Choosing the wrong vanity can waste money on replacements and leave you unused space or insufficient storage. Knowing sink styles and vanities provides flexible configurations while avoiding installation regrets down the road. Over the years of designing bathroom layouts, I’ve found the best types of bathroom vanities for varying interiors.
Exploring the Types of Bathroom Vanities
The most versatile, functional bathroom vanities include the pedestal sink vanity for its minimal footprint, the wall-mounted floating vanity for adaptable room configurations, and console and corner vanities to utilize unused angular space near walls efficiently.
Vessel, undermounted, and floor-mounted are also good options. You may also consider a vanity cabinet or a double vanity.
|Best Interior Style
|Sink basin on central floor-mounted pedestal base
|Transitional, modern, retro
|Space-saving, easier access to repairs
|No storage, exposed plumbing
|Narrow vanity mounted to the wall
|Contemporary, modern, small spaces
|Frees up countertop space, fits small walls
|Very little storage
|Wall mount sink
|Floating vanity anchored to the wall
|Flexible layouts, easy under-vanity cleaning
|Risk of collapse from weight, limited rearranging
|Vanity situated in room corner
|Small bathrooms with angled corners
|Uses awkward empty spaces
|Costly, specialized sizing
|Sink bowls installed on the vanity top
|Increased storage capacity
|Awkward ergonomics for use
|Bathroom sink is integrated into the countertop
|Streamlined storage space, easy cleanup
|Loses storage capacity
|Conventional cabinet with sink basin
|Traditional, transitional, cottage
|Abundant enclosed storage
|Vulnerable to leaks causing damage
|Cabinet and sink anchored to floor
|Flexible style pairing
|Risks flooring damage from leaks
|Double vanity sink
|Extra-wide vanity with two same-size sinks
|Traditional, large bathrooms
|Simultaneous prep, increased home value
|Hogs space, high water use
1. Freestanding or Pedestal Sink
Also known as a freestanding vanity, a pedestal sink features a basin atop a central pedestal base that anchors directly to the floor without needing wall mounts or surrounding cabinetry. As one of the best types of bathroom vanities, I optimize freestanding vanities whenever my clients want to maximize visual and storage space in compact baths.
What’s more, a pedestal sink has easy access to pipework, simplifying repairs in the long run. However, the absence of storage can clutter rooms lacking cabinets or shelves, while exposed plumbing detracts from decoration potential. Despite that, its focused utility over storage makes pedestals ideal for powder rooms.
2. Console Sinks
Console sink vanities concentrate storage, sinks, and exposed plumbing fixtures onto elegant, narrow profiles anchored subtly to a wall. The support frame leaves the surrounding floor space visually clean for traffic flow and decor flexibility in any bathroom design.
Console sinks suit small unused stretches of wall in hall bathrooms or tight galley kitchens needing an isolated prep sink. This is also why I generally accessorize this style using a shelf or a towel bar. While the tight shelf footprint sacrifices more storage space, this allows you to display nicely folded towels.
3. Wall Mount or Floating Vanity
Also called floating vanities, a wall-mount sink anchors directly to bathroom walls through plumbing housed within the cabinet body. This elevates the sink visually, making under-vanity cleaning easier. Consequently, there’s enough space for flexible room arrangements since no floor contact exists.
Wall-mounted vanities create a more open and airy feel in the room, particularly for a modern bathroom with a luxe or industrial interior. A floating vanity doesn’t have to be connected directly to your floor. However, be cautious, as excess force can cause this type of design to dislodge from the wall.
4. Corner Vanity
What I love about a corner vanity is that it adapts to take advantage of angular wall intersections, often overlooked or left unused in bathroom layouts. This location economizes space while opening up traffic lanes elsewhere.
Compared to those of a vessel vanity, the designs range from triangular pedestals to L or U-shaped cabinets. The downside is that specialized sizing and site-built assembly escalate costs over generic vanities. Even so, I would recommend it for a two-person apartment or guest bathroom.
5. Vessel Vanity
Compared to a pedestal sink, a vessel sink vanity uses rising bowls situated on the main body of the vanity and linked to its own separate taps, even in a small bathroom. This bathroom sink vanity demands wide, flat mounting areas yet leaves traditional sink holes absent for maximized storage capacity inside cabinetry.
The elevated positioning of a vessel vanity adds display value yet makes an awkward ergonomic fit for tasks like teeth brushing, requiring you to hunch down closer. Open exposure underneath also risks splashing onto cabinet exteriors. However, the design of a vessel vanity provides more counter space to hold bathroom essentials, accessories, and makeup.
6. Undermounted Sink
An undermounted sink vanity is among the best types of bathroom vanities if you prefer a sleek design. This single vanity style fully integrates basins directly into countertops, with only smooth interior bowls visible. Like this porcelain undermount sink, it provides a streamlined modern aesthetic and easier wipe-down cleaning without lip edges in any bathroom layout.
However, the inset style claims more storage space that you could use for bathroom essentials and cleaning supplies. In contrast to a double vanity, weight limits on mounting full sinks are direct to walls, restricting the widespread use of sturdy floor-based vanities.
7. Vanity Cabinet
A vanity cabinet adapts conventional cabinetry by adding durable, non-porous finishes to withstand humidity and integrate sink basins. It features pull-out doors similar to traditional kitchen cabinetry. This versatile furniture anchor offers enclosed storage for organizing a family’s worth of toiletries behind the doors of a bathroom.
Customized or prefabricated sizes of vanity cabinets suit most spaces. However, routine use strains moving parts. Lacking waterproofing inside means leaks require full cabinet replacements sooner than solid surface materials.
8. Floor-Mounted Vanity
As the name implies, floor-mounted bathroom vanities place sink basins atop cabinetry structurally grounded directly on the floor without back or side walls bearing weight. This versatility allows centering cabinets away from sides walls and adding customizable hutches.
