Looking for Bathroom vanity comments

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Old 03-20-15, 04:40 AM
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Cool Looking for Bathroom vanity comments

I'm having a hard time picking out a bathroom vanity for the main bathroom. I see several that I like but they are made of "laminated engineering wood" or something else that's not wood wood. But a Three thousand dollar vanity and top is just not in my budget.

The horror stories I have been reading online scare me. I have one chance to do this right. Are the big box stores as bad as they say? They really have some nice options. I'm leaning toward them except for the reviews.

Can anyone share thoughts on what you've learned to look for when purchasing bathroom vanities?

Thanks so much.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 04:51 AM
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One thing to consider with a bath vanity is, do you want a low vanity or one that you can reach? Some are only 32" tall, which will require you to bend quite a bit to wash your face. You can find taller ones. It may be extreme, but in my rental cabin I bought a kitchen sink base, cut the back off to make it only 19" deep, put the backing back on it and I had a "normal" size sink. You didn't say how wide the vanity needs to be. Can you use a vessel sink base, or do you need a 48" wide landing strip?

Many vanities are constructed of plywood with solid fronts, although their drawers will be of particleboard or lesser quality wood. I try to steer from them and go with something like Kraft Maid or solid wood. Yeah a little more costly, but not in the range you suggest.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 05:09 AM
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.... and if you are handy enough you might consider building your own. When I remodeled my kitchen all I could afford was cheap box cabinets which I detest so I built my own. My solid wood cabinets [no particle board] cost less than cheap store bought cabinets and I know they will outlast me!

Larry makes a good point about the vanity's height! I have a bad back and on a recent road trip I noticed most of the rest area sinks caused me to bend over more than was comfortable
 
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Old 03-20-15, 05:29 AM
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I have tied higher end cabinetry from a big brand name cabinet company sold at one of the national big name home centers. Overall, I was disappointed. The cabinets were pricey and the construction did not match the cost. Pretty, yes but not worth the price and there are many other options out there to get the same quality at a much lower price or to get a much higher quality for a similar price. In my area custom cabinets with no particle board and solid, real wood for cabinet faces and doors go for about the same price as the big box store so I would suggest at least getting prices from some other sources in your area.

I feel that the low end, inexpensive cabinets and vanities offered at big box stores do tend to be a good value for the money. No, they are not the highest quality but they are a good value.

---
I went with custom cabinetry when I built my house. The price was inline with big box store cabinets for much higher quality and it allowed me to customize and get exactly what I wanted. Like Chandler mentioned. Stock cabinet height is not the best for everyone. My wife's makeup area is lower to be comfortable when sitting in a chair. Her vanity is standard height while mine is 4" higher so I don't have to bend over so far when putting in my contacts.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 06:19 AM
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I don't know. I've bought all my vanities (3) from the big box stores and they are all quite nice. Particle board construction with real wood doors. Also low price. I think the key here how much abuse will it take. My family of seven (at least for most of the time) never had any problems. My vanities pretty much look as good as the day they were installed. I most likely will refinish my one vanity when I do my remodel of bath off master bedroom. I have let water marks stain the cabinet the door or worn off the poly finish.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 06:42 AM
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It also goes to say that the species of wood chosen for the front plays a part in the price. If you go with a natural oak, it will be the least expensive. If you go with maple or chestnut you will see an increase in price as well. The main thing I look for is that the carcass is made of plywood and not particleboard. Sidewalls can be 1/2" or 3/4" thick depending on your tastes and what kind of top you will put on it. Drawers vs just doors will also add to the bottom line.

The more you look at them, the more you will be able to tell the subtle differences. They all look great from the outside. Start looking at the construction for clues to quality.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 06:45 AM
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Based on my own lifestyle, I'm with Norm, and don't think that there is a thing wrong with a lot of the big box vanities. Sure, you may not want their absolute cheapest ones, but I have seen and installed quite a number that I would not hesitate for a moment to put in my own home. If you have any in your area, which I assume are not terribly far apart in Florida, I also suggest stopping by a Habitat Restore, and if you have the time, subsequent visits may be in order, as their inventory changes regularly. Many times, ours will have brand new cabinets, doors, etc. that come from contractors overstock, homeowners who later changed their minds, etc.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 07:06 AM
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See what I mean?

There are so many thoughts on the subject. So my return comments:

chandler - I've got two grandkids who will be using that vanity on a regular basis when they get a bit taller. What I have now is 32" but it looks like most of the ones I'm looking at are 34" tall. I was looking at Kraft Maid and I can get exactly the configuration I'm looking for with that brand. Actually, we're landing a 747 so we're looking for a 60" single basin. Hoping to be able to get some nice quartz or whatever top for it. - That's next on the list to check into.

marksr - building my own? I'm best at rough stuff like shelving in the garage. That's quite a bit beyond my capabilities.

