When you’re trying to decorate a large or small bathroom while still making it function, you need to know about different types of bathroom vanities.
When you’re remodeling a large or small bathroom while still making it function, you need to know about different types of bathroom vanities to get a proper bathroom vanity in your space.
This could be for a single sink, a double sink vanity right up to a double bathroom vanity.
Table of Contents
- Types of Bathroom Vanities
- Common Materials
- Vanity Shapes
- Frequently Asked Questions
A great vanity will provide you with a comfortable spot for not only storing items but also for securing a great sink. In fact, many bathroom vanities are designed with some classy features all around to create some elaborate looks.
However, in order to have a quality bathroom vanity, you have to watch for what you are installing. You must choose a quality traditional vanity, a more modern vanity, or a free standing vanity that is not only appealing in its design but also fully functional. Whichever vanity style you prefer, it has to be made with the proper materials to keep it standing tall.
A vanity can especially be made with a refined or modern look depending on what you prefer. Also, the price of your vanity can vary based on what you choose but you should be prepared to spend quite a bit on one of these top-quality options.
There are a few different types of bathroom vanities worth exploring in detail for any kind of custom bathroom space you want to establish. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these vanities can work for your needs.
Types of Bathroom Vanities
1. Pedestal Sink
A pedestal sink option is also known as a free standing sink. This does not have any particular storage features around its body but it does come with a powerful look that adds a sense of class to any bathroom. It can fit in well with any kind of bathroom but it can also go along with any theme you want to establish.
You can also get your pedestal sink adjusted with one of many different types of add-ons to make it stand out. You can get a rack or other material added onto the body of your sink although you’d have to check on how well such add-ons might fit onto your unit before using it.
2. Free Standing
A free-standing vanity is designed with some of the same functional features as a pedestal sink but instead offers a square or rectangular look. It can support one or two sinks in a spot. This is a great option that is available in a variety of design choices and finishes. Wood materials are typically used on most of these vanities although some ceramic items can be found around the top areas.
3. Wall Mounted/Floating
A wall-mounted vanity is a little different in that it is directly mounted onto your walled surface in your bathroom. This is great for how it can fit in well within your bathroom and not take up loads of space in the process. In addition, it does not have to be connected directly to your floor. Still, you should be cautious for how you plan on using it. It could be hurt by any thrusts or other forms of force added onto the surface. Excess force can cause the vanity to fall off of the wall and cause damage to your bathroom if you are not careful enough with it.
A vessel vanity is something often found in fancy restaurants and hotel lobbies. This is a vanity that uses a rising bowl around the sink area. It protrudes from out of the main body of the vanity and is linked to its own separate tap. There are storage spots on the bottom part like with anything else but the sink on its own will have a fancier look to it. This is a beautiful choice to have but it can take up quite a bit of space depending on what you plan on using with it.
5. Under-Mounted Sink
An under-mounted sink vanity uses a basin that is built directly inside of the vanity. This adds a more refined and modern look to the vanity as it offers a flatter appearance overall. Sometimes a slight riser can be found around the outside edges of the basin to create a special look all the way through. This is an attractive choice although the under-mounted design does keep the vanity from having as much storage space as some other choices. Still, it is a tradeoff for having an option that has a nice total design to it that adds a refined design.
6. Vanity Cabinet
The last of the options to see is a vanity cabinet. This is designed with a series of pull-out doors similar to what you might find out of a more traditional kitchen cabinet. This is made with a classic design that is attractive and gives off a nice tone when used right. It also serves as an appropriate basic option for your design needs that isn’t too complicated or rough to add to a space.
The materials you can use for getting a bathroom vanity ready in your home include all sorts of good options. But no matter what you choose, you must be cautious.
First of all, your materials must be able to handle the moisture and humidity in your bathroom. They should not be at risk of wearing out or warping. In some cases, you might have to get a series of coverings to keep your space comfortable.
Also, the materials must be strong enough to handle the weight you might add to the vanity. This includes weight from not only the faucet fixtures but also any decorative or functional items you plan on adding to the top.
