The hottest trend in bathroom design today is the handmade glass sink — often referred to as a vessel sink — which has become the latest must-have for luxury homeowners. Our glass designers can even help you incorporate lighting from underneath and above to accentuate these stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of glass art, which work equally well in traditional or contemporary settings. Vessel-mounted, fused, slumped, mosaic, under-mounted and hand-blown sinks have even influenced the faucet manufacturers’ designs because of their unprecedented popularity. When purchasing a glass sink from Glass Sinks Online, you can be confident that your glass sink design is not a production house piece, but rather, an exclusive one-of-a-kind piece of art.
Combine the versatility in color and design offered by glass with the vessel mount trend and it’s no wonder that Glass Sinks Online can barely keep up with demand. We find ourselves answering questions and dispelling myths surrounding sinks just about every day. This page was created to answer some of the more common questions.
Types of Glass Sinks
To better understand the three main categories of glass vessel sinks, it helps to understand the three main types of glass activity:
Cold Glass — Working with glass at room temperature. Examples are mosaic glass, stained glass, glass carving and etching.
Warm Glass — The process of fusing, slumping or other kiln forming techniques at temperatures between 1100 and 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot Glass — The process of blowing glass using a furnace that melts the glass at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the glass is gathered on the end of a pipe, the artist forms the hot glass using a "Glory Hole" (an oven that maintains a temperature of around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit). The resulting work is then slowly cooled in an annealing oven.
With the above in mind, there are three main categories of glass sinks you will find at Glass Sinks Online:
Fused & Slumped — Glass fusing is the process of joining together pieces of glass. When the right kind of glass is heated and then cooled properly, the resulting fused glass piece will be solid and unbroken. Using fusing techniques, the artist creates patterns and designs in color. The resulting sheet of fused glass is then slumped into the vessel shape. In the slumping process the glass is laid into, or on top of a mold and heated just to the point where it "Slumps" to fit the form of the mold. Once the glass reaches the desired form it must be cooled quickly enough to stop the movement that will result in cracking. Although this might sound simple, the resulting sinks can be quite intricate in their design and require hours of painstaking labor.
Hand Blown Glass Sinks/Blown Glass — Hand blown glass sinks are created through a much different process. This "hot glass" process allows an artist to create myriad different styles, colors, shapes and sizes that are always unique. Layers of glass are "gathered" onto the end of a "rod" or "pipe" and formed, blown and worked into a vessel shape. Color is applied in many different forms at the beginning of the process. Once finished, the piece is "annealed" for a minimum of 48 hours for maximum durability. Due to variations in the glass blowing process, every sink will be unique.
Mosaic Glass — Pieces of hand-cut colored art glass are adhered to the inside surface of a 1/2" thick annealed glass bowl. Annealing is a process of bending the glass at extremely high temperatures to assure durability of use in the most extreme temperature conditions. The sink is then grouted with a specially mixed blend of sand and tinted cement, then sealed and finished with a protective clear polymer coating to create a smooth surface which is colorful, sturdy, easy to care for and a breathtaking focal point for any bathroom.
For a list of glass terms and their meaning, visit our Glossary of Terms.