steel. Most of these are recessed to be at countertop level. Decorative copper vessel sinks have become popular more recently. The copper used for a vessel countertop sink may be hammered or embossed with a pattern such as a flowers and leaves motif. The finish on a copper sink may change over time due to the impact of water on it, but sealers and waxes help prevent these changes.
Ceramic or porcelain sinks are classic and easy to maintain and keep clean. Traditional sinks of this type are solid color and are sub-countertop, or recessed. Porcelain or ceramic countertop vessel sinks may have colorful floral accents on a white or neutral colored background.