The bathroom vanity: launch pad for your day and centerpiece of your bathroom. Whether it’s a powder room or a master bath, a bathroom vanity can help define the look of your bathroom. The second most important fixture in the bathroom, the vanity allows for an almost limitless expression of your style and design sense. Don’t have any? Bathroom vanities can be simple and functional as well.
There’s not a lot of room for error in most bathrooms. Take plenty of careful measurements of the floor space, and the locations of plumbing fixtures and electrical outlets.
Do you need one sink or two? Will your sink sit above the counter (a vessel) or rest in it (a drop-in)? Do you even want the vanity to come with a sink, or will you purchase the sink separately? Take your time, and remember to breathe.
Bathroom vanities come in two flavors: built-in and freestanding. Built-in vanities have full cabinets underneath, while freestanding vanities typically have a sink, counter and supporting legs.
The bathroom vanity counter (sometimes called a top) comes in a variety of styles and materials. The vanity top takes a lot of abuse, so consider a durable material like stone, concrete or solid surface alternatives.
When it’s a cabinet. If youre looking for extra storage and have the room, a wall mounted or freestanding bathroom cabinet is a stylish option. With storage taken care of, you might consider a sleek, freestanding vanity for balance.
Bathroom vanities can be built-in or freestanding. Choose built-ins for storage or if multiple sinks are required. Select a freestanding vanity if you are pressed for space.
Bathroom vanity counters come in the same materials as kitchen counters. Stone counters are dramatic, but pricey. Tile counters are durable, but maintenance can be a hassle. Synthetic tops offer a single seamless unit, but scratching can be an issue.
If you share your bathroom with one or more people, a two-sink vanity is an attractive option. Just make sure you have plenty of space in your bathroom before you go shopping.
Some manufacturers sell bathroom vanities without a top. This option allows for custom counter tops if you have unique material or sink placement needs.
Even freestanding vanities need to be fixed in place somehow. While many freestanding vanities are only connected to the wall by plumbing, some are mounted to the wall. A wall mounted, freestanding vanity may require modifications to the bathroom wall.
It greets you in the morning and is one of the last things you see at night. The bathroom vanity is an important component in the bathroom, one that provides function, style and a place to put your toothbrush. When you select a bathroom vanity, you’ll be faced with a large menu of choices. Don’t despair. Simply match the available options to your needs and desires and you’ll do fine.
There are two main types of vanities: built-in and freestanding.
Built-in bathroom vanities have a fully enclosed cabinet under the sink. The base cabinet is usually made of wood and is similar in construction to kitchen cabinets. Think of built-in vanities as substantial pieces of bathroom furniture, they provide storage and can become the centerpiece of your bathroom.
Freestanding bathroom vanities are simple affairs, with exposed plumbing and without under-sink storage. Freestanding vanities take up little room and are perfect for powder rooms or half baths. If a built-in vanity is a piece of furniture, then a freestanding vanity is more like a piece of sculpture.
Bathroom vanity sinks are available in a number of shapes and sizes. Vanity top sinks are built directly into the surface of the vanity top, creating a seamless, easy to clean surface. Drop-in sinks are installed into a cutout in the vanity top. Drop-ins come in a wide range of styles and materials. Vessel sinks rest on the surface of the vanity top. Vessel sinks are currently very popular, but be aware that they sit higher than normal sinks, which can take some getting used to.
Like your kitchen counters, the top of a bathroom vanity is likely to see a lot of activity. And, like your kitchen counters, vanity tops are available in a wide range of materials. Here are some of your choices:
Stone: Stone counters (including granite, marble and concrete) can add a dramatic, upscale look to your bathroom. Stone vanity tops can be expensive, however, and require special sealing and cleaning products to look their best.
Ceramic: Tile vanity tops are durable and classic, but grout cleaning and maintenance can eat into your time and wallet.
Wood: Wood can create a dramatic or rustic vanity top, but careful maintenance is required to avoid stains or water damage.
Synthetic materials: Acrylics, composites and solid surface materials are perfect for vanity top sinks and creating a seamless, easy to clean surface. Some synthetic materials are prone to scratching, however.