Semi-inset, integrated, freestanding or countertop: which washbasin will you choose for the bathroom of your dreams?

You can find the washbasin that suits you best by taking a look at the latest bathroom furnishings: how can you choose from so many options? Read the post and get inspired!

Once a single, separate object coordinated with your sanitaryware, the washbasin has now become an integral part of modern bathroom furniture. Nowadays, even when it’s physically by itself (like the freestanding versions) it still matches the rest of the arrangement in terms of style and finishes.
We would like to give you an overview of the various types of washbasins now available for bathroom furniture. In our video you will also find some of the novelties presented at the latest edition of Cersaie.

Ideagroup Basin Solutions

Countertop washbasin

In recent years the countertop washbasin has become particularly popular and one of the most-sold basins for bathrooms. This type of washbasin sits on the top and comes in various shapes, sizes and depths which can be chosen to suit individual tastes.
The tapware for this washbasin must be chosen to suit the height of the bowl. In fact, when purchasing a mixer tap it is important to make sure that there is enough space for you to wash your hands between the basin and the spout.

Two examples of a countertop basin (two different taps have been chosen for the configurations in the photo: a wall-mount tap in the first one and a long-neck tap in the second | On the left: Dogma collection – On the right: Dolcevita collection)

Do you like the countertop basins in these photos? They are made of Mineralsolid and you can find them in the Dolcevita collection.

Tall countertop washbasin

There is also such a thing as a tall countertop washbasin which is somewhere in between a standard countertop basin and a freestanding one (see photos on the next page). For this type of basin the tapware will necessarily be mounted on the wall.
It’s beautiful to look at and very practical to install and use as a sort of washtub in a bathroom-cum-laundry (check out other ideas to furnish your spare bathroom with functional accessories and furniture).

Tall countertop washbasin: two different versions, either curvy (on the left: My Time collection, gloss white Mineralux washbasin) or square (on the right: Nyù collection, white Aquatek washbasin) to suit individual tastes.

Do you like minimalist bathroom furniture and square lines? Take a look at the Nyù collection and check out all the possible arrangements.

Inset washbasin

Not as popular nowadays, this washbasin is fully built into the top which has a cut-out shaped to suit it. It’s usually referred to as an “undermount” washbasin because the basin is, in fact, installed under the countertop.

Semi-inset washbasin

When some of the washbasin protrudes from the top, either in height or depth, it is called a semi-inset basin. In the first case the height of the washbasin is partially concealed by the top. In the second case, the washbasin is deeper than the vanity unit. This configuration consists in installing a large basin on a unit with a smaller depth (35 or 40 cm).

On the left: semi-inset basin in Grafite Nero marble (Dogma collection). On the right: semi-inset, ceramic Cameo basin (Dolcevita collection).
Washbasin semi-inset in a wooden countertop. In this case the depth of the basin is partially concealed below the top (Nyù collection, Soul washbasin)

Washbasin integrated in the top

When a washbasin and top become a single element made of the same material we are talking about a top with an integrated washbasin. The perfect seamlessness between the basin and the unit creates a very minimalist look. In fact, the washbasin practically disappears when seen from the front!

On the left, a Fenix NTM top (Sense collection); on the right, a gloss white Mineralmarmo top with an integrated washbasin (My Time collection).

What do you think of the clean-cut lines of the washbasin integrated in the Fenix NTM top? Check out Sense to find other arrangements!

Freestanding washbasin

A freestanding washbasin can be “installed wherever you please”. In a way, it’s the evolved, design version of the classic pedestal washbasin we all know so well. However, what makes it different from the traditional basin is that it can be installed at a distance from the wall or even in the middle of the room because it is finished on all sides. Depending on its design it can have an integral tap or require a floor-mount, freestanding mixer.
Very stunning, it looks its best in a large bathroom but can even be used as the focal point of a small, design bathroom.

Cylindrical, freestanding Cristalplant washbasin with a matt, soft-touch lacquer finish (Verde Bluastro coloured) | Dolcevita collection (which even offers the possibility of matching the lacquer of the units with the colour of the washbasins).
The new freestanding washbasins presented at Cersaie 2019: on the left, Beauty (a “decomposed” pedestal washbasin from the Cubik collection) and Cubo (a cube-shaped freestanding washbasin).

Do you have to share the bathroom with other members of the family? In that case, consider fitting a double washbasin: both beautiful and practical, it’s the ideal solution for homes with just one bathroom.

Another picture from our Cersaie 2019: two identical base units fitted side-by-side can both accommodate a washbasin integrated in the Cubik Collection tops.

Choosing the material for your washbasin

While inset washbasins are generally made of ceramic, modern countertop, semi-inset and freestanding versions are available in lots of gloss or matt materials.
Corian, Mineralmarmo, fire clay (yes, the material tiles are made of!), HPL, Fenix NTM, Aquatek, Cristalplant: check out the materials contemporary washbasins are made of by clicking on the links and choose your favourite one!

Now that we’ve looked at so many of them, how can you choose your washbasin?
Just like any other choice, this one too is very personal. We would like to give you one piece of advice though: don’t just look at the aesthetics of these models when making your choice.
A good starting point is to consider your personal needs and the habits of your family:

  • Will children use the washbasin? In that case, it’s best not to choose excessively delicate materials.
  • Do you need a particularly large washbasin that can be used as a washtub as well? Will you be washing your hair in the washbasin? Wide, deep basins will meet your needs in the best possible way.
  • Will you be very meticulous about cleaning and maintenance or would practical materials that don’t react to detergents, even aggressive ones, be better for you?  Get informed about the characteristics of the various materials available and about their maintenance instructions.
  • Is the washbasin for your main bathroom or for the spare one, used mainly by guests? In the first case, it will have to be very functional; in the second, you can choose something more fancy.

You must consider many aspects before choosing the design. Try making out a list of the ways you and your family generally use the washbasin, ask yourself how often you use it and what you expect from it: this will help you choose the best model for your bathroom!

An extra tip: enhance the washbasin area with a design mirror. You can get inspired by taking a look at this article on how to choose your bathroom mirror.

And, as always, ask a skilled interior designer for professional advice. You will find one at our dealer’s: find the one nearest to you!

  1. The way you wrote this article is very much presentable with knowledge. You’ve shared your knowledge with a newbie like me which is a pleasant experience to me because I didn’t knew much of the content of this article and you’ve educated me. Thanks and keep writing.

  2. There are so many kinds of washbasins available that I really got confused about which one to choose but your article has helped me a lot by providing the benefits and the features of each of the kinds of washbasins. The freestanding washbasin is best for my bathroom as I can place it anywhere and it is finished from all sides. It will also be the focal point of my bathroom. Thank you for sharing this article.

  3. Selecting the right basin for the bathroom is really a very challenging task. But with the help of your article that task has really become very easy. I really liked the images of the washbasins that you have shared with us in this article. Thank you for sharing this article. I am sure that this article will help many people to select the right washbasin for their bathrooms.

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