Why Pedestal Sinks Have Made a Comeback

The Ins and Outs of These Popular Vintage Basins

Pedestal Sink
Pedestal Sink. Terry J Alcorn/Getty Images

What comes around, goes around -- that pretty much describes pedestal sinks. After occupying a familiar place in bathrooms for many years, pedestals gradually fell out of fashion. Now, they are surging back in popularity and can be found in many homes. But why have these vintage basins -- which don't get top marks for practicality -- grabbed the attention of today's homeowners? Here's a look at what pedestal sinks are and when they can be a good option. 

Pedestal Sink Basics

Pedestal sinks are composed of two pieces: the pedestal (i.e., the "leg") and the sink basin. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that pedestal sink basins are supported by the wall as well as the pedestal. The wall behind the intended sink location must be strong enough to support the weight of the basin. Also, the supply and drain pipes must enter the sink from the wall rather than the floor.

Why Choose a Pedestal?

Pedestal sinks are better suited to some types of bathrooms over others. For starters, they work perfectly in any bathroom where space is limited. This includes half baths and powder rooms. Baths that aim for a period style also can be a great fit for a pedestal. Many new pedestal sinks are modeled after traditional styles, offering an authentically vintage look in a new unit. But regardless of the style, pedestal sinks give your bathroom an airy, open look, in contrast to the bulk of a vanity cabinet. 

Why Not Get a Pedestal?

The clean, airy look of pedestals comes with a significant drawback: no counter or storage space. Many pedestal sink basins have very little flat space for setting down a razor or makeup. This makes them a poor choice for busy family bathrooms. Some models do offer limited "counter" space via an apron around the basin bowl. Square sinks usually feature the largest aprons. As for storage space, there is none. Anything that would be stashed in a sink vanity cabinet has to go in a separate cabinet or closet or in a medicine cabinet above the sink. If you're considering switching from a vanity and sink to a pedestal, keep in mind that you may need to replace the flooring, baseboard, wall covering, etc. behind and underneath the vanity space when the old vanity comes out. 

Prices and Shopping Tips

You can find pedestal sinks from about $130 and up. One of my favorites is the square-aproned Kohler Archer. It has that classic look found in the old American Standard ads, and it's quite affordable. When shopping for pedestal sinks, read the fine print. Even though the picture may show both a basin and pedestal, the given price may apply to only one of the pieces. Products described as a sink pedestal are not the same as pedestal sink. If the price seems too good to be true, it's probably not for both pieces of a set.