Your Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Options
Cambridge Dictionary defines the word vanity as “being too proud and interested in” one’s self, especially in regards to appearance. Is it any wonder that we chose to call the bathroom cabinet by such a cavalier term?
However the vanity cabinet in your family’s bathroom cannot survive on good looks alone, especially if several members of the family make use of the same facilities. Everyone in your house is practically guaranteed to use the bathroom at least twice a day – even more so if someone works from home or a parent stays home all day raising young children.
Your vanity has to tough out extreme temperatures of heat and obscene amounts of humidity. It also has to be so durable that it can take a beating from toothpaste splatters, mouthwash dribbles, dust and smudges from cosmetic products, and the most well-known culprit of them all…soap scum.
The Price of a New Bathroom Vanity
How much will a new bathroom vanity cost? That depends largely on the size of your budget. On one hand, you could spend a couple of hundred dollars for a stock cabinet with an attached sink and then only have to tack on the price of the faucet. On the other hand, you could spend a couple of thousand dollars for something that looks like a one-of-a-kind antique cabinet that has been professionally transformed to add vintage style to your bathroom.
You can save money by recycling your current sink, countertop, or faucets and just getting a brand new vanity cabinet. For example, if the doors are constantly wobbling, the drawers are out of shape and sticking, and water leaking out from the shower or tub has soaked the bottom of your vanity cabinet in the bathroom, then you definitely need a new cabinet, but the rest of the vanity might be okay.
Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Options
The bathroom vanity cabinets of today offer options in regards to both aesthetics and functionality than the ones our parents and grandparents were limited to as far as choices go. Here are some of the more popular bathroom vanity cabinet options and what exactly they offer for you and your family.
- HEIGHT – Today’s bathroom cabinets are taller than the ones from past generations. While the standard height used to be thirty inches, new vanity cabinets measure a staggering thirty-six inches tall. Because kitchen cabinets are at an ergonomic height that cuts down on back pain and other health issues, bathroom vanities are becoming more user friendly as well.
- DEPTH – The vanity cabinets for bathrooms of today now range from anywhere from eighteen inches for a shallow bathroom such as a guest bathroom tucked under the stairway or inside a hallway, or twenty-four inches for deeper rooms, such as a master bathroom attached to the primary bedroom inside the home.
- STYLE – Just like with kitchen cabinets, your bathroom vanity cabinet can fall into one of three categories: custom, semi-custom, or stock. Custom normally costs more and takes a longer lead time before you will see it installed inside your home. Stock on the other hand is readily available and better able to meet your budget.
Bathroom Vanity Materials
When it comes to materials for your bathroom vanity cabinet, you want something that will look good. You might choose something sleek and modern, or something that looks like an ornate piece of antique furniture. The aesthetics however are not nearly as important as the durability of the materials.
Ask yourself these questions: Can this vanity cabinet hold up to things like water damage in the case of an overflowing tub or toilet? And will the doors and drawers stand up to being opened and closed several times per day? Or might the wood buckle after a few dozen hot, steamy showers fill the room with excess humidity and moisture?
When buying a new bathroom vanity cabinet, look for something that has a durable hardwood base with a close grain, such as birch plywood. While MDF (medium density fiberboard) is popular for cabinets with a painted exterior surface, this material does not hold up to the excess moisture and high humidity associated with bathrooms. Unlike solid wood, it will not shrink and expand with the changes in humidity.
No matter what kind of bathroom vanity cabinet you choose, you can extend its longevity by making sure the exhaust fan inside your bathroom is the proper size to vent moisture from the small space. Making sure people run this fan during a shower or bath, and for a quarter hour afterward, will also help extend the life of your bathroom vanity cabinet.