3 Things To Consider When Choosing Small Bathroom Vanities
By Tim Koehler
There are a lot of small bathroom vanities out there. The trick is to find the right size and style. You don’t want to install a cabinet that looks like brown shoes when your bathroom is a black tuxedo.To find just the right size, consider 3 things: size, style and function.
Size is the most important decision when looking for small bathroom vanities. If it’s is too small or too large, it will look out of place. How do you find the right size? First measure your existing vanity or sink. This will give you a reference point. Does the current cabinet look proportional to you? Never cram a larger cabinet in to get more counter space unless you don’t care about the look. Be aware of clearances. Is your vanity or sink easy to get around or is it in the way? The diagram to the right shows standard clearances. Don’t crowd the toilet. The standard clearance from an opposing wall is 36”. If you are tight on space, you may need a shallow depth cabinet.
[pullquote align=”left”]Designer Tip: The taller an object is, the larger it appears. If you are looking for a vanity for a powder room that is not used much, you may want to consider a lower height of 30 to 32”. A height of 36” or more (back-saver height) is a better choice for a master bath.[/pullquote]
Style is an important consideration because you want your new cabinet to blend in with your home’s décor. An ornate Victorian style would not work well in a contemporary home. When shopping, look for a style that will be timeless so you’ll enjoy it for years to come. Consider a wall hung sink or a console sink for a different look. Small bathroom vanities afford little storage, so you won’t be giving up much to get a unique look. In addition, you’ll give the room a larger feel.
Function is the final consideration. In other words, how will the sink be used? A sink in a powder room that is used solely for washing hands should have different considerations than a sink that is used for every day grooming. Small bathroom vanities and sinks have varying top configurations that allow more or less counter top space. For instance, under-mount bowls allow for more usable counter top space. If you do choose a vanity or sink with minimal counter space, consider installing a shelf above the vanity or sink for grooming supplies, etc.
Installation of small bathroom vanities is not hard if you have some basic carpentry skills. The trickiest part will be measuring and accurate cutting for the plumbing lines. The cabinet must be installed plumb (vertical) and level (horizontal). Use a level to check the top and sides. You may need to use a shim under the cabinet to get it level. A tapered wood shim works best.
Once you have the cabinet level, mark the shim and cut it to length. Put a dab of adhesive on the shim to keep it in place. Attach the cabinet to the wall using a wood screw through the back. Pre-drill the cabinet to avoid cracking or splitting the wood. You must screw into a stud or wood framing member behind the wall.