What You Need to Know About Bathroom Vanities
By the Vevano Home Team
September 17, 2020
The bathroom vanity is one of the main structures of your bathroom, so it should make a statement. Where toilets and bath/showers are more straightforward in design, the vanity is where you can really let your personality shine in your bathroom.
A standard bathroom vanity is made up of a sink and faucet, cabinet(s), a mirror, and lighting for your personal care routines. Think about the style you want to achieve and know that you can balance both style and functionality for a fabulous bathroom vanity.
Read on to learn more so you can find one that suits your needs and matches your style.
What Types of Vanity Cabinets Are There?
Base cabinets are the most common variety seen in bathroom vanities, though you can add more counter space with a vanity desk base. Overall, few cabinets are needed for your bathroom vanity. These cabinets range from smaller four-drawer variations to larger cabinets with more drawers. See our guide for choosing your vanity cabinets here.
Some vanities come complete with cabinetry, sink, and faucet, while others do not. Buying your bathroom cabinets separate from your counter, sink and faucet allows for greater flexibility in customizing the look and feel of your bathroom.
Single - Single sink bathroom vanities are ideal for smaller bathrooms and powder rooms.
Double - Double sink bathroom vanities work well for master bathrooms or bathrooms used by multiple people. Twice the counter space, twice the amount of sinks, and twice the storage space available.
Wall-mount - Wall mount vanities are attached to the wall and generally have free space between the base and the floor, so they are also called floating vanities. Due to their streamlined and modern design, wall-mount vanities make the bathroom look more spacious.
Freestanding - Freestanding vanities combine the base cabinet with the sink and countertop, so you don’t have to buy them separately. Freestanding vanities stand on the floor and do not attach to the wall, so you can move them around like large furniture. They may feature legs or kick plate bases. Freestanding vanities come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and designs.
Can I use kitchen cabinets for bathroom cabinets?
Often kitchen and bathroom base cabinets can crossover if you make the right adjustments. Know that the dimensions will be different as kitchen cabinets are typically taller, wider and deeper than bathroom cabinets. You can utilize these larger dimensions if your bathroom has the capacity to handle a larger vanity (more counter space, more height under the countertop for more drawers or a hamper). Other conversions the kitchen cabinet may need to become a bathroom cabinet is removing the topmost drawer and glueing the face back on to make space for the sink’s underbelly and sealing wooden cabinets to protect them from moisture.
What Are the Standard Vanity Sizes?
The size of your vanity is determined by the size of the bathroom, followed by personal preference.
It’s important to know the space you’re working with in your bathroom to plan for the right sized vanity. A small half bath will have very different size availability than your master bathroom. It may be ideal to work with the same measurements as your existing vanity to ensure that you’ll work within the exact parameters in your bathroom. Here’s our simple 8-step guide to measure your cabinets before you get started with any remodel.
Be sure to map out and plan for space around your toilet, bath, mirror, electrical sockets and switches, so you don’t have to worry about any costly restructuring. Provide space to open cabinet doors and foot traffic as well.
While bathroom vanities come in a variety of shapes and sizes, here are some of the dimensions you can expect for a bathroom vanity:
Height: Between 30”-36” in height. Standard is 30”-32”, especially for kid bathrooms, but now a 36-inch comfort height is more popular to minimize bending over and strain in taller individuals.
Depth: Standard depth (from wall to edge) for a vanity is 21”, but designs can be found between 17”-24” deep.
Width: From 12” long for a small vanity, with the average single-sink vanity at 30”-48” i, to 60”-72” standard for double vanities. Common widths for bathroom vanities: 24”, 30”, 36”, 48”, 60”, and 72”.
Basin Depth: 5”-7.5” inches. May be necessary to know if you have to purchase your sink separate from your vanity.
What Kind of Vanity Lights Should I Use?
If there’s one place to have complimentary lighting, your bathroom vanity is the place. There are a couple of ways to match ideal lighting to your bathroom vanity that’s both practical and stylistic. The most important thing is to have bright lighting surrounding your vanity and mirror for daily personal care routines.
For bathroom vanities, warmer bright tones are preferred as they are the most flattering, so we recommend light temperatures between 3,000k and above.
Bathroom vanity lighting is commonly mounted to the wall. Depending on the style, they may point down (task lighting) or up (ambient lighting).
Bar lights install above the mirror. Choose above-mirror vanity bars that are as wide or narrower than the vanity and installed 75-78 inches on the wall above the floor to provide the best illumination. Measure your mirror and choose a light that is at least 75% as wide as your mirror. Vanity lights that are too small don’t illuminate your mirror as well as wider fixtures.
Sconce lights install on either side of the mirror. Install sconces at eye level if possible, between 60 and 70 inches from the floor. Sconce lights work best in pairs or more. Measure the wall space around your mirror to ensure you have room to add wall lighting.
A mirror with built-in LED lighting is also a great option for consistent, even lighting in your vanity that focuses on your face, so it’s ideal for shaving, applying makeup, or other self care. Lending a modern and upscale look to your bathroom, LED mirrors are built to last tens of thousands of hours, so they are a great option.
Note that any bathroom lighting will need either a damp or wet rating, so check the safety ratings.
Easy Ways to Update Your Vanity
Updating the vanity mirror is a quick and easy way to update your bathroom vanity. As stated above, LED mirrors offer combined style and lighting.
Sink & Faucet
Paint or Stain
One way to update your vanity is to stain or paint the cabinets, depending on your preferred style. Different colors add different dynamics to your bathroom. White is the most popular for its bright, open, and clean feeling. Gray adds dimension and a neutral tone that’s easy to match. Cream softens the room, and brown adds a classic or rustic look.
Cabinet doors, drawers, and organizational accessories help you organize your space. Changing up the hardware (the handles, drawer pulls, etc) are a simple way to update your bathroom vanity.
For additional storage you can install tall cabinets to border your vanity.
Other Bathroom Accessories
A backsplash can be a welcome addition to your vanity, particularly if you have a shallow sink basin or your sink sits close to the wall. A backsplash protects your wall from water sprays and spills.
Where Can I Buy a Bathroom Vanity?
Vevano Home has a collection of bathroom vanities available in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors. Shop from home and have responsive customer service agents at your fingertips to help you find the right vanity set for your home. Take your time to find the right style, the right design, and compare options with our professional designers.
Whether you’re looking to outfit a small guest bathroom or the master bath suite, we have the right bathroom cabinets, mirrors, sink and faucet combinations, and bathroom accessories to maximize your bathroom vanity.