Choosing a Countertop for Your Bathroom Vessel Sink

bathroom countertop with vessel sink
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate

Vessel sinks generally rest on the top of a bathroom counter, but some models are partially recessed into the countertop. They can be incorporated into any design but some have special plumbing needs, like overflow relief drains and faucets that have to be installed separately. Here's what you need to know to pair your counter choice with a bathroom vessel sink.

The Best Material for a Vessel Sink's Countertop

Browse vessel sinks on Amazon.

Most vessel sinks don't have an overflow, but some models do have the option. Your current standard sink probably has a drain with an overflow, so if you choose a vessel sink without one, remember to modify the plumbing with a drain marked "no overflow."

A drain without an overflow and equipped with a popup drain instead of a grid drain will drain slower and tend to "suffocate." This can create the possibility of the sink "running over" when the pop-up drain is pushed down, which can cause damage to your vanity and to the flooring.

For this reason, it makes sense to consider a solid, durable, and water-resistant countertop made from a material such as granite, marble, or quartz. Natural stones like these won't warp or swell out of shape, which can break plumbing seals, in addition to being unsightly. A grid drain will also help you avoid overflow issues.

bathroom vessel sinks on a counter with stone walls

Checking the Compatibility of Your Vanity

Technically you can put a vessel sink on any cabinet by basically replacing the countertop. But other issues can come into play, such as the height of the any cabinets or shelving underneath.

If you're starting from scratch, you can purchase entire vanities designed for vessel sinks. If you're working with an existing vanity, remember that the height of the sink should be between 29 and 36 inches, but not more.

Choose Your Bathroom Vessel Sink

Vessel sinks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and styles. You want your countertop to match all of these things, as well as to be compatible with the hardware. Once you have chosen the right bathroom sink vessel, you can determine what type of materials will be ideal to suit it, both visually and structurally.

dark stone vessel sink on bathroom counter

Weight Countertop Options

If your current countertop has a sink recessed into a cutout, where the sink is flush with the countertop, it will probably need to be replaced, since your new vessel sink will be raised mostly if not completely from the surface. You'll need source a new solid countertop without cutouts, harmonized to the style of the vessel you love.

Natural elements like stone and wood pair well, and more artificial elements like steel and plastic might look better together. Consider the whole room when making your design choices—small touches like matching color or materials with your cabinet handles can help unify your aesthetic.

Consider Installation

Vessel sinks don't usually come equipped with faucets, so choose a countertop that allows you to install your own faucets. If you're going to do your own plumbing, that might mean limiting yourself to materials you have the equipment and ability to cut yourself for best results.

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