A countertop wash basin, also known as a sink table top, is a contemporary, stylish addition to the discerning homeowner’s bathroom.

So, it should come as no surprise that the popularity of countertop basins has skyrocketed in recent years.

That’s because apart from being incredibly elegant, these basins are quite practical. They also come in different shapes and forms and can be combined with other types of bathroom furniture, such as vanity units.

If you’re looking to buy the perfect countertop basin unit that will become the focal point of your bathroom, you’re probably wondering:

How do I choose a countertop basin?

You’ve come to the right place to get all the answers!

At Plumbing Superstore, we took a deep dive into countertop basins and all you need to know about them so you can make a well-informed buying choice.

Here’s what our guide is going to cover.

Table of contents:

What is a countertop basin?

First things first:

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when discussing countertop basins.

A countertop basin is a sink which is fitted directly on top of a flat surface. Most commonly, this is a vanity unit, but it can be pretty much anything – a cabinet, worktop, shelf unit or even a table.

Unlike standard types of bathroom sinks, a countertop basin does not feature a pedestal and is not connected to the wall. Instead, its plumbing is concealed in the unit below, creating a sophisticated, seamless look.

And that’s not all:

In addition to the undeniable aesthetic appeal, a countertop basin is practical, helping you save space that might otherwise be wasted on a traditional pedestal. And depending on the design, you might be able to choose the tap location yourself, making it a highly versatile solution.

Different styles of countertop basins and units

One of the most appealing aspects of countertop basins is the wide variety of styles and designs you choose from.

Let’s take a closer look at the most common ones, starting with types of shapes before moving on to types of materials.

Round or oval countertop basins

Round countertop basin

Round basins have a minimalist, timeless design guaranteed to gently complement any bathroom décor without necessarily stealing the show. They’re great value for money, and you also get to choose the location of the freestanding tap

Oval basins feature the same curved design as round ones but are slightly more self-assertive thanks to their stylish, thin edges.

Rectangular countertop basins

rectangular countertop basin unit

If you’re unsure which style will work best with your bathroom, you can’t go wrong with a rectangular shape. This timeless, traditional countertop basin is guaranteed to be a welcome, highly versatile addition to pretty much any bathroom. Rectangular basins are also affordable and easy to install.

But wait! There’s more:

Some rectangular countertop basins are quite narrow, and you can choose the location of the tap. All of this makes them an ideal option for a small cloakroom.

Square countertop basins

Alto White Stone Resin Large Square Basin

Square countertop sinks benefit from their symmetrical, minimalist look which is both contemporary and timeless. Like rectangular ones, they’re an excellent choice for smaller bathrooms, as they’re quite compact without compromising on functionality or style.

This also means that, if you have a larger vanity unit or cabinet in your main bathroom, you can even fit two separate square basins side by side!

Ceramic countertop basins

Messina White Ceramic Oval Basin

Ceramic basins are a tried-and-tested, go-to option we’re all familiar with. They’re affordable, durable and easy to maintain. So, if that’s what you’re after – by all means, go for the safe, familiar choice.

Check this out first, though:

The thing to look out for is whether the ceramic basin you’re considering is glazed all the way around. Remember – a countertop basin unit isn’t connected to the wall, which means you’ll be able to see and have access to the back!

Natural stone countertop basins


Non-ceramic countertop basins are growing in popularity. And among the growing number of innovative countertop basin ideas, natural stone takes the place of pride.

The thing is:

Natural stone countertop basins look absolutely stunning. They’re guaranteed to draw anyone’s attention and take your entire bathroom to the next level. Last but not least, they’re an eco-friendly, highly durable solution.

Glass countertop basins

glass basin

Glass may not be an obvious choice when it comes to a bathroom sink. However, that’s slowly beginning to change, with manufacturers designing exquisite reinforced glass basins in a variety of finishes.

What’s more:

Contrary to what you might expect, they’re sturdy and durable and can make quite a statement in any bathroom.

Are countertop sinks practical?

We’ve already mentioned in passing, that countertop basins are practical as well as elegant. In this section, we’ll see what factors contribute to their practicality.

Firstly, a countertop sink unit allows for more bathroom storage than either a pedestal or a wall-hung basin. And we all know how important sufficient storage space is, even in a large bathroom!

Secondly, countertop bathroom sinks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them suitable for both small and large bathrooms.

Finally, countertop basins tend to be higher and more spacious than a traditional pedestal or wall-hung basins or vanity sinks. This, in turn, prevents substantial water spillage to the counter and the floor, making for a tidy bathroom experience.

Just how much higher, I hear you say?

That’s what we’re going to find out next.

What height should a countertop basin be?

Because it’s mounted on top of an existing cabinet or vanity unit, the height of your countertop basin will ultimately depend on the height of that unit.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Most countertop basins are about 5″-6″ (12.5cm-15cm) tall on their own, and you want the total height to be around 36″-37″ (91.5cm-94cm). So, when buying the vanity unit separately, you should look for one that is around 31″ (80cm) in height.

That being said, at the end of the day, the countertop wash basin height is a matter of personal choice and preference.

The bottom line is:

For the greatest comfort and ease of use, the countertop basin should be roughly the height of your waist. To make things easier, you can always buy a vanity unit with a countertop basin combo.

How to fit a countertop basin

One of the many benefits of a countertop basin is that it’s reasonably quick and easy to install. That’s because it’s not connected to the wall, and you don’t have to worry about hiding the plumbing either!

With that in mind, here’s how to secure a basin to a vanity unit:

Start by measuring up the size of the drain hole you need to drill into the top of the vanity unit. Then, cut the hole. After that, apply a liberal bead of silicone and carefully fit the basin.

Once the silicone has set, add the waste pipe and secure it with silicone.

That’s all it takes!

Choosing the right countertop basin for your bathroom

Whether you have a laid-back, traditional or edgy, ultra-contemporary bathroom, a countertop wash basin is an excellent choice.

Elegant, functional, practical and highly versatile, it’s quick and easy to install on virtually any vanity unit or bathroom cabinet.

What’s more:

There’s no shortage of countertop basin unit options for you to choose from. With various shapes, sizes and materials readily available on the market, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect countertop basin for your bathroom.

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