Your bathroom vanity is a hardworking yet underappreciated piece of furniture of your home. You must use it multiple times every single day. Brushing your teeth, shaving, applying makeup, washing up… countless hours of your life are spent in front of the sink-countertop combination.

Let us help demystify the world of bathroom vanities and help you choose the best one

What is a bathroom vanity?

A vanity (also known as a “vanity unit”) is a piece of bathroom furniture usually includes a sink, a countertop, a place to store toiletries and linens, and optionally, a mirror. Vanities are likely to have more than just these features, and may incorporate lights, built-in shelves,( both open or with a door) and architectural styling details. In terms of modern home space management and functionality, bathroom vanities are an important element of the overall bathroom design.

What are the two type of vanities?

Bathroom vanities usually includes a sink, a countertop, a place to store toiletries and linens, and a mirror. The two main type of bathroom vanities are freestanding and floating, depending on whether the vanity unit stands on the floor or floats like a shelf from the wall a few inches above the ground.

But there are many other categorization possible- for e.g. depending on the number of sinks—single or double sink. As per structure there are 4 major kinds of vanities available : pedestal, free-standing, floating, and cabinet.

Free standing type Vanity

A free-standing vanity has a flat countertop, a sink and basin and likely storage space underneath. It is available in a square or rectangular shape that can support either one or two sinks.

Pedestal type Vanity

The pedestal vanity has a minimal profile with a sink and basin but with no flat countertop or storage. This space saving fixture if good for guest bathrooms or dining room.

Floating type Vanity

A wall-mounted vanity, also called floating, is directly mounted (securely) on your bathroom wall. Gives your bathroom an open, contemporary look with floor space underneath. Normally it has storage space underneath and has a countertop.

Cabinet type Vanity

The cabinet type vanity is built around cabinets with multiple drawers and storage space with a flat countertop and sink at the top. It may be free floating or free standing. Normally installed in spacious bathrooms or one with bathtubs, these styles are popular with homeowners.

What height bathroom vanity should I get?

We get this ques asked a lot. Traditionally the recommended height for a vanity is 30-32 inches but newer type of vanities can go up to 36 inches to accommodate more storage space underneath. Also surveys find that people, while shaving or applying makeup, like the countertop to be more within reach for comfort. For reference, it may be noted that most kitchen counters are 36 inches in height from ground upwards.

What are the standard bathroom vanities sizes?

Bathroom Vanities are selected as per the width or countertop. The standard sizes available are 24 inches, 30 inches, 36 inches, 48 inches, 60 inches and 72 inches. You may find some in between sizes with some specialist vendors. The standard depth from front to back is typically between 20 and 22 inches. The standard height is 30-32 inches. The most common single vanity size is 36” wide, and the most common double vanity size is 72 inches wide. Standard height is 31 inches and standard depth is 21 inches.

Which bathroom vanity to buy? Or How to choose which bathroom vanity to buy?

There are some points to remember while deciding the size of vanity you want to buy.

  • The first is the size of the bathroom, the floor plan and if there is anything unused space, an alcove that you can utilize only for the vanity installation. The standard sizes available are 24 inches, 30 inches, 36 inches, 48 inches, 60 inches and 72 inches. The standard depth from front to back is typically between 20 and 22 inches. The standard height is 30-32 inches.
  • Your bathroom space may have some projected spaces which cannot be used for anything else but a bathroom vanity may be installed there. In narrow or tiny bathrooms a corner pedestal sink basin type pedestal vanity might work best.
  • The layout of the water pipes and connections.
  • The requirement for the bathroom vanity. If it is needed for the space adjunct to the dining room it might be best to go for a pedestal type vanity. In master bathrooms you could opt for a doulble sink cabinet type vanity.
  • Most bathroom vanities do not come with a mirror because home owners have specific requirements for mirrors. Some people may need mirrors with lighting. Others may want specific kind of mirrors. Therefore, it is always best to buy a vanity without a mirror and add the mirror as per the wall space available and specific requirements.
  • The user of the bathroom should be taken into consideration. If it is for a children’s bathroom, a shorter size single sink floating cabinet fits the bill. If the bathroom lacks space consider a vanity which is less than 21 inches deep.
  • Single sink vanities typically are between 18 inches to 48 inches wide whereas double sink vanities are normally 48 inches to 72 inches wide.
  • Consider Double sinks if the available space is more than 60 inches wide.
Why are bathroom vanities so short?

Bathroom Vanities are mostly between 30-32 inches but now vanities of 36 inches are becoming very popular as people opt for taller countertops. Since vanities are used for toiletries , make up, shaving etc, the height should be just at the level of the forearms making it easy to work with hands.

Can a bathroom vanity be raised?

Yes, the height can be raised by:

  • Installing a wooden foundation
  • Installing adjustable legs- Add adjustable cabinet legs that allow to raise and lower the height of the cabinet with minimal effort
  • Add permanent legs to the vanity - Add a frame that screws into the vanity base into which new legs will screw in
  • Increase height by raising countertop—increase the height of the countertop up to 6 inches with a new framing that matches the existing vanity. Faux shelves or matching wood molding can be added too.
    Why do bathroom vanities have legs?

    Bathroom vanities have legs to maximize space utilization. Items can be stored under the cabinet. Also having the cabinet start a few inches above the ground means that the floor area can be cleaned easily.

    Where to buy bathroom vanity for cheap?

    There are many places you can get bathroom vanities like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and Modish Store, online stores that have a collection of inexpensive yet stylish and sturdy bathroom vanities.

    Can bathroom vanities be painted?

    Yes, bathroom vanities can be painted over. The best paints are oil, chalk and latex based paints. Oil paint is popular and provides a hard scratch proof surface , while latex is easy to use. Both require a base of primer. The third option is chalk based paint which does not require the primer coat.

    Can the bathroom vanity countertop be painted over?

    A laminated countertop is difficult to stain but can be painted over using special tints and paints.

    How much are bathroom vanities for?

    Bathroom vanities start from $170 and the upper range can go up to $5000 depending on the material and design.

    What are some styles of bathroom vanities?

    Once you have settled on the size of the bathroom vanity, the next question is what style to select. There are four main design styles, traditional, modern, transitional, and rustic. You can decide depending on your home décor style an d personal taste.

    • Modern Bathroom Vanities ( features)
      • Mostly cabinet style with closed and open shelves.
      • Symmetrical design
      • Sleek lines, non ornamental finish. Smooth texture wood/MDF
      • Use of metallic fixtures like drawer knobs
      • Wood veneers, light natural wood, MDF
      • Neutral colors preferred
    • Traditional Bathroom Vanities
      • Classical shapes with curved legs
      • Ornate shapes and wood molding
      • Textured surfaces
      • Wood like oak, mahogany, teak
      • Wood colors preferred
    • Transitional Style Bathroom Vanities
      • A mix of the traditional and modern style
    • Rustic Bathroom Vanities
      • Use of natural wood
      • Salvaged, recycled wood and metal pieces used
      • Clean lines, non fussy appearance
      • Use of textures
      • Natural wood color and finishes preferred.