There are a number of materials that are useful in the creation of basins and sinks. All have something to commend them in this tricky task. Some are beautiful, some tough, others are easy to work or strong. The best of them combine as many of these as possible. Wood can embody many of these traits, which makes it ideal in the production of bespoke furniture such as wooden basins. Other materials that are suited to this task are plastics, metals, glass and ceramics, though these tend to lend themselves to more off the peg designs and can often look quite cold and clinical compared to wood. The exception here are non enameled warmer toned materials, such as copper and bronzes, but they are prone to reacting with other elements.
It is, of course, possible to replicate wood to a certain degree, or cover other materials in wood, but neither are entirely satisfactory, as fake wood rarely looks convincing and veneers and similar are easily damaged and don’t give the same effect as the solid wood. Cleaning wooden basins is simple and most non bleach cleaning products are fine to be used. So where the budget will stretch and where there are no bars to the usage of wood, then wooden basins are attractive, durable and strong.
Wood’s appearance is a combination of its colour, its grain and its defects. The colours of wood tend towards the browns and pale yellows, but reds, blacks and even purples are also available. The defects in wood add a lot to its character and in non structural parts, or those that will hold less strain, there should be no worries. In the case of a wooden basin, they can, if not sealed, lead to leaks, but unlike baths, the structural requirements of basins and sinks are unlike to be noticeably compromised by a knot and they add an extra visual interest.
Wood has the ability to be shaped and carved into many shapes and generally worked into many designs. Generally, the harder it is to work a wood, the tougher it is. How resilient a wood is affects whether it is suitable to be used is a basin or sink. Teak, for example, is not only resistant to damage but also to water damage, insects and fungal attacks. This makes it a particularly good choice for basins and it also has the advantage that it is a particularly attractive wood. Woods that lack this natural level of protection can be protected against water and nature, but this can come at a visual price.
Wood’s ability to be worked in many ways means that it can be made into many designs and gives a greater range of options than some other materials. In addition to being carved, cut and shaved, some woods can be bent, either without help and held in a shape, or, over time, steamed into shape. Wood’s ability to be easily worked means that wood is particularly well suited to bespoke design, as a wooden basin can easily be modified, either during production, or in fitting.