Choosing The Right Basin for your Bathroom - Part Three: Undermount Basins
Choosing The Right Basin For Your Bathroom - Part Three : Undermount Basins
If simplicity and practicality are high on your list then an undercounter basin is a fantastic option.
In the third edition of our basin guide, we’ll take a look at why Undermount / Undercounter basins are a favourite in hotels, restaurants and homes across Australia and why it may be the perfect option for your bathroom!
Undermount basins are installed entirely underneath your bench top.
A hole is cut into your bench top to match the internal bowl dimension, the basin is then secured to the underside of your bench top, typically with silicon and brackets.
Unlike other basins, Undermounts are entirely concealed below the bench top, meaning cleaning is extremely easy. All manner of mess can simply by wiped directly into the basin, with no hidden edges to trap dirt and grime.
Undermount basins are a tried and tested way to achieve a great timeless look in your bathroom. More than any other type of basin, they allow the other features of your bathroom to really stand out, like your benchtop, cabinetry and tapware.
Because undermount basins are hidden away, they are extremely versatile and can work in with any number of schemes from federation to ultra-modern.
Undermounts are also a great way to avoid overcrowding your bench top when using two basins side by side.
As well as making your bathroom a cleaners dream, undermount basins are extremely practical to boot. Typically shapes are simple and free of detail leaving you with plenty of usable space.
Because the basin has to be secured to the bench top, the space required for installation can often be considerably larger than the visible bowl area.
In addition, an allowance has to be made inside your cabinetry to house the basin, meaning you will lose some drawer space. Also you should keep in mind that the underside of most Undermount basins is unglazed, which may be visible if you look inside your vanity.
The first step is assessing the space you have available. Be sure to ask the supplier of the basin or the retailer how much space you require on each side of the basin for installation. Typically a good rule of thumb is to allow 50mm at the front and rear if using wall mounted tapware, and 100mm at the rear if using a bench mounted mixer.
Once you have selected your basin, typically you will send it to the person cutting your bench top – usually a stone mason or carpenter. They will create a template then cut-out based on the internal bowl dimensions.
Once the whole is cut, the basin can be secured to the underside of the benchtop using silicon and brackets. Avoid using epoxy or powerful glue as these void most manufacturers warranties.
Why is this do you ask…ceramic basins in particular will expand and contract very slightly as cold/hot water is run through them. If a powerful glue has been used, this doesn’t allow the basin to expand and contract, potentially causing cracks.
If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to call the manufacturer to be sure, better safe than sorry!
Once your basin has been secured to your benchtop, all that’s left is to secure the benchtop to your cabinetry, which is typically done on site in your bathroom.
Tapware can be mounted in the benchtop or on the wall. And as always try and position your tapware so the water flow is landing on or near your waste.