Bathroom Vanity UnitsThe name vanity unit gives the impression of something designed, primarily, to enhance the cosmetic appeal of a bathroom, but they do carry some functional purpose as well. By combining a mirror and sink unit with internal or external storage space, you can in turn free up extra room for the more important features.
Whether you're kitting out a tiny en-suite or a big family bathroom, vanity units are becoming more and more popular in the UK - and there are an array of options from which to choose.
A lot vanity units are free-standing against a flat wall, but you can also get ones that fit snugly into the corner of a room, as well as those that are attached to the wall itself, often without any support legs beneath.
Aside from budgetary constraints, which type you opt for will depend on what purpose your bathroom serves. If you are looking to accommodate a large family with young children, you'll probably want a reinforced structure with plenty of storage space and a large counter. For couples and singletons, there are also small, stylish designs with exterior glass shelving or a high cabinet behind a mirror.
Wooden vanity units are becoming the norm among those looking to add a dash of style to their bathroom, but it's rare for them to actually be water-proof. If you're going for a left field bathroom material be prepared for it to last only a few years. It may be a little boring, but it's usually best to stick to things like marble, granite or quartz as it makes the upkeep a lot more straightforward.
Waht matrial to choose?
There are mainly 3 types of materials used for bathroom vanity units - plywood, MDF and solid wood. Plywood is the most durable to humidity and moisture. Painted MDF can be used also, but for dryer environments. And while nothing can compare with the natural and nice look of the solid wood, it is not the best choice for bathrooms, especially if the finish is not treated to resist the bathroom climate. Where to shop
For starters, it's probably best to stick to UK wholesalers, because - apart from the obvious expense of importing goods from abroad - British bathrooms tend to be smaller than elsewhere in Europe and America, and you're probably going to have a hard time fitting it in around the rest of your furniture.
Large homeware stores like Ikea and Homebase have prominent vanity unit collections, the prices of which can vary from £200 to as much as a £1000 depending on the scope your ambition. Affordability aside, you probably won't get a comprehensive installation service, nor the design range you can get if you shop with a more specialist company.
If you're prepared to pay that bit extra for a custom made-to-fit unit, especially tailored for the style and spacial requirements of your bathroom, it's worth speaking to companies like Aspenn Furniture and James Mayor Furniture. These companies also tend to use higher quality materials - not only for surfaces but doors and mirrors too - and these better able to withstand daily wear and tear.
The best advice we can give is to shop around and avoid buying something straight out of a catalogue without seeing it in the flesh first. A lot of cheaper units are poorly designed and, in the long run, it's going to cost you a lot of money to buy a new one every year.