Are All Bathroom Vanities Created Equal?

Planning a bathroom renovation is very similar to a kitchen remodel, and choosing the right vanity requires the same thought process used when selecting kitchen cabinetry. Because a bathroom vanity is a major investment that will end up in a high-use area of your home, you’ll need to find one that looks great, fits perfectly, offers ample storage and is also durable enough to keep its original appearance after years of constant use. In the end, not all bathroom vanities are created equal. Use this handy guide to find out why. 

Vanity Sizes

Vanities are sized based on height, width and depth. And, just like kitchen cabinets, you can piece together vanity sections to form an extended version. Standard vanity widths range from 18” to 60”, and most are 32” tall and 18” to 21” deep. When a more customized fit and extra storage are desired, kitchen cabinetry can also be used for bathroom applications. While planning for your new tub, flooring and toilet, make sure to take accurate measurements so that you can order a custom-made vanity that fits “like a glove” in the available space.  

Vanity Quality

How a vanity is assembled affects its aesthetics, durability and functionality. There are face-framed and frameless cabinets, with the latter resulting in a sleeker, more modern look that works well in contemporary themes. 

Both kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities come in four quality grades:

  • Ready-to-assemble (RTA)
  • Stock
  • Semi-custom
  • Custom

RTA and stock are the cheapest, but they are rank lower in quality and construction, and styles, materials, sizes and finishes are limited. Semi-custom vanities come in a wider range of door and drawer styles, materials and finishes, but most are pre-sized which oftentimes doesn’t work well when you want a fully tailored fit. However, a custom vanity gives you unlimited style, material, fit and finish options.   

Vanity Drawers

Avoid vanities with drawers that are assembled with staples. A well-constructed drawer should be at least 3/8” thick with wood sides held together by dovetail joints. Drawers should never sag when fully extended, and, for smaller budgets, drawers with doweled joints made from plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard are a lower-priced alternative to solid wood.

Vanity Materials

Your bathroom vanity’s materials should be as heat and moisture resistant as possible. Most cabinetry is built around a box supporting the solid wood door and drawer faces, and available vanity materials include:

  • Medium-density fiberboard (MDF). These lower-priced materials are manufactured from compressed composite wood fibers held together by resins and are typically coated with a protective and decorative melamine layer.
  • Wood or plywood veneer. Usually more durable than MDF, these vanities consist of thin layers of wood veneer that are glued together and then painted or finished to deliver a wood-like appearance. A protective coating is typically applied to the veneer first.
  • Solid wood. High-end vanities are made completely of lumber, resulting in a rustic, more luxurious look that showcases natural wood hues, graining patterns and knots. The one drawback with a solid wood vanity is that the surface is more porous, leaving it vulnerable to moisture absorption and warping if not finished properly.

Vanity Doors and Accessories

You can easily change the functionality and desired look of bathroom cabinetry with doors and decorative accessories. Here are some ideas:

  • Doors. Vanity doors can be flush or have elevated or inset panels that are arched, squared or rounded. In smaller bathrooms and modern decors, flush surfaces work best.
  • Accessories. Personalize your vanity with pilasters, posts, wainscoting or pullout drawers. 
  • Hardware. Top off your bathroom cabinets with decorative right knobs and pulls.

Get FREE Online Bathroom Design Tips Here

Designing a custom bathroom is exciting, but it can also be confusing and stressful. Put your mind at ease by contacting a FREE online room designer from Willow Lane Cabinetry. Once you do, one of our design pros will work with you when you have the time and provide you with the expertise needed to bring your makeover objectives powerfully to life. If you need a top-quality bathroom vanity or some luxurious kitchen cabinetry for your project, we can handle that too!

In addition, WLC also specializes in premium flooring, decorative bathroom hardware, bathroom sinks, and other affordable home remodeling supplies that we will conveniently deliver right to your door! To get started with a FREE design expert from Willow Lane Cabinetry now, please visit us at:

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