Providing a stylish and practical storage solution, vanity units are a popular option for those who are redesigning their bathroom.
Available in an array of sizes and styles, vanity units combine a basin with storage underneath for toiletries and beauty products.
But, with so many to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming deciding on a vanity unit that best suits your bathroom design.
So, to help you make the right decision we share our expert advice on how to choose the right vanity unit to suit the design of your bathroom.
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Consider Your Vanity Unit Storage Requirements
Your vanity unit not only needs to look fabulous, it needs to perfectly suit your bathroom storage needs too. Before choosing a new vanity unit, it’s a good idea to decide what you need to keep in your bathroom and throw anything out that you haven’t used in ages. Once you’ve had a good clear out, you can then assess your storage requirements. Only keep what you need in your bathroom on a daily basis to avoid any unnecessary clutter.
If you have a large family bathroom, then you may want to consider choosing a double vanity unit. A vanity unit with twin sinks creates a luxury look and puts an end to jostling over the basin on those busy weekday mornings.
Bathroom vanity units are available in a wide range of sizes to suit any space, small or large. With so many sizes to choose from you should have no problem finding the right fit for your bathroom. It’s essential to accurately measure the space where you would like to install your vanity unit, and double check all your measurements to be on the safe side.
Deciding on a colour and style
Bathroom vanity units come in an array of colours to suit any taste, ranging from gloss black to grey and white. If you have a white bathroom suite, then you can easily add a pop of colour with a red gloss vanity unit and accessories. For a designer look, a black gloss finish is perfect, while wood effect finishes bring a natural feel to the bathroom. White gloss vanity units are modern and stylish, and a popular option as they work well with any décor. For an on-trend look, you can’t go wrong with a grey vanity unit. Grey adds sophisticated style to any bathroom and can be combined with a range of other colours such as pale pink. Find out how to use this on-trend colour in our grey bathroom ideas blog. If classic is more your style, an oak vanity unit is perfect.
As well as colours, vanity units are available in traditional and modern styles. Traditional vanity units add timeless elegance to the bathroom and feature decorative details such as paneled door and drawer fronts. A vintage vanity unit is also typically floor standing rather than wall mounted.
Modern vanity units feature clean lines and minimalistic looks. They can be wall or floor mounted and tend to make use of contemporary colours. Why not create a boutique hotel look with a countertop basin vanity unit? A countertop basin adds instant chic to a bathroom and transforms a vanity unit into an eye-catching focal point.
Where to position a vanity unit
When deciding on the best position for your vanity unit, it’s a good idea to pick a space that won’t block the bathroom door or the shower door. Also, consider if the surrounding area can easily be cleaned, and if the vanity unit has doors or drawers, that they can open fully. A vanity unit is an important element in any bathroom design, and requires the space that surrounds it to function properly.
If you are simply replacing an old sink with a vanity unit, then it makes sense to install it in the same spot to save any plumbing hassle. But if you need to change the plumbing in your bathroom to allow you to install your new vanity unit, then it’s going to take a chunk out of your budget. You’ll need to think about the floor and pipework if you are switching from a floor mounted unit to a wall hung vanity unit. Fitting a wall hung vanity unit means you’ll have to fit a new floor and re-route the pipework.
Vanity units need to withstand an environment that’s damp and humid, so it’s definitely worth paying that bit more for a quality product. The majority of bathroom furniture is constructed from MDF (medium density fibreboard) or MFC (melamine faced chipboard). Typically made in white, while MFC comes in a variety of wood effect finishes such as oak for example. Vanity sink units are water resistant, but not waterproof, so to keep yours in good condition you’ll need to wipe dry spills and splashes.
Wall mounted or floor standing?
Wall hung vanity units are a great option for small bathrooms and en-suites, as they appear to float off the floor creating the illusion of a larger space. A wall mounted vanity also adds a touch of designer style to the bathroom, and makes the floor much easier to clean too!
Floor mounted vanity units are installed directly on the floor, which makes them easier to install compared to a wall mounted design. They’ll also save room by incorporating storage space for essentials, as opposed to a freestanding basin and separate bathroom cabinet, for instance.
Most bathroom vanity units are supplied rigid, which will save you time and effort during installation. See our easy to follow step-by-step guide and video on how to fit a vanity unit.
Combination vanity units
A great option for creating a coordinated look, combination vanity units feature a toilet and a vanity sink unit. Ideal for smaller bathrooms,combined toilet and basin vanity units are available in many sizes and designs to suit your needs. The WC unit is usually supplied with a back to wall toilet and concealed cistern. The unit hides the cistern and fittings, which provides a neater finish and allows for easier cleaning too. The toilet unit can be fitted on either side of the vanity unit, or separately in another area of your bathroom.
Vanity units for cloakrooms and small bathrooms
Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a bathroom with bags of space, which can make choosing a vanity unit challenging. But, there are actually a great choice of vanity units which feature slimline designs and space saving features to help you get the most from your small bathroom or downstairs toilet. A small vanity unit will make the best use of space in a compact bathroom or ensuite. To make the room appear bigger than it is, go for a wall hung vanity unit.
When choosing a storage solution for a small cloakroom or downstairs toilet, it’s a good idea to choose a cloakroom vanity unit. Cloakroom vanity units feature compact dimensions and a slimline design to maximise space. They come in a range of sizes and finishes, as well as wall mounted and floor standing designs to perfectly suit your design requirements. A cloakroom corner vanity unit is also a great option, especially for an awkward shaped room.
Add the finishing touches to your vanity unit
Once you’ve chosen your vanity unit, you can now start looking for a basin tap and other accessories to add the finishing touches.
The majority of bathroom vanity units have a single tap hole, which means you will need to choose a mono basin tap. This type of tap features a single lever handle that controls the flow and temperature of the water. You will need to check what kind of water pressure and system your home has so that you can choose the most appropriate basin tap to ensure the best possible performance. If you have a low pressure water system, then you will need to choose a low pressure tap, but if you have a high pressure water system, you can choose from a wider range of basin taps. It’s a good idea to take into consideration the shape of your vanity unit, as this will make choosing a basin tap easier. Basins with curved lines look great with similar shaped taps, while sinks with square lines work well with geometric shaped taps.
Vanity lights will add the finishing touch to your new vanity unit too. This isn’t just a stylish option though. Adding an LED strip light to the unit helps to illuminate drawer contents.
Hi, I’m Liz, an interiors blogger. My main focus area is the bathroom, where I aim to inspire anyone who’s planning and designing a new bathroom – you’ll find plenty of tips, how-to guides and a wealth of ideas!