Are two sinks better than one in our primary bathroom?


Yesterday on Instagram, I asked the question: do we really need two sinks in our primary bathroom? I know double vanities are common these days, but I just can’t see Garrett and I making use of them. Are we being short-sighted? It was great to hear from families that have double sinks and whether or not they liked their setup. So today I’m sharing a few comments that resonated with us, and arguments in both the ‘one sink’ and ‘two sink’ camps.

bathroom by Heidi Caillier

Heidi Caillier’s ‘North End Tutor’ project, 📷: Haris Kenjar

psst: you can get caught up on demo and the layout for our primary bathroom remodel here.

For the better part of our 15 years of marriage, Garrett and I have began and ended our days over a single pedestal sink and it’s always worked for us. We’ve washed hands together, spit toothpaste into the same sink, and elbowed each other for mirror space. While I can’t recall ever dreaming of two sinks, we have dreamed of more storage and more countertop space, so we’re definitely pursing those during our primary bathroom remodel. But as far as two sinks…well I’m just not sure. We have the room for two in a 72” vanity, but is there any reason to add that second one?

Obviously the 1 vs. 2 sink debate is a preference and not a ‘one size fits all solution’. So take me with a grain of salt. And it would be more accurate to ask “do we really want two sinks in our primary bathroom” rather than need them. We’re deep, deep into first world, 21st-century problems here. Either way we go, we’re going to get a totally revamped bathroom out of the deal so we’re not taking this debate too seriously. But of course we only want to renovate this bathroom once, and we want to get it right.

bathroom by GP Schafer

1840s carriage house in Charleston SC designed by GP Schafer

So let’s talk about the arguments for one sink and then two. BTW, I’m sharing comments from our Instagram community here. So quotes are not mine, but the words below them are.

One Sink

“We went from 2 to 1 a year ago. I would much rather have the counter space.”

This argument comes comes down to counter space. We have room for a 72” vanity (ish), but I want to make sure there’s room for a kid or two to sit up there too.

“I have never understood the two sink phenomenon. How much togetherness does a couple need?” ““I don’t want to be in the bathroom with anyone; we take turns.”

This was a common sentiment regarding one sink - a lot of people didn’t want to share the space with a partner, family member, or anyone else. And two sinks would definitely encourage more visitors.

“We have one! I’ve never understood two sinks...more to clean!“

As a couple who really doesn’t enjoy cleaning, this is something we think about. Do we really want a second sink to clean in here?

“We have two sinks, but in 30 years have only used one. 🙄 I am definitely replacing with a one-sink vanity”

I think this could be us if we opt for two. But I also think we could regret one…? Eek!

“We did one in our last remodel. Truthfully we are never needing the sink at the same exact moment. From plumbing costs to fixtures it just feels like an added expense.”

Two sinks definitely cost more than one. There’s the plumbing labor, the sink, faucet, mirror, etc. It can easily number in the thousands. Plus there’s this feeling like we’re always being upsized, upsold, and told to want more and it feels good to step back and ask, do we really need it?

“I don’t even have a primary bathroom so i got nothing😅. We are a one bathroom, single sink home. Everyone shares it and i have no complaints. We went from a single sink in a super small vanity to a single sink in a larger vanity and it made a world of difference. We much prefer the countertop and cabinet space over having a double sink.“

I can so relate to this. Garrett and I have spent the majority of our adult lives together with one bathroom and usually just a pedestal sink. Having a primary bathroom is such a luxury.

Jessica Helgerson LA eclectic bathroom.jpg

Jessica Helgerson’s ‘French eclectic’ project in LA

Two Sinks

“Two sinks FOREVER! My husband always forgets to rinse his sink after shaving and having my own sink has saved our marriage😂“

This was a common sentiment regarding two sinks and I can 100% respect that!

“We only have one sink in our 72” vanity. It’s off to one side like yours would be. Personally, I’d really prefer a second one! The countertop just becomes a clutter drop zone, and we’re always in each other’s way when we’re getting ready. 🙃”

Horizontal surfaces definitely seem to collect clutter - do we really want more of it?

“Our house doesn't have a separate primary bathroom; we all just use the one in the hall. We have two sinks - which has been surprisingly useful when everyone is in there at the same time... which is OFTEN. (Is there a point in this parenting adventure when I'll get to go to the bathroom by myself again??)”

I wish we had room for a double vanity in the kids bathroom! With 3 kids using that bathroom, it seems like they need two sinks more than us!

“Deciding this now. Only ever had one sink and didn’t feel like we needed another bc of different schedules. Contractor insists 2 sinks better for resale.”

If we go with one sink - will it limit resale? It feels kind of silly if it did (and by how much…like $2k?…$10k?), and we’re not designing this for resale anyway, but there you have it.

“We’ve had both, and I’d much rather have two sinks since my husband and I seem to brush our teeth at the same time, wash our faces at the same time, and visit while we’re getting ready.”

Another common sentiment is that two sinks can bring partners together in the morning and evening. Personally I think a single sink can do this too, but I’m 100% behind this sentiment, however you achieve it!

“One sink is good if you aren’t all getting ready at once so you have a place to put styling tools. If you do all plan on getting ready at the same moment with the whole family at once, maybe two.”

Admittedly Garrett doesn’t really ‘get ready’ besides brushing his teeth (a benefit to being bald I suppose ;). So this isn’t an issue for us, but I could see it being a really big hangup if two partners or family members are vying for sink and vanity time at the same time every day.

“Two sinks! I love having my own mirror, medicine cabinet, and my own under sink storage, and we share a middle row of drawers. No elbows when brushing teeth at the same time, no need to look at his toothpaste or shaving mess.”

I too like having my own drawers and things in their spot. Garrett isn’t quite as particular, so I wouldn’t like sharing drawers either.

So…lots to think about when it comes to the number of sinks in the bathroom. Anything to add? Honestly, I still don’t know which way we’ll go…