Information on bathroom vanities

Bathroom Vanity Styles

Traditional Vanities

Traditional bathroom vanities are timeless in design. They are normally constructed using woods with deep rich colours or timeless paint colours such as white or black. The wood is normally solid or veneer coated. Often traditional vanities will have more ornate features reminiscent of earlier times, such as wood carvings and contoured countertop edging. A traditional vanity is perfect for anyone who wants a statement piece in their bathroom. They tend to be higher in price because of the time and labour needed to complete a beautiful traditional vanity.

Updated Classic (Transitional) Vanities

Often called transitional vanities, the clean lines and elegant design of an updated classic vanity is perfect for anyone looking to bring a bit of modern charm to their bathroom. Perfect for any mid-century home wanting a modern touch without compromising the heritage and charm of the home. Design wise, positioned between the ornately designed traditional vanities and sleek lined modern vanity, transitional vanities appeal to a large number of individuals. No wonder they’re our most popular style of vanity.

Modern Vanities

Modern bathroom vanities are perfect for a clean minimalist look. Modern vanities all have clean, sharp lines without anything extra. They are easy to clean and fit into almost any bathroom with their compact space saving design. Modern vanities tend to utilize melamine and acrylics as finishes.

Wall Mounted Vanities

Wall mounted vanities are perfect for a small bathroom. The large drawers are perfect for organizing and easily accessing all of your essentials. Being elevated off the ground is also perfect for cleaning and storing items such as children’s step stools. Plumbing for a wall mount vanity is straight forward considering there is space behind the drawers to maneuver plumbing. The plumbing does not have to come out of the wall exactly in the middle of the sink. Wall Mounted vanities are becoming more popular than ever.

Contemporary Vanities

Often confused with transitional vanities, contemporary vanities are about new styles and pushing the boundaries of design. They incorporate different, sometimes unconventional materials to create something unique. 

Pedestal Sinks

Pedestal sinks are great for small powder rooms or guest bathrooms. They can be nestled into the smallest, most unforgiving bathrooms and always look good. Where they lack in storage and counter space, they make up for in looks. Pedestal sinks are stately, focal points to any any small bathroom.

Double Vanities

Double sink bathroom vanities are great for busy morning routines or family bathrooms. Two is always better than one. They are functional when the family gets ready before school and beautiful in an elegant ensuite bathroom before a relaxing Friday soak. Double vanities are simply a bathroom vanity with two faucets. Mostly, with two sinks but sometimes with one large sink. 

Double Sink vanities

 

Countertop Options

Quartz

Manufactured quartz imitates the characteristics of granite, marble and limestone. Made up of approximately 93% natural quartz and the remaining 7% are synthetic bonding agents. Manufactured quartz is more durable and scratch resistant than its natural counterpart granite. It comes in hundreds of colours and varieties. Unlike natural stones, manufactured quartz does not have to be sealed annually , is more impact resistant and does not stain.

Acrylic

Acrylic countertops are one of the most common bathroom vanity countertops. They are extremely durable, long lasting and economical. Acrylic countertops are made up of a thick, stable composite resin inside, coated in a shiny durable acrylic outer layer. The sink is always integrated into the countertop for a smooth, easy to clean, transitionless surface.

Solid Surface

A popular and economical option which is flexible enough to transform any idea into reality. Solid surface countertops are available in almost any colour or shade imaginable and have elegant to funky patterns to choose from. Solid surface is scratch resistant, stain proof, non-porous, easy to work with and is available in many different shapes and forms. Solid Surface can be used for countertops, sinks, and even bathtubs. Seams can be blended together to create a nearly seamless sleek look. Solid surface is often used in custom vanities and countertops.

Granite

Granite is one of the most beautiful natural stones available. Granite is an igneous rock made up of mainly quartz, mica and feldspar. The natural elegance, depth of colour and movement will surely make any bathroom countertop stand as a focal point. With hundreds of colours and options, granite can be a suitable fit for almost any bathroom. With ample availability and affordable prices, granite is now becoming a great option.
Granite countertops should be sealed every six months to a year, depending on usage, with a natural stone sealer. Corners can be prone to chipping if impacted by a hard object such as a falling soap dish or being tapped by a shaving razor repeatedly.However, if chips and scratches do appear, granite can be polished to bring back the original luster. Granite holds up better to heat than quartz.  

Marble

Marble countertops are not used as commonly as the other mentioned countertops. They tend to be more expensive than the other options as well. The upside to marble is its beautiful appearance and sweeping grain patterns throughout. Marbel normally has lots of movement and unique natural formations. Marble, like granite needs to be sealed on a regualr basis to protect the stone from staining. Considering marble is the soft stone, it is more prone to stains than its other natural stone counterparts.

Porcelain Ceramic

Porcelain Ceramic has been used in the bathroom business for thousands of years. It is durable, stain resistant and has nice clean appearance. It always looks fresh looking, and is easy to clean. Porcelain ceramic countertops is a great economical choice for any bathroom countertop or sink.

