Transform Your Bathroom
A vanity provides a focal point for your bathroom, offering function and a way to express your decorating style. Bathroom vanities come in a variety of configurations, including single sink, double sink, corner, curved front and wall-hung. When selecting a vanity, keep the following questions in mind:
Consider the look of your other bathroom fixtures when purchasing a vanity. Remember: The real key is to creating a bathroom you love is to use a combination of materials and accessories to create a style all your own.
Classic lines, decorative trimwork, moulding and subdued colour schemes are the cornerstones of traditional style. Textures and finishes are generally smooth and metals are classically sculpted and polished.
Contemporary style is highlighted by smooth cabinetry, sleek faucets, monochromatic colour schemes and symmetrical arrangements. The absence of clutter, clean unbroken lines and minimalist décor lend a Zen-like Asian influence to many contemporary designs.
Warm, cozy and inviting, casual style tends to be more functional than decorative by design. Colours are usually similar in hue and can range from soft pastels to warm, natural shades. Textures and finishes have more detail, while metals and cabinetry tend to be charmingly worn or aged.
Materials & Finishes
With bathroom cabinetry, you really do get what you pay for. Particleboard is a common material for stock cabinet cases, especially those covered with laminates and vinyl finishes. You’ll pay more for high-pressure laminates or thick veneers coated with a multi-step polyurethane varnish process, but over time it will be worth the expense.
Bath cabinets and vanities made of wood may be solid, veneered or laminated. Oak is by far the favourite cabinet wood of choice; however, maple and cherry are also quite popular. With most veneer and solid cabinets, the wood has typically been stained or dyed to achieve the desired finish and tone.
Wood veneer cabinet doors are a popular alternative to solid wood. Veneered panels are less expensive than solid wood, and they have the advantage of permitting the same pattern across all adjacent doors.
Laminate cabinets have a synthetic finish that’s attractive, rugged and easy to care for. The durability and affordability of laminate construction make this type of cabinet ideal for children’s baths.
When choosing a vanity top, you’ll need to weigh style and colour considerations against the ability to resist scratching, chipping and staining. Also keep in mind that countertops will overhang cabinets on both the front and sides, so be sure to compensate for the extra width and depth when measuring.
|Cast Polymers||Ceramic Tile||Solid-Surface Materials|
|Natural Stone||Engineered Stone or Quartz Composite||Laminate|
Framed VS. Frameless Vanities
Frameless vanities provide a simple, contemporary look. Because there is no frame, the doors are hung directly on the side of the cabinet, so make sure you leave enough room for doors and drawers to open. These units are space-savers because they are generally installed much closer to the wall than framed vanities, making them a great choice for small bathrooms or powder rooms. Frameless vanities may also feature hidden, easily adjustable hinges.
Framed vanities generally have a more traditional appearance. Resembling kitchen cabinets in their construction, they feature recessed end panels and a rigid box-like frame. The doors hang on the front of the box, and the unit can be installed without having to butt up against a wall on either side. In some cases, the door and box may be made from different materials, so make sure you provide both with the same stain to ensure a uniform appearance.
Consider frequency of use when it comes to lavatory sink styles. Sculptural glass vessel sinks may be best for powder rooms or guest baths, while in frequently used family bathrooms, a larger, deeper porcelain-enameled cast iron sink is a good choice because it reduces splashing and countertop cleanup. Many vanities or vanity tops include a sink, while others require you to choose one that fits the style.
Self-rimming (or surface-mount) sinks rest on the top of the counter after the sink is inserted into a hole cut in the countertop. These are the easiest to install because the counter hole does not need to fit the sink exactly and is completely covered once the sink is dropped in.
These sinks are attached to the underside of the countertop, giving a very clean and customized look. Installation is more difficult because the hole will remain exposed so it must be cut precisely. This type of sink is more suitable for solid-surface or natural stone countertops.
Integral bowl sinks are an excellent choice for a clean, custom look. The sink is formed from the same material as the countertop to create one unit with no visible joints. However, any damages could result in the replacement of the entire sink and countertop.
Vessel or deck-mounted sinks make a bold visual statement, and they can work in either a full or powder bath. The basin sits on the countertop, and the faucets and spout are typically wall-mounted for convenience (but can also be mounted on the countertop).