Bathrooms add all kinds of value to your home. Remodeling one therefore is a sturdy investment, even for small bathrooms. One area in particular that has a huge impact on the value of your bathroom is choosing bathroom vanities, a process that takes in practicality as well as the style.
So, how do you start thinking about how to choose the right bathroom vanity?
Bathroom expert and writer Miguel Salcido is here to help you get a handle on where to begin, especially when the space you’ve got is limited.
Small bathrooms present the very challenging problem of limited space, but that doesn’t mean you have to end up sacrificing style or functionality in your smallish lavatory. While a single vanity is clearly the way to go with a small bathroom or powder room, you do have options within this vanity category.
First, start by measuring your space – vanities are available in sizes as small as 22” deep by 22.75” wide, so odds are good you’ll find a vanity that will work for whatever space you have. Next, think about style – are you looking to create a modern, contemporary space, or do you want a vanity that looks like an antique?
Every inch counts
Storage is always an important consideration when choosing bathroom vanities, especially in a small bathroom. One work around for this problem is to think in terms of height instead of width. A taller, narrow vanity can provide you with the storage space you need without taking up too much space, width-wise.
Of course, if you’re going to go with a tall vanity (most vanities are 29-30” in height, with anything over 32” being considered “tall”) than you’ll want to make sure that any children who use the bathroom have access to a step stool.
Next, in terms of maximizing storage, don’t overlook vanities with countertop sinks. Instead of the sink or wash basin being flush-mounted or dropped in the top of the vanity, the entire basin can sit on top of the vanity. This opens up space inside the vanity (increasing storage), and depending on the size and shape of the sink you buy (they can be as small as 10.25” in diameter), you can really open up a lot of counter space on even the smallest vanity.
Of course, smaller basins have their downsides – washing your face or hair is a bit more difficult – but every bit of space can help, right?
In a large bathroom, small things such as cabinet door hinges aren’t something you typically think about. But in a small bathroom, you might find yourself bumping into the cabinet hinges or wishing the door on the vanity didn’t swing out quite so much. So, look for a vanity with European style hinges, as they usually require a little less space to open and close.
Doors, drawers, or neither
When you have a smaller bathroom, there are three vanity options you need to know about. You can go with a traditional, hinged door on the front of the vanity, you can go with drawers in your vanity (much like a dresser), you can go with an open vanity (sort of like a bookcase or end table), or you can go with a vanity that offers some combination of these features.
In terms of maximizing storage, drawers seem to be the best. Everything from make-up to toiletries to medications can fit in a designated drawer, and if you add some organizers to each drawer, you can really maximize the space you have. The downside to drawers is that they don’t hold many towels – it’s much easier to stuff towels into a traditional vanity. Therefore, a good compromise would be a vanity that has open storage as well as drawers.
Shapes matter, and don’t forget the corner
Sometimes, the best way to maximize space is to use rounded shapes. A half-moon shaped vanity can make a room feel a bit bigger while still maximizing available space, as can a vanity with rounded corners.
Finally, a corner vanity might be a good way to make your small bathroom feel bigger. Of course, you might have to do a little plumbing and drywall or plaster work to make a corner vanity fit correctly, but they really can open things up.
Whatever you decide, remember that choosing the right bathroom vanity is vital to creating a bathroom space that’s both functional and comfortable, especially when you’re working with a small space to begin with. The good news is, there are many vanities to choose from online.
Author Miguel Salcido hopes you take your time when planning your bathroom. He works for SimplyBathtubs.com, home to a large selection of discounted designer bathtubs, and PremierVanities.com, home to a large selection of bathroom vanities.