Bathroom Vanity: Everything You Need to Know

Vanities can make or break the look of your bathroom since they provide both utility and aesthetics. If you are in the market to get one (or more), it would do you good to be armed with as much knowledge as possible, so you can make the best decision you can.

To be specific, a bathroom vanity is the cabinet built around the bathroom sink. It helps to hide the unsightly plumbing under the sink as well as provide some surface area to keep products on. They are coming back in style since they come in different shapes and sizes.

What is the best material to use for bathroom vanity?

You want your bathroom vanity to be as sturdy as possible while looking nice as well. Since it will be exposed to water, humidity, spilled makeup or other liquids, cleaning products, and who knows what else, the furniture needs to hold up against it all.

Material-wise, there are a few you can choose from.

Solid wood is one of the strongest and most durable materials to make vanities from, but beware, they shrink and expand when exposed to too much humidity.

Plywood is another popular choice due to being cheaper yet still providing quality. Budget wise you can also go for Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC).

Size of bathroom vanities

As mentioned earlier, bathroom vanities come in different shapes and sizes. The standard size is usually 30 to 32 inches in height, 21 inches in depth, and with 30 inches in width.

But with any common piece of furniture, these sizes are subjected to change since not all bathrooms follow the standard procedure and sizing.

Height wise they can be adjusted so children or adults can use it however they see fit. Modern vanities can go up to 36 inches. If there is a countertop added to it, the depth increases by 1 to 2 inches.

You can customize even more with width, since they can be 24 inches, going up to 72.

Size chart for different types of bathroom vanities

Since there are multiple kinds of bathroom vanities, here is a chart that might help give you a general idea.

Vanity typeHeight (In inches)depthWidth
Pedestal29-3323-2422-24
Free-standing33-4820-2248-54
Floating21-2715-2025-32
Vessel25-3018-2020-30
Cabinet30-3620-2124-72
Under-mounted8-1215-3018-28

What bathroom vanities are in style?

Any vanity that is both functional and decorative will always be in style. Technically you can have them in two styles, traditional and modern.

Traditional vanities are the antique inspired rustic pieces usually made of heavy or dark wood. They work best in large bathrooms for an overall grand feel and visual. Modern vanities have a sleeker yet bold look and have an underlying theme of minimalism.

You can also meet in the middle and have a transitional vanity, which tends to be timeless, smooth, and uncomplicated. These tend to be the most sought-after vanities since they are flexible with most styles.

Bathroom vanity cost

Now that you have hopefully decided what kind of vanity you’d like to have, let’s talk about costs.

Professionals assume it generally costs about $1.5k. Installing a new vanity in your it can go anywhere from 300 dollars to 4000 dollars. If you plan to go for premade vanities, they can set you back $100 to $2.6k.

If you think it is cheaper to build it yourself, a custom build can be 500 dollars up to almost 3 thousand dollars. Installation rates depend on the state you are in, so a professional can demand 200 bucks to even a thousand dollars.

How durable are bathroom vanities?

Quality vanities have to be durable by default, since they have to withstand quite harsh situations, being exposed to constant water and humidity, amongst other things. They also have to be strong enough to carry the heavy countertop you plan to put on top.

Most people swear by solid oak/wood vanities for their durability and strength. They can be rather costly but the trade-off is well worth it.

They come in two variations, 100% natural solid wood and solid hardwood. While strong, wood vanities can expand and contract in humidity, use a veneer or sealant to combat it.

Things to know before buying a bathroom vanity

Knowing a few tips and tricks before committing to buy a vanity piece will surely come in handy. Consider a few things such as if they already come with sinks and faucets or you will have to get them separately. Other issues include-

  1. Consider the space and how it can be utilized. If there’s enough space, why not go for a double vanity? You should also keep the height, width, and depth in mind since together these measurements will determine how much area you can utilize.
  2. What style do you want to go for? Since there are traditional, transitional, contemporary, and modern variations available, this choice can be a big factor.
  3. What material are you going for? Can it withstand your bathroom’s climate and usage?
  4. You should also keep in mind the plumbing location, since it can hinder the way you want to set up the vanity and things in, on, and around it.
  5. Last but certainly not least, the distance between the cabinet of your choosing and the toilet bowl needs to be at least 18 inches, for sanitary and other reasons.

Bathroom vanity installation

Installing a vanity is not as hard as it seems, but it will take time and patience. You can always opt to hand it over to the specialists, but if you’d like to do it yourself, here are a few pointers.

To DIY it, the tools you usually need are levels, wrench, screwdriver, tape measures, and the other usuals. 

You will need to shut off the water before you start anything else.

What you will need to do is work with the studs, do the correct positioning and then follow the installing instructions.

If you plan to use a contractor, their rates and fees can go from $100 to $1000, depending on where you live and the amount of work needing to be done.

Bathroom vanities are a chic addition to your setup that can both be useful while upping your aesthetics game.

You can opt to have it all pre-made and pre-set up, or you could do it completely yourself. There is no right or wrong way to do it, as long as you are making educated decisions that cater to your needs.