Bathroom Cabinet Buying Tips-3Cabinet and Vanity Styles
Consider first what you'll be storing in cabinetry before deciding on a design. A double sink vanity offers more storage while a narrower vanity allows more floor space. Another trend is custom designed vanities suspended above the floor. "We're suggesting and designing a number of wall-hung vanities, says American Institute of Architects (AIA) architect Mark Hutker. "They show more floor beneath, lending bathrooms a larger sense of space." Freestanding vanities and cabinetry detached from walls on either side are especially popular in powder rooms or half baths.
Cabinets sold specifically as bathroom cabinets are generally 32 inches tall and 18 to 21 inches deep. However, kitchen cabinetry suits bathroom applications, differing only slightly in height and depth. Whether you select bathroom or kitchen cabinetry, select cabinetry made from environmentally responsible materials. Look for cabinetry that is approved by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) with an Environmental Stewardship Program (EPS) seal. If you're going the custom route, select wood cut from a certified managed forest and opt for low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints. Of course, there is nothing easier on the environment than transforming an antique or salvaged piece into a bath vanity in lieu of purchasing new cabinetry.
Re-purposed hutches and vintage dressers make one-of-a-kind statements when used as a vanity. "Bath vanities don't have to be something from a cabinet shop," says designer Jane Coslick. "Some of the best vanities are salvaged curbside or scored from local flea markets."
In addition, a number of catalogues have knocked off the vintage look, creating freestanding vanities with a furniture-like feel. "A powder room is an excellent place to really show off a cool vanity," Coslick says. Other companies specialize in custom-built freestanding vanities, which are intended to look every bit as authentic as original antiques.