What Is a Pedestal Sink and Why Is It a Popular Choice for Small Bathrooms?

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated May 17, 2022
bright white bathroom with classic pedestal sink
Photo: KristianSeptimiusKrogh / iStock / Getty Images

 If you want a sleek, chic look, a pedestal sink might be for you

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Pedestal sinks were a popular feature at the beginning of the twentieth century, and they are making a comeback with fresh new styles. Unlike a vanity sink, a pedestal sink typically contains just two parts: a basin on top and a pedestal on the bottom. The basin collects water, and the pedestal supports the fixture’s weight. What it lacks in storage, it makes up for in space-saving. The pedestal sink is a common choice for smaller bathrooms or those with additional storage areas. 

If you’re looking for something simple and elegant, the pedestal sink may be the route for you. Let’s look at the pedestal sink’s key features in more detail to help you decide.

Pedestal Sink vs. Vanity Sink

While pedestal sinks save a lot of floor space, they offer no storage space around or under the sink. This can be a dealbreaker if you need extra space to store your lotions, face masks, and other bathroom essentials. Most vanity sink options feature a countertop and base, allowing for more storage than pedestal sinks. Vanity sink options also tend to be more customizable.

Pedestal Sink Advantages and Disadvantages

When narrowing down your options for a new sink, it’s important to look at both pros and cons. On the one hand, pedestal sinks offer a traditional look, are durable, and don’t take much maintenance. On the other hand, they usually don’t feature much storage space and are more pricey than other options.

Advantages

  • Durable and long-lasting

  • Saves floor space

  • Easy to maintain and clean

Disadvantages

  • Little to no storage or counter space

  • Can be costly, ranging from roughly $325 to $730

    • In comparison, vanity sinks are usually around $130 to $280

  • Pedestal sink installations tend to be a more advanced project and may include wall repair work

2 sink types compared by cost, with pedestal sinks ranging $325 to $730

Ideal Bathroom Configurations

While pedestal sinks can be beautiful in any bathroom, there are some types of bathrooms pedestal sinks are better suited for than others. Pedestal sinks tend to be ideal for smaller bathrooms or bathrooms that don’t require as much storage. While you may need vanity drawers and cabinets in a full bathroom, you likely don’t need to store as much in a power room. 

You’ll also want to look at the other fixtures and layout of your bathroom before choosing a pedestal sink. Full bathrooms that have stand-alone porcelain bathtubs or sleek, luxury showers, tend to look good with pedestal sinks rather than large, clunky vanities. 

Pedestal Installations

Installing a pedestal sink can be particularly complex if you need to replace your current flooring, baseboard, and wallboard (any material attached to studs and used for finishing material) in the area under and behind the vanity space. Unless you’re an expert in dealing with exposed plumbing, hire a professional sink installer to install your new sink.

The pedestal sink is supported by both the wall behind the sink and the bolts that are secured to the wall, attached to the sink’s base. Sometimes, installation requires additional wall or floor supports. Typically, your installer will secure two hanger bolts to the wall behind the sink.

Note: If you’re thinking about transitioning from a traditional vanity to a pedestal sink, keep in mind that you may need to make multiple repairs or changes because often, the wall behind your vanity will not look like the other walls. It might be scraped, discolored, damaged, or even have super-cool ‘60s floral wallpaper. 

That being said, with enough research, a little patience, and some time, many homeowners can successfully install a pedestal sink on their own.

Pedestal Sink Cost

According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to install a pedestal sink tends to fall between $300 and $370 but can vary depending on style, materials, labor fees, and added features. Typically, around $210 goes toward installation with homeowners paying on average $330 to $730 for the total cost. Pedestal sinks by themselves usually range from roughly $130 to $800.

The cost of your pedestal sink will depend on the material you choose–stainless steel tends to be the least expensive, and solid surface is the most pricey material for pedestal sinks.

While the pedestal sink costs more than some other types, there are affordable options due to its range of styles. The good news is that pedestal sinks are highly durable since the entire sink is made of the same material which makes it less likely to break. Durability depends on the sink material–one of the most common materials for bathroom sinks, porcelain, is typically very durable. So, if you can swing it, a pedestal sink may be worth the long-term investment. 

If this isn’t in your budget, there are several other sink options, many of which you can install yourself if you know what you’re doing and want to pinch pennies.

Is a Pedestal Sink Right for You?

If you like a traditional look, need more floor space, and have enough storage space elsewhere, a pedestal sink may be perfect for you.

If you’re seeking more bathroom storage and counter space, or if you don’t want a costly installation, this might not be the sink for you.

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