Unlike a pedestal sink, multiple basins are integrated more readily into wider bodies and are not reliant on anchors. Unfortunately, leaks risk irrevocable damage to bathroom flooring underneath versus wall-mount styles elevated above ground.
9. Double Vanity Sink
A double sink vanity has two sinks that you can use to wash your hands, brush your teeth, or apply makeup before heading out for work or school. You can choose a double sink vanity in different sizes, shapes, and colors to match any decor style and personality, especially for the master bathroom.
This comes at the cost of consuming more countertop space versus single vanities. Oversize scale also risks overwhelming the proportions of petite bathrooms.
Despite that, the side-by-side convenience of a double sink vanity helps coordinate busy household routines, and a double sink vanity enhances resale value as a highly desirable amenity to future homebuyers.
10. Combo Vanity
Combo bathroom vanities combine sink basins of mixed sizes paired together across single cabinet frames. Typically, one full-size, functional basin meets neighboring diminutive secondary prep spaces, giving you more storage space to store toiletries in a bathroom.
Compared to using vanity cabinets, a combo design is the ideal bathroom vanity if you want to bundle amenities without ballooning spatial footprints. However, split design concepts risk appearing disjointed or anchoring uneven dead spaces, bookending the cabinet interior if scales seem visually imbalanced.
Diving Into the Various Vanity Materials
When choosing between the types of bathroom vanities, the materials must be able to handle the moisture and humidity in the bathroom. They should not be at risk of wearing out or warping.
More than that, they must be strong enough to handle the weight you might add to the vanity. This includes weight from the faucet fixtures, decorations, or functional items you plan on adding.
- Solid plywood: Solid plywood is made with several sheets of wood glued together to create a sturdy, powerful body that stands out.
- Particle board: It mixes wood particles with glue and is heated and pressed before being covered with a melamine or veneer surface.
- Laminate: Laminate features a smooth surface and can be painted in a variety of ways.
- Marble: Marble offers a strong surface that can handle a lot of wear and tear.
Discovering the Different Vanity Interior Styles
While there are different types of bathroom vanities, you should also consider how they will look in your preferred interior design.
- Victorian style: Embrace the charm of Victorian-inspired bathrooms by incorporating elegant freestanding vanities. I often pair traditional clawed freestanding baths with matching vanities for a stylish vintage look.
- Shaker style: Achieve a clutter-free and timeless aesthetic with the Shaker style, characterized by clean lines and simplicity in furniture. I typically look for designs with panelled doors and tapered legs and choose freestanding vanities in maple and pine wood.
- Hampton: Revitalize the Hampton style by moving beyond the classic beach-inspired blue and whites. I love incorporating marbled textures in basins paired with aged brass faucets to stay on-trend whenever clients want to explore an evolving style beyond traditional interiors.
- Modernist: Floating vanities are a top choice for a modern bathroom, featuring crisp white interiors and luxurious or industrial metal tones. Consider an extra-wide floating vanity with a shaped mirror as a focal point. Soften the white with indoor plants like bamboo and ferns, or embrace contemporary modernism with bursts of color.
- Art Deco: Transport your bathroom to the glamor of the 1920s with an Art Deco-inspired vanity unit. Whenever clients want a fun and bright vanity, I use geometric shapes and bold colors on a freestanding vanity to enhance symmetry and storage space.
Choosing the Right Vanity Shape
The choice of shapes in the types of bathroom vanities is crucial as it directly influences the overall aesthetic and style of the full bathroom or the half bath. The shape also affects the functional aspects of the vanity, such as capacity and storage space utilization.
- Square vanity: A standard square vanity is designed with smaller rooms in mind.
- Round vanity: A geometrically structured vanity with clean lines, offering a modern and symmetrical look to complement contemporary bathroom designs.
- Rectangular vanity: A rectangular vanity works especially well in a primary bathroom.
Picking the Best Vanity Sizes and Features
Whether for a full bathroom or in a half bath, the size of your vanity should be 30 to 40 inches in height and around 16 to 25 inches deep. Meanwhile, the basin should be about five to eight inches deep and 10 to 12 inches in diameter.
A few additional features to consider:
- A soap pump can be included inside the body of a vanity
- Some posts may be added to your vanity to create a series of supports for towels
- A matching frame for a mirror above the vanity
- More storage and counter space to store toiletries and other bathroom essentials
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Bathroom Vanities Come With Sinks?
Yes, a bathroom vanity includes a countertop, sink, and mirror to avoid the extra cost of purchasing separately. However, some vanities come without sinks, allowing you to choose a sink that suits your style and preference.
What Type of Vanity Is Best for a Bathroom?
The best type of vanity for a bathroom depends on the available space, storage needs, and aesthetic preferences. However, wall mount or floating vanities often work well by providing flexible room configurations, under-sink access, and modern visual appeal.
What Is Considered a Bathroom Vanity?
A bathroom vanity refers to the cabinetry fixture, typically topped by a sink basin and running water. It conceals plumbing hardware and offers storage for toiletries and towels in residential bathrooms.
What Are the Different Styles of Bathroom Sinks?
Some common styles of bathroom sinks include a thin pedestal sink for maximizing visible floor space, a rectangular undermount sink installed directly into countertop cutouts, and an oval or round vessel sink displayed atop vanities. There’s also a specialized corner sink adapted for angled installations.
Evaluating your bathroom traffic, storage needs, and decor style helps narrow down suitable vanity types ranging from space-savvy pedestals to storage-heavy cabinet combos. When choosing between types of bathroom vanities, keeping mounting, sink, size, and budget factors in mind leads to smart investments in vanities built to suit your priorities.