Pedestal sinks have been a bathroom staple for decades, but their clunky, outdated look just doesn’t fit with today’s modern minimalist styles. Enter console sinks – the new and sleek alternative to pedestal sinks. These sinks are so foreign to the general public that they are sometimes referred to as “pedestal sinks with legs”.
In fact, a console sink is just that, a sink supported most often by metal legs, though these legs can also be made of wood. They offer an alternative to the pedestal base which is why a lot of people still think of them as pedestals.
However they are much more appealing and they are undeniably the preferred option for small bathroom. In fact, many console sinks do not need the legs for support, they are simply wall mounted sinks using console legs for aesthetics.
With that being said, you might be wondering what is so great about these types of sinks.
Well we are here to answer just that. In this article, we’ll outline the many reasons why forward-thinking homeowners looking to remodel should skip the pedestals and opt for console sinks instead.
We’ll explore all the aesthetic and practical benefits, from their airy, open look to their versatility and customization options. By the end, you’ll understand why console sinks are the new king, and pedestals are a thing of the past.
Console sinks look cleaner
By all accounts, Console sinks offer a cleaner look to pedestal sinks.
Console sinks have a more open, airy visual design compared to the clunkier, bulkier pedestal style.
Console sinks feature slender legs or simple wall brackets supporting the sink basin. This creates a lightweight, visually minimalist look and allows more floor and wall tile to be seen. Pedestal sinks have a thick, heavyset base that conceals the wall and floor, looking squeezed and crowded.
The legs on a console sink also tend to be thinner versus the chunky, thick posts supporting a pedestal sink. The delicate supports seem less intrusive and more streamlined.
Overall, the slender profile and visual openness under a console sink lend a tidier, cleaner and more contemporary aesthetic versus the dense, bulky vintage style of most pedestal sinks.
So if an uncluttered, airy look is your goal, console sinks are the clear choice. Their minimalist supports and visible floor space give bathrooms a neat and modern style. Pedestals simply look a little bit cumbersome by comparison.
Console sinks are more decorative than pedestal sinks
Console sinks offer far more versatility and customization in decorative legs versus pedestal sinks.
The legs supporting a console sink come in a wide variety of materials, shapes, sizes, and finishes to match your chosen style. You can select metal, wood, or glass legs in different colors, textures, and designs. Pedestal sinks have a limited range of designs.
There’s only so much the manufacturer can do to a piece of vitreous china , and none of those looks offer a thinner design. They offer limited shapes to the pedestal base (rounded & square), and some generic designs to the feet of the pedestal (think the art Deco look of the Memoir Pedestal from Kohler).
Though a pedestal base can sometimes be decorative, once you start adding too much extra flair the thick shape quickly starts to look cluttered. The bulkiness constrains more elaborate decorative choices. With console legs, you have endless options for unique details like curves, scrollwork, or accent finishes.
Finally, console sink legs don’t have to match the material or design details of the sink itself. This freedom allows more creativity. Pedestal sinks and tops must use the same design language and be made of matching materials.
So if you want maximum flexibility to customize your bathroom decor, console sinks offer artistic versatility that pedestal sinks simply cannot.
Console sinks turn exposed plumbing parts into a wanted feature instead of a drawback
With a console sink, the plumbing parts are essentially part of the ensemble. It’s a very opinionated approach but one that is necessary if you care about the aesthetics of your bathroom. You are required to openly display pipes and valves. This transforms the plumbing from a problem to hide into an intentional decorative feature.
The exposed pipes and traps require coordinating with the rest of the bathroom decor. Decorative P-traps, ornate stop valves, and matching finishes become a necessity rather than an afterthought.
Essentially, the console sink’s sparse open space puts plumbing front and center. This forces homeowners to choose fixtures and finishes that will complement their style rather than haphazardly hiding pipes.
With a pedestal sink, the pedestal base is meant to conceal plumbing, but it often still looks messy and cluttered up close because the angle valve are still exposed and typically outfitted with a coiled up stainless steel supply lines.
Pedestal sinks with jumbled up visible Supply hoses. An extreme example, but not uncommon
Pedestal sinks often encouraged shotty work from your plumber trying to hide everything behind the base.
So while pedestal sinks try in vain to sweep plumbing under the visual rug, console sinks embrace exposed pipes and valves as an integral part of its aesthetics. The plumbing is visually incorporated rather than obscured, transforming it from eyesore to a design feature.
Console sinks make your bathroom look much larger
Here is an explanation of how console sinks can make a bathroom look bigger versus a pedestal sink:
The open space underneath a console sink creates the illusion of more floor room. The exposed wall and tiled floor are visible at a glance, making the area seem expansive. A pedestal sink’s bulky base conceals this space, making the bathroom feel crowded.
The slender legs or brackets supporting a console sink add to the visual effect of increased space. The delicate supports don’t obstruct sight lines, giving a light and airy look. Thick pedestal posts create visual barriers.
Some console sinks incorporate glass shelving, which enables light to pass through and makes the bathroom feel even more open. The transparency reduces visual cutoffs compared to an opaque pedestal base.
This airy, uncluttered aesthetic also impacts perception on a psychological level. People intuitively feel a bathroom is more spacious and inviting when it’s free of visual obstructions.
Overall, the streamlined profile of console sinks fosters the illusion of more floor area by eliminating visual barriers. The openness draws the eye, making bathrooms seem more expansive compared to the constrained look of bulky pedestal sinks.
They provide added function with shelving and towel bars
Though neither console or pedestal sinks are known for storage, console sinks are much more functional in that aspect compared to pedestal sinks.
