Q. My wife and I are installing a new bathroom sink. We agreed on a "vessel" style, but had no idea that we had so many material choices. We're leaning toward a "natural stone" vessel sink. To help us with a final decision, can you please tell us more about stone vessel sinks?
A. A vessel sink sits on top of the counter rather than being mounted in or below the countertop. This opens up a lot of design opportunities because the sink rim will not be confined to fitting a straight countertop edge.
Along with design freedom comes a vast choice of materials that you can use for a vessel sink. China, stainless steel and cast iron can keep the look a little more traditional. Glass, metal and natural stone, on the other hand, can give your bathroom a more dramatic effect.
When it comes to natural stone, marble is a very popular choice for vessel sinks. Since a marble vessel sink is usually formed and polished from a single piece of stone, the finished product may look more like a piece of sculpture than a bathroom sink.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
When installing, use only caulking and sealants made for natural stone, or you may stain the sink. Also, since this is a natural product, colors and grain may be limited to the stone available. Finally, this type of bathroom sink is a higher-end plumbing product, and that's a "stone-cold" fact!
• Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scripps Howard News Service