Four Unbreakable Rules of
Buying A Glass Vessel Sink

by Valerie Mason

Love the look of a glass sink, but have no clue how to buy one? Their intriguing varieties of colors, shapes and designs can make you pull out credit card quicker than you can say crackled glass.

But before you make a purchase there are a few "rules" you should follow...

1. Know your sinks

How durable are these sinks? Not unbreakable, but sturdy because they are "tempered". Tempered glass is regular glass that has been heated to a very high temperature, and then quickly cooled. This procedure strengthens the glass, making it 5-7 times stronger than regular glass.

Sink glass is also fairly thick, with typical thicknesses ranging from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch. You can go about your normal grooming habits such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair, shaving, applying make-up, etc. without worrying about breakage.

Like the look of these "above the counter" glass sinks, but don't want glass? Consider a porcelain vessel sink. You'll get the look without the worry.

2. Know your space

The most popular glass sinks are 15-20 inches in diameter... about the width of your computer keyboard... and about 5-8 inches deep... about the length from the base of your wrist to ring or middle finger.

Make sure that you have the appropriate amount of space to accommodate the sink and accessories, plus maintain ample space away from the edge of the counter and the wall so that the "fear of leaning on it factor" is no longer a factor. 12-15 inches around the entire sink will do.

Don't have much space? Then try a pedestal sink. Pedestal sinks are sinks that are pre-mounted on a space saving pedestal. Don't want to sacrifice floor space? Try a wall mounted glass sink countertop. Both options will give you an ultra modern sink while conserving space.

Have a large bathroom to fill? A glass vessel sink vanity can help consume some space. You'll get a glass sink and a roomy counter that comes together.

3. Know your traffic

Since children have the uncanny ability to break things, you may want to rethink putting a glass vessel sink in a young child's bathroom. Children over age 10 tend to be more conscientious of their surroundings, and your glass sink stands a greater chance of surviving. Likewise, your sink's shelf-life will be greater with less foot traffic around it.

A guest bathroom or power room is well-suited for these sinks. You'll be able express your style while impressing your neighbors, friends and family. And who doesn't like to be respected for their exquisite taste? Most importantly, there will be less traffic and less worry.

If you have a large family, a family with young children or one bathroom and want the look of these glass sinks but realize that glass might not be the best option, then consider a porcelain or copper vessel sink.

4. Know your budget

Prices can start as low as $50 to as high as $10,000. There could be many reasons for the difference in pricing. Sinks can be factory made or custom made, blown glass or fused glass, single layer or double layered glass.

Custom made and/or blown glass sinks are more expensive due to the time and expertise involved in creating them. With custom made sinks, you'll communicate one-on-one with the artist of your sink and you'll receive expert knowledge about its creation and special maintenance requirements. The best part: no one else will ever have a sink exactly like yours. This comes with an upscale price of $1,000 or more.

Consider the sink's quality. Whether quality, customer service or knowledge, sometimes you get what you pay for. Be careful of sinks that start at rock bottom prices. They sometimes come without warranties, the sellers are not knowledgeable about the sinks and they're simply quantity discounters and have nothing more to offer than just a low price.

Valerie Mason is a home renovation enthusiast and has attempted (and most times has succeeded with) her own do-it-yourself home improvement ventures.