Nothing about remodeling a bathroom is easy, but anything involving rerouting plumbing is an especially big headache. Even a small change to the positioning of your pipes is expensive and invasive, and a hassle that’s best avoided if possible. This can present a significant problem if you want to rearrange the major fixtures in your bathroom. But while there’s no way to avoid costly plumbing work if you want to move your shower, tub, or toilet, bathroom vanities with offset sinks make it possible to get away with altering the size, shape, or positioning of your bathroom vanity pretty significantly without having to reroute your plumbing.
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A typical pre-made bathroom vanity comes with a small cutout on the back panel to allow you to link the water supply lines and drain pipes to the sink. But these holes tend to be on the smaller side, which means that if you plan on changing the design or positioning of your bathroom vanity by as little as a few inches, the opening might not match up with your plumbing. Trying to jury rig your plumbing with added pieces or hacking out a bigger chunk of your vanity might work, depending on your setup and skill level, but both are vastly less elegant and efficient than simply choosing a vanity where the sink is properly lined up with your plumbing.
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The vast majority of bathroom vanities have sinks placed squarely in the middle, but even on a small bathroom vanity, offsetting the sink gives you a lot more wiggle room in terms of positioning. If you’re downsizing your existing vanity to make more room for alternative storage, offsetting the sink allows you to scoot the vanity out of the way, making more space for your new furniture without turning a simple remodel into an expensive renovation. Alternatively, if you want to squeeze a larger vanity into the space of a smaller one, but don’t have the room to keep it perfectly centered on the existing plumbing, bathroom vanities with offset sinks are an ideal alternative.
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Many asymmetrical and offset bathroom vanities are available in the 30″-48″ range, but if you have a larger or more unusual space you need to accommodate, you might want to opt instead for a multi-piece modular bathroom vanity. These combine a fairly standard small sized bathroom vanity (one that usually acts as a straight substitute for the existing vanity) with a variety of modular add-on pieces like extra drawers or make up stations. If you’re significantly changing the floor plan of your bathroom but don’t want to move your plumbing, this is the best way to get a vanity that fits the space exactly.
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Similarly, many modular bathroom vanities that are more traditional in style simply come with an add-on storage cabinet that can extend the width of the vanity without moving it away from the existing plumbing. This slightly offset design means you won’t have the same uninterrupted counter space (in fact, often it means having a section that’s slightly lowered), but the cabinet fits snugly up against the vanity for a surprisingly seamless look that you won’t get from simply adding a conventional storage cabinet or cart. As an added bonus, these modular storage pieces can be added to either side of the vanity for an even more flexible design.
Even if you’re just opting for an asymmetrical bathroom vanity to avoid having to do any major construction, these unique vanities also come with a few of their own practical advantages. Having a sink perfectly centered in the middle of a bathroom vanity is nice for symmetry, but it minimizes the available amount of counter space. Pushing the sink off to one side effectively doubles the usable surface space on the opposite side, creating ample room for counter top storage. This change is especially noticeable on smaller bathroom vanities, which ordinarily have little counter space to spare, but which feel quite respectable once the sink is moved.
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Offsetting the sink (and by extension, the plumbing) also opens up a surprising amount of space inside the vanity cabinet itself. Since the sink drain and trap are set off to one side, it’s possible to build drawers in the space they normally occupy. On vanities 36″ and under, which are typically too small to have drawers at all, this can significantly increase the available amount of storage space while maintaining a compact footprint.
Whether you’re trying to avoid a major plumbing related headache or just squeeze a little extra functionality into a small bathroom, bathroom vanities with offset sinks give you that little extra wiggle room you need to get the job done. What do you think of these asymmetrical styles? Let me know in the comments below!