Bathroom Vanities - Are They Worth The Money? Word Count: 1066 Summary: If one takes it literally, you would think that bathroom vanities are just that, bathroom items that cater to man’s conceit, pride or self- adulation. Well, almost but not quite. It appeals not only to our need for aesthetic gratification, but more importantly to our functional needs. So what is a bathroom vanity? It particularly refers to a bathroom cabinet that covers the water basin, pipes, and drain. It has drawers and shelves underneath that are used as storage spaces... Keywords: bathroom vanity, cabinet, home improvement, vanities, wall unit Article Body: If one takes it literally, you would think that bathroom vanities are just that, bathroom items that cater to man’s conceit, pride or self- adulation. Well, almost but not quite. It appeals not only to our need for aesthetic gratification, but more importantly to our functional needs. So what is a bathroom vanity? It particularly refers to a bathroom cabinet that covers the water basin, pipes, and drain. It has drawers and shelves underneath that are used as storage spaces for items, usually those that need to be hidden from the guests. In buying or redesigning a house, a great deal of time, effort and money are given to the living room, kitchen, bedrooms and other more prominent sections of the house. But such is not always the case for other unobtrusive but equally important rooms such as the bathroom, shower room or comfort room. The bathroom is a very important comfort zone in the house, next to bedrooms. It offers a quite sanctuary for our personal needs. That is why getting the best design, tile materials, and amenities for your bathroom should also be a major consideration in house improvement activity. One of the most important bathroom amenities is a bathroom vanity. A bathroom vanity is undoubtedly the main aesthetic feature of a bathroom in any house remodeling or decorating project. While it is the best place to keep private things out of the way and sight of the guests, it need not be bare-looking or simplistic. Given the best efforts in design, style, or finish, it becomes an attractive centerpiece for your bathroom. There is a wide variety of choices of vanity designs, but you can narrow down your options to either a custom vanity or a prefabricated one. If you are a little tight on the budget, you can opt for pre-fabricated vanities that can suit your taste as well. But if you want more room for creativity and would not mind spending a fortune for it, then do not hesitate to scour the local directory to search for custom bathroom vanity maker. Custom Wood Vanities Custom wood vanities are the more popular choices in bathroom vanities, and the cabinet is its’ most notable feature. If the design calls for a laid-back or conventional look you can have a framed or American-style cabinet. A framed cabinet is framed around the front edges of the cabinet body. This type allows the attachment of hinges to the frame and the door, thereby providing a durable base for attaching hinges. On the other hand, if you want to have a more contemporary touch to your bathroom vanity, go for a frameless or European style cabinet. As the name implies, a frameless cabinet has no frame on the surrounding face of the cabinet’s body. This type has its hinges attached to the door and side panel of the cabinet body. A basic rule of thumb in choosing a design for a custom-made wood cabinet is that it must have to blend effortlessly with the bathroom’s design. But do not just be contented with what you see, make sure that you have a functional cabinet with doors, drawers, hinges, or sliders put firmly in place. For a wood vanity, your decision is not only limited to what is appropriate for the cabinet itself, but to a large extent to the choice of sink countertop, mirror, and other fixtures or accessories that have to be incorporated. Other factors that are as important are the storage space, drawers, size, and other particular details. To get you started, consider the following suggestions: Make sure that you allot the appropriate storage space for your cabinet. You must have an idea beforehand what types of items are to be placed in which cabinet drawer. Make sure also that the accessories such as knobs, hanger, faucet matches the style of your cabinet. Your choices become even more varied as you get to the countertops. But again, you can narrow down to wood, ceramic tiles, laminates, and other composite materials, or solid surface materials such as concrete, stainless steel, or stone. Ceramic tile is the most commonly used countertop surface. It is durable and you can select from a wide variety of sizes, colors and grain. Wood countertops would make a lovely country-style countertop, but can stain easily and requires higher maintenance. The most durable and most resistant to heat, concrete is a wise choice, but there is also the risk of staining and cracking. Make sure that you use only durable drawer slides. Avoid having vanity cabinets that have center-mounted slides or wobbly plastic slides because these types could not stand up to weight and heavy use for a long time. Get only the best ball-bearing assembly that you can afford. Because it is a very versatile material, wood is the most common material used for wood vanities. Choosing the perfect wood variety for your vanity would be largely dictated by your personal taste, the over-all design of your bathroom, and the accompanying fixtures and accessories. But it is important to check first on the wood’s availability and your budget because wood vanities fetch way higher than vanities made of other materials. Wood Types Wood vanities are made from a variety of wood types, the same materials than can be used for other household fixtures made of wood. They may also be either wood veneer of laminated. Different wood species fetch different prices, depending on its availability and overall appearance. There are so many materials to choose from: maple, oak, cherry, hickory, yellow birch, or pine. While oak is the all-time favorite for an earthy and conventional looking wood vanity, the use of maple and cherry wood materials have increased. Exotic wood fetch higher prices as these are the more rare varieties. Among those belonging to this category are mahogany, ebony, and walnut. Mahogany is mostly come from tropical rainforests. Its’ reddish brown color and regular grain qualities make it a perfect alternative to old oak wood. Walnut colors range from dark brown to a purplish shade of black. Ebony wood generally refers to very dark wood or black wood. Every home decoration or designing project is an investment. As such, it needs to be carefully planned and executed. To protect you investment, work with professionals in the industry. You do not have to compromise comfort, style and taste for money.