If you’re considering a renovation, major or minor, for a bathroom, you have a number of options for sources for your new fixtures. We’re going to talk about one fixture as an example — the sink — but the same pluses and minuses apply to any other fixture and where you get it.
Let’s start with this experiment: Do a search for “bathroom sink retailers,” but search for images, not suppliers.
And there’s your first challenge. You could spend many hours online looking at fixtures, working your way through all the styles, features, colors and price points available. It helps if you have at least a general idea of what you might be interested in. If you don’t, you can get an idea as you scroll. (Always keep the rest of your bathroom concept in mind while you do.)
Even if you can’t narrow your options at first, it’s fun to look, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
Buying from online bathroom sink retailers
You can buy nearly anything online these days; even the kitchen sink — or the bathroom. So let’s say your internet search turns up a sink you really like.
The most important piece of advice we can give if you’re thinking about buying online is, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. Creating online ads is an art and a science, and as you may have learned through experience, what arrives on your porch may look different from the way it appears in your browser.
Think about this in the context of ads you see for fast food. Have you ever gotten a burger in person that looks as good as those ads? No one has. But we accept it because we’re used to it. We expect it. The difference is, a hamburger doesn’t cost nearly a hundred dollars or more. The sink you’re looking for will.
Colors vary. Finishes may be uneven. Flat surfaces may not be level. Holes may not be smooth or even round, so your faucet or drain trim may not fit. You would rather see the items in person, to compare and inspect, but of course, you can’t. So if the sink arrives and it’s less than what you expected, you can either return it (maybe at your own expense), or live with it. And we really hope you don’t have to do that, because you’ll experience that same disappointment every day.
So what if you would like to compare sinks in person?
Buying your bathroom sink from a “hardware store”
The results of your search for “bathroom sink retailers” were mostly home improvement stores; what we used to call hardware stores. We won’t name them here, and you don’t need us to, but the big home improvement chains do an enormous amount of business with people like you who are looking for materials they need to manage their own renovation or upgrade.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. We’re all grateful for having that handy store nearby for our large and small home improvement needs, and a trip to your favorite local store is an obvious option. But just as the nature of shopping from online retailers comes with some cautions, so the nature of home improvement stores comes with some things you need to keep in mind.
The first is that these stores offer variety not only in sink designs, but in level of quality. That’s as you would expect. Some people are willing to spend more than others, so the stores try to accommodate everybody’s needs and tastes. That also means they don’t have a wide selection at any particular price point; they can’t, because floor space is limited.
Most of the large chains now offer a “project design center” in the store, where you can sit down with a staff member and view other offerings at the price level you’re looking for. If you find something you like, they’ll order it. But just like shopping online at home, you’re not seeing the products in person and side-by-side, which is the advantage of going to the store anyway.
Also like shopping for bathroom sink retailers online, these stores get their products from multiple sources. Most of them offer a store brand that doesn’t actually have the store’s name on it, but that store chain is the only place you’ll find it. Nothing says that all the sinks in the store brand line come from the same source, so again, the quality and finish can vary.
Last, because the chains offer a range of quality and prices, if you’re looking for something higher in that range than most people, you may actually end up spending more than you might if you bought a similar quality sink somewhere else. The reason is that, since the chain offers more affordable sinks, they’re counting on the fact that people who have more to spend … won’t mind spending even more.
What if you don’t start with “bathroom sink retailers”?
What if you start with us — S2 Design?
Yes, it’s true we sell bathroom sinks. And yes, we sell them to the public, not just the construction and remodeling trade, so technically, we are one of those “bathroom sink retailers.” But that’s not why we’ll sell you a sink, and it’s not what we’re thinking about when we present our products.
We are, first and always, designers. It’s in our name. It’s what we devote most of our time to, even when we’re selecting which pieces we’ll offer to the public. So if you find just the right sink for your project on our product pages, we’ll be delighted. We offer a variety of sinks, at a variety of price points, but none of them are cheaply made or of lesser quality.
We’re proud to have each of them on the S2 Design website, because each of them was chosen because of its design. And if you find just what you’re looking for, that means you care about great design, too.