Challenges of Using an Antique Bathroom Vanity

By Scott Dostal

Using an antique bathroom vanity or converting a piece of antique furniture into a bathroom vanity is a very popular design trend. However, there are challenges associated with using antique furniture to create a bathroom vanity, as well as using an antique and adapting to modern plumbing.

There is a significant difference between using an antique piece of furniture and using a modern bathroom vanity made in the

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This antique bathroom vanity used an oak dresser

style of antique furniture. The modern “reproductions” are designed for modern plumbing. In addition, they typically are made with wood that has been treated and sealed to prevent damage from steam and moisture. In most cases, careful measurements allow homeowners to choose a style, have it delivered, and install it by simply making the appropriate connections to pipes.

Working with antique furniture presents certain challenges. Some homeowners have the required skills to convert an antique into a bathroom vanity. Others will want to shop for the perfect piece of furniture and have a skilled cabinetmaker do the work of converting it into a vanity. A third alternative is to buy a converted antique vanity from one of the dealers who specialize in converting antique furniture for this purpose.

Bathroom vanities often are made from antique sideboards, servers, hutches, dressers, washstands, chests, trestle tables, sewing cabinets, or Victrola cabinets. All of these furniture items can be converted to either one- or two-sink vanities, depending upon the width of the item.

Several decisions must be made before the conversion can begin:

1.       Perhaps most important, is the question if the antique of sufficient value that it should not be damaged or altered. In this case, the antique might not be the best choice for use as a bathroom vanity because the finish and, potentially, the wood will be damaged by moisture and steam.

2.       Will you use the antique in its current condition, or will you refinish or paint it?

3.       Are you willing to cut holes in the surface, the back, and the bottom of the antique? If it is a taller piece (such as a server or sideboard), will you remove legs to make it the correct height?

The challenges of using an antique bathroom vanity are these:

·         You must choose the antique carefully to ensure a correct fit in the bathroom and with the current placement of plumbing. Although you can have pipes moved, doing so will substantially increase the cost of your bathroom remodel.

·         Once you decide whether you will use the antique in its current condition, refinish it, or paint it, you will need to waterproof the antique on both the inside and the outside. Without waterproofing, the wood will absorb water and steam, causing warping and, possibly, mildew.

·         Next, you must decide what type of sink you will use. A vessel sink might require the least alteration of the antique, but it might also be too high, if the antique is a taller piece of furniture.


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Adding a sink uses space in the cabinet of this antique bathroom vanity made from a sideboard

You will then need to decide whether you will cut a hole in the surface of the antique for the sink, or you will remove the surface and replace it with a “countertop” material, such as marble, granite, etc.

·         The next step will be to modify the cabinet(s) and drawer(s) to accommodate the correct location of pipes and install the pipes, with connections to the sink you have chosen.

·         You will then be able to complete the modifications of the antique to enclose drawers and cabinets for your use. You might also decide to install dividers or organizational inserts to make the vanity more functional.

·         Finally, install the faucets and other fixtures you have chosen to complete your décor.

Although there are challenges in using an antique as a bathroom vanity, you can overcome them. These challenges will be within the skills of some homeowners. Others will need to engage the services of an expert cabinetmaker. Whether you do the work or you hire someone, the result will be a unique bathroom that is exactly what you want.

Happy remodeling!

Custom Bathroom Cabinets

Custom Bathroom Cabinets

Custom bathroom cabinets can enhance the value of your home.

Custom bathroom cabinets are the essential decorative item for the perfect bathroom remodel or upgrade. There can be little doubt that beautiful and luxurious bathrooms are now as important in selling a house as the kitchen. Today’s bathrooms are larger, more beautifully designed and decorated and include many fixtures and appointments typically associated with a spa. Custom bathroom cabinets are the natural choice for any bathroom remodel.

Your bathroom design might call for a new vanity. You might have decided, instead, to use a pedestal sink to make the floor look larger. In this case, you will likely include wall-mounted cabinetry to provide the needed storage.

There are many new styles and designs in vanities and other cabinets for the bathroom. The size and design of your bathroom will be important factors in your choice of cabinetry. You might choose the classic or traditional style or contemporary, or something between the two.

You can choose a style anywhere along the continuum between ornate and simple. You can also make a design statement with the wood chosen for your cabinets. The warmth of natural wood tones looks beautiful in any bathroom.

You might choose black (espresso) or white custom bathroom cabinets. You can also paint cabinets any color you wish. Finding the right cabinetry for your style and décor will be easy.

Custom bathroom cabinets can meet a large number of storage and decorating needs in any bath.

  1. The traditional vanity provides some surface area around the sink and flexible storage space.
  2. A long counter provides a place for toiletries, decorative items and some storage.
  3. A cabinet (made for use as a pantry in a kitchen) can provide all the storage space you might otherwise gain from a closet.
  4. Matching wood trim on a medicine cabinet is a very nice touch in any bath because it ties all of the wood together.
  5. Open shelving or cabinets with glass in the doors provides a combination of storage and visible display space for decorative items.
  6. If your bathroom includes a whirlpool or soaking tub, you might want a wall-mounted cabinet near it for storage of a small television or a sound system.

Unlike stock or knockdown cabinets, custom bathroom cabinets enable you to get exactly what you want. Because space is typically at a premium in bathroom design, the flexibility of custom work enables you to have the storage areas you want in an appropriate size. Custom work matches the wood and the finish with the size and detail you want in your custom bathroom cabinets.

The cost of custom cabinetry is prohibitive for many families. Kitchen Cabinet Value, however, delivers custom cabinetry at a lower price than most stores and cabinetmakers. Working directly with distributors, we are able to buy cabinets at amazing prices and customize them to meet your needs.

