What Is The Difference Between A Lavatory And A Sink?

Beginner Info, Kitchen, Sink

What Is The Difference Between A Lavatory And A Sink
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So, what is the difference between a lavatory and a sink?

Let’s find out…

Well, if I’m not wrong then lavatory and sink are definitely two terms that are often interchangeably used.

However, the fact is that both are NOT similar terms for sure.

I’ll not say that both terms have got a huge difference.

In fact, the differences between the two terms are minute but significant enough not to be ignored.

We did an online survey related to the difference between a lavatory and a sink and the answer that we received was literally astonishing.

To be honest, most of the respondents believed that anything that has a washbasin in either kitchen, bathroom, or even toilet is a lavatory.

Do you’ve got the same view on a lavatory?

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

Lavatory Vs. Sink

As nouns, the difference between lavatory and sink is that lavatory is a bathroom, a washroom, a room containing a toilet while the sink is a basin used for holding water for washing.

As an adjective lavatory is (dated) washing or cleansing by washing.

As a verb sink is (ergative) to descend or submerge (or to cause to do so) into a liquid or similar substance.

Let’s dive deep into the history and find out where these terms came from.

In simple words, the etymology of “lavatory” and “sink” differ in their historic origin.

Furthermore, in the past, the term “lavatory” was used to refer to a washbasin for the purposes of washing the hands and face.

But, things changed drastically during the year “1924” when the lavatory became synonymous with the act of using a bathroom or its extension, that is, toilet.

Back then, a “sink” was referred to as a built-in, shallow basin which is then attached to a drainage pipe.

The idiosyncratic thing about a sink is that when you’ll wash something into it, the used water will flow directly down the drainage pipe.

Many of you wouldn’t be aware of the fact that the sink was also referred to as the “shallow waste pit” in the past, and the use of the term “sink” has begun in the 1560s.

Enough of talking about the past, let’s figure out the real meaning of these terms in today’s world.

If we talk about the United States, the term “sink” is referred to the washbasins that are located in the bathrooms and kitchens.

On the contrary, the term “lavatory” is used in the place of “sink” when referring to the “toilet”.

Now, you’re aware of the true meaning and references of these two terms, so it’s high time to discuss the specific purpose of each one of these terms.

Specifically, a “lavatory” is referred to as a toilet and a bathroom, and the irony is that we often take a bath cleaning ourselves.

It goes without saying that we wash hands, face, and teeth ourselves.

Furthermore, a lavatory is also used to refer to facilities in our homes in which we excrete our urine and waste.

On the other hand, a sink is mainly used for washing things.

In layman’s terms, a sink is important in every bathroom as well as the toilet.

For example, in our kitchen sink, we wash our dishes and our produce.

Nonetheless, both lavatory and sink are made from similar materials and can also serve as home decors.

In case, you’re a DIYer like me and want to construct your own sink or lavatory then I’ve got a piece of good news for you, several designs and styles are available for the DIYers.

The good thing about most of the sinks is that there are also cabinets wherein you put your plates, glasses, other eating, and cooking utensils.

Though both lavatory and sink have significantly different meanings and usages STILL you’ll find people using them interchangeably.

In the UK a sink is referred to as a washbasin which is usually built-in in a kitchen in which simple washing tasks are done including dishes small items, clothing, etc.

In a bathroom, a sink is referred to as a hand basin and it can be used as a kitchen sink as well.

Most importantly, in the UK the term lavatory isn’t used in reference to washing the body except for the room itself or the floor sited basin, usually connected to a flushing mechanism for the disposing of bodily wastes.

The term toilet may be used in reference to the actual room as well as the depository basin or pan.

If we talk about the modern houses then you’ll find a separate WC cubicle close to the entrance door to the house and is considered quite useful for guests, and random visitors.

It can also be beneficial for the kids playing nearby as it saves them from carrying specks of dirt from muddy shoes to the upper floor.

From our past experience, we can affirm that the higher the social class the more likely the term “lavatory” is used in the reference to the WC.

Wrapping Up | What Is The Difference Between A Lavatory And A Sink

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