Discover all your options and learn what to look for in this bathroom vanity buying guide. This guide will show you types of vanities, discuss material qualities, and address common design issues.
Unlike other home furniture, dressers are mounted and secured to columns in your home. This means they are more permanent pieces. For this reason, you want to make sure you choose the right vanity made of the right material. Here’s the rundown of the bathroom vanity buying guide.
1. Materials For Making Bathroom Cabinets
Choosing the right material for your bathroom is one of the most important decisions you will make when shopping for bathroom cabinets. Humidity and moisture are one of the biggest problems with wood furniture, so choosing a material is crucial. Solid wood vanities offer maximum durability, while rubberwood is also a very viable option, offering 90% of the strength of oak. Here are some additional resources that I recommend taking the time to read. They’ll show you what “solid wood” is and tell you the difference between MDF, plywood, solid wood, and more
2. Find The Right Size
While bathrooms come in standard sizes, not all homes are built the same. Measure the dimensions of your current vanity and go from there. Bathroom vanities are usually available in 3-inch increments, so keep that in mind as a good rule of thumb. This page allows you to filter the noise and shop dressers by size.
If you’re looking for a really odd size, you might want to consider going the custom or semi-custom route. This will cost more than a stock vanity (pricing breakdown). Semi-custom cabinets are available in 1/8-inch increments, and fully custom cabinets are available in virtually any size your local cabinet maker can make. Are you unsure which option is best for you? I elaborate on the custom, semi-custom, and locker dilemmas in this article.
Vanities are available in a variety of sizes, from small to large. Keep this in mind if you fall in love with large double-sink vanities. Many times, you can find the same stripped-down vanity in a guest bathroom. Maintaining a uniform design throughout your home will be easier this way.
3. Bathroom Vanity Height Guidelines
The standard bathroom vanity height is 32 inches. Comfort Height Vanities are the new trend. These vanities are raised a few inches to 36 inches, the same height as kitchen countertops. This allows you to use the sink without having to bend over and without putting pressure on your lower back. After all, the only reason bathroom countertops are lower than a kitchen is if kids have to use the bathroom, while the kitchen is primarily used by adults for food preparation.
Another vanity height option is container sink height. Vessel sinks are typically 6 inches high, so you’ll need to accommodate this extra height by lowering your vanity. The standard height for a vessel sink vanity is approximately 30 inches. This will bring your basin top to a comfortable height of approximately 36 inches.
4. Types of Vanity
Freestanding – A regular vanity that is “freestanding” means that it sits on the floor and is attached to the wall with mounting screws. The most common type of vanity is a freestanding unit.
Floating – A floating bathroom vanity is a vanity that mounts to the wall. Modern and contemporary designs tend to feature this type of vanity. A floating vanity saves floor space and gives your bathroom a chic look.
Open Space – An open space vanity is a great way to create a light and airy feel in your bathroom. Open dressers have visible storage spaces with no doors or drawers covering them. They’re fun, engaging, and really open up the room!
Vessel Sinks – Vessel sinks became popular in the late 2000s and they are still considered very modern today. A vessel sink is a vanity with a basin that sits above the countertop. You can also find “drop-in” vessel sinks, where the top of the bowl protrudes above the counter, but the basin sits inside the vanity, like this one. Container sinks don’t necessarily need to be made of glass, either. They can also be made of ceramic and porcelain. The best part is, there are artisan pieces in thousands of colors. Just flip through a few pages and you’ll see what I mean.
Glass Bathroom Vanity – Glass bathroom vanity has an ultra-modern appeal. The pleasing translucency of the design emphasizes the full depth of the room dimensions. Most glass vanities are made of tempered glass, so you don’t have to worry about them being too fragile. Best of all, they’re easy to quickly wipe clean with a little glass cleaner.
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5. Sink Changes
Single Sink – Single-sink vanities are often used in small bathrooms where space is limited. They are perfect for apartments, condos, powder rooms, and guest bathrooms. In order to create more counter space, you can also choose a vanity with a single sink that is longer.
Double Sinks – A double sink vanity is perfect for his and hers master bathrooms. They allow both spouses enough space to get ready in the morning. The double sink vanity also provides more counter space for all your cosmetics and personal hygiene accessories.
Vessel Sinks – Vessel sinks bring a unique look to your bathroom. Standard porcelain pots are fine, but they are all too common. This is the great thing about container sinks. With so many options, you can always find a vessel sink that no one else has seen to make your master bathroom even more stunning. It looks bespoke, unique, and tailored to your personal preferences.
Corner Sink Vanity – A corner sink vanity is perfect when you want to save space. Some are fixed to the wall and some are freestanding. In any case, the only space you will use is that required for the basin.
Topless Bathroom Vanity – Topless, no, this is not an X-rated product. A topless dresser is a dresser without an attached countertop. This is great because it allows you to buy your own custom countertops. Many people prefer this because it allows them flexibility. Many stores only sell dressers and counters. This means you cannot buy the vanity separately. Even if you plan to make your own custom countertops locally, you will have to purchase additional countertops. Learn more reasons why you should invest in a countertops bathroom vanity.
Browse topless vanity photos here.
6. Style Options
Modern – Modern bathroom vanities are built according to the trends that were popular during the mid-century modern period. These vanity tables amplify the minimalist sensibility through a love of sharp, bold, and simple lines. Black and white with chrome/brushed nickel hardware is common in modern vanities. The idea was to keep the design simple and focus on the functionality of the bathroom. Easy to access, comfortable to store, and easy to clean up.
Antique – Antique dressers are more refined and decorative. The Antique Dressing Table is repeatedly inspired by vintage expressions from the Art Deco period, capturing the rustic look of the past. You’ll find well-worn dressers with ornate accents lining cabinet frames and legs, declaring style, elegance, and opulence. Arched and pilaster legs are another common feature. Antique dressers can be found in rustic and country-style variants. This style is perfect for homes with old-world chic, country, country, cottage, and ranch styles.
Transitional – Transitional is a style that blends old and new, a hybrid if you can. For transitional vanities, you’ll often see frame construction similar to modern vanities. The vanity itself will have more trim, with beveled panels and slight accents to give the cabinets some type of depth. If you think a modern dresser is too plain, but an antique dresser is too old-fashioned for your taste, transitional pieces are a great choice.
Furniture Styles – Furniture-style bathroom vanities are one of the latest trends impacting the bathroom design industry. Furniture Style Vanities are those that mimic ordinary bathroom vanities, the only difference being that they must facilitate plumbing for sinks and faucets.
European Style Vanity – European-style bathroom vanities are becoming more and more popular in the United States. Often slim, these vanities use a lighter color palette to impact the surrounding space in a way that adds depth.
7. Be a Frugal Shopper
The best time to buy a dresser is when the company has a sale. They know consumers are more likely to buy during the holidays, so they lower prices. You can check out this page for clearance vanities at less than retail prices. These cabinets are made from higher quality materials than what you’ll find in the big box stores, and cost just a few dollars more. It’s a worthwhile tradeoff if you ask me.