With this in mind, there are many types of materials that should be considered when you aim to get your vanity ready:
1. Solid Plywood
While many forms of wood can be used in your vanity, solid plywood is a good option to consider. This is a sturdier form of wood similar to what you might find in your attic or other parts of your home. Solid plywood is made with several sheets of wood glued together to create a sturdy body that is powerful and stands out. This does a much better job with handling moisture than many other forms of wood.
Related: 18 Different Types of Lumber
2. Particle Board
Particle board is used in many vanities as a composite material. It mixes wood particles with glue and is then heated and pressed. It is then covered with a melamine or veneer surface to add a refined style. This is sturdy but it needs to be covered up with a proper material like a veneer or melamine so the risk of the particle board being damaged by moisture and steam will be eliminated.
The top part of your vanity can be made with a laminate material in mind. Laminate is popular for how it offers a great design that features a smooth surface thanks to how many paper sheets are affixed together with adhesive into one sturdy body. This can be painted in a variety of ways as well. It creates a good tone that is powerful and can last for a while without collecting water. Still, it should be treated carefully as it could scratch.
You can always use a marble top for the vanity as well. This can add a smooth and cool surface that is strong enough to handle many conditions. You will need to clean it regularly though as sometimes stains might be very easy to spot on a marble surface.
Cabinets are typically found in a variety of great vanities but you should check carefully on how they are designed. Many cabinets are made with a mix of drawers that pull out and traditional doors that you can open. Sometimes, they are made with shelves in the middle parts. Others might allow you to move shelves up and down based on your preference. Check carefully to see what you can find out of your cabinets and drawers so you can have a great vanity that adds a nice look to your bathroom.
A standard square vanity is designed with smaller rooms in mind.
A round unit is made for powder rooms for the most part because of how small such an option might be.
A rectangular vanity is made to be added to a larger bathroom. It works especially well in a primary bathroom attached to the primary bedroom in your home. Such a vanity should include two separate sink spots.
The cost of your bathroom vanity will clearly vary based on the type of option you choose for your luxury bathroom. A pedestal sink should be the least expensive in that it can go for about $200 to $500 depending on the option you pick out.
A more advanced vanity with a larger size can go from $750 to $1,500. You will certainly pay more money if you use a vanity that features two sinks.
You will have to spend extra money with getting the vanity installed as well. While the plumbing connections that your vanity requires should be fully accessible and easy to handle, you will have to look at how well your unit can be fixed up. It can cost about $100 to $200 to get your vanity installed but it will cost even more if you need added plumbing connections added.
You may have to spend an extra $500 to $2,500 to get a customized vanity added. This will be based heavily on how intense the process of securing a vanity in an area might be and how many new connections are required. You might spend more if you have to use any sealants or other materials to secure a spot in an area. The cost will be especially high if you have a wall-mounted choice to work with.
The size of your vanity should be about 30 to 40 inches in height and around 16 to 25 inches deep. This is enough to create a sizeable space that offers enough room for your needs while still being slim enough to keep from taking up more room in your bathroom than what you can afford.
The basin should be about 5 to 8 inches deep. It can be about 10 to 12 inches in diameter.
There are a few additional features that you can look for in one of these vanities:
- 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 can also be added if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to common questions about bathroom vanities.
What are bathroom vanities, and what are they used for?
A bathroom vanity is the cabinet built around your bathroom sink. One function of a vanity is to conceal the plumbing under the sink.
In addition, since next to the shower or tub, the vanity is the largest fixture in your bathroom, it can set the style for your bathroom decor. Most vanities are rectangular with the sink set in a hole, but you can get other shapes and sinks that sit on top of the vanity. Having a double sink can be great for families. However, the size of the vanity should be in proportion to the bathroom.
The bathroom vanity also can serve the important function of providing a clean, dry storage area for many of the items that are needed in the bathroom. The bathroom is the smallest room in the house, but it probably is used even more than the kitchen. Depending how large your family is, storage needs to be found for a lot of items in the bathroom. Many vanities have just one large open space under the sink, but some offer drawers. To help use more of the space in the vanity, you can add organizers such as shelves, pull-out bins, and racks that hang on the back of the doors. Finding ways to make the items you store in the vanity more easily accessible will help you and your family especially with morning routines.
The materials used for the vanity are very important because of the water that can accumulate around the sink. Countertops are usually stone, reconstituted stone, cement, laminate, or wood. They should be durable and stain-resistant. The sink should have a good seal around it to prevent leaks into the area inside the vanity. Doors and drawers in the vanity also should not allow leaks into storage areas, Wood is usually used for the base of a vanity. It should be water-resistant or at least moisture proof so that it lasts longer in this high moisture area. The final consideration in choosing the materials used in the vanity is the ease of maintenance.
How tall are bathroom vanities?
Bathroom vanities can be 30 inches to 36 inches tall. They are categorized as standard height, comfort height, and vessel sink height. Standard height vanities are usually 32 inches tall. They are used in family bathrooms to accommodate children. In primary bathrooms, you can install 36-inch comfort height vanities. This is the height of kitchen counters and is more comfortable for adults. Vessel sink height vanities take into account the height of the sink that sits on top of the vanity. Since sinks are usually 5 inches to 6 inches deep, vessel sink height vanities are usually 30 inches tall so that the height of the vanity and the sink combined is around the 36-inch comfort height standard.
Can bathroom vanities be painted?
- Start by removing drawers, doors, false fronts, and all hardware along with the countertop or sink if you are replacing them.
- If possible, take the fronts off of the drawers. If you are going to use new knobs or pulls and will need new holes to attach them, fill the old holes with wood putty and sand.
- Wash all surfaces with trisodium phosphate (TSP). Rinse. Be sure to remove any adhesive residue left by cabinet bumpers. Then, wash the area where the adhesive residue was located with TSP.
- Sand to remove gloss from surfaces that have been sealed with clear finishes. Be sure to thoroughly sand the inside corners and recesses of panels and moldings.
- Remove peeling paint and feather edges by sanding. Vacuum and wipe sanded surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust. Prime any bare spots.
- Mask your walls, the floor, the inside face of the vanity frame, and the underside of the countertop with painter’s tape
- Apply wood putty to any damaged surfaces and sand. Then, prime, sand, and wipe surfaces. Use a second coat of primer, if needed. If you are going to use a glossy paint, it is especially important to make sure all surfaces are smooth.
- Apply the first coat of paint, and let it dry. Apply two more coats of pain. For vanity doors with framed, raised panels, force paint into the space between the frame and the panel.
- Remove the masking tape, drill holes for new knobs or pulls if needed, and attach the knobs, pulls, and hinges. Loosely attach the doors to the vanity. Adjust the doors so that that they fit properly, and then tighten the screws. Reattach drawer fronts, replace drawers, and see that they are working properly. Attach new bumpers to the doors.
- If needed, install a new countertop, sink, or faucet.
Can bathroom vanities be recycled?
The first option for bathroom vanities is to remove them intact and donate them to an organization that can sell them to people or offer them for free to people who need them. The other option is to take them to a recycling center that will accept them. You will need to research the options in your area.
Can used bathroom vanities be sold?
Yes, there is a market for used bathroom vanities, but you might compare the market value of comparable used vanities before deciding whether donating is an easier option for you.
Can a bathroom vanity be refaced?
- Remove the drawer fronts and doors. Sand the exterior of the vanity, the doors, and the drawer fronts.
- Make a list of the veneer pieces needed. Cut the veneer carefully to make sure all the grain runs the same direction, and that all measurements are precise so that all pieces fit smoothly.
- Cover the cabinet and the back of the veneer pieces with contact cement. The covered surfaces should have a milky look.
- Align and attach the veneer carefully. Using wax paper between the veneer and the cabinet will allow you to be sure all the veneer is aligned before it becomes cemented into place. After it is aligned, remove the wax paper and replace each piece of veneer one piece at a time.
- Attach scribe molding to the face frame edges and to the area where the cabinet connects to the wall. Attach crown molding to the top of the vanity and base molding at the bottom.
- Reassemble the drawers and install them making sure they work properly.
- Reattach the doors.
- Use wood filler to repair holes and seams removing any excess.
- Clean up any residue.
Can you put lights on a bathroom vanity?
Because this is a high moisture area, it probably is best to use overhead lighting and lighting on the wall above the vanity.