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Everything you need to know about bathroom vanity units
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Everything you need to know about bathroom vanity units

Posted by Rebecca Doody in Buying guides | 2 years ago 4 min read

For everything you’ll ever need to know about bathroom vanity units, check out our expert guide.

A good bathroom makes a good house, right? Having a good vanity unit gives you a functional area for not only for storing bathroom appliances, but also for incorporating a stylish sink. A bathroom may be designed with classy, minimalistic features to help create a modern and stylish look with your vanity unit. Bathroom furniture and bathroom décor is extremely important to take note of and ensure that it complements.

However, for a bathroom vanity unit to work with a bathroom basin, you need to be mindful of what you are installing and how you’re installing it. From functionality to space, there are so many variations of sinks available, but which is the most ideal option for you? Whichever style you prefer, be it a traditional, modern, or freestanding vanity, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make the right decision. Cloakroom vanity units and corner vanity units are worth thinking about also.

Mode Larsen white gloss floorstanding vanity unit and basin 800mm

Types of bathroom sinks for vanity units

Pedestal sink

Firstly, we have the pedestal sink, which is otherwise known as a free-standing sink and can be placed in a vanity sink unit. Whilst the pedestal sink is not characterised by any unique storage features, it comes with a signature look that adds a touch of class to any bathroom and enhances vanity units. It goes along with pretty much any bathroom and can be very easily suited to whatever theme you want. Basin vanity units with this style of sink are very popular.

To make your pedestal sink stand out even further, you can get different types of add-ons. From racks to materials, there are a variety of small features that you can play around with on vanity units and add to the body of your sink. We recommend trying them out first before committing to the final look.

Under-mounted sink

Under-mounted sinks have a basin which is built directly inside the unit, which gives it a flatter appearance and a more modern and refined look. For a more unique look, you can opt for a slight riser around the outside edges of the basin for this style for vanity sink units.

In terms of appearance, this style of vanity unit serves great looks for your bathroom. However, if storage space is something you can’t compromise on, this style may be better for more compact rooms. A bathroom vanity unit is suitable for any sized bathroom, including small bathrooms, but you just need to work with the floor space you have.

Purchasing a new vanity unit that is appropriate for your extra space or to save space is simple if you measure correctly. A fantastic storage solution, vanity units can complement your bathroom design and bathroom accessories.


Free-standing bathroom vanity units offer a square or rectangular option with clean lines for your bathroom. Similar to a pedestal sink, free-standing vanities can support either one or two sinks in a spot. This is a good thing as it means that there are a range of options available when it comes to designs and finishes. It will also suit a smaller bathroom. Although some ceramic materials are used for the top areas of a free-standing unit, wood materials are typically used for most of the vanities in this style.

Orchard Derwent white floorstanding vanity door unit and ceramic basin 600mm


Vessel vanity units are a staple found in many restaurants and hotel lobbies. This style features a bowl peeping out from around the main sink area, which is linked to its separate tap. Similar to other vanity units, this style also has ample storage space at the bottom area, but with a fancier top. It is important to note that whilst this is an extremely beautiful piece to have in terms of a vanity unit, it does take up more bathroom space, depending on what you plan.

Vanity cabinet

This popular vanity unit design is accompanied by a series of pull-out doors that are similar to a traditional kitchen cabinet. When planned out nicely, the vanity cabinet can give off a homely, classic feel. This option is great if you’re looking for a basic piece that is not too hard to incorporate into your bathroom, but this is personal preference.

Floating vanity unit

Also known as wall-mounted vanities, floating vanity units are unique as they are directly mounted onto the walled surface of your bathroom. This option is perfect as it doesn’t take up too much space and fits snugly in your bathroom with an ultra-modern look. Alongside this, this vanity unit is not in direct contact with your floor, which makes cleaning a lot easier and helps your bathroom suite to look presentable.

Whilst this style is very versatile, it is important to be careful when using it. Floating vanities in your bathroom are more fragile and can be easily damaged when force is applied to the surface. In extreme cases, the vanity may fall off the wall, which could affect the rest of your bathroom. We would recommend extending your floor tiles further up the wall when installing a floating bathroom vanity unit so that your bathroom would have a cleaner and sleeker look.

Orchard Derwent white wall hung vanity unit and ceramic basin 600mm

Considering vanity unit shapes

Square-shaped, round-shaped and rectangular-shaped bathroom vanities are the common unit shapes. If your bathroom is small, an ideal choice would be a square-shaped vanity. For powder room vanity units, a dainty round-shaped vanity would work too. If you space available, rectangular vanities are the best options to select. Rectangular vanity units are best for master bedroom bathrooms and can be extended to include two sinks as well. Double basin vanity units are a god choice for family bathrooms.

Vanity materials

Although there are a variety of materials to choose from, we strongly recommend to do your research before picking a suitable material for your bathroom and vanity unit. Your chosen material must be able to handle the high levels of moisture and humidity, without the risk of warping or wearing out. You may also want to consider purchasing coverings to keep the vanity area comfortable. Vanity units should be chosen with the appropriate material in mind, alongside the rest of your bathroom furniture.

Additionally, your vanity unit material must be strong enough to handle any weight you wish to add to the vanity. This includes the weight from the faucet fixtures and any functional or decorative items to complement bathroom furniture you wish to add to the bathroom vanity as well.

Solid plywood

Out of all the different forms of wood out there, plywood is one of the most popular choices for bathroom furniture pieces with storage space such as vanity units. Plywood is sturdy and often found in your attic or other parts of your home. Solid plywood is made by glueing several sheets of wood together, which creates a powerful and durable piece of plywood. This then gives it the ability to retain moisture in vanity units as compared to the other forms of wood.

Particle board

Another material we recommend for vanity units is particleboard. This is used as a composite material in many vanities and made by glueing, heating and pressing wood particles together. It is then covered with a veneer or melamine coating to add a touch of refinement. Though it is sturdy enough by itself, don’t skip out the topcoat on your bathroom vanity—it’s needed to protect it from potential damage caused by steam or excessive moisture.


Laminate is a hot trend when talking about a bathroom vanity for its smooth yet stylish surface, made up of a countless number of paper sheets to create a sturdy body. Laminate can be used for the top part of your vanity and can be painted and doodled on. It is also water-resistant and can last a long time without much damage. However, it can be easily scratched so do treat it with care.


Marble surfaces on a bathroom vanity are guaranteed to add a cool, smooth, and classy touch that is durable enough for most conditions. However, you might need to clean it frequently as dirt and stains are significantly more visible, but extra storage room around the basin vanity is a good idea. More contemporary than traditional vanity units, marble looks good in both large and smaller bathrooms. Choosing the right vanity unit is tricky, but marble adds a sleek and chic look.

The Bath Co. Dalston floorstanding vanity unit and white marble basin 650mm


From the different types of vanities with varying materials and sizes available, there are so many factors to take into consideration. Countertop basin vanity units and wall hung vanity units are worth thinking about, alongside a double vanity unit or combination vanity units. We recommend starting by planning the things you want and need in your bathroom— this helps give a rough idea of what functional needs your vanity should have. From there, map out your ideal design based on the type of vanity unit you’re going for. With this information, you should be well on your way to choosing the right bathroom vanity unit.

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Author, Rebecca Doody

Posted by Rebecca Doody in Buying guides | 2 years ago

Originally from Somerset, Rebecca is our resident copywriter who takes care of all things product related. Rebecca loves the modern interior style with both neutral and bold influences to create a statement look.

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