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A well-sized and properly positioned vanity can make or break a bathroom’s look, feel and functionality. The key factors to consider when selecting a vanity include:

  • style and aesthetic preferences
  • the materials used to make the vanity
  • countertop material
  • desired number of sinks/bowls
  • placement
  • storage space required
  • existing infrastructure and available space

When selecting a bath vanity for the master bath, powder room or any other bathroom, the pieces should complement your home’s existing décor. While there is a benefit to adding an occasional piece or accent that contrasts stylistically, putting a modern European vanity in the powder room of a Victorian home would seem awfully out of place.

Vanities made specifically for bathrooms account for fixtures and plumbing, and they are crafted with moist environments in mind. The height of the vanity influences plumbing fixtures needed to meet your goals. For example, vanities that are less than 34 inches tall are best suited for a vessel-style sink.

Another critical factor in selecting a vanity is the finish used to seal and decorate the cabinet. Finish refers both to the process used to seal the wood and the materials used to change the appearance of the wood. Finishes used to seal bath vanities can withstand moist and humid environments.

The countertop selected for the bath needs to account for functional and practical considerations. Bathroom countertops come into contact with nail polish remover, cosmetics, toothpaste, shaving cream, hygiene products, hairdryers, curling irons and more! Many bath products can damage a countertop that is not appropriately sealed or not made to withstand abuses that occur in the daily use of the bathroom.

Aesthetically, we advise our clients to choose a countertop before selecting tile or other floor and wall covering materials. It’s generally easier to match surfacing materials, e.g., tile, stone, wood, to a unique countertop material or design than the other way around. The goal is to select materials that compliment, as opposed to compete, with one another.

Most Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath clients select a vanity that features two bowls. With two bowls, those using the bath have their own space. Separate grooming stations make it easy for multiple people to prepare for the day at the same time. However, in bathrooms where space is at a premium, a double bowl vanity might not be possible. You don’t want to order a vanity that blocks doors or limits movement if the cabinet drawers and doors are open.

A well-designed bathroom is an organized bathroom. To maximize the efficiency of a bath, identify the products and accessories that you use daily, e.g., curling iron, hairdryer and cosmetics. This exercise helps you determine what needs to be stored and identify possible storage locations inside and outside of the vanity cabinet.

The existing infrastructure also can influence the type of vanity you select and its placement. If you want to replace what exists in the same location, selecting a vanity of similar size should not create issues. However, if you need to reconfigure plumbing, electrical and ventilation, that could add to construction costs if not accounted for in the initial planning phases.

If you’d like additional information on how to select the perfect vanity for your bath, call our showroom at 401-463-1550 or visit us at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

Keys to Selecting the Perfect Vanity

The unlimited choices available through online search can make it almost impossible for anyone to make the best buying decision. If you searched on a Houzz.com, Pinterest or Instagram to get ideas for a new bathroom sink, you would be shown tens of thousands of choices. How can you make the best decision with so much overload? The answer for most is that most times you can’t!  Here’s a simple guide to make the selection process easier.

When selecting a bathroom sink, begin by considering your lifestyle and space:

  • Who will use the sink, how often and for what purposes?
  • What are the ages of users and their mobility capabilities?
  • Is the sink to replace an existing fixture or for a new bath?
  • How much countertop and storage space do you need/want?
  • How much space is there to work with?
  • Would you like a single or double bowl?

Next, give some thought to aesthetics:

  • What type of sink do you like?
  • What style do you prefer (e.g., contemporary, traditional, transitional)?
  • What type of faucet do you like?
  • How will the sink material influence your bathroom style? How durable will the sink be and what maintenance will it require?

As you identify your functional needs and aesthetic preferences, you may consider the following sink types:

Console Sink

Console sinks can either be freestanding supported by four legs or mounted to the wall and supported by two or four legs. Leg materials can span the gamut of styles and aesthetic options from hollow steel pipes to posts made from the same material as the sink.

Console Sink Pros:
  • Provide almost unlimited options in terms of shape and design.
  • If the legs are wide enough, they can provide comfortable wheelchair access
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Durable
Console Sink Cons:
  • Limited countertop space
  • They are best suited for larger bathrooms because they typically require considerable floor space
  • Not a lot of storage space underneath

Pedestal Sink

Pedestal sinks resemble birdbaths. They feature a wall-mounted sink sitting on top of a pedestal secured to the floor. The pedestal is open in the back to provide access for the drainpipe and supply lines.

Pedestal Sink Pros:
  • Pedestal sinks hide the pipework
  • Best suited for smaller spaces, e.g., powder rooms.
  • Easy to maintain and clean.
  • An endless array of design and aesthetic options from traditional to contemporary
  • Shorter than a free-standing
  • Durable
Pedestal Sink Cons:
  • Limited countertop space
  • No storage space underneath

Wall-Mounted Sink

Wall-mounted sinks are installed directly against the wall.

Wall-Mounted Sink Pros:
  • Does not take up floor space, and are a great option when space is at a premium
  • Typically wheelchair accessible
Wall-Mounted Sink Cons:
  • Minimal countertop space
  • No storage space underneath
  • Plumbing must be inside the wall to achieve a clean look

Integrated Sink

An integrated sink is a countertop with a built-in sink made out of the same material.

Integrated Sink Pros:
  • Easy to clean
  • Available in a variety of colors that can look and feel like stone
  • Repaired easily
Integrated Sink Cons:
  • To replace the sink, you have to replace the countertop
  • Compromises some countertop space
  • Must be the same material and color as the countertop

Drop-In Sink

A drop-in sink fits into a hole cut into the countertop. Typically, the sink sits below the counter with the rim at the top of the counter.

Drop-In Sink Pros:
  • Easy to install on all types of materials
  • Available in a variety of sizes, colors and materials
  • Integral raised rim prevents overflow on double bowl sinks
  • Hides waste and supply lines in the cabinet underneath
Drop-In Sink Cons:
  • The raised lip makes it challenging to wipe water and soap from the countertop into the sink
  • Limited depth options

Vessel Sink

A vessel sink sits on top of the countertop.

Vessel Sink Pros:
  • Opportunity to make a personal design statement
  • Offers the capacity to hold a lot of water
  • The counter can serve to complement the sink visually rather than just providing a place where it is located.
Vessel Sink Cons:
  • Because the sink sits on top of the countertop, you need to consider how high the countertop and vanity should be carefully
  • Can be more difficult to clean, especially around the base and back of the sink

Undermount Sink

An undermount sink is installed from underneath a solid surface countertop.

Undermount SInk Pros:
  • Clean lines
  • Easy to clean as water, soap and other materials can be easily swept from the countertop to the sink bowl
  • More minimal appearance than drop-in sink
Undermount Sink Cons:
  • Typically, these sinks are made of stone, quartz, marble or another solid surface material and are not suitable for laminate countertops because they can be completely sealed.
  • More difficult to install than drop-in sinks

With so many choices and factors to consider, you may be best served with the help of a showroom professional. If you would like assistance to assure that you make the best purchasing decision for your new bathroom, please call us at 401-463-1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

Bathroom Sink

 

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