What’s the link between wash basin colours and the colour of cars? Well, in 1909 when Henry Ford was speaking about the Model-T car he famously said that customers can have “any colour so long as it’s black.” It seems that wash basin manufacturers followed a similar mantra, with white basins being the most common for many years. So, why are ceramic white sinks so popular and what are the latest trends in bathroom basin finishes?

Why white coloured sinks are so popular

Pure white round ceramic basin
Ceramic Sinks are made by combining clays and minerals such as quartz mixed thoroughly with water and fired at a very high temperature of over 1,200 degrees Celsius. The result is a hard-wearing, fully sealed, smooth surface with a pure white appearance.

A white finish would seem to be an almost perfect colour for a bathroom sink for several reasons:

  • White is a primary colour and therefore perfect for combining with a range of neutral colours in your bathroom. Neutral wall colours such as beige, grey and cream often work well in a bathroom because they can give an impression of size in smaller spaces. In addition, it’s often easier to find accessories that will go with a white basin rather than any other colour.
  • If you think of hospital colours, white will most often spring to mind as the most sanitary colour used. And you want your bathroom or cloakroom to have that same feeling of hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Toothpaste and soap scum can both leave white marks on wash basins so a white sink is considered a way to camouflage those marks (at least until you next get around to the cleaning).

Bathroom Colour Trends Have Changed

Just as Ford cars are now produced in a huge array of colours, there’s an increasing variety of basin colours and finishes available for you to choose from. In the ’60s and ’70s, there was an explosion of exotic-sounding colours on the market. Do you remember those Pampas, Avocado, Champagne, Pink and Primrose bathroom suites? They may be considered a bit passe now – but specialist retailers still stock these retro colours if that’s your thing.

Today, rather than simply adding pigments to change the colour of a basin, alternative finishes are increasingly being used to produce basins with unique colours and textures.

1970s-style pink bathroom sink with small white wall tiles in the background

Common Alternatives to White Ceramic Basins

Stone Resin Sinks

Stone Resin is a highly durable material which can be moulded into almost any shape of mould. These basins create a contemporary look and are often finished with smooth edges. A consistent pure white finish is always found in stone resin sinks.

The corner of a stone resin sink with a stainless steel waste plug in the background.

Natural Stone Sinks

No two natural stone basins are alike since there are always variations in the natural materials used to make them. Soft to the touch, natural stone sinks are the epitome of luxury and are a focal point in many bathrooms.

Stone basins are produced in different tones to match a variety of décor, including:

  • Cream Galala – a light and subtle limestone with a luxuriously smooth finish
  • Dark Grey Black – a sophisticated blue stone almost black in nature
  • Light Grey Sandstone – a modern, contemporary look for your basin

A cream limestone basin with a stainless steel tap
Hand Basins Made From Glass

Strengthened glass is an ideal material for wash basins since it is non-porous and therefore doesn’t mark easily. Glass sinks have a unique beauty which can look fabulous mounted onto a bathroom counter. These glass basins are mostly available in clear and frosted finishes or mono colours such as black or white.

Black glass basin with a stainless steel tap.

Just as Ford car colours have changed over the past 100 years, the same is true of the bathroom sink. White is still the most common colour but now there’s a wide range of other finishes to choose from. In addition, the many different shapes such as square, oval, circular and corner plus the variety of fixing options such as under counter, countertop, wall hung and recessed give you more choices than ever when considering a new bathroom basin.

Why not check out more by heading over to our article on Everything you need to know about cleaning your bathroom and the 10 must-do’s in our bathroom furniture guide?

Plumbing Superstore call our Super team banner

Was this guide useful?

Thanks for rating this article.

Mentioned in this product guide: