Are you searching for a new bathroom vanity? Whether you’re planning a complete bathroom renovation or wanting to replace those outdated cabinets and countertops, you’ll want to choose your new pieces carefully. Your budget is a major consideration, and of course you need something with the proper dimensions. But what style should you go for? What type of material is the most durable? How can you make the installation go as smoothly as possible? To help you make the right choice, we’ve outlined some important things to keep in mind while shopping for a bathroom vanity.
Unless you’re planning to reroute the plumbing, the bathroom’s floor plan determines the size and placement of your bathroom vanity. Measure the room’s dimensions as well as the amount of space you need to properly open and close the bathroom door. You don’t want your new vanity to be so wide or so deep that the door bangs against it. Do you already have mirrors or wall-mounted cabinets? Know how high you can go without the space feeling cramped.
If you’re working with an especially small bathroom, look for a vanity with rounded edges on the countertop. It creates just a bit more space, and softer edges are always better when you’re in tight quarters.
The bottom portion of the vanity is typically made from solid wood, solid hardwood, or a budget-friendly alternative like medium-density-fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, or plywood. When sealed properly, MDF, plywood, and solid woods (such as pine) work well in bathrooms. Solid hardwoods — made from woods like maple or oak — resist humidity better than other solid woods. Particleboard is inexpensive but susceptible to water damage. However, you can get away with placing it in a powder room, which doesn’t get much steam.
If the price of a vanity seems too good to be true and you’re doubting the quality, consider the thickness of the drawers. They should be at least 3/8-inch thick on the sides and bottom. Also avoid cabinets with a veneer finish, as this is more likely to peel over time.
Before we move on to the more interesting stuff (styles!), let’s talk about countertop durability. This factor is especially important to consider if your new vanity will endure a lot of abuse. Acrylic, also known as a solid surface countertop, resists stains but scratches easily. Both quartz and granite resist heat damage, water damage, stains, and scratches. The corners or edges may chip, though. Marble stains more easily than other surfaces. It also chips and scratches easily.
As for upkeep, only a professional can repair damaged acrylic, quartz or granite, while homeowners can polish out any scratches on marble countertops. Both marble and granite need to be sealed regularly.
The mounting type you choose really depends on what you want in terms of storage space and overall style. There are two main bathroom vanity mounting styles: freestanding and wall mounted.