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Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

 

 
 
While it’s certainly not the easiest decision you must make during your bathroom remodel, it may be the most important—choosing the right vanity. Not only will your vanity provide storage for accessories, it also will set the tone for the new design of your space. There are many questions that you will ask yourself in regard to what you want and what you need once you realize that there is a staggering variety of styles, sizes, materials, shapes, and configurations on the market. This buying guide should provide a wealth of information to make your shopping experience less overwhelming, more fun, and relatively simple.
 
    THE RIGHT FIT
The bathroom layout will determine the size of vanity that will fit into the space. Stuffing a large vanity into a small bathroom is not ideal for space utilization, and a small vanity in a large bathroom may get lost in the design or not be a useful storage solution. If replacing an existing vanity, start by measuring the vanity that you are removing to use as a comparison.

A common mistake people make is measuring only the width of the cabinet (from left to right) but not the depth or height. Standard widths for vanity cabinets are 24", 30", 36", 48", 60" and 72", however, you may find some in-between sizes out there. The standard depth of a vanity, from front to back, is typically between 20"-21".However,there are narrow depth options available which are usually 18”.

While there isn’t necessarily a standard for vanity height, you will typically find them in the range of 32”-36” tall. If vessel sinks are in your plan, you may want to look for a vanity on the shorter end of the range since most vessel sinks will add an additional five or six inches to the overall height.
   
         
    HOW WILL THE VANITY BE USED?
When deciding on size, think about how the vanity will be used. If you are remodeling a master suite, a double-sink vanity may be the best to offer separate areas in a shared bathroom. Double vanities are generally between 60” and 72” in width, but you will find some as small as 48”.

If renovating a guest bath, you likely only need a single-sink vanity, which typically range in width from 18” to 48”. For very small bathrooms a corner, small wall-mount, or narrow-depth vanity is the key to utilizing your space.

If storage is a high priority in your bathroom, try a vanity with ample cabinet space. Use drawers to house and organize daily essentials that clutter your counter top. Decide what is most important to you in a vanity's layout, and look for that.
   
         
Types of Vanities
 
   Freestanding Vanities  
  This is the traditional, or the most common type of vanity available. This is also very likely what you are replacing. Freestanding vanities rest on the floor, and are secured to the wall via mounting screws for stability.  
     
   Wall-Mounted Vanities  
  Also known as “floating” vanities, this type mounts directly to the wall with no support from the floor. Wall-mounted vanities are great at providing a clean look and saving floor space. Additionally, many wall-mounted vanities fall in-line with ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance.  
     
   Corner Vanities  
  The perfect compromise for fitting a vanity into a very small bathroom. These space savers provide the storage that you need, enabling you to be more flexible with other projects within the bathroom.  
     
   Console Vanities  
  If you are wanting to create a more open concept in your bathroom, consider a console vanity. The modest design provides an airy, simple look for those who do not want a large cabinet filling their space.  
     
 
Vanity Designs & Materials
 
   Cottage  
  This style of vanity features a combination of delicate carvings, louvered panels, and bead board, which help to embrace classic farmhouse-style appeal. Cottage-style vanities are painted in soft, neutral tones which pair well with weathered or painted hardware.  
     
   Mission  
  Clean lines and simple construction give the mission design a handcrafted appearance. Typically made of heavy, solid woods such as oak, these craftsman-style vanities usually feature a natural stain to expose its grain. Solid bronze, brass, or iron hardware is generally used to complete the artisan appearance.  
     
   Modern  
  Modern vanities are perfect for contemporary remodels, as they feature clean, straight lines and a simple appearance. These vanities are made with a variety of different colors and materials, including metals such as stainless steel and aluminum.  
     
   Rustic  
  This design of vanity creates an organic, all-natural look by using reclaimed—or reclaimed looking—wood. Rustic vanities achieve a lived-in look by using warm stains, metal accents, and intentional blemishes.  
     
   Shaker  
  The principles of shaker design are similar to mission in that they value clean, simple lines with no ornate details or features. Where the two designs differ is that shaker tends to feature round hardware, gentle curves, and slim, tapered legs. These vanities are also usually made of a lighter-weight wood such as pine or maple.  
     
   Traditional  
  This design encompasses features that you would find on classic furniture. Traditional vanities are painted or stained with a variety colors ranging from brown to white tones, and feature more ornate detail, such as turned or cabriole legs, scalloped edges, and hardware with intricate designs.  
     
 
SINK VARIATIONS
 
In addition to deciding whether you would like a single bowl or double-bowl vanity, you will also need to determine the type of sink that you would like. Most vanities will only work with certain sink types due to interference from doors and shelving, so knowing what type of sink you’re going with as well as what each vanity will allow is important.
 
   Undermount  
  Most vanities are meant to be paired with undermount sinks. The most common sink type, these are mounted underneath the counter and are typically made of porcelain or copper in either an oval or rectangular shape.  
     
   Vessel  
  These sinks sit on top of the counter and are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and colors. A factor to consider, however, is that vessel sinks add to the overall height of the vanity, which may not be ideal for small children who are unable to reach.  
     
   Semi-Recessed  
  These sinks sit halfway into the counter top, leaving the top half of the sink exposed. They are a perfect blend between undermount and vessel sinks for those who want to make a design statement without the height of a vessel.  
     
   Trough or Integral  
  Trough sink tops, also known as integral sink tops, double as a counter top and sink all in one. These sinks create a clean, seamless look and are typically made of white porcelain, different types of stone, and even concrete.