Although they certainly do help keep a cluttered bathroom in check, it is important to remember that vanities consist of more than just storage. If you are in the market for a bathroom vanity, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the products available, and the steps to take to ensure you choose the right piece for your bathroom.
Vanities are pieces of furniture typically found in bedrooms and bathrooms. There are two types of vanities. The first refers to a small desk with an attached mirror, most commonly known as a makeup vanity. The typical user sits at this vanity when applying makeup or other cosmetic necessities. Vanities also refer to the piece of furniture a bathroom sink sits on. These are often known as bathroom vanities, and provide storage below the sink for towels and toiletries. This buyer’s guide will cover the latter of the two.
Just as homes and bathrooms vary in size, so do vanities. The length and width of the vanity depend on the size of the sink the vanity holds and the amount of countertop given. Typically, vanities are 34 – 36 inches tall, a comfortable height for washing hands and leaning in to wash the face. Tall homeowners may want a taller vanity to prevent back aches.
When determining what size vanity will fit in your bathroom, consider a few things. First, be sure the vanity will fit where the wall is plumbed for the sink (or where it will be plumbed in the case of an extensive renovation), while leaving ample space for leg room around the toilet and for the shower and bathroom door to open and close. Also, remember the new vanity should not cover any electrical outlets or block any doorways. Vanities that will accommodate double sinks will of course be longer, but usually have additional storage space in between the two sinks.
Parts of the Vanity
Bathroom vanities support the bathroom sink; therefore the sink is an important consideration when selecting a vanity. The size, style, and shape of the sink can all affect which vanity will work best in your bathroom.
A vanity typically consists of four pieces – the vanity itself, the countertop, the sink, and the faucet. The vanity must be large enough to support the other three components. There must be enough space below the countertop, inside the vanity to accommodate a sink basin (when a drop-in or undermount sink is used), the sink plumbing, and the faucet valves. A wall-mount faucet can save countertop space and eliminate the need for faucet valves under the countertop.
Some vanities are sold with a sink and countertop included. These all-in-one pieces are easy to install and ensure the sink and countertop will match vanity below, both aesthetically and in terms of size. However, while a vanity of this type can be painted, for the most part you must take the entire piece as is; there are very few customization options for all-in-one vanities.
Another option is to purchase your vanity, sink, and countertop separately. While they may take more time to assemble than single units, separate purchases give you more control over style and materials, and the possibilities are vast. You can use your choice of countertop, such as marble, granite, or quartz, and pair it with the sink, faucet, and vanity of your choosing.
Like bathroom sinks, vanities can also be wall-mount. Wall-mount vanities are typically found in bathrooms with a modern aesthetic but are quickly growing in popularity due to their many perks. With the vanity being off the floor, mopping and cleaning the bathroom floor is incredibly easy. Down lighting can also be attached to the bottom of the vanity for a sophisticated look at a low cost, and can light your way during late night bathroom trips.
Wall-mount vanities require specialty mounting to support their weight on the wall. It is best to have a professional install a wall-mount vanity for you in order to prevent accidents from occurring.
If you have an oddly shaped bathroom and cannot find a vanity in the size and style you prefer, you may want to custom-build a vanity. Duravit has over 200 vanities that you can customize to your specifications. Choose the color of the wood, the number of drawers needed, the sink style, and more. Custom-built vanities will be displayed as a set of blue-prints online, so look for these images when browsing vanities at SUPPLY.com.
To order a custom-built vanity, call our team of product experts at (888) 426-2323.
The materials used to make vanities all have their pros and cons. Wood vanities are by far the most popular style on the market. Wood is cheap, sturdy, and can be painted or stained to the finish of your choice. Additionally, wood will typically remain solid and durable throughout the years, but will be weakened and can soften in the event of a leak. Veneer is made of thin, solid pieces of wood glued to wood particle panels. It is lacquered and non-porous, meaning spilled water will easily wipe off. Veneer is much less penetrable than wood (from the outside) and is typically slightly cheaper.
Advantages of Vanities
As stated above, vanities provide ample storage space convenient to the bathroom mirror. With drawers and cabinets to store toiletries, towels, and toilet paper, you can fit a wide range of material within a small amount of space. Even better, as most vanities have solid, opaque drawers, all of your bathroom necessities are hidden out of sight! Vanities also provide countertop space for your most commonly used toiletries, like hand soap and your toothbrush. With hundreds of vanities on the market, there is bound to be one that matches your design aesthetic and fits your bathroom. In the rare event that this is not the case, custom-building a vanity will create a piece that has everything you want in a vanity and nothing you don’t.