In its own way, furnishing a large bathroom can be just as challenging as furnishing a small one. In a small bath, it can be a struggle to fit everything you need in the space you have, but it can be just as difficult to make full use of a larger area. Installing custom cabinetry is a fairly obvious (and fairly popular) solution for its flexibility: no matter the size or shape of your bathroom, a set of custom cabinets can accommodate the space. But modular bathroom vanities work similarly, and often come with a whole host of other benefits – not the least that they’re often much less expensive.
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Custom cabinetry is usually built cabinet box by cabinet box, and installed together under a single solid countertop. Conventional bathroom vanities have only one cabinet box, but the box can range in size anywhere from 16″-72″. Modular bathroom vanity sets fall somewhere in the middle: the cabinet boxes come in a variety of sizes, each with their own separate vanity top, but each piece is designed to fit snugly up against any other cabinet in the collection, so they’re all totally interchangeable. The final effect isn’t as seamless as a truly custom cabinet, but it is a bit more flexible in terms of storage and layout.
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Custom cabinets are often just that: cabinets, and not much else. But cabinet storage alone doesn’t really cut it in a bathroom. Drawers are often much more effective and convenient, but incorporating them into a custom design can get quite expensive very quickly. Modular bathroom vanity sets, though, have a variety of different pieces to choose from, including cabinets, drawers, shelves, and pieces that consist of some combination of the three. Since you can choose, purchase, and install each piece individually, you can get exactly the type of storage you want exactly where you want it, but at a much lower cost than you’d pay to have the same setup custom made.
Modular bathroom vanity sets have the advantage when it comes to appearance, too. While certainly you can get custom cabinets with decorative door and drawer fronts, this is another place where the cost can add up quickly the more you want to customize your design. The selection you can get from modular bathroom vanities is, of course, more limited in terms of possibilities, but if you want something more ornate than a standard flat panel door, it’s often much more affordable to get it from a pre-made set than it is to have the pieces custom built. Similarly, the finishes you have to choose from with a pre-made vanity aren’t infinite or exhaustive, but manufacturers like Virtu generally include the most popular or trendiest colors and wood tones.
Most conventional bathroom vanities top out at about 72″ wide. Anything larger simply becomes unwieldy and difficult to move. But modular vanity sets are like custom cabinets in that they are installed piece by piece, and can be combined together to be as large as you need them to be, even up over 100″ wide. Unlike custom cabinets, though, modular vanity sets offer pieces that come in a wide variety of different sizes, from standard 30″-36″ vanities to ones that push up to 48″, or simple storage or connecter pieces that can be as little as a foot wide. Not only does this make it easier to customize the type and placement of storage, but also the overall appearance of the vanity, since you’ll be able to get more variety and variation in the design than you would with a basic set of custom cabinets.
This flexibility is a particular boon when you’re planning the layout of your bathroom and doing the initial installation. Since the vanities can easily be scaled up or down, or shifted a foot or so to one side or the other, it can make it possible to build a vanity that will accomodate your existing plumbing without modification. And unlike installing a larger conventional pre-made vanity and add-on storage cabinets, you won’t have to move anything larger than the equivalent of a 48″ vanity, which can save a whole lot of trouble, especially if your bathroom is on the second floor.
With modular vanities, though, this is an advantage that extends beyond the initial installation. Most custom cabinet boxes are installed beneath a single solid counter, but because each modular part of a large vanity set is self contained, it also makes it possible to spread the cabinets out a little, leaving more white space, or even treating a single “vanity” as two separate vanities with added storage cabinets in between or on either side. This is something that’s harder to pull off both with conventional pre-made vanities and custom designs, since it can be difficult (or expensive) to find (or build) matching storage cabinets.
Modular bathroom vanity sets may not have quite the same seamless look as fully customized cabinets, nor some of the more unusually shaped designs you can sometimes find from a pre-made vanity. But they flawlessly combine the best of both worlds, making it possible to fully and beautifully furnish a very large bathroom without the headache. How big is the bathroom you’re looking to furnish? Let me know in the comments below!