Do Vessel Sinks Have An Overflow? Pros And Cons

White porcelain vessel sink

Vessel sinks have become popular in recent years as a stylish addition to any bathroom. Many people choose vessel sinks for their aesthetic appeal. You see them in hotel rooms and public washrooms. Some homeowners prefer them for their own bathrooms because of their look, sleekness, and simplicity.

I knew sinks, in general, come with overflow holes but all the vessel sinks I saw didn’t come with an overflow until I saw one vessel sink with an overflow for the first time. I became curious and started to research vessel sinks and whether or not they have an overflow.

It turns out that most vessel sinks do not come with an overflow. The main reason for this is that the vessel sink is meant to sit on top of a counter or vanity, and the overflow hole would be visible if it were included. Most of the time, the design of a vessel sink does not make the addition of an overflow pleasing to the eye. However, there are some vessel sinks that do come with an overflow

In this article, we will look at why some vessel sinks have an overflow while most don’t. We will also at some pros and cons and give some tips on how to deal with a vessel sink that does not have an overflow.

What Is A Vessel Sink?

A vessel sink is a unique artistic free-standing bowl or sink that sits on top of a counter. It is usually used or fitted in bathrooms. A vessel sink could either rest on top of the vanity surface or be recessed partially for support.

Vessel sinks come in different styles, shapes, and designs and is made from varied materials like ceramic, glass, metal, stone, and even wood.

Because they sit above the counter, vessel sinks require special consideration when it comes to installation and plumbing. In most cases, it will be necessary to install a separate faucet for a vessel sink, as the standard plumbing fixtures will not be compatible. 

What Is A Sink Overflow?

A sink overflow is an opening (hole) that is built into the sink’s sidewall and acts as secondary drainage. It allows airflow into the drain when the sink is almost full of water in order to enable the water to drain more quickly and slow the tendency of flooding the room.

Purpose Of A Sink Overflow

1. Prevents Overflow Of Water

A sink overflow prevents water from overflowing from the brim of a sink when it is filled or almost filled with water. If a sink has an overflow and the primary drain is clogged, it will buy the user some time till the sink begins to overflow with water.

Moreover, if the drain stopper is closed and you are filling your sink with water and happen to forget, the overflow drain can prevent your sink from overflowing and subsequent flooding in your bathroom.

2. Improved Draining Speed

Another reason for an overflow is to add air into the piping system. This purpose improves draining speed, helping to remove water quickly. The overflow hole is also designed to allow air to flow into the sink, which helps to prevent the sink from overflowing due to suction.

Do Vessel Sinks Have An Overflow?

The answer is both yes and no. Some vessel sinks do have an overflow built in, which helps to prevent water from spilling out of the sink if it becomes too full. However, not all vessel sinks have an overflow. It largely depends on the design of the sink but other factors come into play with regards to why a vessel sink has or does not have an overflow. We will get into that soon.

Do Vessel Sinks Need An Overflow?

There is no one answer to this question. Vessel sinks do not necessarily need an overflow. Granted, overflows are useful features but are certainly optional in vessel sinks.

To explain it further, it really depends on the design of your vessel sink and the purpose for which you are using it. If you are using your vessel sink for decorative purposes only, then an overflow is not really necessary. However, if you are using your vessel sink for practical purposes, then an overflow may be a good idea.

Why Do Some Vessel Sinks Have An Overflow And Others Do Not?

As I have mentioned in this article, most vessel sinks do not come with overflow drains. However, there are still some vessel sinks that have overflow drains. Primarily, the reason why some vessel sinks have an overflow and others do not is aesthetic.

Indeed, most designers consider how pleasing their product will be to the eyes of consumers. As such, most manufacturers of vessel sinks consider the overall look of the sink before deciding to incorporate an overflow drain or not.

Judging by their name, vessel sink basins sit exposed on a counter or vanity top with sidewalls shaped like a bowl or boat (vessel). Vessel sinks rise upwards and has a slim thickness.

If you picture a vessel sink in your mind’s eye or have seen one before, you will realize that their designs may not look very nice if they had an overflow drain. To be honest, the “clean look” of vessel sinks attracts most buyers or users. Therefore, I would assume manufacturers of vessel sinks would not want to take away from the aesthetic look of the sink by adding an overflow.

Our guest bedroom has a vessel sink with an overflow drain. Do I think it would look nicer without the overflow? Certainly! Do I think it looks good even with an overflow? Yes, I do.

So, I believe how appealing a vessel sink may look is subjective. While others may choose vessel sinks based on if they have an overflow or not, others may care less.

Downsides Of Vessel Sink Without Overflow

There are a couple of downsides to vessel sinks that do not have an overflow drain.

  1. First and foremost, if your vessel sink does not have an overflow and it becomes clogged, the sink will begin to fill up with water until it overflows. This can cause significant water damage to your bathroom if you are not careful.
  2. Second, suction will not be as strong in vessel sinks without an overflow. As a result, it may take longer for the sink to drain. When the sink bowl is filled with water, there wouldn’t be anywhere for air to go, which could build up pressure and cause the sink to overflow.

While this is not a huge problem, it can be annoying if you are trying to keep your bathroom or powder room clean.

If you are someone who likes your vessel sink to look as clean and sleek as possible, then you may not mind these downsides. However, if you would prefer a vessel sink that drains quickly and is less likely to cause water damage, then you may want to choose a vessel sink with an overflow.

How To Deal With A Vessel Sinks Without An Overflow

There are a few things to take into consideration if your vessel sink is without an overflow hole.

  1. Make sure that the drain is properly installed and that it is the correct size for your sink.
  2. Always keep the water level below the rim of the sink. If the water pressure coming out of the faucet is too much, then you may want to consider installing a flow restrictor or don’t open the faucet to full power.
  3. Finally, don’t forget to turn the water off when you are finished using the sink. This may seem like common sense, but it is important to remember nonetheless.
  4. If you have kids in the house, make sure you teach them how to properly use the sink as well. Take the extra step of verifying that the faucet is turned off when they are finished using the sink so that no one accidentally leaves the water running.

Final Words

Vessel sinks mostly do not come with an overflow because of the aesthetic look and how open or exposed they are. However, this decision comes with some consequences, the most important one being that if your sink becomes clogged, it will begin to fill up with water until it overflows. It is important to keep this in mind when you are using a vessel sink without an overflow.

Vessel sinks without overflow drains look good and offer many benefits. Just be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid any water damage. Thanks for reading!

David A. Morris

Home On Point is owned by David Morris. I am a real estate professional and a huge fan of beautiful homes. I like researching ways to keep homes shining at all times and I am excited to share them as I learn along.

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