There seem to be as many types of bathroom vanities as there are bathrooms! From a less expensive wall-hung piece to a custom piece of furniture, there is no one style that is “best.” Which one you ultimately choose comes down to personal taste and budget.
A Brief Guide to Bathroom Vanities
A utilitarian piece that adds a touch of beauty to the room it’s in, a bathroom vanity should cater to your family’s needs while being pleasing to the eye. Here’s a brief description of the different types of sinks and the vanities that go with them.
Traditional washstands offer a timeless ambience that blends beautifully with modern or vintage look bathrooms. While they often lack drawers or cabinets, they’re frequently paired with a pantry style wall unit that holds all those bathroom essentials.
A powder room or smaller bathroom rarely needs a double sink. A single wall mounted sink looks great and can be good for saving space. To keep it simple and uncluttered, a practical cupboard style vanity works great. Want to maximize the minimal look? Use wall-mounted faucets as well and choose handle-free door fronts with a recessed grip.
An attractive combination of vanity and pedestal sinks, a freestanding vanity often resembles a fine piece of furniture and is ideal for holding all your bath necessities. Very much in vogue, a freestanding vanity is the perfect marriage of style and function. They often include molded sinks with “side wings” that extend on either side for holding odds and ends.
Some people need a lot of bathroom storage but don’t care for wall-to-wall cabinets that look like they belong in the kitchen. Get the same amount of space with oversized drawers beneath double sinks. White cabinets with a pale, nicely veined countertop make for a clean and fuss-free bathroom in any style home.
Perch on a Plinth
If you love a contemporary look, especially if storage is plentiful elsewhere, opt for the non-traditional perch on a plinth concept. This simple and elegant offers up an airy alternative to the closed-in appearance of drawers and cabinets.
Whether it’s a custom piece made to your specifications or a furniture-looking piece from a manufacturer like Wellborne (pictured), it’s hard to top a vanity that’s made to fit your exact space and style. If you opt for a real-wood unit, you’ll need to treat the piece to make it water repellent and humidity resistant, but the beautiful results make it well worth the extra work.
Is there such a thing as too much storage for the youngest members of the family? If you have a Jack and Jill bath, try to include as much cupboard and drawer space as possible. Besides the powder room, this is one bathroom where you can have a lot of fun with material and color. A highly lacquered rainbow effect like that shown here, or a bold colored laminate piece can add a lot of fun to an otherwise neutral bath.
How to Choose
The vanity can become the main attraction of the bathroom, so you want to get it right the first time. Whether you’re looking for practical or cutting-edge, here’s how to choose the vanity that best suits your needs.
- Who will be using it? A master suite requires a different setup than a guest room or children’s bathroom.
- Where will it be placed? Existing plumbing usually dictates where a vanity is located. If you’re in love with the idea of a double wall-hung vanity but your plumbing’s located in a spot where only a single sink will fit, you’ll need to make changes to the plumbing layout.
- What obstacles exist? Plumbing can be moved but taking down walls and relocating doorways is much more involved. Look for things like adequate room for door swing (including the shower door); sufficient space between the toilet and vanity; and whether the vanity doesn’t disrupt the flow of traffic.
To get a good idea of whether your vanity choice will work, walk around the space. Place a box or similar sized piece of furniture in the place where you want the vanity to go. Does it feel “right?” Can you move comfortably around the room? Don’t forget to allow for swinging doors and opening drawers.
Finally, choose a vanity countertop that can stand up to whatever life throws at it. Choose a durable top, avoid grouting, and choose a material that suited to a warm, moist environment.
Remember, there are no wrong choices when it comes to personal style! If you’re planning to remodel one or more of your bathrooms and would like to learn more about the different types of bathroom vanities, drop us a line today. We look forward to showing you all the exciting options!
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.