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How to Choose the Best Bathroom Vanity

Updated on February 7, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Remodeling a bathroom is a great investment in the value of a home and great furnishings can make a ho-hum bathroom into a luxurious spa. Most people can't afford to have a designer come in and so knowing how to choose the best bathroom vanity for your situation becomes very important.

With a little time, some creativity, and some cash you can outfit the “little room” with panache, luxury, and style. Just remember that the bathroom vanity will be the focal point of your bathroom so this is something that you want to get right.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Victorian look with stone top.  This vanity is made to look like a piece of furniture.  AmazonVery contemporary double basin bathroom vanity.  AmazonCountry French double vanity with an antique look.  AmazonContemporary glass vanity.  AmazonContemporary glass pedestal.  Amazon
Victorian look with stone top.  This vanity is made to look like a piece of furniture.  Amazon
Victorian look with stone top. This vanity is made to look like a piece of furniture. Amazon
Very contemporary double basin bathroom vanity.  Amazon
Very contemporary double basin bathroom vanity. Amazon
Country French double vanity with an antique look.  Amazon
Country French double vanity with an antique look. Amazon
Contemporary glass vanity.  Amazon
Contemporary glass vanity. Amazon
Contemporary glass pedestal.  Amazon
Contemporary glass pedestal. Amazon

Decide What You Need in a Vanity

While you may have a definite vision for the way that your bathroom vanity should look you need to make a list of the things that are important to you before you make a firm decision on style.

There are many things to consider.

  • Double or single sink
  • Storage
  • Style
  • Color
  • Material
  • Price range
  • Size
  • New or antique

Taking all these things into consideration will help you to narrow down your choices. This is important because there are literally thousands of designs and styles to choose from.

Not only can you get your vanity locally but you also have the convenience of buying it online from a plethora of manufacturers and companies. Many of these offer free shipping, discounted merchandise and other benefits. Be sure that you understand the return policy completely, however. It can be frustrating to buy an expensive vanity, find out it doesn’t fit, and be unable to return it.

Many of the online stores will match the price of a competitor on the same vanity. In order to get the best deals don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek discounts that the store may not advertise.

Decide What You Want

Have you seen an image of a bathroom that you absolutely love? With the many styles and materials available you can create nearly any look in your bathroom with the right vanity.

It can be a hard decision to make to look at lots of different images and find a style you really love. You may not be able to get the exact same vanity but you can more than likely replicate the look with something else. Bathroom vanities should have the same scale as the bathroom itself. Don’t put a huge Victorian vanity in a small bathroom or a tiny vanity in a cavernous one.

You can also create a bathroom vanity from a piece of antique furniture by replacing the top with marble, laminate, or other material.

Steps to Choosing a Bathroom Vanity

  1. Measure your bathroom and decide what size vanity you need. Getting the biggest one possible is often the best choice, especially for a master bath. Be sure to figure in space around the vanity to allow for cleaning and other necessities like wastebaskets and toilet brushes.
  2. Unless you are completely remodeling the entire house you probably need to consider its style and plan a bathroom that enhances it. There are modern, traditional, country, and almost any other style you could want. Choosing a complimentary style will help the entire house have a cohesive feel.
  3. Consider the footprint of the vanity. If it has the same dimensions as the existing vanity there won't be a problem but if your new piece is smaller you may need to put in a new floor as well. If the budget is tight you may want to be very careful to stick with the same size and shape.
  4. Consider how much and what type of storage you need. A vanity with two small drawers and a large cupboard will not hold many items like makeup. This type might be fine in a guest bathroom but would be frustrating in a master bath where lipstick, face creams, and other supplies would be stored.

All about Vanity Drawers

Glass Vanities

One of the hottest contemporary trends in bathroom design is the glass vanity and glass sink.  With the sleek, modern look and ease of cleaning these items bring a spa look to your bathroom.  Glass vanities come in many colors; some are even hand painted.  They can be more expensive than some of the other options and may not be the best choice for families with children.  Glass vanities are made to be somewhat durable but they are, after all, glass. 

Wooden Vanities

Wood vanities are versatile in every way.  They can look contemporary, country, Victorian, rustic, or any other style that you would like.  Some have marble or granite tops while others have glass, ceramic, or laminate.

The wood can be carved, shaker style, or very plain.  One of the benefits of wood bathroom vanities is that it can be stripped and restained or painted when you are ready to update your bathroom again.  It is a sturdy material that is easy care and works well for most people.

Buying a great bathroom vanity in conjunction with an update can be a great investment in your home, increasing the value in a short period of time.

Don't just do it for that reason though. Buy what you like and create your dream bathroom today, Life is short - living with what you love is less stressful than being frustrated with a room that you hate on a daily basis.


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    • SuperiorInteriors profile image


      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Pretty cool vanities :) I prefer the modern aesthetic myself, because I'm a big fan of sleek lines and simple geometric shapes that are efficient and yet awesome at the same time, know what I mean? But I do like antique style bathroom vanities, as well. Thanks for the Hub!

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 

      8 years ago

      I like the way that bathroom vanities have come to be so unconventional. I like antique and vintage pieces, which adds more character to any bathroom.

      Using antiques and turning them into a bathroom vanity is clever.

    • profile image

      James - Best Bathroom Makeover Guy 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for contributing this article.

      I totally agree that decision is the first step.

      In just about every house the bathroom is supposed to be that getaway private place. (except mine with my kids)

      So I know that having that 'spa' like feel is extremely important especially to my wife.

      Another thing to note is that if you are on a fixed budget in remodeling your bathroom then just by adding some candles and plants along with a fresh coat of paint can do wonders.

      Throw in one of those water fountains for $20 bucks at walgreens and some music and you've got a instant tranquil space.

    • Madison Boswell profile image

      Madison Boswell 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Very thorough article. I enjoyed it. It is definitely important to take your time and do your research when deciding on a bathroom vanity style and size for your home. Bathroom traffic and vanity care also factor into thelong term decision.


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