Glass Vessel Sinks: What to Know Before You Buy

Modern bathroom
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  • 01 of 05

    Opaque Solid Color Glass Vessel Sink

    Vessel Sink in Bathroom
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    If vessel sinks represent pure show, indulgence, and fun, glass vessel sinks push the envelope even a bit farther. Glass vessel sinks take a concept that already teeters on the edge between style and practicality, and helps it soar into the realm of fantasy. 

    Glass vessel sinks catch the light in ways that no other sink can. When cascading with water, glass vessel sinks dance with light and activity and they always attract attention. 

    But glass vessel sinks elicit a wide range of emotions, too. Those who love them often love them with abandon. Those who don't could never be coaxed into owning one, often seeing them as dated or gimmicky. Nor do vessel sinks have a wide range of installation areas. You would never install one in a child's bathroom or a teen's bathroom, but you might do so in a powder room or master bathroom.

    Advantages

    • Like all vessel sinks, glass vessels provide extra countertop space. Under the curving sides of the sinks lies a bit more space that can be used for setting things on the counter.
    • Vessel sinks tend to contain splashes in a smaller area due to their high sides. 
    • With their unique look, glass vessel sinks are a quick way to lend style to an otherwise bland bathroom.
    • Glass vessel sinks show the water through their translucent sides, a claim that no other vessel sink material can make.
    • As with other vessel sinks, glass vessel basins easily install on the countertop since only a drainage hole is necessary. A large sink cut-out is not needed.

    Disadvantages

    • Glass vessel sinks have exposed fragile edges. This means that glass vessels are more prone to chipping and cracking than regular drop-in or under-mount sinks or even vessel sinks made of other materials such as ceramic or metal.
    • In extreme cases, glass vessel sinks can even snap off of the countertop entirely when pressure is applied to the edge (such as with a person leaning down) since its drainage pipe is its main connection point.
    • Clear glass vessel sinks show dirt and soap scum more readily than opaque, frosted, or crackled glass vessel sinks.
    • As with all vessel sinks, glass vessels have no overflow drainage. Along with the breakage factor, this is another reason why you would not want to install a vessel sink in a child's bathroom.
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  • 02 of 05

    Clear Glass Vessel Sink

    Clear Glass Vessel Sink
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    If you generally are not in the habit of closing the sink stopper, you might find yourself doing so with a clear glass vessel sink. Clear glass vessel sinks are fun to watch as they fill up, the waterline bobbing and gradually rising to the top. 

    With hair, debris, and soap residue more evident than with opaque vessel sinks, clear vessels demand more frequent cleaning. But if you install your clear glass sink in a bathroom that gets lighter usage, this should not be a problem.

    Even if your tempered glass vessel sink is advertised as scratch-proof, you should always avoid using abrasive cleaners on it. Instead, sink manufacturers tend to recommend that you use mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth or sponge. A mixture of half-vinegar and half-water can also be used to remove stubborn stains.

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  • 03 of 05

    Frosted Glass Vessel Sink

    Frosted Glass Vessel Sink
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    Frosted glass is another popular type of treatment used with vessel sinks, both for practicality and looks.

    On the practical side, frosted glass cures several issues faced by clear glass vessel sinks. No longer are you dealing with issues of soap scum visibility and surface imperfections on the basin. Bathroom cleaners that leave a white residue are not as apparent as with clear glass. Small scratches are better disguised.

    The frosted glass gives the vessel sink an entirely different look. Frosted glass vessel sinks are less about the water in the basin than about the look of the material itself. In the right type of light, frosted glass casts a soft, relaxing glow, and its matte appearance works well with glossy countertop surface treatments.

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  • 04 of 05

    Swirled Green Glass Vessel Sink

    Green Glass Vessel Sink
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    Swirled additives introduced during the manufacturing of this glass vessel sink give the material a visual texture like none other. Glass additives show on both the inside and the outside of the basin, and they can be other pieces of glass, metal, or stone. For this deep bottle-green color, iron oxides and chromiums are incorporated into the glass-making process.

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  • 05 of 05

    Flat, Shallow-Sided Glass Vessel Sink

    Shallow Sided Glass Vessel Sink
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    Shallow-sided vessel sinks are so flat that they do not have sink stoppers. Never are they used in the traditional sense for filling the basin with water. Instead, these sinks are for hand-washing and for quickly diverting the wastewater down the drain. Shallow-sided vessel sinks are classified as sinks that have sides that are 4 inches high or lower.