The Lily Guide to Basins (or sinks!)

So you are choosing your new bathroom suite, and now you have come up against all these different names for a sink! One tap hole, two tap hole, pedestals, and cloakroom – what does it all mean and which one do you actually need? 

We have put together this guide covering all the jargon and explaining it so you can decide which one suits your space and your needs!

Basins (Sinks)

 Basins are often referred to as sinks. This is incorrect. Sinks are fitted in kitchens and basins are fitted in cloakrooms, bathrooms and en-suites.

 The term basin came from the use of a jug and basin in the days when these were used to wash yourself in the bedroom. There are six main type of basin available in the UK. These are basin and full pedestal, basin and semi-pedestal, cloakroom, semi-recessed, counter top and under-slung.

 Basin and full pedestal

This where the basin sits on full size pedestal and is the most common type in the UK. Normally the waste pipe and hot and cold water pipes run through the pedestal and into the floor.

Basin and semi-pedestal

This is where the basin sits on a half height pedestal which does not reach the floor. They are very common in Europe and becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

You may have to consult your plumber/ fitter before choosing this type to ensure you have the type of pipe work arrangement necessary to install the basin.


These are usually fitted without a pedestal, as they are normally very small basins. There are some available with pedestals but you are best to check first. The wall hung ones are normally fitted with a decorative bottle trap. For an example have a look at the Lola Cloakroom basin.

Over Counter Basin

This type of basin has a bow in the front but the underside has been cut away to produce a flat area. This is because this type of basin is usually fitted into a worktop.  For an example of this have a look at the Saffron Basin.

Counter top

This type of basin is either round or oval and fits into a hole cut into a worktop or sits directly on top of a surface such as a vanity unit. The Peppermint basin is an excellent example of this type of basin. 


The type of basin is fitted under the hole in the worktop. This means that the worktop has to be a solid surface material, such a marble or stone.

Tap Holes

Most basins come with either one or two tap holes.

 One tap hole

This type of basin uses a mono bloc mixer, which normally incorporates a pop-up waste. The water is controlled either by a lever on the tap or a separate hot and cold handle on either side of the spout.

Two tap hole

The most common type of tap configuration has a separate hot and cold tap with a plug and chain waste. The hot tap is normally fitted on the left hand side of the basin.

So in summary when deciding what basin you would like, you would have to consider:

  • the size of the basin
  •  the type of pedestal or indeed vanity unit it may be going on
  • whether or not you would like one or two tap holes which of course will affect the type of taps you will then go on to order!