The Vanity Unit Buyers Guide

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Introducing a vanity unit to your bathroom can really help to bring the whole room together. It’s finishing touches like this that can provide a quality finish to the room, as well as adding further style and practicality to the space.

If you’re thinking about investing in a vanity unit for your family bathroom or ensuite, read our buyers guide for all the information you need before starting your search. With the help of our guide, you’ll be able to narrow down the many options available on the market, to a select few vanity units that meet your own specific needs.

Will you buy bespoke or off the shelf?

The first thing to consider when searching for your future vanity unit, is whether you will want to invest in a bespoke unit or an off the shelf unit instead.

Bespoke vanity units

Bespoke vanity units are made to order and are designed with each of your own requirements in mind. From the shape and style to the materials and tones – even the number of drawers, shelves or cupboards – a bespoke vanity unit is completely unique to you and your home.

Of course, bespoke vanity units do usually come with a larger price tag than off the shelf units, but you’ll be investing in a unit that fits perfectly within your bathroom and is made to a higher standard of quality.

Off the shelf vanity units

Off the shelf vanity units are more widely available than bespoke units, and can often be purchased and taken home on the same day that you find one of interest. However, with the mass production of off the shelf vanity units often comes a poorer quality than that of bespoke units.

What’s more, these units are built with the average bathroom in mind, so there’s always the risk that they won’t fit perfectly within your own space. You will also be restricted to the range of vanity units on offer and may have to compromise when it comes to certain aspects of the unit, such as the colour, shape, measurements and features.

That being said, off the shelf vanity units are ideal for homeowners with a strict budget in place and those looking for a quick fix for their bathroom project.

Consider the various design options

There’s a wealth of design options available when it comes to vanity units, and choosing the right design for your own unit is essential to making sure your latest addition fits in well with the rest of your bathroom.

Contemporary or traditional

Vanity units can come in a broad variety of styles, each of which will fall under the contemporary or traditional category. The style you choose should match the rest of your home’s style, or the bathroom’s style at the very least.

Contemporary vanity units often consist of smooth and sleek textures and simplistic shaping, along with neutral colours such as black, white, grey or beige. When paired right, they should blend in almost seamlessly with the rest of the bathroom features. A contemporary bathroom typically won’t have many additions or accessories, so those that are used within the space should work perfectly with the other furniture and accessories there.

Traditional vanity units, on the other hand, are usually available in different types of wood, or wood painted styles. They tend to have a design cut into the material to add a little more character to it, but the overall unit itself will typically be rectangular in shape.

Traditional vanity units are quite contrasting in appearance to that of contemporary vanity units, which is why it’s vital to make sure you’re choosing the right style for your own home. A poorly chosen vanity unit style could end up clashing with the rest of the bathroom and could stick out like a sore thumb.

Sink placements

The way in which your sink sits within the vanity unit can alter the style and appearance of the unit entirely. There are three ways in which a sink can sit within a vanity unit – as an inset basin, an under counter basin or as a counter top basin:

  • Inset basin – this is when your sink is fitted underneath the unit’s counter and protrudes a little over the top. Inset basin vanity units tend to work well in a variety of different home styles.
  • Under counter basin – similarly to inset basins, under counter basins will sit underneath the unit’s counter, but blend into the counter rather than reaching up over it. They are perfect for modern homes with smooth and sleek features.
  • Counter top basin – with this type of sink placement, the entire basin will sit on top of the vanity unit to create a stylish addition to your bathroom. They work well with both modern and traditional homes, but they aren’t ideal for anyone looking for space saving options.

For more information on the different sink placements and the variety of different vanity units available with them, read our guide on how your vanity unit basin should sit.

Considerations to make before buying your vanity unit

Before you head out to the shops to buy your vanity unit, or before you order your bespoke vanity unit from a quality provider, think about the following questions so that you’re 100% sure you’re investing in the right unit for you and your home.

Will the unit suit your room and home?

As we’ve discussed, it’s vital that you choose a vanity unit that’s going to suit the room or home it’s being introduced to. Everything from the style, shape, colour and sink placement should be thought about before investing in a unit, to ensure that each of its features will work well with its surrounding furniture and accessories.

Will it fit where the plumbing exists?

You should try to buy a vanity unit that will fit in the same place as where your plumbing currently sits. Moving the plumbing comes at an extra cost, so it’s well worth making sure the unit fits right rather than going through the trouble of uprooting your plumbing. Save yourself plenty of time and effort by double checking that the unit will fit before purchasing.

Does the vanity unit provide everything you need it to?

Whether that’s additional storage to keep personal items discreet, or more countertop space for your lotions and potions – even something as simple as providing a stylish addition to the room. You’ll want to think back to why you began looking for a vanity unit in the first place, and make sure the one you have your eye on is ticking all of those boxes.

With this information, you should have everything you need to go searching for your perfect vanity unit. Don’t forget that there’s always the option of having a bespoke vanity unit made especially for you – you’ll soon have a unit that’s exactly what you needed for your bathroom in a style that fits in perfectly with it.