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Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the sinks we install in them. So how do you choose the right size sink for yours? Well, a simple, but thoughtful, evaluation of your bathroom space and your specific needs should give you the answer.

Standard sinks come in three basic shapes, and most fall within a given size range. Round bowls are usually 16 to 20 inches in diameter, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one much larger simply because the circular design makes it impractical. Oval and rectangular models, however, can extend from 19 to 24 inches in width — these shapes can even be found stretching to 30 inches or more.

There are pros and cons to going large with your sink. Let’s get the cons out of the way first (there are only two). If your bathroom is very small and cramped, you need to be reasonable and go small. And, if your vanity top is limited in size, a large sink will take up valuable level spaces for the basics like cups, toothbrushes, and soap.

That said, if you have even a moderately sized bath and plenty of vanity surface to work with, there are a number of perks to going large.

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That said, if you have even a moderately sized bath and plenty of vanity surface to work with, there are a number of perks to going large.

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Most of us are going to wash our hands and faces, brush our teeth, and shave in the sink; that’s a given. A large sink will automatically help with these activities by keeping any splashes more easily contained.

What else will a large sink let you do? Well, there are those times when you might want to wash, or even dye, your hair. A large sink will let you do that. If you trim your hair, the clippings are bound to stay in a large bowl for easier cleanup. When that delicate piece of clothing gets stained and needs soaking, into the large sink it goes. Your newborn or puppy might need a quick bath; a large sink makes the perfect mini-tub. You can fill a tall vase or another container with water without having to run all the way to the kitchen. And should you overwater a sizeable potted plant, you can safely let it drain in your large sink.

If your kitchen sink ever becomes disabled for an extended period of time and you’re desperate, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you invested in a large bathroom sink. A good rule of thumb: unless you have very limited space, going bigger is usually better and may prove very beneficial if and when a special need presents itself.