Bathroom vanities are the hub of the entire bathroom. Goes without saying, they are central to the overall theme and décor of your bathroom. But it’s not just about the aesthetics. Bathroom vanities should be sturdy and resilient enough to endure the prolonged use (and abuse) of the multiple family members as well as occasional guests.
While choosing your bathroom vanity, you need to keep in mind your future plans such as expanding family size. The weather in your area is also a factor as also your occupancy patterns such as whether you live in your house 12 months a year or only a part of the year.
Anatomy of a Bathroom Vanity
The bathroom vanity comprises the cabinet, sink or the basin, and its surrounding area. The bathroom vanity serves the dual purpose of hiding the plumbing as well as providing much-needed storage space. They add both functionalities as well as aesthetics to your bathroom.
Types of Bathroom Vanities
One of the major considerations before choosing a bathroom vanity is the number of people who are going to use the bathroom. If a couple is going to be using the bathroom vanity simultaneously before going to work, then it’s better to opt for a double vanity. If you opt for wooden vanities, you can choose from maple, oak, Asian hardwood, and other varieties.
Bathroom Vanity Styles
Bathroom vanity options are many — they can be with tops or without them and they can be single or double. Opting for bathroom vanities with tops reduces your hassles as the top is already there with the vanity and you can focus on other aspects of the bathroom. If the vanity is without a top, then you’ll need to consider the different materials to choose from as your countertop. See below for various ‘Bathroom VanityCountertops.’
Also, you choose from the corner, floating (aka ‘wall-mounted’) or freestanding bathroom vanity types. Corner vanities are especially suited for bathrooms with limited space. Freestanding vanities are the most common types around while the wall-mounted options can give your bathroom a sleek look and will also give the bathroom a cleaner and more spacious look.
Bathroom Vanity Sizes
The height of a bathroom vanity depends on various factors and you have a lot of room to maneuver depending on your physical attributes. Freestanding bathroom vanities are usually 32 inches or taller. Wall-hung varieties offer more option as they are hanging off the floor, to begin with. Keep in mind the ambient lighting in the bathroom while choosing vanity size.
Vanities come in typical sizes as follows:
- Width: 12 to 84 inches with 24, 30, 36, 48, and 60 inches being the more common
- Height: Standard is 31 inches but they can be from 31 to 31-1/2 inches
- Depth: 17 to 24 inches
Bathroom Vanity Countertop Materials
You can choose from a variety of 6 materials to use as your bathroom vanity countertop. These include granite, marble, laminate, wood, tile, quartzite, and other options as well.
Granite and marble countertops are the most aesthetically pleasing as well as the easiest to maintain. Wooden countertops can be problematic given the humid atmosphere inside a bathroom. Tiles are difficult to clean though cheaper to install.
Talk to an experienced bathroom vanity installer in your area with experience in installing countertops before reaching a final decision and remember to weigh the various variables such as cost versus durability versus maintenance issues versus aesthetics.
Bathroom Vanity Sinks
Bathroom vanity sinks come in different styles to suit different bathrooms. Under-counter, vessel, and drop-ins are some of the commonly used bathroom vanity sink types. More bathroom vanity sink options include pedestal and wall-mount types. There is so much variety available to choose from in terms of sink designs that it can be overwhelming for the newbie. You can decide your vanity sink type based on how much countertop space you need. This, in turn, depends on whether there will be many people usually using the sink and whether you would be occasionally giving your cat a bath in the sink and any other special requirements.
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How to Install a Bathroom Vanity
Depending on your DIY inclinations and prior experience with home rebuilding, you might want to hire a professional to install your bathroom vanity. In some instances, you can buy bathroom vanities that can be easily installed by the buyers themselves.
So, you can purchase a vanity online or go to a reputed shop depending on these factors. DIY enthusiasts will need to update themselves on the State and local (not to mention Federal) Building Codes. For example, the State of California adopts a set of new construction codes every three years referred to as the California Building Standards Code.
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How to Buy Bathroom Vanities — Decision Points
You need to budget for the cost of various components of your home. If you are building a new home, you will need to factor in the other costs and overall costs to zero-in on how much to spend on your bathroom vanity.
If you are going to have multiple bathrooms, then you will need to decide if the master bathroom will have the same look as the guest bathroom or if they’ll have different looks. Current family size and future plans regarding kids also need to be factored into your decision. Since vanities can have classic, modern or other styles, you’ll need to choose a vanity style that is in line with your style choice for the bathroom and other rooms. Your vanity style should also be coordinated with that of your bathroom faucets and handles as well as bathroom mirrors.
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Your decision as to the bathroom vanity type will need to factor in color, material, usage patterns as well as environmental factors. It’s a long-term investment — apart from being reasonably expensive — and the decision is not one to be taken lightly whether you are building a new home or remodeling your existing home.
Professional workmanship shows in fit and finish and quality of materials will be proven through their endurance. It is better, therefore, to go for somewhat expensive materials and hire professionals to install your bathroom vanities.