A new bathroom vanity cabinet or sink is a great project to add enjoyment and value to you home or perhaps you just want to add some extra storage.
Your bathroom is the place you start your day, and where you go to freshen up. So why not make it as fabulous as you want to feel? It’s certainly no secret that a great bathroom can help sell a house, so investing in a bathroom renovation not only helps you feel better in the morning but builds your home equity too. So whatever your end goal, this is a great home improvement project.
Another factor to ensure you get the best return for your investment is to properly document any home improvements you make. Many are not directly visible to a potential buyer but nevertheless add substantial value. Having your projects in quinju.com will ensure you can demonstrate that value. Its free and easy home renovation planner tool makes it simple to collect all details including picture of work done behind walls and other aspects of high value that cannot be seen directly.
Documenting all your projects using the home improvement portfolio tool will ensure you can always have everything at your fingertips, being it in case of replacement part, use of warranties or when selling your property.
Planning and Budgets
Whatever bathroom you are about to tackle, the main floor powder room, the guest and family bath or that dream en-suite spa- like escape you have always dreamed of, your budget plays a big role.
The ensuite master bathroom is a major investment that can be both shocking in cost and confusing in product choice. For such a small room, it is one of the most expensive per square foot to renovate, so understanding some key ideas can be beneficial.
Your project may only be changing the vanity sink or cabinet, or perhaps adding some extra storage. If you are changing fixtures like the toilet, shower stalls, bathtubs or vanity cabinet it pays to spend some time in the planning stages.
When planning your bathroom renovation, begin by realistically determining your budget. A good idea is to go and check out your local building material store and talk to a plumbing associate. You can see many of the products on the market today and get a good understanding of what you might like to spend on these components. Of course, you can see many of these products at your local home improvement outlet too. If your working on a smaller budget check out some ideas in our sister article here.
Bathroom Sinks, Vanities & Cabinets
There are seemingly endless choices available for bathroom sinks, vanities and cabinets. You can spend $50 for an inexpensive wall hung sink or upward of $5,000 for a furniture quality cabinet vanity.
Some types of sinks are self-contained, others must be installed in or on a countertop, and some sinks are mounted in a piece of cabinetry. There is no one best style of bathroom vanity. Many options exist because of the wide variety of situations presented by bathroom designs.
Let's take a look at various bathroom vanities and sink styles and see which sink / vanity combination makes sense for your next home renovation:
Wall Hung and Pedestal Sinks
The wall mounted sink is one of the most basic and common of bathroom sinks found especially in older homes and apartments. It is used most often when space is tight and so is the budget.
These sinks are mounted to the wall with a bracket and some will have exposed plumbing supply lines. The earlier versions were quite basic as show here on the left however today's modern contemporary designs can add a significant design element to your bathroom design.
A pedestal is a classic design. It is found in condos, older homes and new design alike. It is also mounted to the wall but has a floor mounted pedestal that adds a beautiful design element, adds stability and also hides all of the ugly plumbing supply lines. This is a great choice where space considerations are an issue.
The vessel sink is a relatively new trend on the bathroom design scene and creates a unique vanity. The sink, as the name suggests, is simply a vessel into which a faucet pours water. The sink sets atop a countertop that is often fastened to a floor- mounted vanity base. Like most vanities, is fastened to the wall for stability.
The vessel becomes a focal point in the design and can be made of porcelain china, glass, stone, metal, ceramic or other material.
The design choices are virtually unlimited and they can have a striking look for a very reasonable amount of money.
Keep in mind that vessel sinks require a non-standard faucet and waste drain system.
The faucets for these sinks are deck mounted or wall mounted. This may require some changes to the water supply pipes and drain configurations. Depending on the extent of your renovation you may or may not want to consider this as an option.
Drop In Sinks
As the name suggests, these sinks drop into a counter top. The earlier versions of this type of sink were called framed sinks and required a metal frame around the edge of the sink to seal it into the opening. Today’s versions usually have a rubber seal around the edge. This may alternately be hidden under the finished edge, providing a clean transition onto the counter top.
The bathroom sink itself is typically made from porcelain, enamelled steel or enamelled cast iron and vitreous china. (Kitchen sink versions are often stainless steel). Plumbing waste and supply lines are concealed in the vanity base. The drop-in sink is a clean-looking sink found most often in newer construction and remodels.
These sinks are mounted from the underside of the counter top. They are usually made of porcelain, enamelled steel or enamelled cast iron or vitreous china. Sometimes they are made of metals like copper and hammered steel.
Occasionally they are constructed of composite resins or even glass. This type of sink is frequently used under solid surface counter tops and provides a beautiful choice to add a striking design element to your new bathroom vanity.
There are loads of choices in vanity cabinet designs and styles. The vanity cabinet provides a complete design element on its own. Not only is this a central component of the bathroom design, the cabinet also provides a couple of practical elements. It hides the supply lines and is an important consideration for storage of essential bathroom supplies such as towels and toiletries. If storage is a big concern, look for models with doors and drawers to maximize storage space.
Vanity cabinets come in many differ styles. Some look similar to a kitchen cabinet. They may be made of wood or melamine. The construction of the cabinet can be framed or frameless, depending on the intended style. Others are intended to look like free standing pieces of furniture, similar to a dresser, and yet others offer a more contemporary look. Whatever your décor, you are bound to find some version that suits your needs.
The vanity cabinet can be used in conjunction with a number of the sink types mentioned earlier. The vanity cabinet and top can be built to support a single or double bowl version, providing a great enhancement to the efficiency of an ensuite application allowing two people to use the vanity at the same time.
Bathroom Storage Cabinets
In many cases, the lack of space is a considerable concern in the bathroom or powder room. A simple solution to this problem is to add additional storage cabinets. Many of the manufacturers of vanity cabinets also offer wall- mounted storage cabinets that will match or compliment your choice of base cabinetry.
For some great storage ideas check out this great link to HGTV.
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the basics of bathroom vanity and sink choices and to help you decide what’s best for your renovation. However, it’s worth a minute to consider a few other elements that will factor into your choice of your vanity.
An important one, in both design and functionality, is the bathroom faucet. There are so many choices available to you today that the selection process can be daunting. This is one area that I would recommend you spend some time and a few dollars to insure you get a top quality product.
After paying for a plumber, or changing the faucet yourself you don’t want to be back fixing a leaking faucet after a few month use.
Other Bathroom Design Elements
Your bathroom décor will be shaped by all of the previously mentioned major elements like plumbing fixtures, vanity and faucets, but don’t forget the other elements. Some are a little easier to address depending on the scope of the project and your budget. A few worth considering are the wall tiles and floor tiles. You can get more details in our related article on bathroom flooring which gives you 10 tips on how to make your selection.
You will likely spend a significant amount of time perusing the colors of fixtures, counter tops and vanities, so don’t forget about the importance of your paint colors in your overall design.
There are countless choices available. A detailed guide of the color palette and how to use it in your design can be found in our related article on painting your bathroom.
Another feature worth mentioning is light fixtures. Not only are they a décor consideration, they provide a significant contribution to the functionality and mood of your new bathroom.
As you can see, there are hundreds of ways to improve the functionality, design and overall enjoyment of this room and your home. You now have a good understanding of a few of the options out there.
So let get going, your canvas awaits….dream it, do it, share it!