Our carpenters deliver the beauty and workmanship of custom bathroom cabinets at prices that will delight you. Whether you want your cabinets modified in size or appearance, we can deliver the custom bathroom that will make your bathroom unique without breaking the bank. It is possible to get custom cabinetry at the price of stock cabinets.


Vanity Cabinets

Bathroom Vanity Cabinets

For more than 100 years, the vanity has been the basis for bathroom design.  Prior to the days of indoor plumbing, the vanity took the form of a wash stand.  It was more dresser than anything else, but it held the pitcher of water and the wash bowl that was the origin for the modern vanity cabinet.  Over the years, designs evolved to hide exposed pipes and shut-off valves, they also served as the foundation for today’s sink.

Later these vanity cabinets evolved into larger models in order to provide needed storage space for toiletries, linens and a variety of other items.  Along with increased capacity for storage and the addition of other functionalities, bathroom cabinets began to acquire a little bit of style.  This evolution continues as vanity cabinets have become more attractive, more functional and more stylish.

Today vanity cabinets form a focal point for bathroom décor and design, they are not simply a way to hide pipes and drains.  Bathroom cabinets match the style of a home, the decorating preferences of homeowners, regional style preferences and the recent trend toward greater luxury with special spa features and ambiance.  With this evolution in style and luxury has come the increased size of the room. Today’s bathrooms are beautiful, functional, luxurious and bigger than ever!

Whether a bathroom is small, sleek and contemporary in style or a mid-sized master bath designed for two, or a large spacious spa-featured bathroom, there are a multitude of vanity cabinets in appropriate sizes, styles, color and finish.

Consider some of the features and characteristics available in bathroom vanities:

  • Multiple coatings of polyurethane to protect the wood from dampness
  • Simple, Modern with clean lines
  • Reproductions of elaborate antiques
  • Corner units
  • Units with rounded fronts for extra storage
  • Moveable interior shelves
  • Drawers with organizing inserts
  • Styles for any type of sink installation
  • Variations in height to accommodate everyone’s ergonomic needs
  • Two depth options for small and large rooms
  • Single and Double sink units
  • Double sinks of different heights and with (or without) a lower counter area with a chair or bench seat
  • Fronts with traditional cabinet doors and units with glass or frosted glass doors
  • Units with open shelving
  • Custom vanity cabinets that form a complete bathroom suite of storage spaces, i.e. a traditional sink base vanity with bookend bathroom ‘pantry’s.
  • Pull-out shelves that make it easier to reach items in the cabinet back

By working with your local cabinet professional it’s possible to have any configuration of vanity cabinet with any type of storage and shelving, drawer or sink imaginable. They can help you design and create a luxurious and beautiful bathroom that is relaxing and beautiful while easily serviced and maintained. In short, today you can have any kind of vanity cabinets you want in any material you choose, with any finish you select.


Bathroom Vanities


One of the great joys of larger bathrooms is the space for beautiful and functional bathroom vanities. Whether you want the traditional vanity designed to hide those unsightly pipes and fittings while also providing a bit of storage space or you want a magnificent piece of cabinetry, you will find adequate space in the spacious bathrooms homeowners are choosing today. So what are the basics of bathroom vanities you should know before you start planning your new extra bathroom or an enlargement of an existing bathroom, or even just a pleasing remodel.

If you have looked at a bathroom design or interior decorating magazine lately you will have certainly noticed that there is much greater variety in bathroom vanities than ever before.

1. More sizes. The days of one size fits all are long gone. Today you can choose an 18-inch depth if you want to preserve floor space (ideal in a small bathroom) or 24-inch depth for a larger bathroom and to provide more storage.

2. More heights. Everybody is not the same. Now you can choose bathroom vanities in the best height for everyone. Standard vanities and cabinets come in heights ranging from 28 to 36 inches.

3. More material and finish varieties. Whether you want a traditional white vanity or a piece of antique furniture, it is all available. Particularly if you want custom or semi-custom bathroom vanities, you can choose the wood, choose the finish and choose a cabinetry configuration unimagined thirty years ago.

4. More styles. Whether you want something contemporary and sleek or something reminiscent of Victorian elegance, you can have any style you want. Custom and customized bathroom vanities can match any style in your home.

5. More price options. Whether you buy wholesale and assemble and install yourself or you have each piece of cabinetry custom-made, you can find bathroom vanities in every possible price range.

6. Even stock cabinet sizes offer many options. Standard stock cabinet dimensions (in inches) are:

Bathroom Vanity Dimensions

7. Accessories. You can find the perfect accessories for your cabinetry to meet any need. From drawer inserts to organize makeup, toiletries, and hair care items to pull-out shelves and baskets for easy access to towels and washcloths. If you want it, you can get it.

8. The same variety in cabinet materials, finishes and styles that you choose from for your kitchen is also available for bathroom vanities. Beautiful custom cabinetry can be as elegant in the bathroom as the kitchen. And, because you are buying the same quality, you will also get cabinetry with the same protective coatings you expect in the kitchen.

9. There is no need to confine your choices to traditional cabinets. You can even choose from bathroom vanities that resemble costly antiques.

10. Absolute freedom to combine pieces in ways that best suit your needs is yours. You can combine open shelves with drawers and doors. You can mix cabinet heights for ultimate comfort and accessibility. Today, bathroom vanities can be whatever you want.

Maple Bathroom Vanity

Maple bathroom vanity

When you finish selecting your fine cabinetry for bathroom vanities, you can then choose the perfect sink and counter top, accessorize with stunning mirrors and lighting, and select the ideal fittings and knobs to complete the design and style for the bathroom vanities of your dreams.