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Lavatory vs. Sink: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 31, 2023
Lavatory is a room or compartment with a toilet and basin; Sink is a basin for washing, often fixed to a wall or on a pedestal.

Key Differences

A lavatory typically refers to a facility equipped with a toilet and often a washbasin, serving as a restroom. In contrast, a sink is a basin installed in kitchens, bathrooms, or utility rooms, primarily used for washing hands, dishes, or other small objects.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
Lavatories are associated with hygiene and privacy, often found in personal or public restrooms. Sinks, however, are more versatile, found in various settings and designed for tasks ranging from hand washing to dish cleaning.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
The design of lavatories usually includes a toilet and sometimes a bidet, emphasizing personal hygiene. Sinks, on the other hand, are designed with faucets and drains, focusing on the practicality of washing and rinsing.
Huma Saeed
Dec 31, 2023
Lavatories often include additional features like mirrors, storage cabinets, and sometimes shower facilities. Sinks, in contrast, may come with features like soap dispensers, garbage disposals, and drying areas.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023
In terms of usage, lavatories are primarily used for toileting and personal grooming, whereas sinks are integral to tasks related to cleaning, cooking, and maintenance in homes and commercial settings.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Function

For toileting and personal hygiene
For washing hands, dishes, etc.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Location

Usually in bathrooms or restrooms
Kitchens, bathrooms, work areas
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Features

Toilet, sometimes a bidet
Faucets, drains, sometimes disposals
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Usage Context

Personal hygiene, privacy
Cleaning, cooking, maintenance
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Design Focus

Hygiene, convenience
Practicality, efficiency
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
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Lavatory and Sink Definitions

Lavatory

A room or compartment with a toilet and washbasin.
The airplane had a small lavatory at the back.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Sink

A basin used for washing, attached to a water supply and drain.
She filled the sink with soapy water to clean the dishes.
Huma Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Lavatory

A fixture consisting of a water basin fixed to a wall or floor.
He washed his hands in the lavatory before dinner.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Sink

A low-lying, hollow place where water accumulates.
Rainwater collected in the natural sink in the backyard.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Lavatory

A bathroom or restroom in a public place.
The restaurant's lavatory was exceptionally clean.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Sink

A basin in a kitchen or utility room for washing.
The plumber fixed the leak under the sink.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Lavatory

A room containing a toilet and sink for washing.
The office building had a lavatory on each floor.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

Sink

A depression in the ground or a container for liquid.
The sink in the lab was used for disposing of chemical waste.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Lavatory

A toilet facility in a vehicle, like a train or plane.
There was a queue for the lavatory during the flight.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Sink

A fixed bowl with a faucet, used for washing hands and dishes.
He rinsed his coffee cup in the kitchen sink.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Lavatory

A room equipped with washing and often toilet facilities; a bathroom.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Sink

To go below the surface of water or another liquid
We watched the leaky inner tube slowly sink.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Lavatory

A washbowl or basin, especially one permanently installed with running water.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Sink

To descend to the bottom of a body of water or other liquid
Found the wreck where it had sunk.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

FAQs

Is a lavatory the same as a bathroom?

Often, but a bathroom might also include a bath or shower, whereas a lavatory focuses on the toilet and sink.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What materials are sinks made of?

Sinks are commonly made of stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic, or composite materials.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

What is a lavatory?

A lavatory is a room or compartment with a toilet and often a washbasin, used for personal hygiene.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What is a sink?

A sink is a basin connected to a water supply and drain, used for washing hands, dishes, or other items.
Huma Saeed
Dec 31, 2023

Can a lavatory have a sink?

Yes, many lavatories have a sink for handwashing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can a sink be used for cooking purposes?

Kitchen sinks are often used for food preparation tasks like washing vegetables.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Is it common to have multiple sinks in one house?

Yes, it's common to have multiple sinks in different rooms for various purposes.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Where are sinks commonly found?

Sinks are commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and sometimes in workshops.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Do public lavatories always include sinks?

Yes, public lavatories typically include sinks for handwashing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can a lavatory be part of a bedroom?

Yes, en-suite lavatories are common in master bedrooms.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Do all sinks have taps/faucets?

Almost all sinks have taps or faucets to control the water flow.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Are sinks in lavatories and kitchens different?

Yes, kitchen sinks are usually larger for dishwashing, while those in lavatories are smaller for handwashing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What's the difference in cleaning a lavatory and a sink?

Cleaning a lavatory often involves disinfecting the toilet, while cleaning a sink focuses on the basin and faucet.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can a lavatory be used for laundry?

Generally, no. Lavatories are meant for personal hygiene.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Are lavatories present in all homes?

Most homes have at least one lavatory, though the size and facilities can vary.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Can a sink be outside?

Yes, outdoor sinks are used in gardens or outdoor kitchens.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Is a sink necessary in a lavatory?

While not absolutely necessary, a sink is commonly included for handwashing.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Are there different styles of sinks?

Yes, there are various styles, including pedestal, undermount, and farmhouse sinks.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Is it expensive to install a new lavatory or sink?

The cost can vary depending on the style and plumbing requirements.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What is the main purpose of a lavatory?

The main purpose of a lavatory is for using the toilet and washing hands.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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