Vanity basins are an alternative to the standard basin and pedestal arrangement found in the majority of UK bathrooms. They differ from a standard basin in that they have a rim with a flat underside designed to sit on top of a flat surface such as a countertop.
A template is provided with each vanity basin to aid with cutting the aperture in the countertop surface that will take the bowl.
Vanity basins are designed to be used with
- a bathroom vanity unit
- a wash stand
- built in bathroom furniture
A vanity unit is basically a cupboard with a flat upper surface into which the vanity basin is mounted. There are many different sizes and designs on the market, but most tend to be a flat pack MDF with a vinyl foil covering which helps keeps the moisture out. Being enclosed, a vanity unit can swallow towels and cleaning materials, keeping the rest of the bathroom clutter-free. Some vanity units utilise a semi-recessed vanity bowl but these are more commonly used with bathroom furniture. When they are used with a vanity unit the cupboard space tends to about half that of a full depth unit but they do have a smaller floor "footprint" which can help in making a small bathroom feel larger.
A lot of vanity unit manufacturers make matching bathroom cabinets which are ideal for smaller bathroom items, such as toiletries.
If you have a small bathroom a washstand can prove ideal as their open design is not as imposing as a vanity unit. If there is no apron below the countertop then all of the pipework will be visible so an exposed basin waste would be preferable. A washstand can also be used with a glass basin to provide a striking feature in the bathroom.
Bathroom furniture is similar in concept to kitchen units in that they comprise several individual units fitted together under a worktop/countertop to drastically increase the amount of storage available in a bathroom. Wall units (usually half the depth of the base units) are also available to make the most of whatever wall space you can spare. Most fitted bathroom furniture utilise the semi-recessed vanity basin so that the bowl is half in / half out of the cupboard. A common error made when installing this type of vanity basin occurs when transferring the template to the front of the unit to mark the cut-out. Most templates do not allow for the depth of the countertop (as they can vary) so be sure to take this into consideration.