How to Pick the Perfect Vanity

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Everything you need to know before you shop for a ready-made vanity, with help from Build.com, one of our select online shopping partners that offers solutions for all your home improvement needs.

Before You Go:

  • Who is the vanity for and how will they use it? A powder room and a master bath for two adults require different vanities. For the latter, opt for double sinks if you have room to spare: Single-sink vanities range from 12 to 60 inches in width, while doubles can be as wide as 72 inches.
  • Shopping for a child’s bathroom? Look for vanities with built-in perks like pull-out step stools.
  • How much storage do you need? Be realistic. Even low-maintenance types require space for extra towels, toilet paper, soap and shampoo.
  • Found the perfect faucet? Hold off on buying it until you’ve chosen the vanity. You’ll want to pick a faucet with a height and reach appropriate for the sink.

 

What to Measure:

  • The width and depth of the space available for the vanity.
  • Anything (toilets, walls, molding edges) within 2 feet of an existing vanity, or within 4 feet of the wall where you’ll place a new one. You don’t want to install the vanity only to find that drawers bang into the bathroom door.
  • The dimensions of your existing pipes. Some vanities have solid backs that are cut after purchase to accommodate your pipes. You want to be sure there isn’t, say, a drawer where your drainpipe should be.
  • The diameter of the existing pipes. It’s not common, but sometimes the holes in a vanity can be too small (or large) for your pipes. If so, you’ll need to buy an adapter.

Things to Bring:

  • Your sketch with measurements
  • A measuring tape
  • Any materials you’ll match the vanity with (paint swatches, tile samples). You could also snap a few quick pics of your bathroom space and finishes, and load them onto your phone or tablet. Shopping online? Email the photos to your salesperson.

Before You Buy:

  • Skip funky finishes and stick to classic colors and textures such as warm wood and speckled stone. Pick a red countertop with an art-glass sink, and you’ll be remodeling again in a few years.
  • Look for resilient materials: sinks made from ceramic, cast iron, natural and manmade stone, and tempered glass; and cabinetry in woods such as cherry, birch and walnut.
  • Grill your salesperson about the durability of the vanity as a whole, as well as its individual pieces (the countertop, the hinges).
  • Find out if the vanity is covered by a warranty.
  • Make sure the vanity can store everything you need it to.
  • Ask yourself: Does it feel right? Can you see yourself brushing your teeth, putting on makeup and washing sticky kids’ hands at this vanity for the foreseeable future? If not, keep looking.

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