Bathroom Essentials: How to Choose a Basin

by Carlisle Homes


Add a splash of style to your bathroom – here’s how to choose the right basin for your space.

A beautifully designed bathroom is a joy to spend time in, giving you somewhere to relax, recharge and unwind at the end of a busy day. There are many elements that contribute to a successful bathroom design, including a practical layout and well-chosen fixtures and finishes.

Selecting the right basin is key – you’ll want it to be comfortable and convenient to use, and to complement your bathroom’s overall style. Whether you want your basin to blend in or be the hero of your bathroom, at Carlisle we have plenty of options to choose from. You’ll find styles that integrate seamlessly into your vanity benchtop, sculptural basins that make for an eye-catching focal point and just about everything in between.

To help you choose the right basin for your bathroom, here’s a guide to the main styles and finishes, and what works best where. 

Before you start

The first step to selecting the perfect basin is to consider which bathroom it’s going into (master ensuite, family bathroom, powder room) and how much space you have. This will help narrow down the options in terms of size and shape.


Sleek and elegant, top-mounted basins produce a refined-modern look that’s well suited to minimalist spaces. Featured here: Sacramento, Redstone Estate, Sunbury.

Basin Styles

Top-mounted basins

A top-mounted basin sits on top of your benchtop creating a sophisticated look that’s ideally suited to modern, minimalist bathrooms and ensuites where you want to make a statement. They’re also a good choice for taller people as the rim is positioned above waist height. Our Seima Nimos top-mounted basin is a great example of this popular style.


Undermounted basins create a seamless look whilst ensuring easy clean-ups. Featured here: Montpellier Grand, Smiths Lane Estate, Clyde North.

Under-mounted basin

An under-mounted basin that sits beneath your benchtop offers clean and elegant lines, and allows other design elements of your vanity to shine, such as a striking benchtop material or statement tapware. With its neat, pared-back look, an under-mounted basin works particularly well in smaller bathrooms where you want to keep visual clutter to a minimum. It’s also easy to wipe spills on your benchtop directly into the basin – a boon in busy bathrooms.

Wall-mounted basin

The perfect blend of form and function in a small bathroom or powder room, a wall-mounted basin is fixed directly to the wall without the need for a benchtop. It’s a simple, space-saving style that’s ideal for any bathroom where floor space is at a premium and you don’t require storage.


Get the best of both worlds with a semi-inset basin. A beautiful conjunction of space efficiency and elegant design. Featured here: Sacramento, Minta Estate, Berwick.

Semi-inset basins

Want the striking good looks of a top-mounted basin and the space-saving benefits of an undermounted basin? Then a semi-inset basin, which sits partially within and partially on top of your benchtop, might be the perfect option. The Sarah Semi-Inset Basin, which features soft, organic curves, is one of our most popular styles. 

Semi-recessed basin

If you want to maximise floor space in your bathroom or ensuite and also have some vanity cabinets for storage, then a semi-recessed basin might be the solution. It partially overhangs the vanity, which means the benchtop it sits on can be as shallow as 300 millimetres, depending on the basin you choose. It is a good option for young children and people with limited mobility as you can get closer to the basin to reach the tap without the obstruction of a benchtop or cabinets. 

Basin Shapes

A round or oval basin has a classic and elegant feel and makes an appealing option for ensuites. Its rounded shape will add a sense of softness to your bathroom, balancing out the traditionally sharp lines of the room.  

A pair of sleek, white round or oval basins on a timber vanity looks stunning in an ensuite and provides plenty of space for two to get ready in the morning. Or, create a bold focal point in a family bathroom with a round black basin, such as our Fienza Reba Matte Black above-counter basins. 

Round or oval basins are also easy to clean as there’s no place for dirt to get trapped – simply wipe around them with a cloth and you’re done. 

For a more striking and contemporary look in your bathroom, consider a rectangular style, such as our Seima Pacto 530 semi-inset basin, or a space-savvy square basin, like our Decina Carina semi-inset basin. Rectangular and square basins also provide a flatter and more expansive sink surface than an oval or round sink – ideal for those who appreciate a little more wash space.


A style to suit all homes. Browse our range to find the perfect basin to complete your bathroom look here. Featured here is the Sarah Semi-Inset Basin from Fienza.

Basin Colours, Materials & Finishes

Basins come in a huge choice of colours, materials and finishes. Here are the main options: 

Ceramic: Most basins you’ll see on the market are ceramic. They’re affordably priced, durable and easy to clean. Ceramic basins come in a gloss, matt and textured finish and your choice of colour, including pink, taupe, blue and green, allowing you to create a look that’s all your own. Or, add some dark drama to your bathroom with a black ceramic basin, such as our Seima Plati 204 black basin.  

Porcelain: Another popular choice, porcelain is even hardier than ceramic, and generally a little cheaper too. Porcelain basins are typically white, but other colours are available too. Finishes range from matt to high gloss. 

Concrete: With a textural feel and matt finish, concrete basins are hugely popular right now. And grey isn’t your only option – they also come in colours such as pink, mint, greige and forest green. 

As they’re porous, concrete basins will require sealing upon installation and every year or so after that. They’re also heavy so ensure your vanity can take the weight.


Remember, your basin, tapware and splashback should work together seamlessly and therefore be considered in tandem.

Solid surface: A basin in solid surface (such as Corian) mimics the luxury look and textural feel of natural stone, but in a more affordable material. Solid surface is also hygienic, easy to clean and impervious to water, with no sealing required. 

And Don’t Forget Your Tapware!

The basin you choose will influence your choice of tapware, so it’s a good idea to choose them together. Most basins are available with a choice of one or three tap holes. But if you opt for wall-mounted tapware, you won’t need any tap holes at all. Discover the latest tapware trends here.

Get inspired for your bathroom. Get ideas, inspiration and see our stunning bathroom solutions from leading suppliers used with a visit to our Spectra Showroom or start your journey online today, here.


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