Ready to replace your old bathroom vanity? Whether you are updating a small powder room or a large master en suite, nothing changes the way a bathroom looks and functions quite like a brand new bathroom vanity. As the multi-functional centerpiece of your bathroom’s decor, your vanity should offer the perfect balance of style and function. To help make the shopping process easier for you, we’ve put together this basic guide of everything you need to know when selecting a new bathroom vanity.
Measuring for a Bathroom Vanity
There are several important considerations to think about when settling on a vanity size. Ultimately, your bathroom’s available space and existing layout will help determine the maximum bathroom vanity size that will fit into the space. When measuring for a new vanity, keep these things in mind:
- Traffic flow: Make sure to allow plenty of room for opening and closing doors as well as foot traffic.
- Plumbing location: Rerouting plumbing makes a bathroom remodel costlier and more difficult, so you may want to stick with a vanity that’s similar to your current one in size, type (e.g. free standing or wall mounted), and planned location.
- Existing features: Account for any existing features in the bathroom such as mirrors, decorative trim, electrical switches and outlets. Similar to plumbing, these can be costly and time consuming to move.
Bathroom Vanity Sizes
Bathroom vanities come in a number of different sizes and size is perhaps the most important consideration when buying a new vanity. You will want to pay close attention to all bathroom vanity dimensions, not just width. Here we’ve gathered some important bathroom vanity height, depth, and width basics to help guide your buying decision.
Bathroom Vanity Height
The standard bathroom vanity height for a long time was 30 to 32 inches tall—but not anymore. In recent years, taller, comfort height vanities have come on the scene and become increasingly popular. Comfort height, or counter height, vanities measure to be about 36 inches in height, versus a more standard 30-inch or 32-inch bathroom vanity. Why the extra inches? Overall, people are taller today than they were 100 years ago, and the extra height provides easier access and less back strain for most people. If kids will be using the bathroom vanity frequently, a 32-inch height is a good compromise.
Bathroom Vanity Width
The most common bathroom vanity widths are 24, 30, 36, 48, 60, and 72 inches. For single-sink cabinets, the average bathroom vanity width range is between 30 and 48 inches. For double vanities, a width range of 60 to 72 inches is standard. Keep in mind that the vanity top should be about 1 inch wider and deeper than the cabinet itself.
Bathroom Vanity Depth
While most bathroom vanities measure around 17 inches to 24 inches deep, the standard bathroom vanity depth is 21 inches. For smaller bathroom spaces, narrow depth bathroom vanities are available that measure less than 18 inches deep. These shallow vanities allow for foot traffic as well as opening doors and drawers.
Single Vanities vs Double Vanities
Whether you choose a single or a double vanity may depend on the amount of space you are working with. A large single-sink cabinet will provide more storage than a comparably sized double-sink vanity, but having that extra sink is a serious time saver, especially for families and children.
Single Sink Bathroom Vanities
Single sink bathroom vanities are ideal for powder rooms and smaller spaces. You can even put 2 single sink vanities side-by-side in a larger bathroom space to get the function of double sinks with the separation of a single vanity.
Double Sink Bathroom Vanities
If you have the room why not take advantage of a double vanity? Two sinks, twice the counter and storage space! Double vanities are great for bathrooms that multiple people share, like a master bathroom or kids’ bathroom.
Bathroom Vanity Types & Designs
Wall-mount bathroom vanities, also referred to as floating vanities, sit off the floor and mount directly to the wall. These floating designs have increased in popularity in recent years due to their modern appeal. The simple, clean lines and open floor space underneath can also help to make small bathrooms look and feel more spacious.
Freestanding bathroom vanities are the most common type of vanity. They sit directly on the floor and may feature either legs or a kick plate base. Freestanding bathroom vanity designs come in a range of styles from modern vanities with clean lines to traditional vanities featuring ornate details. In recent years, bathroom vanity designs have started to mimic furniture pieces more and more—think stylish console tables and decorative cabinets.
Corner bathroom vanities tuck snugly into a corner and out of the way. They still provide much-needed storage in the bathroom without taking up valuable floor space, making them ideal for smaller areas.
Bathroom Vanity Colors & Finishes
Most bathroom vanities will feature solid wood doors and drawer fronts so the most obvious finish options are paint and stain. Both finishes will help to protect your vanity from moisture and humidity as well as add style and beauty to your bathroom space.
Stained Wood Vanities
Vanities featuring a stained finish allow the wood’s natural grain and beauty to show through. Stains come in a range colors and shades from whitewashed and lighter wood tones to dark wood finishes. While dark wood finishes such as cherry and mahogany remain traditional favorites, lighter wood finishes offer modern appeal.
Painted vanities feature an opaque finish which covers the wood’s natural grain. Bold colors, like blue and green, as well as more neutral colors, like gray, are on-trend for contemporary bathrooms. A classic white painted vanity is a timeless choice that will never go out of style.
Additional Bathroom Vanity Considerations
- Vanity top material and color: Countertop finishes include natural stone materials including granite, marble, and quartz or traditional ceramic styles. Consider how much use and cleaning the countertop will need when making your choice. The type of bathroom sink you choose may affect the countertop and vanity setup you choose. Learn more about vanity top materials, sink types, and installation in our Vanity Top Buying and Installation Guide.
- Storage: When it comes to storage, look for vanities with a useful combination of storage options, including doors, drawers, and open shelving for easy access to frequently-used items.
- Vanity sets: You will need to decide if you want to purchase a vanity cabinet by itself or a vanity cabinet set that includes the sink and countertop. Some vanity sets may also include a matching mirror and faucet as well for quick and easy shopping.