The vanity is like the centerpiece of the bathroom, playing a central role in important tasks like tooth brushing and hand washing. In most bathrooms, the vanity is also the biggest and most ornate piece of furniture. Positioned just beneath the mirror, the vanity is what most people see first when they enter the room.
Deciding which vanity to buy, how much money to invest in the vanity, and whether to buy pre-made versus custom-built vanities can be challenging. Knowing which variables to consider can help you decide what type of vanity to buy for your bathroom remodel.
Litchfield Builders has been working with homeowners to remodel their bathrooms and upgrade their home fixtures for over twenty years. We provide input and advice as homeowners decide which products and materials to use in their home improvements. We also create stunning custom vanities for homeowners who need something a little different for their bathroom.
In this article, we compare pre-made versus custom-built vanities to help you decide which is the best one for you.
Costs of Bathroom Vanities
When it comes to the bathroom vanity, quality, size and customization are the biggest cost drivers. Small, pre-made vanities are the most affordable, starting from just a few hundred dollars. Customized vanities, large vanities and higher quality models cost more money overall. Costs vary a lot within each type of vanity:
- Pre-made: $200 - $2,000 (average cost between $300 and $800)
- Semi-custom: $500 - $2,800
- Custom: $500 - $2,800
When making your purchase, remember that the lowest cost vanities may not be the best choice. Poorly constructed fixtures and models made from low-quality materials do not last long and do not improve the bathroom's appearance in the same way that higher-quality vanities do.
Additional Costs for Bathroom Vanities
Purchase and installation are separate costs in a home remodel. Your contractor will list labor costs separate from the material purchase, so expect to pay for installation on top of the cost to purchase the vanity. The cost of installation will vary depending on whether your contractor must move or replace your plumbing. Expect to pay anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand for installation.
Modern vanities have legs, but often older vanities do not. Removal of an older vanity with a footprint that covers the floor may reveal stains or damage to the floor beneath the vanity, and may even reveal the flooring itself was installed around the vanity, not beneath it. Installation of a vanity that sits above the floor may require your contractor to install new flooring, thus increasing the cost.
The bigger the vanity is, the more money it costs. Custom sizes (even for small vanities) also cost more money, because custom sizes are only available in custom and semi-custom vanities, and these types of vanities simply cost more money overall.
Pre-made Vs. Semi-Custom Vs. Custom Built Vanities
So, which type of vanity is right for you? How can you tell if you should buy a pre-made, custom or semi-custom vanity? Is one better than the other?
Pre-made Bathroom Vanities
Pre-made vanities can be found in most home improvement stores. They come in standard sizes, ranging from 18- to 72-inches, and in a range of styles, from farmhouse to modern. Homeowners who buy a pre-made vanity may still have choices to make regarding finish color and countertop material. However, sizes are limited and standardized. Homeowners with a strangely shaped bathroom or a particular vision in mind regarding their vanity may not find what they need in a pre-made vanity.
If you can find a vanity to fit in your bathroom in a pre-made size, there may be no reason to get a semi-custom or custom vanity. The cost of pre-made bathroom vanities is very reasonable. In addition, pre-made vanities can be very good quality, and a well-chosen pre-made vanity can enhance your bathroom just as well as a semi-custom or custom product.
Semi-Custom Bathroom Vanities
Semi-custom vanities are similar to pre-made models but can be made in unusual sizes as needed. Semi-custom vanities are not as expensive as custom vanities and may take less time to complete.
A custom vanity is a vanity that is made for your home from milled lumber and the countertop of your choice. Custom vanities are generally the most costly of all the types of vanities available. Work with your contractor to choose a countertop material, a wood finish, hardware and other features.
Designing a Custom Vanity? Work with Your Contractor
If you've made the decision to design a custom vanity, this is your opportunity to create a unique fixture that will have a lasting impact on your bathroom. Work with your contractor to discuss the following:
- Style. You'll be asked to choose between many styles including modern, shaker, farmhouse, transitional, classic, industrial.
- Finish. In recent years, painted vanities have become more popular than natural wood finish vanities. Still, once the vanity is painted it can't be easily restored to a natural wood finish. Choose carefully.
- Hardware. The hardware (knobs and handles) you choose for your vanity adds personality and a little flair to your cabinet.
- Countertop material. Quartz is quickly growing into the most common countertop material in bathrooms and kitchens in Connecticut. Talk to your contractor about the benefits of quartz before exploring countertop options.
Get Started with Your Bathroom Remodel
Are you installing a new vanity in your bathroom? What challenges have you experienced thus far? Leave your comments in the box below. At Litchfield Builders, we create custom millwork for homeowners in Connecticut. We design cabinets, vanities, bookshelves, office furnishings and more. A custom-made vanity enhances the value of your home as well as the beauty your bathroom.
Work with an experienced contractor to create a bathroom vanity to enhance your living space.
To find the perfect contractor for your bathroom remodeling project, check out our free guide on How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor.