Bathroom decor may make it to the cover of only a select few magazines, but it is still worthy of careful consideration. The purpose of this room goes far beyond the plumbing: a perfectly appointed and elegant bath area is a haven devoted to repose, refreshment, and restoration. Utility and beauty have a very close relationship in any washroom, especially when it comes to choosing a vanity. With so many options on the market, picking the perfect one can be a time-consuming process. To make it easier, we’ve put together this guide to buying a bathroom vanity. When you’re deciding what kind of unit will best suit your space, style, and family, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to narrow down your options.
How much space can you spare?
This extremely practical question should be the first thing on your mind. It’s easy to fall in love with a bathroom vanity at first sight, but the size of your space will dictate many of your choices. An ornate double unit that would be the crowning jewel of a big opulent area can be oppressive in a smaller en-suite. If you’re shopping for a more compact area, you still don’t have to compromise on style. A slim freestanding unit like the Roper Rhodes Mia is an excellent choice.
With its sleek profile and sophisticated styling, it offers all the elegance and performance of a much larger unit, without using up more than its share of limited space.
What is the ideal placement?
Once you’ve decided on your dimensions, you need to think about exactly where the vanity will be placed. Finding the right spot will depend on many things. Do you need to deal with existing plumbing? Will opening it interfere with the flow of traffic and use in the area? Can the bathroom door itself swing freely without hitting the vanity? You want to be able to easily access all areas for cleaning. The placement you choose will determine many factors, such as the shape of the vanity and the size and style of its drawers and doors. Placement will also determine the type of installation you’ll need. Freestanding or cabinet bathroom units are the most popular, but may not be suitable for every space. Corner-mounted vanities can be very handy when you want to maximise the usable area while wall-mounted variants can help you make the most of your floor space.
Which materials make sense?
There are so many choices in today’s modern bath & vanities, but the one that has the most influence on the character of the decor is the material from which the vanity is made. Of course, first of all, it will need to stand up to a humid environment and heavy use. But an element of style is equally important. Rich woods, colourful tiles, and gleaming steel each have personality. The minimalist appeal of this smart grey Twyford bathroom vanity owes a lot to the glossy sheen of its sturdy MDF.
MDF is a clever choice for such vanity units. It’s hard-wearing and exceptionally moisture-resistant, and can be finished in so many ways that it will suit almost any surroundings.
What type of sink would suit?
The sink, or basin, sees the most use of any part of the vanity, and it should be as good-looking as it is functional. From traditional ceramic to the rustic beauty of stone, once again you are spoiled for choice, and that’s before you even begin to consider the shape or mounting type of the sink. Your biggest concerns here are personal preference and ease of cleaning and care. In terms of basin mounting, you have three basic choices. Undermount sinks are installed under the counter, which means there are no exposed edges. The basin is flush with the counter, offering a clean appearance and easy clean up. Your next choice is self-rimming sinks. These are also called drop-in or top-mount. Here the sink sits into an opening in the counter, and its edges rest above it. Finally, you have the vessel sinks. Usually bowl-shaped, these rest on the counter surface. This version is designed to be installed under the counter for a cleaner appearance. You’d also need to decide how many sinks you want your bathroom vanity to have. Do you have enough room for a double vanity or is a single sink enough for your needs?
How much storage would you like?
One of the most important tasks any bathroom vanity must fulfill is hiding away all the potions and products you don’t want on view. Your washroom has its share of hairdryers, manicure kits, cleaning sprays and shampoo bottles, and keeping them all under control is key to keeping the space neat and gorgeous. If you’re lucky enough to have a big washroom closet, the amount of storage offered by your vanity may not be all that important. For many smaller bathrooms, though, the vanity is the main storage unit. Drawers, shelves, and doors all become extremely important. This Tavistock Montana vanity has double doors for twice the storage opportunities.
Two shelves inside offer plenty of room for stacking sponges, bubble bath, nail polish, and more, and the soft-close mechanism on those double doors prevents unpleasant slams. For maximum storage in a small bathroom, a unit like this can make all the difference.
When it comes to picking out a bathroom vanity, aesthetics and function go hand in hand. There’s no reason to settle for anything less than lovely. Bath areas are hardworking and often overlooked spaces in our homes, but there’s no reason they should be unloved. A room that sees this much use should be a place of relaxation and beauty. A vanity that perfectly suits your taste and your space is one of the best ways to bring some luxury and visual appeal. We hope that this buying guide will help you find a piece that will serve you and your family well for many years.