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Wash Basin vs Sink, What’s The Difference?

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How are basins and sinks different? Both of them have a drain at the bottom of the fixture, a tap close by, and the ability to hold water. Additionally, the terms are frequently used in the same context. Therefore, they are essentially the same, right? Although there are more similarities between sinks and basins than differences, a few notable differences distinguish the two.

For instance, basins are shallow dishes that can only contain a gallon of water, but sinks are often big, bowl-shaped fixtures. Read on to learn more about the differences between a sink and a basin.


What is a sink?

A washbasin is a permanently installed basin with a drain and water supply, according to the dictionary’s definition. It is made with a built-in drain for simple drainage through a linked drainage pipe and is intended to supply water for washing. Sinks typically have their own taps for an easy-to-access water supply.

Although there are variants with deeper bowls, sinks are typically nine to 10 inches deep. Several different models are available, each with various materials, designs, mounting options, and finishes.

Where to install a sink?

Since sinks are often deeper than basins, these rooms are where they are most typically located. In an integrated design, they can include up to three bowls, allowing users to use each bowl for a separate activity (washing, rinsing, drying, etc.).

Generally speaking, kitchen or laundry room sinks range in width from 22 to 36 inches. However, there are smaller ones on the market right now. They can contain several litres of water because their typical depth is 9 to 10 inches. This provides ample room for cleaning, rinsing fruit, and washing larger dishes.


What is a basin?

According to Merriam-Webster, a basin is an open container with sloping or curved sides frequently used to hold washing water. The definition states that basins often have a circular form. Even though basins can be built next to a tap, tap setups are typically distinct from basin installations. They often have a built-in water stopper or drain to catch or drain water.

Take a vessel sink, which is common in bathroom settings. These specific versions have a basin-like shape, with many showing a bowl-shaped, circular design lying atop the counter. Although they frequently have their own tap, they have an integrated drain.


Where to install a basin?

Basins are typically seen in washroom settings. They are not the best choice for kitchen or laundry use because they are often shallower than sinks. They’re ideal for the bathroom because of their design.

Basins are ideal for these settings because you don’t need a particularly deep sink to wash your hands, teeth, or face. Basins often have a shallow design and can only store a gallon or two of water at most.


Are basins and sinks interchangeable?

Although they are often used interchangeably, sinks and basins are not the same thing since one is a deeper bowl-shaped fixture, and the other is a shallow dish or bowl. But these days, people frequently use the two terms interchangeably. Although they are different, most people believe they are similar enough.

Nevertheless, few people refer to kitchen sinks as basins. Although they may refer to the sink’s bowl as a basin, they often refer to the entire fixture as a sink. On the other hand, it can be confusing when people call sinks basin-style bathroom fixtures.

A short comparison of their similarities and differences is provided in the table below.





With a tap and a drain, a stationary basin.

A shallow dish or open vessel with sloping or curved edges


They come in various materials, such as glass, granite, quartz, fireclay, porcelain, composite, stainless steel, and copper.

Despite the fact that they can be built from many different materials, they are frequently made of ceramic, steel, or acrylic.


Corner sinks, double-basin sinks, and other designs and combinations are among those that are available.

Typically, curves that are circular or have a slope

Water stopper/drain




For the tap and other attachments, the sink deck of many models comes with pre-drilled holes.

In most cases, there is no built-in tap compatibility.


Why is a sink called a wash basin?

Sometimes sinks are referred to as basins and vice versa. The French term “baçon,” which denotes a shallow vessel or dish, is where the English word “basin” first appeared. The old English word “sincan”, which means to sink, submerge, or subside, is the source of the word “sink”.

The place where the contents of the basin would sink is where the term “sink” came from. Although they seem similar, the two terms imply different things; this is also a perfect example of how language has evolved over time.


Can you install a basin in the kitchen and a sink in the bathroom?

Because of their shallow design, basins are not appropriate for use in the kitchen. Of course, there might be the odd exception, but generally speaking, they function best in other settings (like the bathroom).

For chores like washing dishes and cleaning fresh fruit, your kitchen has to be spacious. As a result, you need a washbasin that is bigger, deeper, and can contain a lot of water. If not, washing dishes or rinsing fresh veggies will result in a mess.

On the other hand, what about utilising a kitchen sink in locations where basins are typically installed? Sinks are best used in the location for which they were intended, similar to the scenario of the basin in the kitchen. A kitchen or utility sink wouldn’t function as well in the bathroom, even though you could use a bathroom sink there.

The first problem is one of space because these sinks are huge and would occupy an excessive amount of it. Second, since tasks in the bathroom are normally limited to hand washing, tooth brushing, and similar activities, you typically don’t need a large wash basin.

In spite of the fact that you could theoretically switch the two, it’s ideal to use them where they were intended. Need to know more about basins and sinks, as well as their multiple design options? Drop by our showroom today, and we’ll show you more! Contact us at +65 9186 3078 to set up an appointment. We look forward to having you visit us!


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Sim Siang Choon