How to Choose the Right Vanity For Your Bathroom

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By Kate Reggev
These seven tips will provide you with everything you need to know for selecting a new vanity that fits your space, style, and individual needs.

Selecting a new vanity for your bathroom has a myriad of benefits. Not only can it can completely revamp a space without requiring a full remodel, it can also be the gateway to extra storage and even allow for smoother morning routines. Here, we’ve culled some of our best tips for how to pick out a new bathroom vanity for just about any bathroom size. 

1. Think About Proportion and Size 

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The spa-like bathroom features marble tile and a freestanding vanity.

The spa-like bathroom features marble tile and a freestanding vanity.

One of the first things to think about when selecting a new vanity for your bathroom is to consider what would be appropriate and adequate in terms of size. For instance, are you swapping out your old one because it’s too small? Are you planning to install a new vanity in a tiny powder room and need to find something small enough that would fit? While the standard widths for vanity cabinets are 24", 30", 36", 48", and 60", you may find some in-between sizes out there, from as small as 14" wide to over 72" inches. The standard depth of a vanity, from front to back, is typically between 20" and 21", but there are certainly narrow depth options around 18" deep. 

2. Measuring Is Key

The master bathroom has an aluminum-shell tub with an ipe-slat basin, and a pair of solid-walnut vanities, all designed by Hufft Projects.

The master bathroom has an aluminum-shell tub with an ipe-slat basin, and a pair of solid-walnut vanities, all designed by Hufft Projects.

Once you’ve decided on your ideal vanity size, you should confirm that you have enough clearance around any opening doors, shower stalls, and drawers, as there is nothing worse than installing a big new vanity and not being able to open the bathroom door all the way. In fact, y may even want to take some painter’s tape and mark out the dimensions to make sure you make the right choice. 

3. Evaluate Your Sink Needs

Different types of sinks can include vessel bowls, drop-in sinks, undermount sinks, and integrated sinks that form a continuous surface between the sink bowl and the rest of the vanity countertop.

Different types of sinks can include vessel bowls, drop-in sinks, undermount sinks, and integrated sinks that form a continuous surface between the sink bowl and the rest of the vanity countertop.

Sinks—like the vanity cabinet itself—come in a range of sizes, depths, shapes, and types. Your vanity cabinet may require a specific type of sink, or it may even come with a sink, so be sure you read the product details carefully before you make your selection. 

4. Review the Number of Sinks You Need

Here, a Universal vanity in acacia wood from Boffi was chosen to add some warmth, along with a stone floor with radiant heating. The mirror is a vintage design by Mathieu Matégot.

Here, a Universal vanity in acacia wood from Boffi was chosen to add some warmth, along with a stone floor with radiant heating. The mirror is a vintage design by Mathieu Matégot.

It is also important to consider the number of sinks, because more isn’t always better. While two sinks can help ease morning traffic, especially for large families, they also reduce countertop space. You may need to ask yourself: would a double sink with little countertop space be more useful than a single sink with more surface space? 

5. Prioritize Storage or Easy Cleaning

A Carrara marble sink in the bathroom is surrounded by Brazilian pine and cypress.

A Carrara marble sink in the bathroom is surrounded by Brazilian pine and cypress.

The two main ways of mounting a bathroom vanity are either freestanding, wall-mounted, or corner-mounted. Freestanding vanities are the standard selection and typically provide more storage than their wall-mounted cousins, as the cabinets are longer and rest either directly on the floor or are raised on legs. 

While extra storage is always nice, it is important to note freestanding vanities are also known for being harder to clean, since there are more corners and nooks where dust can hang out around them. 

6. Examine Your Existing Plumbing

Metal details in the home transition to gradually darker tones as the spaces become increasingly private. In the guest bathroom, a solid brass bowl sink rests on top of a custom Corian base. White Dornbracht wall-mounted faucets sit below a custom mirror cabinet. In the bathroom and throughout the home, interior accents by Gunter & Co make elegant finishing touches.

Metal details in the home transition to gradually darker tones as the spaces become increasingly private. In the guest bathroom, a solid brass bowl sink rests on top of a custom Corian base. White Dornbracht wall-mounted faucets sit below a custom mirror cabinet. In the bathroom and throughout the home, interior accents by Gunter & Co make elegant finishing touches.

If you’re installing a new vanity, you or your plumber will likely be doing some new plumbing work. Yet, it is critical to remember the location of the existing plumbing. Typically, freestanding vanities are more forgiving for irregular or off-center existing plumbing connections, and require only minimal alterations, if any, to the existing water supply or drain. 

However, a wall-mounted vanity has less flexibility, and you may find that moving some of the plumbing hookups is required. Be aware that this can result in a longer timeline and possibly a higher cost than anticipated.

7. Don’t Neglect the Faucet

The marble continues in a bathroom, which has a Palomba sink from Laufen.

The marble continues in a bathroom, which has a Palomba sink from Laufen.

Finally, it’s important to remember that faucets aren’t always included in a new vanity, which may require a bit of research and coordination. If you do have to purchase the vanity or sink separately, take note of the number of faucet holes, how far apart they are, and how they should be installed.

For instance, does the sink require a centerset or widespread faucet? Does the faucet or sink come with a drain? Again, these questions can all be answered by carefully reading the product details, so be sure not to skimp on your research.

Builder Luke Gilligan of Gilligan Development used reclaimed oak planks from a deconstructed barn to create the bathroom’s millwork. To achieve the rugged look, he sanded and wire-brushed the wood, then applied a clear stain. The sinks are from Duravit’s Vero line and the cabinet pulls are from Top Knobs.

Builder Luke Gilligan of Gilligan Development used reclaimed oak planks from a deconstructed barn to create the bathroom’s millwork. To achieve the rugged look, he sanded and wire-brushed the wood, then applied a clear stain. The sinks are from Duravit’s Vero line and the cabinet pulls are from Top Knobs.