Bathroom Vanity and Sink Buying Guide

Remodeling any space in your home involves a lot of decisions. Our goal is to help you with your bathroom remodeling needs, and offer our expertise in helping you select the perfect bathroom vanity and sink for your project. Here we have compiled some of our best tips and resources. But if you prefer some one on one guidance, just give us all a call to discuss your project.

 

How Much Space Do You Have?

The first step in buying a bathroom vanity is knowing how much space you have to work with.  If you are simply replacing your existing vanity, just measure that one.  You will need the width (from left to right), depth (from front to back), and height (floor to top of counter).

If you are doing a complete bathroom remodel or even making the bathroom larger, here are some key points to keep in mind:

Plumbing: Are you using the existing plumbing?  Changing the location of the plumbing will greatly increase your budget.  If you do not plan on changing it, use the existing plumbing as your center point and measure equally in each direction.  This will give you your maximum available width. 

Door Openings: This includes the shower door, vanity cabinet doors, and of course entry doors.  Make sure you are leaving enough room for clearance.

Toilet: If your vanity is next to the toilet, standard building code requires there to be at least 18 inches between the edge of your vanity to the center line of the toilet tank.

Electrical: Keep in mind existing lighting, outlets and switches.

Click here to for an in depth look at how to measure your available space for a new bathroom vanity

 

 

Who Will Be Using It?

The next step in buying a bathroom vanity is knowing who will be using it and how it will be used. Is it for your master bath, a powder bath, guest bath, etc.?  Determining this, will help you decide on what your bathroom vanity requires, such as how many sinks, storage space, counter space, etc.  Remodeling a bathroom is not something many people do more than once (maybe twice) in a lifetime… at least in their forever home, so you want to make sure you get it right.

Click here for a complete list on choosing the right vanity.

 

Types of Bathroom Vanities

Single Sink Bathroom Vanities: The most sought after vanity is the single sink. This will work in any bathroom layout, and sizes can range from very small vanities to large vanities.

Double Sink Bathroom Vanities: Double sinks are ideal for a couple's master bath.  This allows each person to have their own space in getting ready.  Double sink vanities, because they are generally larger, offer more countertop space and storage.

Here are some great resources on double sink vanities:

The Pros and Cons of a Double Sink Bathroom Vanity

Switching from a Single to Double Sink Vanity

Dual Bathroom Vanities: A New Take on the Double Vanity

Extra Large Bathroom Sinks: The Vanity or the Sink Itself?

 

corner bathroom vanity

 

 

Corner Vanities: If you are stuck on space, consider a corner vanity.  Corner vanities will solve your space issues and give you the storage that you need. Read More Here - Corner Sink Bathroom Vanities: Stuck on Space? 

 

floating bathroom vanity

 

Floating Vanities aka Wall Mounted Vanities: Floating vanities are ideal for the more modern home design. They hang on the wall which means they give an illusion of space in the bathrooms they occupy. Since they are up off the floor, they also make cleaning your bathroom more efficient. 

Read More Here - The Floating Vanity: A Wall Mounted Modern Must Have

 

pedestal bathroom vanity

 

Pedestal Sinks: Like corner vanities, pedestal sinks are great for smaller bathrooms.  They don’t take up a lot of space and they come in a variety of styles from the more traditional white porcelain to modern and chic industrial steel, marble, or granite looks.  They may not be your storage solution, but they are great for hiding pipes and plumbing fixtures without taking up a lot of space. Read More Here - Pedestal Sink Storage Solutions

 

offset bathroom vanity

 Offset Sink Bathroom Vanities: Offset vanities, as it sounds, has the sink offset to either the right or the left.  Offset sink vanities may help in keeping your existing plumbing if you decide to go with a larger vanity.  They are also great as they offer more counter space.

 

 

 

Here is a great video on Offset Vanities:

 

 

Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Materials

How do you know which bathroom vanity material is best?  Is solid wood better than MDF (medium density fiberboard)?  Ultimately the choice is going to be yours.  We have a great article to guide you on defining all the different types of materials.  Making the choice comes down to a few things…is it resistant to moisture?  Think durability, and lastly, think budget.

Read More Here - The Pros and Cons of Common Bathroom Vanity Materials

Straight from our contractor, his thoughts on the pros and cons of MDF vs. Natural wood

MDF vs. Natural Wood in Bathroom Conditions: Thoughts and Considerations from our Contractor

Read More Here - The Truth About Cherry Wood Bathroom Vanities

Now that we’ve gone over the different vanity cabinet materials, now it is time to consider your countertop material.  You have far more options here than you may realize.  The right bathroom countertop can lend elegance, tie in with an existing theme, bring the beauty of nature indoors and much more.

Click Here for a quick tip on repairing scratches or gouges in your wood vanity base

 

 

Bathroom Vanity Countertop Materials

granite bathroom countertop

 

Granite is a resilient, durable stone with plenty of density.  Granite resists chipping and cracking and is also stain resistant…as long as you seal it properly.

