4 Expert Tips To Choose A Vanity Base

Choosing the right bathroom vanity is a difficult task. There are literally hundreds of options out there, while you are more or less locked into just one, as the bathroom vanity is a permanent fixture.

So here are our 4 expert tips to help you choose the perfect vanity base on your very first try.

How to Choose the Right Fit for Your Vanity Base?

Unlike other bathroom furniture, a vanity is installed and fastened into the studs of your bathroom. This means that unless you go for a major renovation of your home, the vanity base you choose now is going to stay with you for a while.

Now, the first thing that you must get right is the size. The problem here is that a vanity base isn’t like a simple storage cabinet; getting a too large or a too-small vanity doesn’t just translate into different storage spaces, but can make it completely unusable.

For a vanity base of the right size, you need to properly examine the layout of your bathroom. If you are just replacing an existing vanity, you can simply go with the same dimensions. But if you are remodeling the bathroom or decorating one from scratch, you need to take measurements. Here is how you decide upon the size for your vanity base:

Height

  • The standard vanity height in the market is 32 inches. This is the ideal height that does not require adults to bend over too much while remaining accessible to children.
  • These days, there are ‘comfort varieties’ available that are raised to 36 inches, which is the same height as a kitchen countertop. While this undoubtedly makes it much easier to use for adults, keep in mind that your kids might have trouble navigating that extra height. Either has a separate bathroom for your children (with its own vanity base) or stick to smaller options.
  • In case you are looking to install a sink separately on top of your bathroom vanity, you must leave enough space for it. Considering that sinks usually stand at around 6 inches, a good height for your vanity base would be 30 inches.

Width

  • First, you must decide whether you want a single sink or a double sink vanity base. This depends on the number of people using the bathroom at once; double sinks are great for master bathrooms where a couple might need to get through their morning routines without waiting for the other to finish. Conversely, single sinks are the better choice for guest bathrooms or kid bathrooms.
  • If you are going for single, the size available ranges from a very narrow 19 inches to a comfortable 30 inches, with the standard being 24 inches.
  • On the other hand, if you choose double, then you need a vanity base at least 40 inches to 60 inches in width to accommodate the two sink tops without jostling.
  • For an extended counter space, you can go for a larger vanity base but install only one sink.

Depth

  • The ideal depth of your vanity base depends entirely on the rest of the furniture already present (or planned out) in the bathroom. Make sure that the footprint of your vanity does not intersect with your other fixtures.
  • The second thing to keep in mind is the storage space needed. If you like having all your toiletries close at hand, get an accordingly large vanity base. On the other hand, if your bathroom already has plenty of storage cabinets and racks, a thinner vanity might suffice.
  • Take note of your existing plumbing. While your rest of the bathroom might be more spacious, it is the plumbing that decides where the vanity would be installed, unless of course you are prepared to re-route the plumbing.
  • While extra storage is always welcome, make sure that the vanity leaves enough space for you to move unimpeded through the bathroom.
  • Pay attention to the door placement, especially if you go for an extra-large vanity. Sometimes a door cannot fully open owing to a particularly deep vanity base.
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What Types of Vanity Bases are Available?

There are few fixtures of your house that are as customizable as a vanity base. No matter what the shape and size of your bathroom, you will find a type of vanity base to fit right into it.

  • Freestanding vanity bases are the most common type found in the market. As the name suggests, this type of vanity is ‘free-standing’, ie. it rests on the floor. This makes it a better option for the exceptionally large vanity bases with spacious storage cabinets.

  • Another popular option is floating. A floating vanity base is mounted on the wall, leaving the bathroom floor clear. This gives it a very classy and modern look while also saving the cabinet from moisture damage from puddles on the floor.

  • Open Space vanities have really taken off lately. These vanities come with a visible storage space without door panels or drawers covering them, lending your bathroom a relaxed, airy feel. It goes well with larger bathrooms with plenty of other open shelves to complement the vanity base.

  • A less common type is the vessel sink. Introduced in the late 2000s, they never really became mainstream, remaining a chic and modern option that lends a special touch. Basically, a vessel sink is a kind of vanity in which the basin is seated above the countertop, instead of being seamlessly recessed into it. This makes a surprising variety of styles and customization possible for these vanities.

  • If you are going for an ultra-modern look, choose a glass vanity base. Made of specially treated tempered glass, these vanities are just as durable as their wooden counterparts, apart from being translucent. It works particularly well in small bathrooms, where the see-through structure emphasizes the depth of the room’s dimensions without sacrificing on space.

  • Finally, corner vanities are for those tiny guest bathrooms. With the smallest footprint of all the types of vanity bases, corner vanities can give you enough storage for the basics while fitting into small space easily.

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Which Vanity Base Style is the Best?

Now that you know the overall shape and size of the vanity base of your choice, it is time to decide on a style. Now, while there are many different styles that a bathroom vanity is available in, it is important to ensure that the style fits the overall theme of decor you are aiming for. After all, an antique vanity base would hardly look good in a modern style bathroom.

  • If you like your furniture to have sharp features and sleek surfaces, then modern vanity bases are just the thing for you. These vanities sport minimalistic designs emphasizing bold and simple lines. Usually going for a simple black and white color with a chrome finish, a modern vanity base values function over form.

  • For a more elaborate and decorative design, go with an antique style. Antique vanity bases feature over-the-top embellishments borrowed from the past. The idea is to project a feeling of opulence and luxury, besides evoking an authentic ‘vintage’ look. There are simpler varieties as well, which ditch ornate accents for a more rustic country style.

  • Transitional or contemporary styles offer a nice balance between simplicity and elegance. Consider these vanities as a fusion of modern and antique; while built with the simple structure of modern vanities in mind, these vanity bases also make use of beveled panels and slight accents to enhance the look. Transitional vanities are generally not as elaborately styled as antique bases but are more interesting than plain modern designs.

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Which Materials and Colors are Good for Vanity Bases?

Unlike your usual storage cabinets, the material of your bathroom vanity base is not decided by the usage, but rather the theme of decor. This theme is further emphasized by a deliberate choice of the color palette.

  • A wooden vanity base goes well if you are aiming for an earthy or rustic look. While a strict no-no for more modern style bathrooms, a vanity base made from dark, glossy woods can be used to complete an antique bathroom, while stained woods complement the country look perfectly.
  • Modern bathrooms call for metallic furniture, which means that a vanity base of steel or aluminum is your best bet. This reflects in the color as well, with white and silvery grey colors being preferred for an understated appearance.
  • Black is the color that always fits in. Whether you want to make a statement or simply complete your contemporary ensemble, it is hard to go wrong with a black vanity base framed on a background of soft, neutral tones.
  • Bright and cheery colors are usually achieved with the right shade of light-weight woods like pine or maple instead of colored panels which tend to look garish. Instead, using wood or faux wood stained with a variety of colors can lend a brighter tone to your bathroom.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.