Helpful & Friendly AdviceCall: 01275 400456

The Ultimate Buyers Guide To Sinks, Basins & Wash Troughs

Wash Troughs, Basins and Sinks: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Are you in the market for a new sink? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this handy guide to wash troughs, sinks and basins, you’ll learn about materials and accessories, as well as the different types of sink that are available on the market today. Whether it’s for handwashing or janitorial purposes, or even more specialised uses, you’ll find information about it here.


While sinks come in many shapes, sizes and colours, there are only three main materials: stainless steel, solid surface, and vitreous china.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is extremely strong, which makes it long lasting and impervious to vandalism. Despite being a metal, it’s also resistant to rust thanks to a thin surface layer of chromium oxide. While stainless steel is great for industrial applications, some people are put off by the way it looks, describing it as ‘clinical’ or even ‘prison-like’. That said, we do offer coloured stainless steel wash troughs which can blend in with the aesthetic of any venue.

Solid surface

Solid surface is a man-made material composed of naturally occurring minerals and pigments, suspended in a resinous binding agent. It has the appearance of stone but can be formed into many different shapes; this versatility, as well as its water-resistant and anti-fungal properties, make it ideal for use in wash troughs. Solid surface can be formed into sleek, modern designs such as our ocean wash trough, and can also be supplied in a large range of colours.


Vitreous china is a specially coated ceramic that is extremely tough with a glassy finish. Many people mistakenly believe that vitreous china and porcelain are two different materials; however, vitreous china is simply porcelain that has been treated with an enamel coating. This classic material is durable and attractive - although unlike solid surface and stainless steel, it is prone to cracks and chipping.


When it comes to handwash sinks, there are two main options: individual basins, and wash troughs. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks - find out more below.


Individual handwashing basins can be made from stainless steel or vitreous china. They are suited to smaller venues with low traffic levels, since they only accommodate one user at a time. We also sell corner wash basins for washrooms where space is at a premium.


Wash troughs are essentially communal sinks which, unlike individual basins, can accommodate several users at a time. Our wash troughs are available in solid surface material or stainless steel - the fact that wash troughs are much larger than basins means that it would be impractical to make them out of vitreous china. Wash troughs are suited to larger venues with greater footfall.

Utility sinks

Our utility sinks are designed to make life easier for cleaners and janitors. The Belfast sink from Armitage Shanks is a British classic that has been in use since at least the Victorian era. We also offer Belfast sinks in stainless steel, combining classic style with modern durability.

Our large-capacity stainless steel utility sinks are used for washing large items of equipment and are ideal for hospitals, factories and professional kitchens. We also sell stainless steel boot wash units for removing dirt and debris from footwear.

Specialist sinks

There are also many specialist sinks that are designed to perform a specific task. Laboratory sinks are for cleaning lab equipment and differ from ordinary sinks in that they are more resistant to spills from acids and other corrosive substances.

Dental sinks are used for the disposal of biological waste, and as such are made to conform to strict industry standards. Similarly, hospital sinks are designed for washing appliances and preparing plaster for casts. Specialised sluice sinks are for use in hospitals, care homes and other clinical settings for disposing of human waste.

Specialist hairdresser’s sinks are used in salons for washing customers’ hair. They come with an ergonomic contoured edge and can be supplied with a handheld mixer hose.

Wudu foot wash units

The Islamic purification ritual of Wudu is performed as part of preparation for prayers and before handling the Koran. Our Wudu foot wash stations are perfect for Islamic schools, mosques and public conveniences, and are available in one-person, two-person and three-person designs.

We can also supply Wudu wash units in custom dimensions. In addition, we supply purpose-made Wudu wash stools.


It’s all well and good purchasing a sink - but you won’t get very far without some taps to fill it. Our huge range of taps includes the following:

Lever Taps
Cross Head Taps
Wall Mounted Bib Taps
Time Flow Taps
Infra Red Taps

We also sell specialist catering taps and taps for medical purposes. As well as taps, we sell a range of soap dispensers, including push-button and infrared-operated designs.

Posted by Paul Thorn
8th August 2018

Back to news