6 Things to Know about Vanity Cabinets

May 7, 2020 | Starr Tingle

Buying a Bath Vanity Cabinet

Buying a bath vanity cabinet for your bathroom can be overwhelming. This list of 6 things to know about vanity cabinets will help make sure you find the perfect vanity for your bathroom remodel.

I have some pretty strong opinions about buying bath vanity cabinets; after all, I’ve been buying them for over 20 years! I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. What I want to do is teach you the things you need to be aware of when you go to purchase a new vanity for a remodel or if you are building a new house.  

This post is all about how to buy a bath vanity cabinet for your bathroom remodel.

Where to Go

First, where do you go to buy a new vanity? Here are your options:

  • big box store (Lowes, Home Depot, Menards)
  • Online (Wayfair, build.com)
  • Local cabinet maker

My advice, unless you just have a SUPER tight budget, would be to go to your local cabinet maker. But before you go, be sure to review the 6 points I talk about below so you will be able to speak to them with confidence.  

My Opinion 

My opinion on buying from the big box stores. If I had a super tight budget, I would consider purchasing the bare wood cabinets off the shelf and painting them a fun color. I have had a bad experience ordering cabinets from one of the big box stores; I don’t think I would go through with that hassle again. 

My opinion on buying online. I have purchased multiple vanities online. I like the fact that most of the time, they come with a marble or granite top and sometimes even a matching framed mirror. They incur shipping damage more often than the other avenues I use. But my biggest beef with these vanities is that they are not designed to sit up next to a wall, so if you do, there is an awkward gap that is tough to clean and paint.

Before you schedule an appointment with a local cabinet maker, make sure they do carry lines of box cabinets. I am also a big proponent of sharing your budget for your vanity with them. It cuts to the chase and helps them help you faster.  

Cabinet Education

These are the decisions you need to make regarding your cabinets. I feel like most of the time, homeowners never know there are so many choices. With just a little education, they could understand what they are getting and why which will cut down on misunderstandings and disappointment down the road.

  1. Height – 36”. I wouldn’t really consider anything lower. Sometimes I see people choose a lower hight for children, but they are going to grow up so quickly, just go with the taller option.
  2. Overlay. There are three types: standard, full, and inset. My video shows all three.  
  3. Finish. Paint or stain? If you go with paint, just know you’ll be limited to a few trendy colors such as white, cream, grays, blues. Stains will be the same, you’ll have a few choices, based on the wood type. If you want a stained door, birch is the most cost-friendly. After that, probably maple and oak. Cherry and Alder are the most expensive in my area.  
  4. Door/drawer style – For doors, the super clean shaker type is very popular. While not the least expensive, they are a reasonable price point. The least expensive is going to be your flat panel door with a thin rail and style and a small panel molding.  For drawers, you have the choice between a slab front and a panel front to match your doors. There is more about this in my video, above.
  5. Construction – pressed wood with a photo finish on the sides and interior is your least expensive option. I usually chose to upgrade a vanity to plywood ends and bottom due to the high likelihood of water damage.
  6. Amenities – soft close on doors and drawers versus not. I didn’t choose this as an upgrade on my own

If you are tight on your budget and want to upgrade to wood construction, ask it to be priced both ways. It is more work for the salesperson, but it is something they should expect.

This post is all about how to buy a bath vanity cabinet for your bathroom remodel.

In Conclusion

The more educated you are about buying a bath vanity cabinet, the better decisions, and even more cool choices you’ll find available to you. 

If you have questions about the cost of a bathroom remodel, take a look at this post where I broke everything down. For valuable help planning your bathroom remodel, go here to download my free guide!

I’m committed to educating homeowners to love the process of remodeling their home. I believe taking the time to learn about the options available can make buying a bath vanity cabinet fun. What a great way to approach a remodel project, right?! 

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