What is the first thing you dream about when planning a bathroom makeover? Is it a huge, freestanding bath made for two? A statement rainfall shower? Stylish Jack and Jill basins? For many, a vanity or basin unit comes fairly low on the must-have list – which can be a big mistake. Vanity units provide a stylish and practical storage solution. These days they are available in all sorts of styles and sizes, so they can fit into almost any space. And they come in a wide variety of materials and finishes, to complement any individual bathroom design. The right vanity unit can really make or break a new bathroom. So take the time to explore all the different options available, before your makeover planning begins.
Whether you need a vanity for a compact cloakroom or a spacious master bathroom, you need to know your dimensions. Do measure carefully before you begin browsing. Think hard about how much storage space – and counter space – you’ll need. Regarding the dimensions, the width and depth are likely to be fixed, and dictated by the space available. But remember there’s usually more freedom involved with the height. Think about whether you’ll want to install a cabinet or mirror above your vanity.
You’ll also need to decide on the best position for your vanity unit. This means making sure it won’t block the bathroom door, or restrict access to the bath and shower. Another sensible consideration is how easily the surrounding area can be cleaned. Lastly, do make sure that any vanity unit doors and drawers can open completely.
It might seem like a strange question to some, but how many basins do you need? Space may limit you to one, but if you have the room, a double vanity is perfect for shared or family bathrooms. Twin basins will certainly help to ease the morning rush to get ready. They also look super stylish! But don’t despair if you’re restricted to a single bathroom unit. Select a vanity with a large width to maximise the available area and create the illusion of space.
Once you’ve decided on the number of basins you’d like, you’ll need to decide on the style. Broadly speaking, there are three key types available: recessed, semi-recessed and countertop.
A recessed basin is designed to be installed under the countertop. This means there are no exposed edges, which gives a clean, fuss-free look. A semi-recessed style is installed directly into an opening on the unit counter. Countertop basins usually take the shape of a bowl and sit on top of the counter surface. They don’t require undermount installation.
They might sound more like something you’d find in a riding stables, but vanity unit mounting options are key. Again, there are three key types to choose from: freestanding, wall-mounted and corner-mounted. Freestanding vanity units are installed directly on the floor. A more traditional option, they are easy to install and usually offer a decent amount of storage space. This makes them a great choice for families or larger spaces.
A mall-mounted vanity unit is an excellent option for smaller bathrooms and en-suites. This modern style opens up floor space, as the base doesn’t touch the ground. They are sometime known as hanging or floating vanity units. They are a clever way of adding a dash of designer style to a bathroom. They’re very easy to clean under, too.
The third option is a corner-mounted vanity – probably the best option if you need to save space. As the name suggests, these have a 90-degree angle at the back, designed to slide perfectly into a bathroom corner.
The look of your vanity unit should complement the rest of your bathroom décor and style. Base units tend to be made of hardwood, manufactured wood or metal. Most basins are made of ceramic, stone or glass. It’s worth remembering that the typical bathroom environment is hot, wet and humid, so buy the best you can afford. Wood finish bathroom vanities are an ideal way to tap into the natural trend. Light wood delivers a fresh, modern feel. A dark wood finish works well with a traditional or rustic bathroom design.
These days vanity units come in a wide selection of colours and finishes, from gloss white to deep grey. White remains a perennial favourite. It’s versatile, smart and works with any bathroom décor. However, statement colours such as slate grey, dark blue and even bright red are growing in popularity. Dark coloured woods help to add a touch of luxury; gloss finishes also deliver that designer touch. Neutral shades are always a sensible choice if you’re looking for a timeless colour scheme that will not date.
As the nights are drawing in, there’s even more reason to choose radiator options for your bathroom. So why not read our blog post on How to choose a bathroom radiator?
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