One of the most important things when building a new or remodeling an existing bathroom is choosing the proper bathroom vanity that will suit all your needs and incorporate in your overall bathroom design. This is not an easy task at all and there are many things to consider before you go out and buy your new bathroom vanity. Bathroom vanities actually serve multiple roles and they provide us with places to put towels, hairdryers and any other stuff we want hidden. But more than that, they give us a means to dress up our bathrooms in virtually any style we can imagine. The choices available are almost unlimited when it comes to choosing a vanity and you’re limited only by the size of your bathroom and your budget.
Before you make any firm decisions take some time to read our guide and understand what’s available and what you should consider before buying.
Size and placement of your bathroom vanity
Before we even start with planning, it’s essential to measure your bathroom. Consider how much counter space and storage space you will need and also make sure to note the dimensions of the area where your bathroom vanity will be installed. You don’t want to hit the vanity with your bathroom door each time you open them and you most certainly don’t need a toilet just next to the vanity. The width and depth are often fixed measurements due to the physical space in your bathroom, but you can typically have more freedom in selecting the height. Also, your vanity size should always make sense for your bathroom’s size. Cramming a huge vanity into a tiny bathroom doesn’t make sense. The one more thing to consider before you start checking out the models is your existing plumbing. If you need to change your bathroom’s plumbing to install your new vanity, it’s going to account for a chunk of your budget and even switching from a traditional floor-mounted vanity to a wall-mounted version will mean rerouting pipes and drains.
Type and style of your bathroom vanity
The variety of vanity designs today makes it easy to find what you need in terms of design and storage. First we need to see what are the basic types of bathroom vanities. The basic types are free standing, wall mounted and corner bathroom vanities. Free Standing, also known as standard, is the most common bathroom vanity. It resembles a chest or buffet, and it is your best option for maximum storage space. Wall-mounted vanities hang or float on the wall without legs touching the ground. This modern style opens up floor space in a small bathroom. Corner-mounted vanities are most commonly used in small bathrooms when you need to save space. Corner-mounted bathroom vanities have a 90-degree angle at the back so that they fit perfectly into a corner.
There are four different styles of bathroom vanities: contemporary, modern, traditional and rustic. Contemporary bathroom vanities are simple, clean-lined designs that will work with a wide variety of styles. Modern bathroom vanities are streamlined designs with clean styling and sometimes sharp angles or bold shapes. Traditional bathroom vanities are classic designs with detailed elements, such as panel doors, ornate carvings and rich wood. Rustic bathroom vanities are relaxed or more casual designs that highlight the natural beauty of raw materials, such as wood, iron, and stone.
Bathroom vanity finishes and tops
Vanities are placed in environments that are humid, wet and busy and the materials that make up your vanity of choice should be able to stand up to such an environment. Look for a durable vanity top as well, and try to avoid anything with hard-to-clean grout. If you’re redoing other bathroom finishes, consider choosing your vanity top first. It’s so much easier to find a tile and cabinet to match a unique top than trying to find a top to match a unique tile. Finishes are especially important for avoiding wear and tear in the bathroom and solid woods like birch, pine or oak can be stained for an elegant, durable finish. Polished stone finishes are easy to clean and durable, but the most popular are veneer wood panels which give your cabinet a uniform look. They are inexpensive compared to solid wood and polished stone finishing. Another great thing to consider are laminate finishes because they are sleek and easy to clean, making them excellent for kids’ bathrooms.
Bathroom vanity tops are available in several materials and they can really lift the look of your vanity and also the entire bathroom. Laminate top is an economical choice that is both durable and easy to clean, and it is available in numerous colors and styles to meet your needs. It’s also moisture-resistant, making it a perfect fit for any bathroom. Tiles of stone, ceramic or porcelain are durable bathroom vanity top materials that tend to last a long time but they cost a little more. Solid surface is the material that is sturdy and moisture resistant, and it is very popular because it looks great but not as expensive as natural stone or wood. Also, s sink made of a solid surface can be seamlessly integrated into the top. Natural stone tops are elegant and durable, though some stones require special maintenance to last. If you can afford natural stone, it is the best top material for your bathroom vanity. As a top surface, wood has become very popular because it is attractive, versatile, and easy to install. It is, however, especially vulnerable to water damage, and its porosity makes it difficult to keep clean. All hardwood and softwood species must be well sealed with polyurethane or marine varnish. Special care should be taken to seal around the edges of plumbing fixtures so standing water can’t seep in and cause wood rot.
Sinks, faucets and additional tips
If you are buying your bathroom vanity as a set, then the sink and the faucet are already included and you don’t need to worry about that. But if you want to choose every part of your bathroom vanity and match them with your bathroom design, then finding proper sink and faucet are very important. When we talk about sinks then we must know that there are three basic types of sinks: under-mount, self-rimming and vessel. Under-mount sink is designed to be installed under the counter for a cleaner appearance. Because there are no exposed edges, this style makes top cleanup easy and fuss-free. Self-rimming sink is also known as a top-mount or drop-in and this style is mounted directly into an opening on the counter, with its edges resting on it. The vessel sink is typically a bowl-shaped unit that sits on top of the counter surface.
Faucets are available in a spectacular array of shapes and finishes and even modestly priced faucets present worlds of possibility. If you’re retrofitting a new faucet to an existing sink or buying a complete sink ensemble, always be sure to match the type of faucet to the hole openings in your sink. There are many different types of faucets and we will explain few most common ones. Single-hole faucets combine the spout and mixing handles, often a single lever, into one unit that requires only one drilled sink hole. Center-set faucets fit standard three-hole sinks with outer holes drilled 4 inches apart. They’ll have either a single lever or two handles mounted on a 6-inch plate. Widespread mounts have three separate pieces: two handles and the spout. The standard distance between the handles is at least 8 inches, and the three pieces tend to be larger than other types of bathroom faucets. Wall mount faucets have gained popularity along with freestanding or vessel type sinks that require longer spouts that extend well over the top of the bowl.
Consider whether or not you want or need a sidesplash or a backsplash to make the vanity work in your space. If you do then focus on brands that either include these pieces with the vanity or sell them separately. If you purchase these separately, ensure that the finish and dimensions match the vanity top. Another great thing is putting electricity in the cabinet box if you want to keep hair dryers, toothbrushes and other necessities ready to go. That’s about it when it comes to tips for buying a bathroom vanity and only thing left to do is to start shopping and remodeling! If you need a new washer for your bathroom remodel be sure to check our Washing machine guide!