 

marble countertops

 

Marble is a sedimentary rock and is weaker than granite.  It is known for its elegance and beauty. It does require more maintenance than granite. Consider how much it will get used before choosing marble.

 

quartz countertops

 

Quartz is impervious to stains and does not require sealing over time.  Quartz is resistant to chipping and scratching. Quartz is not 100% natural, as it is manufactured with 7% binding agents to create a solid surface.

 

travertine countertops

Travertine is known for warm earth tones.  It scratches more easily than marble, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad choice for your bathroom countertop.  It requires regular sealing.  If this is not done, it will allow stains and bacteria to seep down into the stone. Just like marble, consider how often the vanity will get used.

 


solid surface countertops

Solid Surface looks like laminate, but is very different. The combination of materials used such as polyester and acrylic makes it non-porous so there are no worries in stains or bacteria. Solid surface countertops require no maintenance.

 

 

soapstone countertops

 

Soapstone is very dense, non-porous, and waterproof.  It does not require a chemical sealant, but still needs to be sealed with a mineral oil to keep the surface looking attractive.

 

composite countertops

 

Composites are a cultured marble which is marble dust mixed with a plastic polymer. Composites are cheaper than natural stone and don’t need to be sealed.  There are several lines that are made from 80-90% recycled materials.

 

wood countertops

 

Wood must be completely sealed against moisture or it will swell.  Wood has been used as countertop material for years, but it is not generally recommended in a bathroom with high use.

 

tile countertops

 

Tile comes in many different materials. It is both affordable and customizable. Grout needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

 

glass countertops

 

Glass countertops generally have the sinks molded into them from one large piece of glass.  You can choose any color of glass or keep it a clear glass. Clean with a simple glass cleaner which means they don’t require regular sealing.

 

 

Here is a great resource for your in-depth bathroom countertop buying guide

Types of Bathroom Sinks

When deciding on what type of sink you want, keep in mind that some sink types depend on the vanity base and will only work within certain bathroom cabinet constraints, such as the doors, drawers, or shelves.

Undermount Bathroom Sinks: These are the standard sink type which are installed under the cut out in your countertop.

Drop-In or Self-Rimming Bathroom Sinks: These sinks have an extended, oversized rim and the easiest to install.  Just as the name suggest, you simply just drop it in place in the cut out in your countertop.

Read More Here - Think Sink! Undermount vs. Drop-In

 

 

Vessel or Top Mount Bathroom Sink: These types of sinks come in many different materials like glass, copper, stone, and the list goes on.  Vessel sinks also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They sit on top of the countertop and generally have a single hole cut out for the sink and the faucet.

More Great Resouces About Vessel Sinks

Pros & Cons of Vessel Sinks

Is It Possible To Make A Glass Vessel Sink Out of A Large Bowl?

Unique Glass Vessel Sinks: How to Decorate Around Them

 

 

Semi-Recessed Bathroom Sinks: Similar to vessel sinks, semi-recessed sinks sit farther into the countertop leaving only the top half of the sink exposed. They create a unique look, and make the overall vanity height shorter as compared to a top mount or vessel sink.

Farmhouse Bathroom Sinks: Farmhouse sinks are generally larger and deeper sinks with an apron front that sits just past the front of the cabinet beneath it.

How to Measure for a Farmhouse Apron Sink

Integrated or Trough Bathroom Sinks: The most common material of integrated sinks is ceramic or white porcelain.  They are a mold that combines the sink and countertop all in one.

Here are a couple more great resources on bathroom sinks:

Bathroom Sink Buying Guide

The Top Signs You Need a New Bathroom Sink

 

 

Bathroom Vanity Styles

When deciding on the style of your bathroom vanity, you may want to consider the rest of your home's design.

Modern: Features include flat panels, straight lines and simple hardware which keeps the emphasis on the functionality of the design.

Traditional: Sometimes referred to as furniture style, features include more ornate details throughout the frame with raised panel drawers and or doors, and may have bowed legs.

Transitional: This is a combination of both modern and traditional blending the old with the new. You may see a traditional base which features a vessel sink for instance, or furniture style with recessed panel doors or drawers.

Rustic: Features a natural or reclaimed look to it. Rustic vanities are generally made out of natural wood so the finishes will tend to be warmer colors and have intentional blemishes.  Rustic also may include metal or wrought iron hardware.

Farmhouse: Features the clean lines of modern with an added touch of rustic.

 

Where to Buy Bathroom Vanities

Once you have your design in place and know what you want, you may wonder where is the best place to buy your bathroom vanity.  The first thing you may think of is your local big box store.  These stores will carry a multitude of common products that everyone else is using in their homes.  Yes, they may tend to be on the cheaper side, in price and quality, but there are better places to find the perfect addition to your bathroom.  Online is the perfect place to start your search.  You will find much more options with a wide variety of styles to choose from.