Cabinets (Bathroom Vanities) Buying Guide

Cabinets (Bathroom Vanities)

Getting Started


Cabinet base-types were used for vanities for decades. The depth of the cabinet can be 17-inches or 24-inches. Heights are 32-inches or up to 36-inches with widths from 12-inches out to 60-inches. Cabinet base style vanities offer drawers, and closed shelves for storage.

Furniture vanities are the most popular types at this time and come in many styles for design purposes. Usually designed as stand-alone or freestanding units, but not always. Furniture vanities may be found with integral sinks, or be fitted for recessed and vessel sinks. Realize the top drawer of a furniture vanity will not be usable for storage since the sink and plumbing will close off the drawer area.


Freestanding units, such as many furniture type vanities, are easy to position in a room around plumbing, electrical and heating. They come in a wide variety of architectural styles and colors to work in any type of bathroom.

Built-in vanities require attention to detail for size of room, plumbing, heating and electrical.  They also are created in many designs and colors for creating a functional yet beautiful bathroom.

Wall-mounted cabinets are used for vanities in accessible bathrooms and powder rooms where space is a consideration and storage is not the main issue.


Like kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities are constructed of a variety of materials.

Glass: Clear or tinted glass can be molded, cut and formed into contemporary styles of vanities as well as countertops and sinks.

Metal: A variety of metals are used to create contemporary and antique styles of pedestals for sinks.

Wood: Solid wood is rarely used in the bathroom unless in furniture style units. Engineered wood products like particleboard, MDF and plywood are used as the vanity box or base with a laminate surface imitating wood or wood veneer surface.

Price Considerations

The size of the vanity is the biggest contributor to the price. Styling is also a large consideration.

Specialty materials such as glass fronts in the doors, metal work for decoration also impact upon the price.

Countertops and integral sinks can add to the cost of the unit when comparing vanities — but realize if they are not part of the package, the price of the sink and countertop must be added to the budget.

Plumbing and/or electrical — if they are needed to install GFCI boxes or to relocate pipes for faucets and drains — increase the cost of the project. Try to purchase vanities that fit the faucets and drains where pipes are originally located.