What is a Bathroom Vanity?
Last Updated May 25, 2011 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
The vanity really is the centrepiece of the bathroom but what exactly is it and why is it so important? We outline everything that you need to know.
Defining the Bathroom Vanity
A bathroom vanity can be defined as the combination of the bathroom sink or basin and the storage that surrounds it. It is generally thought of as being a piece of bathroom cabinetry that is designed to hold the sink and conceal the associated plumbing as well as providing much needed storage. The benchtop is also an important part of the bathroom vanity and benchtops are available in stone, reconstituted stone, cement, wood, laminate, and more. Bathroom vanities are made from different materials but they are usually moisture resistant or waterproof, due to the fact that the bathroom is the biggest wet area in the home.
Options in Bathroom Vanities
As the vanity is pretty much one of the true centrepieces of the bathroom, you will find that they come in a staggering range of sizes, shapes, and designs. Bathroom vanities can be traditional, French provincial, art deco, modern, country style, minimalist, or any other style that you can think of. They can be very narrow and just wide enough to hold the sink, or they can span the entire length of a bathroom wall. The size will generally depend on the size of the bathroom itself as it is important that the vanity is in proportion. Also, vanities are not just rectangular in design. New materials and design advances means that vanities can have sharp or gentle curves, have open shelving, have an integrated sink, and so on. A common thing now is to have double vanities, which is where two sinks are actually set into the one vanity unit so that two people can use the bathroom at the same time.
Choosing a Bathroom Vanity
When you are choosing a bathroom vanity, the first thing that you need to think of is the size of the bathroom itself. You want a vanity that is in proportion and that is not too large or small. You also want to make sure that the vanity suits your needs. Make sure that it has plenty of storage for toiletries, cosmetics, hairdryers, hair straighteners, cleaning products, medications, and anything else that you want to have easy access to. Many people now want to keep at least one set of fresh towels in their vanity, both for easy access, and for aesthetic reasons. A combination of shelves and drawers is usually required. You will need to decide if you want a single or a double vanity. If your bathroom is mayhem in the mornings, having two sinks could make all the difference, as people will be able to get ready faster without the frustration.
Also remember that the vanity will largely dictate the style of the bathroom. Therefore, if you are going for a modern, minimalist look, you will not want an ornate vanity. Similarly, don’t put a simple, clean vanity in a bathroom that is better suited to something that is “fussy”. Don’t forget about the amount of maintenance that will be required. A solid timber benchtop may look great but if you’re not prepared to clean and maintain it appropriately, it will soon become water damaged and lose its lustre.