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How to design the perfect bathroom vanity

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

No matter the size of your bathroom, your vanity will always be an integral part of the space. It is important that the vanity size, style and layout works for your needs and suits the overall bathroom floorplan. If you're designing your vanity to be custom built (or looking for tips to select an off-the-shelf option), then continue reading to find out the 5 things that you need to consider in order to nail the design:

1 | Location & Size

It's important to ensure that there is enough space around your vanity in order for your bathroom to be functional and practical. This means ensuring that you have enough space in front of the vanity to open all doors/drawers. It also means not making your vanity too big so that you have enough space around showers and toilets to use them comfortably.

We usually make vanities around 500mm deep, as this allows most basins to fit well, and the top of the basin usually sits at 900mm from the floor. Another important consideration is whether you will go freestanding or wall hung. Wall hung vanities can help to make the bathroom feel larger, however, freestanding can give you a bit more storage space if that is a priority.

If you'd like to read more about standard sizes for vanities and bathrooms, we have a link to our blog post all about this below:

2 | Materials

The most popular materials for vanities are 2pac, vinyl, laminate and veneer, with laminate being the most popular and most cost effective option. For benchtops, the most common material is a reconstituted stone (like Caesarstone or Quantum Quartz) or a natural stone, but other popular options include porcelain, laminate or a composite acrylic resin like Corian. Depending on the style of your bathroom, you will also need to decide whether you'd like to have fingepulls or decorative handles on your vanity.

If you'd like to read more about cabinetry materials, we have a link to our blog post all about this below:

3 | Basin Style

The type of basin selected also plays a big role in the overall look and layout of your vanity. The main types of basins are,

  • Undermount - sits under the benchtop to create a really clean appearance. However, they can take up a bit of space inside your vanity.

  • Above-mount - sits on top of the benchtop and can become a feature in the room. However, depending on the shape of the basin, it can be more difficult to clean around them.

  • Semi-inset - a combination between undermount and above-mount, so the basin sits half under and half on top of the benchtop

  • Semi-recessed - the basin hangs over the edge of the vanity. This is a great option for smaller bathrooms where you're unable to have a 500mm deep vanity.

It's also important to decide if you'll need 1 or 2 basins. To be able to fit 2 basins, you will need a minimum vanity length of 1500mm. However, to use them comfortably and have enough benchtop space around them, we recommend a minimum of 1800mm instead. If you're having just the one basin, you also have the option of having it in the centre or off-set to one side. For smaller vanities, offset is often a great idea, as it allows for a larger area of benchtop.

4 | Doors vs Drawers

Another important decision is the layout of your vanity. For smaller vanities, I usually prefer to have all drawers as they allow you to easily see all the contents of your vanity so nothing gets lost like in the back of a cupboard. For large vanities, I often do a combination of doors and drawers to give clients more option. It's also important to note that drawers below basins may have a lot of wasted space as the drawer needs to be cut around all of your plumbing.

5 | Extras

If you have enough space, a small pull out bin or clothes hamper can make a fantastic addition to a vanity. Having power points to the back of your drawers or cupboards is also very practical. Another option is adding an LED strip to the bottom of the vanity. This is especially helpful at nighttime as it can be left on or connected to a sensor, so there is no need to turn on your main light if you need to use the bathroom.

I hope these tips have been helpful! If you want to find out more about designing the perfect custom joinery for your project, get in contact with us below:

Have a wonderful week!

Nina xx

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