Pilot Dane - so maybe I should try to find an independent cabinetmaker in the area? It just seems that someone with that talent and the time it would take to build it would just really be expensive. I'll hit the internet version of the yellow pages and see what I can find.

Norm - I bought the vanity for my master bath from big box. It's wood doors with particleboard frame. It's held up for the last 15 years but it's just me. I can imagine the havoc that two kiddies can have on it. (Last night's bathtime included the 2 year old flinging water out of the tub. Fun game. )

czizzi - also good to know about the types of wood. I'm not familiar with different types and it's good to know that oak is probably a good thing to stay away from. Gotta have drawers on a vanity. At least on this one. What's a carcass on a vanity?

aka pedre - I forgot all about HFH. There's a couple near here. Also a clearance place that gets quite a few vanities. I'll have to run by HFH this afternoon.

Thanks so much all!!! I very much value every bit of your input every time I ask a question here. I can always count on good help.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 07:13 AM
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Good luck Mary, and let us know what you choose. I always look forward to your question and how you complete your projects.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 07:31 AM
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Mary - Never said to stay away from oak. Just meant that it is a very common wood, plentiful and not as expensive as some of the other more exotic species. All the cabinets in my house are solid oak.

"Carcass" is everything other than the front panel of solid wood on a cabinet. It is the skeleton so to speak that the front face of solid wood and doors is attached. So it includes the side and back panels, the floor inside the cabinet as well as the back panel (if there is one).
 
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Old 03-20-15, 07:35 AM
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it's good to know that oak is probably a good thing to stay away from.
That isn't what Z was saying. Oak is cheaper than maple, chestnut and some of the exotic woods.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 07:46 AM
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Also in today's world, the grain of oak furniture need not be matched. With other woods a grain ms-match might look a bit odd.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 10:47 AM
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Vanity

We have Kraft Maid kitchen cabinets and have been happy with them. When we ordered, there were various construction options available.

Check them out and ask questions about construction techniques (if you can find a sales person who knows the answer).
 
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Old 03-20-15, 11:24 AM
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The only problem with oak, is it's out of vogue right now. If you like the look of oak and are not planning on selling your house in the next couple of years, it's otherwise a good wood.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 03:37 PM
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I made the same comment regarding my small son when I had cabinets custom made for a log home I built back in the 80's. The cabinet guy told me he would throw in a steppy stool. The kid will grow up. Why torture yourself since they will grow up.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 04:09 PM
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Not that I am artistic, but the nice thing about vanities is that you can often "express yourself" to your heart's desire. It's not like you have an abundance of upper and lower cabinets to match in a typical bathroom, so maybe you want a matching medicine cabinet, toilet paper holder, or whatever, but, you generally don't have to worry about clashing with the the tub, toilet, etc., so you have a blank palette to work from.
 
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Old 03-21-15, 05:44 AM
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cabinet guy told me he would throw in a steppy stool. The kid will grow up.
I had forgotten about it but when our grandson was little I built a little step stool for him to use so he could wash his hands and brush his teeth. It worked well for him .... in fact I got requests from various relatives to make some for their little ones
 
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Old 03-21-15, 06:47 AM
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Pedro makes a good point about a bathroom vanity not needing to be "matched" to other stuff. Use your imagination.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 05:53 AM
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Turns out that it's MY adult daughter (the grandkids mom) who likes the lower height for the vanity. Actually I do too. It seems natural at that height. So when we went out and looked we ended up getting a shorter than normal vanity. It's beautiful. A dark wood. The vanity countertop is going to be quartz in a light color. I think the shorter vanity will be good. The 30" vanity that's in there now is white so it doesn't really overpower the pink tiles and make the room look small. All eyes go to the pink tiles first. With this dark one I think a 34" high vanity might overpower the same footprint the current one uses and make the room look smaller than the 8x8 it is.

I ordered my bath fixtures. I'm getting the Moen Darcy in a brushed nickel. Everything will match. They are a really sleek, smooth design. They should arrive tomorrow. Have the tile for around the tub wall including the trim. Vanity should be here in 2-3 weeks. Demo starts the week after Easter. Wish us luck. We're doing this on a 'when we get time basis'. aaauuugggghhhh

However it turns out I'm gonna love it. I'm so excited.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 03:28 PM
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Keep us posted with pictures and ask questions, before you dive into a pool without water We're here.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 06:32 PM
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OK Chandler, I scared enough to start this without thinking of it as a pool with no water. Believe me, I am not afraid to ask questions. I just need to know which ones to ask.
Thanks for your support.
 
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