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Originally published Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM

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Add a touch of glass to sink

Ed the Plumber: Don't be afraid to add sparkle of glass to bathroom sink.

Scripps Howard News Service

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Q: Please keep up the good work. I have learned a lot from your articles and now I have my own question. Recently I started looking at bathroom sinks and came across a line of "glass" sinks at a plumbing-supply house. I did not even realize that glass was a popular material for bathroom sinks. They looked beautiful, but my question has to do with the material itself. Is glass really a good, durable choice for a bathroom? Also, what types of glass sinks are available other than the vessel types that I saw?

— Martha, Washington state

A: When a glass sink is manufactured properly, it can be surprisingly durable, with a perfect mix of translucency, texture and color. Basically, we're talking about a functional work of art that can be added to your bathroom. Aside from its strength, another surprising aspect is its versatility. Glass sinks are available as "under-mount" and "counter-top" sinks, as well as "vessel," or bowl-type, sinks that you mentioned. Some of the counter-top models even have faucet holes, so the faucet can be mounted directly on the sink.

Another advantage to glass sinks is their ability to refract and channel light. You can even light them from under the counter to create a very modern-looking sink. However, they can be a high-end item and installation costs may be high. So, if you can afford the extra price tag, a glass bathroom sink can be your "clear" choice.

Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.comor write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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