As functional as they are beautiful, mosaic and glass sinks are basking in their newfound fame

No kitchen appliance or feature is used as frequently as the sink, says Rick Wickham, general manager of Linkasink, a Phoenix-based sink company. “You spend more time at your sink than you would at your refrigerator, warming ovens, stoves – that’s the No. 1 reason to have it as a focal point.”

Once a status symbol for those who could afford indoor bathrooms, sinks are now for more than washing hands and cleaning dishes – they’re elaborate centerpieces meant to make a statement.

“We’re always looking for something that’s unusual, something none of my friends have,” says Sheila Fein, co-owner of Vitraform, a Denver-based sink company. “When I put it in my house, it’s special and it reflects my taste. It’s not just plumbing anymore, it’s fashion.”

In the kitchen, Linkasink uses stainless steel mosaic tiles for its newest farmhouse kitchen sink. The tiles are individually hand-lain inside a copper basin for a more modern yet sturdy design.

“People put it in as a conversation piece,” Wickham says. “The more you look at it, the more you appreciate the beauty and artwork of creating the sink. Mosaic sinks in general have been becoming increasingly popular [because of] the durability and the customization of the look,” Wickham says. Over the past eight years, he says, Linkasink went from one full-time mosaic artist up to nine.

And these sinks aren’t for display only – they really work, too. “The whole concept behind it is functionality – to get the durability … with a new look that’s outside the box,” he says.

There’s boldness in the bathroom, as well. Vitraform’s Perla collection uses laminated glass for its freestanding lavatory design, drawing inspiration from the 1960s with decorative crystal droplets. The sinks can come along with counters, mounting systems and draining systems that match the glass.

While glass sinks can be scratched or damaged by heavy objects, Fein says the lamination holds these fashion-minded sinks together even when struck, like a car’s windshield.

But though these sinks can stand the daily grind, Fein says the real draw still comes from their beauty.

“It’s about the passion and magic of the sink … We refer to it as our jewelry.”
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