What you may consider today part of an elegant, traditional, or even upscale bathroom design was once a rudimentary solution to an everyday problem.
Prior to the creation of modern plumbing, homeowners had to get creative when it came to building sinks for their homes. Typically, they would have crude, shallow troughs made of whatever materials were available to them, such as carved wood or stone that they would then line with another material such as zinc or lead. The sinks were often similar in build to those that would feed and water the animals outside. Thus, the trough sink became part of everyday home design.
Once called a “slopstone” sink for how they were carved out, trough sinks have been used in English countryside homes for centuries, helping with everything from washing hands to preparing food. The modern sink as we know it today didn’t become popular until the mid-1850s and 1900s, and it wasn’t until we had more information about how bacteria spread that the materials changed from wood to acrylic, cement, and stone.
Trough sinks are still used today, though in versions not quite as simplistic as they once were. These sinks are sometimes seen in upscale bathroom designs, Japanese bathroom layouts (which are communal by nature and accompanied by a similarly wide sink), and can also be installed in your home. Today, it is more common to see trough sinks in a more minimalistic design, with a clean ceramic or acrylic basin. It’s less common to see authentic trough sinks incorporated into interior design, given that they were rougher, less functional, and larger. However, you can still utilize those if you are looking to create a more rustic design.
Though they require a special layout to install, the benefits of having a trough sink aside from their appearance is that they are extremely functional. Here’s everything you need to know about installing one in your home.
Why are trough sinks popular again?
Generally speaking, modern design incorporates more ancient, rustic elements than ever before. As opposed to the trends of the late 1900s, where inorganic materials such as plastics were more in fashion, now it’s more popular to use stones, woods, and other natural materials.
Trough sinks are sturdy and extremely versatile. They also give an instantly upscale and luxurious feel to your home. If you are not redesigning the entire layout of your kitchen, a trough sink might be hard to incorporate given that most cabinets are cut to accommodate a standard-sized sink. However, they’re easier to include in a bathroom, especially one in which you want multiple people to be able to use it at once.
Instead of sweetheart sinks and mirrors, you can opt for a trough sink and extended mirror, merging the features into one. In other cases, you can incorporate a trough sink if you’re basing your redesign on a more rustic or farmhouse chic appearance.
Considerations before purchasing a trough sink
As homey and unique as trough sinks can appear, your space must be able to accommodate one. There are a few items you will need to check off before you’re ready to install your own.
Is the space available?
In a standard size kitchen, it often doesn’t make sense for an extra-long sink to be installed, one which will inevitably take up a lot of otherwise utilized countertop space and even make the room look disproportionately laid out.
However, if you do have the space, either in your kitchen, your washroom, or your bathroom, a trough sink is best utilized if you have more than one adult that will need to use the sink at a time. This is what makes it a great addition to a modern bathroom renovation (especially if you’re building your sink and cabinet yourself) — it provides a lot of space for two people to use the water at once.
Is the plumbing ready?
Along with multiple faucets is going to come the need for multiple water lines to run. If you already have your sink hooked up to a certain area of a bathroom or kitchen, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, additional plumbing will almost always be a priority if you are going to have more than one faucet in the sink.
Our favorite trough sinks
Once all of the technical details are in order, you can shop for just the right trough sink to fit your space. Here are some of our favorite choices.