Most console sinks come equipped with a horizontal bar that can serve as a towel bar. While it’s not explicitly considered a towel bar for some, others make it known via their marketing materials and stock photos.
Console sinks with bottom shelves can accommodate neatly folded larger towels. Again, the solid pedestal base precludes any towel storage space.
It’s important to note that adding towels to the bar and toiletries on the shelves have a negative affect on the open and airy look of the console sink. With that being said, it’s better to have it and not use it than not having that option at all.
Pedestal don’t offer that flexibility. The only option you have is to add a towel bar functionality by buying a third party towel rack for your pedestal sink
Console Sinks are available with a variety of sink tops
One underrated advantage of console sinks is the ability to pair them with a wide variety of sink basins and countertop materials.
Pedestal sinks typically come with a matching proprietary sink basin that cannot be swapped out. But console sinks give you options:
- Console legs can be combined with complementary all-in-one china sink tops.
- Console brackets can support an undermount sink installed in marble, quartz, granite or other solid surface countertops.
- You can even incorporate a vessel sink into a console sink setup with by using custom legs, and a solid surface top drilled specifically for your vessel sink.
Console Sink with Quartz Top & Undermount Sink
Console Sink with a Vitreous China Sink Top
Console Sink with an all in one Marble Top
This versatility opens up a variety of options for someone who’s looking for something unique. This becomes especially in powder baths and as mentioned before console sinks are a go to for smaller bathrooms.
Pedestal sinks on the other hand, are limited to the sink top provided by the manufacturer. This is typically just a sink that is meant to be affixed to the pedestal base.
Console sink legs can be custom made for your sink of choice
A major advantage of console sinks is the ability to customize the sink legs to match your personal style.
Unlike pedestal sinks bases that is typically made for one specific sink top, Console Sink Legs can be fabricated in a variety of designs and finishes. This allows for bespoke legs tailored to your sink basin and decor.
With consoles, companies like Palmer Legs at www.sinklegs.com can even manufacture custom legs for popular sink models not typically installed on legs.
All you have to do is get the model number of your sink of choice and contact Palmer Legs and ask whether or not they offer custom legs for it. Typically if your sink is made by popular manufacturers like Kohler, American Standard, Toto & Duravit, there is a good chance that they can make it.
Granted, custom legs come at a premium cost versus off-the-shelf console models or pedestals. But for homeowners seeking a one of a kind look, custom console legs deliver options a pedestal simply cannot match.
Console sinks come in larger sizes and double sink options
While not the norm, console sinks are often available in larger sizes over 30 inches wide. Pedestal sinks max out at around 24 inches, with only occasional 30 inch models.
This wider size capability allows console sinks to be used as double sinks, pairing one stone top for example with two pre-drilled holes for undermount sinks, or one prefab double sink top.
Double Console Sinks with Legs
Larger Console Sinks with Legs
Pedestal sinks simply cannot offer this integrated double basin option.
Additionally, console sink legs can be custom fabricated to accommodate these extra long options. As a result of the extra room, you can get petty creative with the custom legs and add some additional legs or horizontal towel bars.
It’s important to note that this is not a great option if you’re concerned about storage, as these sinks take a lot of room without offering the storage options of large or double sink vanity. However these options are used purely for design purposes. While not ideal in a master bathroom, they are perfect for a seldom used guest bathroom.
The disadvantages of console sinks compared to pedestal sinks
Not all aspects of console sinks are advantageous compared to pedestals. While console sinks excel in style, decor, and customization, they do have some drawbacks homeowners should consider. Pedestal sinks retain a place in today’s bathrooms thanks to a few key areas where they maintain an edge over consoles.
Console sinks are far more expensive than pedestal sinks
The most obvious disadvantage of console sinks is their higher cost. In general, pedestal sinks are one of the most budget-friendly sink basin options. Pedestal sinks are priced to move and manufacturers expect to sell a higher volume. As a result, they are mass produced and priced to sell.
Console sinks on the other hand are a niche product appealing to the homeowner looking for a unique design not often found in other places, as a result they tend to be priced higher.
In addition, console sinks offer a unique design, rather than the same old recycled look of the pedestal designed to match the toilet. Therefore they do not fit squarely into manufacturer’s existing assembly line which in turn drives up the costs.
While certain high-end pedestal models can reach luxury price points, pedestals on the whole remain one of the most affordable sink choices, easily undercutting the average price of console sink setups. Homeowners need to weigh the decorative advantages of consoles against their premium price tag.
Console sinks have limited stock options
Another downside to console sinks is their limited availability. While pedestal sinks can be found at nearly any big box store, hardware store and online retailer, console sinks have far fewer options.
Most major plumbing manufacturers only offer a handful of console sink SKUs at best, perhaps 3-5 in their product lineup. These skus are often limited to their more expensive collections.
So if you were looking to match your entry or mid level fixtures with your console sinks, you would have to order custom legs which will drive up the cost even more.
Additionally, most console sinks, even the non custom ones need to be special ordered often having a lead time of 4-8 weeks.
Console sinks have limited options for 24″ and under
Lastly, console sinks fall short for compact bathrooms needing a petite sink basin. While pedestal sinks commonly come in sizes under 24 inches, even down to 18 inches for very small spaces, these miniature sizes are rarely manufactured for console sinks.
Extra small console sinks usually start around 24 inches. Additionally, when console sinks shrink down they tend to look too busy and lose their “open and airy” look that they are famous for. The proportions don’t scale well.
Tiny pedestal sinks while not widely available are definitely easier to find. There is a company by the name Barclay that specializes in those mini pedestals and they are a godsend in the North East in cities like New York and Boston where tiny bathrooms are quite common.