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How to Choose a Vanity for Your Bathroom

Your vanity is the centerpiece of your bathroom and it’s one of the most important elements in any bathroom remodel. When choosing a bathroom vanity, keep in mind not only your bathroom’s size and decorative theme, but also its intended function. You’ll need different things out of a bathroom vanity depending on whether it’s going in a powder room, a guest bath, a master bath, or a family bath.

Consider Your Desired Functionality
Functionality is perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a new bathroom vanity, because if your new vanity doesn’t give you the functionality you need, then you’ve wasted time, money and effort. Ask yourself some of these questions to get a better idea of what you need from your bathroom vanity in terms of functionality:
• Who will be using the bathroom?
• How many people will use the bathroom regularly?
• How will the bathroom be used?
• How much storage space will be needed in the bathroom?
If you’re choosing a vanity for a family bath, for example, then you’re probably going to want a large piece with cabinets and drawers for storage and double sinks so that more than one family member can get cleaned up at once. If teenagers or kids are going to be using the bathroom, you’re going to want to consider a vanity with easily cleaned and maintained surfaces.

Teenagers especially will require a vanity with lots of storage and countertop space. Hopefully, a large vanity with lots of cupboards and drawers will encourage your teenagers to put away their cosmetics, lotions, cleansers and other paraphernalia.
Master baths generally require large vanities with double sinks as well as lots of storage and counter space. You may want storage and counter space in a guest bath vanity, too, depending on if you have frequent houseguests.
If you’re shopping for a vanity for a powder room or half-bath, a small one with a single sink and little or no counter space will do. No one will be bathing or doing their hair in here; basic hand-washing facilities are sufficient. Some people opt for a wall-mounted or pedestal sink in a powder room, instead of a traditional bathroom vanity.

Consider Your Desired Style
When choosing a new bathroom vanity, you’ll want a piece that expresses your personal sense of style and blends in with the rest of the home’s décor. If the new vanity will go in your master bath, consider a larger vanity in a style that reflects, if not matches, the style of your bedroom or your entire home. A two-sink vanity is ideal for a couple.
In hall bathrooms, consider a decorative style that complements the scheme of the attached hall, so that bathroom and hall seem to smoothly blend together. For kids’ baths, a vanity in a fun, funky style can liven up bath times and satisfy everyone. For smaller bathrooms, a sleek, stylish and compact vanity may be ideal.

Consider a Custom Countertop
Custom-made bathroom vanities are all the rage, and the material you choose for your bathroom vanity’s countertop can make a huge difference in its functionality and maintenance. Of course, you could always go with the standard porcelain countertop, but why settle for plain porcelain when more stylish, durable and easily maintained options are available?

Manufactured quartz is a great synthetic bathroom countertop that’s easy to clean, long-lasting and doesn’t require regular sealing like granite countertops. It’s made with 90-percent quartz crystals mixed with synthetic materials. You can get it in just about any color or thickness for the look you want in your new bathroom.
Solid surface is another synthetic, durable countertop option for your new bathroom vanity. It mimics the look of solid stone and it’s nonporous, so it’s great if you have allergies or you’re worried about mildew and mold. This is another excellent low-maintenance, easily cleaned countertop surface option that’s available in a range of colors for a kid’s or teenager’s bath, or any bath in your home.

Tile has traditionally been the bathroom vanity countertop material of choice, and though you’ll need to put in some extra effort to clean the grout, today’s tile options let you create a stunning vanity countertop. Consider a colored grout that contrasts with your tiles. Use larger tiles to cut down on the amount of grout cleaning you’ll need to do.
When choosing a bathroom vanity, consider the people who will be using it, how many people will be using it and how they’ll be using it to decide what you need from the vanity in terms of storage space, counter space and number of sinks. Custom countertop material can make cleaning your vanity’s counter space easy and extend its life.

About the Author: Contributing blogger Alice Walsh is a certified interior designer with more than 20 years of experience.

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