How To Choose A Vanity Base

A new vanity base for your bathroom not only gives you plenty of space to store your essentials, but it can also revamp your bathroom without the cost (or headache) of a full remodel. Not to mention, vanity bases look uber cool!

If you have decided to install a new vanity in your bathroom, you might be looking for some ideas as to how to choose the best one. We have created a detailed guide of our best tips for how you can pick out a new bathroom vanity for your home.

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How to pick the right size vanity base?

Choosing the right-sized vanity pretty much depends on the size of your bathroom.You should ensure that you have sufficient clearance around any drawers, shower stalls, and opening doors. There is nothing worse than installing a brand-new vanity and then finding out that you can't open the bathroom door all the way!

So, get some painter's tape or masking tape and mark out the dimensions to confirm you make the right choice, size-wise.

Here are some great tips to keep in mind when measuring the space for a new vanity:

  • Allow 42 inchesfor a single vanity width and at least 3 ft of wall space per user for a double vanity.
  • Leave plenty of room for door trim and door openings (shower and entry). The vanity shouldn't disrupt easy flow of traffic.
  • To make sure you are in adherence of the standard building code, allow at least 15-inches from the *edge of the cabinet *to the center of the toilet.
  • Check out your plumbing location to correctly determine the width of your vanity base. Remember, if you want to move the plumbing, it will cost you more.
  • Keep an eye on the existing features, like electrical outlets, switches, and mirrors.
  • If you want to install a vanity with a countertop, consider the height of individuals. For example, small children will prefer shorter countertops while a taller adult might prefer a higher countertop.

What types of vanity bases are there?

Vanity bases are available in two different styles: built-in and freestanding.


These vanities are ideal if you have a larger space since they offer more storage and countertop space. Here are some pros and cons of built-in vanity to help you determine whether it's a judicious option for you:


  • Best option for large, traditional homes
  • Best option for major storage needs; offers more storage space than freestanding vanities.
  • Utilizes space from floor-to-wall and wall-to-wall
  • Can be customized to any height and/or width
  • Can be customized to fit oddly-shaped spaces
  • Can be customized to store your personal item needs
  • Many door styles are available to coordinate with your style


  • Expensive; costs more than freestanding vanities
  • Installation is expensive and a bit time-consuming
  • Only a professional cabinetry installer can install a built-in vanity


These vanities are more suitable for people who are short on space. The following pros and cons of freestanding vanities will help you make a better decision:


  • Modern and elegant appearance
  • The "floating" or open bottom vanity gives an open look to the bathroom
  • Space appears more spacious
  • Great for small powder room or bathroom spaces 
  • Offers more dimension and aesthetic appeal to the bathroom
  • Offers more organized interior storage solutions for everyday items (compared to a built-in vanity)
  • Cheaper than built-in vanity
  • Cheaper and easier to install (countertop, sink, and faucet are usually included in the cost of vanity)
  • Many shapes, sizes, styles, and countertops available to coordinate with your style


  • They are not completely "freestanding" - you still need to attach them to plumbing and wall cleats.
  • May need interior modification and assembling for plumbing supply
  • Possibility of un-utilized space in the bathroom
  • An open bottom vanity requires more cleaning efforts
Brown Classic Manufactured Wood Vanity Base
White Modern Ceramic Bathroom Vanity Base
Brown Traditional Ceramic Vanity Base
Gray Simple Manufactured Wood Vanity Base
Brown Modern Manufactured Wood Bathroom Vanity Base
Brown Contemporary Manufactured Wood Vanity Base

What are the best materials for vanity tops?

The most popular vanity top materials are:

  • Wood. Wood adds natural charm and warmth to a variety of bathroom settings and is the go-to option for a lot of homeowners today due to the multitude of color options. The drawback is, however, that it needs to be frequently treated in order not to sustain damage from exposure to moisture.

If you are going for a wood vanity, do your research about what type of wood you want. Maple, oak, and Asian hardwood are more expensive than pine or birch, but they offer exquisite durability.

White Modern Solid Wood Vanity Base
White Classic Solid Wood Bathroom Vanity Base
Brown Traditional Solid Wood Vanity Base
Brown Classic Manufactured Wood Vanity Base
Black Modern Solid Wood Bathroom Vanity Base
White Classic Solid Wood Vanity Base
  • Granite. Granite tops exude elegance and the sense of luxury. A granite top can almost instantly upgrade the looks of your bathroom and is easy to maintain. Perfect for formal, sophisticated interiors.
White Classic Granite Bathroom Vanity Base
Black Elegant Granite Vanity Base
Brown Traditional Granite Top Vanity Base
White Classic Granite Bathroom Vanity Base
White Traditional Granite Free Standing Vanity Base
Brown Modern Granite Top Vanity Base

What other features should be considered when buying a vanity base?

Here are a few options you should consider when buying a vanity:

  • Finish and Color: Vanities usually come in black, white, mid-tone espresso/brown finishes. If you want a specific color cabinet, like blush pink or eggshell, get a wooden cabinet and paint it that exact shade.
  • Storage: Storage is available as shelves, cabinets, drawers, and a combination of the three. Open shelving tends to be more casual looking and makes a good choice for guest bathrooms (eg. for towel storage). Cabinets and drawers offer a more refined look, perfect for master bathrooms where it's best to avoid visual clutter.
  • Hardware: If you want a vanity that comes with drawer and door hardware, check the description on the vanity that you're interested in. Not all vanities include the hardware.

Quick Tips

For all of you busy bees out there, here is a quick rundown of the above information:

  • Measure the dimensions of your bathroom space before buying a vanity.
  • A built-in vanity is best for larger spaces (like traditional homes), so they are expensive.
  • A freestanding vanity is best for smaller spaces (like a studio apartment), so they are cheaper.
  • A single sink vanity is better if you want more space on the countertops.
  • A double-sink vanity is best if you have a big family and you want to cut down the morning-prep times.