How small can a washbasin be?

It is no coincidence that the projection, i.e. the depth of a floor-standing washbasin, has levelled off at around 48 centimetres over time. Not only the ceramic appliance, but also the matching furniture units and even the taps are normally precut to this dimension.

Just like with many other things that we use on daily basis, these elements have been standardised as a result of industrialisation. In the past, washbasins were considerably larger, but there has been a trend towards minimisation. Of course, apartments and their bathrooms and guest WCs have also become smaller over time. But this minimalist trend has not stopped at 48 centimetres: Nowadays, there are a large number of mini washbasins with a projection of 37 or even 25 centimetres, which are specifically designed for small guest WCs.

Washing hands in the washbasin

Dutch preferences

What’s considered acceptable is entirely in the eye of the beholder – and a look at the Netherlands shows that their preferences can be quite surprising. This is a nation that is virtually obsessed with small formats, something that is not immediately understandable given the average height of the Dutch population. In fact, there are no concrete “physical” reasons behind this preference which actually stems from an (architectural) tradition.

A question of harmony

Tradition or not – which factors do you need to consider if you want to equip your guest WC with a small but flawless washbasin solution?

  • When it comes to the washbasin design, it should be as large as possible if you are very limited with space. You will often find asymmetrical designs in the segment in question, with the tap positioned on the side. This ensures that you can make maximum use of the washbasin and there is some space left over for a shelf surface.
  • Naturally, the washbasin should also be deep enough so that you can hold both hands under the water. A “dry run” in one of our showrooms can easily help you find the perfect depth.
  • The tap size: On the same occasion, you should also take a closer look at both the washbasin and tap and, in particular, where the water jet hits the ceramic. Tap manufacturers often offer smaller taps in product ranges which are designed specifically for guest WC solutions. Even a small washbasin can be very appealing if it is equipped with a matching tap.

In a narrow bathroom or a small guest WC, a handrinse basin should not take up too much space yet still be practical and attractive. So how do you go about it? These tips will help you:

Xeno² washbasin (© Geberit)

1. A standard size washbasin has a projection (depth) of 55 centimetres. A handrinse basin normally has a depth of 45 centimetres. But in narrow or small bathrooms, there is often not that much space. This is where narrower washbasins come into play. There are now a number of mini washbasins with a projection of 20 to 25 centimetres. A good idea might be a space-saving washbasin from the Geberit bathroom series Citterio, Xeno2, iCon, Smyle or Renova Compact.

2. The interaction between ceramic appliances and furniture makes a real difference in the bathroom. When it comes to small rooms, it is useful to look at the washbasin in combination with the other furnishings. With the online bathroom planner from Geberit, you can design your own bathroom or guest WC true to size and detail. In the online tool, you first draw the exact floor plan and then position the washbasin, furniture and other items before defining the tiles. The bathroom planner shows the available Geberit models – from washbasin furniture to lay-on washbasins – in the available sizes. The 3D model shows you which space-saving solution is best for the room.

3. Clever design: Washbasins are not only available in different sizes, but also in a whole range of different, timeless designs. Whether angular, oval or round, with a vertical or horizontal drain: different variants make sense depending on the room. In confined spaces, the small handrinse basins with a space-saving washbasin drain are practical. They are designed so that they can be combined with a narrow washbasin cabinet or a washtop, resulting in as much storage space as possible.

iCon handrinse basin for the guest bathroom (© Geberit)

4. Special corner solutions make the use of small washbasins in guest WCs with challenging floor plans possible. At Geberit, the iCon and Renova Compact series in particular are ideally suited for installation in such cases.

5. The shape of the washbasin: a small washbasin always means a loss of space because there is less shelf surface on the ceramic appliance. Depending on the shape of the washbasin, however, it is possible to gain maximum space. If you choose an asymmetrical washbasin shape, with the tap attached at the side, there is still enough space on the ceramic appliance for everyday bathroom items.

6. Functionality is important. Even with small handrinse basins, there has to be enough space to hold your hands completely under water. This is why it is important not to underestimate the importance of the depth of the washbasin. You can easily test this in a dry run in a showroom.

7. You can also save space with taps, for example with wall-hung variants. It is always a good idea to look at the taps in conjunction with the handrinse basin. If you check the water jet’s line of fire, you can prevent water splashes. Tap manufacturers often provide shorter models which are designed to be used for guest WC solutions in small bathrooms.

Which bathroom is the right one for you?

But, what exactly are your needs? Is space, cleanliness or the design important to you? Would you like user-friendly products or would you prefer that extra degree of comfort that the Geberit AquaClean shower toilet, for example, has to offer? Or would you prefer a universal design? No matter what your needs are, we simplify your daily routine with our clever bathroom solutions.

More space in the bathroom
Higher standard of cleanliness in the bathroom
More functional design in the bathroom
Greater comfort in the bathroom
Increased accessibility in the bathroom
Improved usability in the bathroom