Laminate

Laminate is a great way of making a beautiful countertop on a budget. Laminate is very popular for its many facets and economical prices. Laminate is made up of a wood particle substrate and a durable laminated coating. Laminate can be susceptible to water and heat damage if used improperly. Often the back splash is integrated into the laminate countertop.

 

Surface Finishes

Paint

Painted vanities give any bathroom a rich, elegant feel. The paint is normally coated in post-catalyzed laquer, meaning the laquer is a two part compound with a very limited shelf life. Post-catalyzed laquers have a very durable, strong finish. Painted vanities are normally painted onto a smooth substrate such as MDF or a tight grained wood such as birch. MDF is the most common substrate because of its lower cost and ease of production. Higher end cabinets will use solid woods such as birch or maple.


 


Wood Veneer

With a wood veneer, a thin sheet of real wood is laminated onto a substrate normally made of MDF or MDO. The benefits of veneer is the ability to get the appearance of real wood without the cost and problems related to swelling and warping. Wood veneer is always better if laminated to a stable substrate such as MDO. Wood veneers over MDF will be susceptible to swelling, like melamines and acrylics on MDF. Veneers over MDO is a good choice for damp locations such as a bathroom.

Melamine

One of the most popular finishes for modern bathroom vanities. It has a incredibly strong synthetic finish that will not scratch or damage. Melamines comes in almost any colour and texture, making them ideal for cabinet construction. Melamines are often hard to tell apart from real wood veneer laminates. Melamine is normally laminated to either a MDF or MDO substrate. MDO being the ideal choice. Melamine on a substrate such as a marine MDO will not warp or swell in the presence of water and moisture.

PVC Thermofoil

Thermofoil is a plastic finish which is vacuum formed to the profile of  a wood core such as medium-density fiberboard. Thermofoil will often come in solid colours or natural wood grains to look like the real thing. The most poplular thermofoil colour is white. Thermofoil doors are attractively priced for budget conscience customers. The downfall to thermofoil is its susceptibility to swelling from heat and moisture. It is not a great choice for most bathrooms. It would work well in a powder room or guest bathroom.

Acrylic

Acrylic finishes have a high gloss appearance. The acrylic layer is applied through an extrusion process to provide a ultra high gloss acrylic top layer without ripples. It is then laminated on a MDF board. The edges are normally edge banded with a durable PVC band. Acrylic also come with a protective film that has to be removed once the vanity is installed. The film is simply to protect the vanity during transit and installation. Acrylic finishes are getting more popular as people want simple easy to clean vanities. They are particularly popular in kitchen cabinet installations.

 

Cabinet Materials

MDF

Often mistaken with particle board, MDF (medium density fiberboard) is much denser and stronger. MDF is a mixture of very small hardwood and softwood residuals combined together with a glue binding agent. MDF is extensively used in the furniture and cabinet business for it low price and workability. MDF is a great material until it gets wet or is subjected to heat. Once MDF becomes wet it will swell and warp. Painted MDF on the other hand holds out the water quite well and is a good choice for bathrooms. MDF with a melamine,veneer and thermofoil finishes are not a great choices for a bathroom vanity. 

MDO

MDO (medium density overlay) is a water resistant plywood with a thin paintable layer on the outside. MDO is perfect for bathroom vanities for its ability to resit water and paintablity properties. Originally designed for the concrete formwork industry, MDO has become a sought after wood for bathroom vanities. The outer most layers are different than regular plywood in that they're made of a denser more stable layer. Paint adheres to MDO 3x better than traditional plywood.

Solid Wood

Solid wood vanities are normally made from stable, close grained woods such as Birch, Oak or Maple. Solid wood is more expensive and has nice rich, elegant appearance. The downside to using real wood in a bathroom is it has a tendency to warp if not sealed properly. 

PVC

Not used in North America too much, PVC is a plastic composite material. PVC is a great material for painting and is incredible stable. Windows and outdoor trim is often made from PVC. 

Bamboo

Bamboo is a species of grass that is easy to machines and finishes quite easily. One of its best attributes is its stability. It does not swell very much and is much harder than other cabinet woods such as oak or birch. The true greatness of Bamboo is its ability to grow and replenish itself quickly. It is a very Earth friendly, green material.

 

Faucets

Single Hole

Single hole vanity faucets are the most popular faucets on the market. The cold and hot cartridge is combined into one lever. The countertop hole size for a single-lever faucet is normally 1 3/8" in diameter.

Three Hole, 4" Spread

Diminishing in popularity, the 4" spread vanity faucet was once the workhorse of the bathroom. The cold and hot cartridges are divided into two separate handles. The two handles and spout are all combined into one solid unit. The 4" spread faucet will utilize three 1 3/8" diameter holes with the outermost holes positioned 4" center-to-center.

Three Hole, 8" Spread

Normally reserved for more traditional l vanities, the 8" spread is more expensive than its cousins. Three hole, 8" faucets tend to have more classic stylings and colours. Brass for example.

The cold and hot levers are separated like the 4" faucet. The difference is the levers and spout are separte units, not combined into a solid unit. The hot and cold levers are 8 inches apart and the spout is in the middle. The 8" spread faucet utilizes three 1 3/8" diameter countertop holes with the two outermost holes positioned 8" center-to-center.