You use basins every day but probably don't pay too much attention to their features and style. That is, until it comes time to build or renovate your bathroom.
In general, basins are described in terms of how they are installed, and there are five basic styles.
In the past, the inset basin (or drop-in) was the most common basin to find in a bathroom. The rim of these basins sits over the bench top and can either include tap holes or not. The feature of having the tap holes as part of the basin means less water is likely to splash on your bench top, which can be a good idea for children's bathrooms.
If you want to make your basin a feature, vessel (or countertop) basins are the way to go, preferably either in ceramic or engineered stone. Good quality stone composite styles are made from a material that is stain and scratch resistant, and there is more flexibility in the manufacturing process to achieve a finer edge. They also can be available in either a gloss or matt finish.
However, if your new bathroom is all about the tapware and/or stone bench top, you will probably choose an undercounter basin. These basins 'disappear' below the line of your vanity top, giving a streamlined look.
Another way to achieve a streamlined look is to choose a wall-hung basin. Some models have an option for ready-made cabinetry, or allow for cabinetry to be custom-made. But, for a minimalist look, simply accessorise the basin with a stylish bottle trap, and use a mirror cabinet or shelf for storage.
Wall-hung basins can also come in more traditional styles and be matched with a pedestal (to the floor) or trap cover (which hides the waste pipe).
For smaller or narrow bathrooms, the semi-recessed style is the perfect choice. The front of these basins extend out further than the bench top which means your vanity top takes up less room overall. The overhang of the basin also makes access easier for children.
Once you've decided on the installation for your basin, you'll need to check the size, tap hole options and material.