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Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

Out with the old and in with the new. A bathroom remodel can certainly be stressful. You must be 100% certain on each item you choose for your space. Ask yourself which materials, style, sink type, and size you'll need, as well as how much storage space you’ll need. Luckily, we’ve laid out a comprehensive bathroom vanity buying guide to help you through the process.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEASURING

All bathrooms are not created equal. Don’t purchase a vanity you think will fit, only to be disappointed. Measure, and then measure again! Here is what you need to measure and some important things to consider:

  • Measure the existing vanity’s length, height, and depth, including the countertop. If you aren’t purchasing a vanity with a countertop, be sure to account for one in your measurements.
  • Vanities typically come in widths of 24", 30", 36", 48", & 72" with depths between 9" – 18" and 19" – 24".
  • If you plan to install a vessel sink, shop for a shorter vanity, as they add approximately 5 to 6 inches of height to the countertop.
  • Make sure there is enough room for door openings, including the shower entry and exit, and trim.
  • Check the location of all current plumbing, fixtures, electrical outlets, and mirrors. Moving the current plumbing location can increase costs.

Another thing to consider would be the actual use case for the vanity. Do you need a single bowl or double bowl vanity? Is it going in a guest bathroom, half bath, or master?

BATHROOM VANITY TYPES

FREESTANDING VANITIES

The most common type of vanity, is the freestanding vanity. Also referred to as modern vanities, these are placed on the floor and can be supported with wall mount screws to ensure stability.

CONSOLE VANITIES

Perfect for those who don’t need extra storage space, guest bathrooms, and half baths, these vanities are as minimalist as it gets. They can also create an open concept style in a master bathroom.

WALL MOUNTED VANITIES

Also known as floating vanities, these are mounted directly to bathroom wall, saving floor space and offering a clean, modern touch to the bathroom space.

CORNER VANITIES

Designed to be installed in the corner of the bathroom, corner vanities can save on space, which makes them great for half and guest baths.

FEATURES TO CONSIDER

MATERIAL

Ranging from solid oak, bamboo, engineered wood, and hammered copper, vanities are available in a vast assortment of materials. Keep this in mind when matching your new vanity with the other aesthetics of your bathroom. We recommend a hard wood over of MDF, however, MDF could be used in certain applications to the price conscious consumer.

COLOR

Just as important as the material, the color of a vanity can make or break the look of a space. Bathroom vanities come in an assortment of colors, as well as natural wood finishes.

STORAGE SPACE

How much storage space do you need? How many people will be using the vanity? Would having a separate drawer for each family member work? A vanity with a lot of storage space can be accommodating and help keep the bathroom uncluttered and neat.

HARDWARE

Does the vanity you are interested in come with hardware or will you have to buy it separate? Typically, vanities that come with hardware are perfectly matched.

If the vanity doesn’t come with hardware, some other questions to ask:

Do you want a clean look without handles?

This is a great option is the vanity has cutouts for sliding drawers to keep the space uncluttered.

Do you want pull handles or knobs?

If you aren’t a fan of the hardware that comes with the vanity, there are many varieties of pulls including handle/bar, bail, cup, pin, finger, drop, hanging, and appliance or knobs depending on what look you are going for.

MIRROR

Are you keeping the current mirror or replacing it? This is another important consideration and one you must prepare for by measuring current wall space before purchasing. Some vanities come with a matching mirror to accent the vanity design perfectly.

FAUCETS

Be sure to consider a new faucet to match your new vanity. Bathroom sink faucets come in many varieties and sizes. Faucet drillings are typically already made on vanities for either widespread or center set faucets. If your vanity doesn’t have mounting holes, consider a wall mount faucet.

SINK TYPES

UNDERMOUNT

These sinks are mounted underneath the vanity countertop. Most commonly oval-shaped but also available in rectangular shapes and are made of porcelain or copper. These sinks are easy to clean since any particles can be swept into it and they offer more counterspace than traditional obtrusive drop-in sinks.

INTEGRAL

Doubling as a countertop, these sink types typically take up the entire top of the vanity. Perfect for the minimalist and if little to no counter space is needed, trough sinks are the perfect solution and work well with console vanities.

VESSEL

Vessel sinks are installed on top of a shortened vanity since the sink itself adds height. These sinks are available in a few different materials such as porcelain and copper. Typically, shorter than other vanities to accommodate the vessel sink placed on top, these vanities add a non-traditional look to the bathroom.

TROUGH

Doubling as a countertop, these sink types typically take up the entire top of the vanity. Perfect for the minimalist and if little to no counter space is needed, trough sinks are the perfect solution and work well with console vanities.

DROP-IN

An alternative to undermount on vanities that are specified for these sink types, just drop the sink right into the vanity, connect the plumbing and faucet and you are good to go. These sinks require less installation time, can be installed into all countertops, and have a more visible line for cleaning compared to other sink types.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

DOES A BATHROOM VANITY NEED A BACKSPLASH?

Typically, no. However, we recommend a vanity with a backsplash, as it protects the wall from water and soap damage.

DOES A BATHROOM VANITY NEED TO BE ATTACHED TO A WALL?

It’s up to the user. Wall mounted vanities are attached to the wall by default, but freestanding and console vanities can be attached with screws for more support.

DOES A BATHROOM VANITY NEED TO BE FLUSH WITH A WALL?

The vanity should fit flush and tightly against the wall. Removing your old vanity can cause tile or wall material replacement, so take that into account. Remember to measure!

DO BATHROOM VANITIES HAVE BACKS?

To leave room for plumbing fixtures, they typically do not have backs, but some do dependent on the model.

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