How to Choose the Perfect Bathroom Vanity

The hub of daily activity in a bathroom, you’ll want your vanity to be practical, durable, attractive, and also come with enough storage to keep the vanity top free from bathroom clutter. We’ve prepared this guide to choosing the perfect vanity to cater to all tastes and budgets and remember, you can always talk to us at Butterfield about what will work best for you.

Where to locate your vanity

Often it’s the size of the room that dictates the size and positioning of the vanity. Consider how big a vanity you can get away with. When measuring the area where your bathroom vanity will be installed, make sure the shower, bath and toilet have been accounted for in your measurements. Generally you have more freedom in selecting the height of a vanity, particular if the vanity is wall-mounted, but the width and depth are are more restricted.  Most suppliers stock vanities in widths from 600mm and go up in 150mm wider increments.  Stock vanity depths for bathrooms are generally around 460mm.

Make sure to factor in space required for entryways, shower doors and opening the vanity’s storage areas, as well as whether you have enough room to clean around it. Image source:  Dulux

Make sure to factor in space required for entryways, shower doors and opening the vanity’s storage areas, as well as whether you have enough room to clean around it. Image source: Dulux

Your vanity should enhance a bathroom, not detract from it. Good positioning of a vanity will also help set a mood for your bathroom, as a vanity in the wrong place may cramp the space and make your bathroom a less inviting place to visit.

Who is going to use the vanity and much counter space and storage space do you need? These questions are key when it comes choosing the size of your vanity. If you have a small bathroom, you may like to install floating shelves as an extra storage unit instead of installing a large vanity, to maximise the floor area and available space

Now is the time to decide whether you want a single bowl vanity or a double bowl vanity. Single bowl vanities are good for most bathrooms, whereas a double bowl vanity is useful if you are likely to be using the bathroom at the same time as others. However, do keep in mind that a double bowl vanity requires a bigger budget and more space, as a vanity in this style is rarely less than 1,200mm long.

How do you want to mount your vanity?

Now you’ve established how much room you have and where you want your vanity installed, it’s time to consider the style of vanity you want. Vanities generally come in three styles - freestanding cabinet, wall mounted or shelf vanity.

Free Standing

{image caption: Free standing is the most common type of a vanity. The vanity top is mounted on a carcass which sits on the floor.  Floor-mounted vanities come in a variety of cupboard and drawer configurations and offer the maximum amount of storage.

Wall Mounted

An increasingly common option for bathrooms, a wall mounted vanity hangs off the wall without legs. Wall mounted vanities create the illusion of space, as the visible floor under the vanity gives the sensation of a larger floor area. Image source:  Huz.name

An increasingly common option for bathrooms, a wall mounted vanity hangs off the wall without legs. Wall mounted vanities create the illusion of space, as the visible floor under the vanity gives the sensation of a larger floor area. Image source: Huz.name

Corner Mounted

A corner mounted vanity is great if space is limited. It has a 90-degree angle at the back so that it fits perfectly into a corner.  Corner mounted vanities come in wall-mounted and free standing configurations. Image source:  St Michel

A corner mounted vanity is great if space is limited. It has a 90-degree angle at the back so that it fits perfectly into a corner.  Corner mounted vanities come in wall-mounted and free standing configurations. Image source: St Michel

Open or Floating Shelf

A simple yet strikingly effective design option, a shelf vanity can be designed in a variety of ways, whether hung off the wall or as part of a free standing unit.  The space underneath the shelf can be used for storage, but items stored under the vanity are not hidden behind cupboard doors as the openness of this style is part of the design. Image source:  Cutenareta

A simple yet strikingly effective design option, a shelf vanity can be designed in a variety of ways, whether hung off the wall or as part of a free standing unit.  The space underneath the shelf can be used for storage, but items stored under the vanity are not hidden behind cupboard doors as the openness of this style is part of the design. Image source: Cutenareta

Feature image: Haris Kenja,

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