I’ve seen a lot of cool high-tech bathrooms: ones with waterproof TVs built into the showers, stereo systems built into the toilets, even mirrors that will tell you the weather. But you don’t need a bathroom of the future to enjoy a few modern conveniences. Having outlets built into your vanity, for example, used to be a perk that came with a high price tag and was exclusive to custom cabinetry, but these days it’s possible to find vanities with an outlet already installed, and for a lot less than you probably think.
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So what’s the big deal? Having a few extra outlets is a big convenience, especially in a busy bathroom, but adding them to your vanity has historically been a little bit tricky, especially when it involves moving parts – like outlets installed in the back of a drawer. But when they come already built into the vanity, there’s no extra hassle: to power the outlets, all you have to do is plug your vanity in, like an extension cord without any of the clutter.
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If you’re curious about the nitty gritty details of exactly how hardwired bathroom vanities and in-drawer vanity outlets work, you can check out my more in-depth guide to the mechanics of making all the electrical components work smoothly. But really, the important part is: someone else figured it out and made it simple to mass produce without wildly inflating the price of the vanity, making this once-custom feature much more widely available.
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So what’s the real advantage of having an extra plug or two in your bathroom? Well, it depends a little on how high-tech you are with your grooming habits, but chances are you’ve felt the crunch trying to juggle between the single two-plug outlet that most people have next to their vanity. If you’ve got an electric razor, a hair drier, and a curling iron, you’ve already got more plugs than ways to power them, to say nothing of electric toothbrushes, water picks, and of course…
Phone chargers. The real perk of having outlets in your bathroom vanity? You can plug your electronic devices in not only while you’re in the bathroom, but in a place where they’re safe from getting splashed, often times without taking up a traditional outlet. That’s right: most bathroom vanities that come with built in outlets not only have two regular plugs, but at least two or more USB charge ports as well.
Having that extra outlet not only lets you charge your phone or tablet, but also any other small devices that live in the bathroom, like shower speakers or night lights, without cluttering up your counter space. Especially if you tend to be busy in the mornings, it can be a real godsend not to have to choose between topping off the charge on your phone, styling your hair, or leaving your countertop a ruin of unplugged devices.
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Really though, the biggest perk of having outlets built into your bathroom vanity might be simply having more places to put the things you have to plug in. Conventional bathroom outlets are almost never conveniently placed – they might be near your sink, but are usually raised up, to keep them away from water, and mean that everything you have to plug in piles up and is tethered to that one spot. Having additional outlets not only lets you plug in more stuff without overloading a socket, but also gives you a convenient place to put your phone while it’s charging, your hair drier while it’s not in use, and so on.
If you’re in the market for a new bathroom vanity anyway, there’s almost no reason not to consider one that has a built-in outlet. The difference in price is negligible, but it’s a small upgrade that can have a big positive impact on your morning routine.
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