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Why are Bathroom Vanities so Expensive? (Explained)

From skin care products to tissue rolls, a bathroom vanity is a space where we store more than we realize. If you notice a bathroom vanity, the small space has a range of compartments, all made of high-quality materials like wood! 

At the bottom, there are one or more storage cabinets, and on the top, a granite or marble counter surface. A sink with a faucet kit is always a part as well.

With all that, the price of the bathroom vanities is sky high, sometimes making you think whether you should just build your own!

Why are bathroom vanities so expensive?

Bathroom vanities are so expensive, mainly for the type of material used to make the vanity cabinet and the vanity top. The more sections are added to the vanity, the more costly it gets. Other than the complexity of designs and material, there is a huge cost in the installation of the vanity.

Some vanities have cabinet mirrors, while other ones have classical mirrors with vanity bulb lightening systems. Additional dispensers for washing soaps, toothpaste, and shampoos have to be there as well. You can’t forget holders for tissue or towel space wither.

Whatever the style of the bathroom vanity, the structure is sure to be exposed to moisture and humidity every hour of the day.

So, it is imperative that the material is used to construct the vanity is long-lasting and of premium quality. Due to this reason, the cost of bathroom vanities is usually quite high.

5 reasons why bathroom vanities are expensive:

The cost of bathroom vanities is usually incredibly high and for 6 good reasons:

Material of the vanity cabinets:

The most important factor that determined whether your bathroom vanity is durable and can withstand long hours of humidity and moisture is its material.

Most vanities are commonly made of solid wood, plywood, or MDF, which is medium density fiberboard. Other materials include particleboard and rubberwood.

Among these, the most popular and the most expensive choice is solid wood. When it comes to making the most sustainable and resilient vanities, solid wood is the most trusted material. But the classic wooden look does come with a hefty price.

Solid wood, teak, and mahogany make the most durable vanities and the most pricey ones. Woods like Douglas fir and maple are more affordable, but only comparatively.

Engineered materials like plywood, particleboard, and MDF are less expensive than solid wood.

Here is more about what are bathroom vanities made of.

Material of vanity top:

Bathroom vanity tops are most commonly made of either granite or marble. These two materials, although they are highly durable and can take in a lot of damage and heat without showing, are quite pricey.

For granites, there are options to choose from. As you can guess, the high-graded ones are the most high-priced.

Solid surface and laminates are options that are comparatively lower in price.

Readymade or custom-made:

There are vanities that are fully premade and need to be installed only. However, many people prefer calling in a professional and bulging the vanity, part by part.

Although the price range does not vary by great margins, ready-made vanities are less expensive than ones that are built from scratch. Custom-made vanities have additional labor costs as expected.

Installation costs:

You can avoid this extra cost if you are able to construct and install the bathroom vanity on your own.

Which, is, of course, possible to do. However, if there are too many compartments and heavy-duty plumbing work involved, it is best to call on a professional.

Depending on how long it would take them and how much work there is, the installation cost can be quite high, especially if you live in areas that have a more prominent fee for installation professionals.

Size and design:

Whether you are going for a readymade vanity, custom-made vanity, or planning to build on your own, the bigger the side of your vanity, the more expensive it will be the end cost. There are single, double, and large double basins to choose from.

If you want to make your vanity a fancy one, you can incorporate special lights, wallpaper designs, and pretty-looking dispensers. For all that, the expense of the vanity will further increase. 

How much should a bathroom vanity cost?

It is common knowledge that bathroom vanities are mostly expensive if they are made of premium materials. Some vanities also come at cheap prices. Relying on what kind of vanity you want, the cost can vary from $500 to $3500.

If you are eyeing ready-made vanities, a single basin has the lowest cost of $200, while large double basins can be as costly as $2500. Custom-made ones are more expensive than premade vanities and can range from $500 to $3000.

The plumbing work usually should be done by a professional, meaning the cost of installing a good vanity will be from $200 to $1200. If you are building it from scratch, the high-end process is more likely.

Solid wood bathroom vanities will be varying in the range of $1200 to $3800, depending on what grade wood is being used.

How hard is it to build a bathroom vanity?

We won’t say it is a breeze to build a bathroom vanity from scratch, especially if the design is complex and fancy, but it is certainly possible to build a simple one. If the bathroom vanity has a double basin system and several compartments, it will take more work to build the structure.

If you are planning to replace the vanity, you can simply get a ready-made vanity and install it in place. However, if you are not skilled with the plumbing job, it is always wise to have a professional do it.

Moreover, if there is no tile work and the bathroom vanity you want to build is minimalistic, you won’t find it too hard to make it yourself. Remember, you’ll still need great plumbing and carpenter skills to build the vanity correctly and from scratch. 

How much does it cost to make your own vanity?

Building your own vanity will cost anywhere from $100 to $2500. The price will largely depend on whether you are building the cabinets from scratch or installing them in a used media cabinet or dresser that you had.

The latter does not cost much, given you have all the necessary tools. By building your own cabinet, you can save an installation cost, ranging as low as $200 and as high as $1200.

How to make a cheap bathroom vanity?

If you are thinking of making a cheap bathroom vanity, it is certainly possible if you have an unused media, sideboard, or even a student desk at home. Additionally, make use of that extra mirror so you can save more money and make the cheapest bathroom vanity.

Here is how you can do it:

  • Step 1: Place the cabinet of your choice in the designated area of your bathroom
  • Step 2: You can either keep the cabinet as it is if there are doors, or you can add a glass sliding door.
  • Step 3: If you wish to have more compartments, add wooden to glass racks in the central cabinet space, keeping space for the plumbing system.
  • Step 4: Cut out the top and add a sink. Add faucet kits of your choice.
  • Step 5: Install the plumbing system under the sink.
  • Step 6: For the vanity top, get a solid surface or laminate surface and install it.
  • Step 7: Paint and coat the top with water-resistant polyurethane if you don’t buy a vanity top.
  • Step 8: Screw in the mirror, tissue holder, and soap dispensers.

What can be used as a bathroom vanity?

The most useful way to save your hard-earned money from the usually expensive bathroom vanities is to use one of your own furniture as a cabinet. You can use the following as your bathroom vanity with a fair medication here and there:

  • Dresser
  • Console table
  • Media cabinet
  • Student desk
  • Sideboard or buffet
  • Wooden bureau

How do I turn a dresser into a bathroom vanity?

Turn a dresser into a bathroom vanity by following the steps:

  • Select the dresser you want to use as a cabinet
  • Measure the top of the dresser and inside of the space for more accuracy.
  • Select the sink. Measure out the dimension of the sink to be fitted.
  • Remove the top drawer of the dresser if there is one.
  • Trace out the measurement on the top of the dresser and cut out the wood on top.
  •  Place the sink on the cabinet top.
  • Coat the dresser top with water-based polyurethane several times.
  • Set in and install the plumbing system under the sink
  • Screw-in the vanity against the wall it is placed.
  • Add faucet, mirror, and other dispensers.

Can I use kitchen cabinets for bathroom vanity?

You can turn a kitchen cabinet into a bathroom vanity. However, kitchen cabinets need to be modified a good deal before you can use them as vanities. For one, the drawers but be riddled off, as you will need space inside your cabinet.

It is not true that all bathroom vanities come at hefty prices, although most do. However, cheaper bathroom vanities could only mean the materials used is not of the finest quality. Your bathroom vanity would probably bulge or expand and crack if that’s the case.

Besides, you can always make your own vanity, but even in such a situation, there is no compromising in making sure that the vanity is indeed moisture and humidity resistant.