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.