Finding the Perfect Bathroom Vanity
18 September 2018
Bathroom vanities are one of the more challenging items to select when designing a bathroom because there are so many details and options to consider, and they have such an important role to play with storage.
The ideal vanity is one that has been custom-made for your bathroom but, if you’re renovating, you may want to consider a more economical and convenient ready-made or semi-custom vanity unit. It can take a bit of time to find exactly what you want, so here are a few suggestions to help narrow down your search.
Know What Will Work in Your Bathroom
Before you become too excited about having a timber bench top or shaker style doors, first find out what is practical for your space. While many vanity units can be customised to a certain degree (semi-custom), they will have some limitations (for example, with size options). Therefore, it is important to know:
- The measurements for your vanity space
- Where the bathroom taps and waste are/will be positioned
- What your wall is made of (some materials cannot support a wall-hung unit)
You also need to decide whether you are having plumbing changes as part of your bathroom renovation. For example, if your waste is in the floor and you want a floating vanity, it may need to be re-positioned or concealled with a kickboard.
Decide on Design Features for Your Bathroom Vanity Unit
The design of your vanity is more about practicality than aesthetics, although the two do cross over. To help determine what will work best for you, think about how much storage and bench space you need, the size of the room, and who will use it the most. Then, consider what will best suit your needs in terms of:
- Floating vanity (wall-hung) or floorstanding installation
- Undermount, countertop, inset or semi-recessed basin
- Double bowl vanity unit
- Wall-mounted ceramic or stone composite basin, integrating the bowl and bench
- Bench or wall-mounted basin mixers or taps
- Doors or drawers with or without handles
If the space for your vanity is limited, you may want to install a mirror cabinet for extra storage capacity.
Once you have some design elements sorted, you can focus on colours and materials!
Choose a Bathroom Vanity to Reflect Your Style
Whether it is a modern white bathroom vanity, or something more rustic using timber finishes, the bench top, cabinetry and handles all contribute to the overall style.
For bench tops, stone, timber, concrete, acrylic and matte white stone composites are the most common materials available for semi-custom vanities. Brands of engineered stone such as Caesarstone are popular because of their practicality, durability and colour range; and they are solid enough to allow for undermount basins.
Timber is popular for organic bathroom decors and adds another textural dimension. Generally, you would have a countertop basin with a timber vanity top and contrast it with neutral cabinetry, such as white or grey. However, it’s your bathroom, so don’t be afraid to show your own creative flair.
In addition to the colour and finish of your cabinetry, you also need to decide between doors or drawers, the door profile, and whether to have handles, knobs or a finger-pull.
Drawers allow for easier access and go well with both modern and classic themes. For a streamlined look, you cannot go past white drawers with finger-pull drawers. If your bathroom is small, consider gloss white as it reflects light, but otherwise a matte texture will give a softer ambience to the room.
Generally, a classically themed décor calls for a floorstanding vanity with a combination of doors and drawers in a detailed profile, and matched with elegant handles or knobs in a chrome, brushed or brass finish.
But remember, there are no ‘rules’ other than choosing what you love and combining the visual appeal with the functionality of the vanity.
One of our favourite brands for bathroom vanities is Inda from Italy. Their range is extensive, colour selection vast and design impeccable. While selected models are readily available, if you have time up your sleeve, you can create your own vanity to a design spec that will rival anything custom-made locally.
Top Tips When Choosing a Bathroom Vanity
- With any natural material such as wood, stone or concrete, remember that your vanity is likely to look different from an image, or one you have seen on display, because there will be variations in colour, veins and grains. That is part of their beauty.
- Choose a quality Australian or European brand because mass-produced ‘bargain’ vanities will look cheap and are likely to discolour and fail sooner rather than later.
- Even semi-custom bathroom vanity units will probably take a few weeks to manufacture, so allow time in your project schedule.
- Whatever the vanity style, make sure the supplier uses quality hinges and door runners, and go for soft-close.
- Find out about any special cleaning and maintenance requirements, particularly for benchtops.