I am looking to build a vanity for my bathroom and was looking for
ideas. Google searches of this group don't come up with much in the way
of past discussions, and I obviously can't search the pictures group.
I will probably build a double-sink vanity, but would be interested to
see examples for single-sink styles as well. I know I can look at
commercial vanities online for ideas, but I was wondering if anybody
here has built their own vanity for their bathroom. It would be great
if anybody had a link to pictures on their website or could post some
pictures in a.b.p.woodworking group.
Mark, I built one for each of the bathrooms in our home. The first one
was L-shaped, and replaced the one that collapsed under the weight of
one of my sons, shortly before Thanksgiving, 5 years ago or so. Learned
a lot from that one. Not all those lessons are easily, either. Built
that one with a Shopsmith. Not doing that again. There's a Unisaw in
the shop now, and no Mustang coupe.
Last summer, I finally built one for the master bath. It isn't perfect,
but it is a major improvement over what was there when we bought the
house (23 years after it was built). Maple, with some cherry trim, and
ceramic tile counter top. We're taller than most, so this one was
taller, too. Shakerish in style, with eight drawers, and a large area
underneath the single sink. I've taken no pictures yet, because the
rest of the bathroom isn't quite finished yet.
Thoughts to consider:
* Make certain you plan for any needed changes in running plumbing. I
reinstalled this cabinet twice, because I needed to move the drain lines
and water supply lines. And re-sheetrock the back wall. Twice.
* Check how tall you _really_ want the sink to be. Mine's a bit taller
than I originally 'planned'...
* Validate how deep the sink will be inset from the front lip of the
counter. This is another dimension I'd change in the next go around.
Ours is set further in than I really like.
* Discuss long and hard the type of counter you want to live with. I
think I would consider a solid surface job by a pro, in the next go
around. Grouting should not take three or four days, but it seemed to.
* My wife shows it off to almost everyone who comes to the house. Make
certain that your skills and/or ego can deal with that experience.
* From tearing out the shower to (mostly) completing the dressing area
took most of four months of spare time, and using the hall bathroom
instead. You may go faster, but I had a lot of spare time this last
year, and still didn't.
Good luck. Check lots of sources. Write your project schedules down,
and don't get too far out of order, or you'll need to store things, or
wait for varnishes to dry at inopportune times...
thinking about a kitchen or two. Maybe.
That's a nice vanity DJ. With no storage in the vanity, how do you
handle storage of the various toiletries and items in the bathroom? Did
you add any medicine cabinets or the like since those pictures were
Well, it's my dad's bathroom, so I don't handle it at all ;-)
In his case, though, there's a closet opposite the sinks that contains
ample shelving and storage, and a laundry hamper. The original design
included a shelf underneath, resting on a square lip just at the
bottom of the long ogee in the middle of each leg. They decided to
skip that, figuring they'd rather look at the tiles than an
accumulation of stuff.
I did mine out of my head. Basically a box with holes cut in to
accommodate the sink and water lines. You might look up general
cupboard construction; rails and stiles etc.. Don't forget a foot
recess either. After that, it's whatever you want. Mine fits a
ratehr small bathroom, so I had to taper it from the door. Cupboard
doors fit to the holes [with allowance of course]. That was some time
back, and I'm redoing it pretty soon. I just bought the paint. This
time around the doors will be outside, not flush inside, and will have
raise panels instead of the previous flat.
Google helps. Here's a carcase construction detail:
Just take it from there, and use your imagination.
I did a small powder room one. It is shaped like an oval 'bass drum'.
The sides are flexible ply covered in oak veneer with a solid oak, oval
ring around the bottom and an oval top with oval sink. There is an
attached, framed mirror as well. I made a matching curved shelf for
behind the toilet/bidet.
I made a much more standard one for the master with 2 sinks in a flat
counter, with a cherry front edge and arborite. There is a single
cabinet with 3 drawers underneath, between the sinks, also in cherry to
match (well sort of) our cherry Bedroom suite.
I'm working on one for the main bath now with a side pedestal and shaped
counter. Construction will be similar to the powder room.
I would recommend the curved 'drum' approach if you want something
STRONG and not too hard to make. (router/table saw/sandpaper)
Either way, bathroom cabinets are fairly easy and can add a very rich
appearance to the bathroom.
Just think of the bathroom vanity as a kitchen sink 'base cabinet' moved to
another room the house.
Building one is very simple. Here are the basic components of a face frame
version (the dimensions and design elements are up to you):
:I am looking to build a vanity for my bathroom and was looking
: ideas. Google searches of this group don't come up with much
in the way
: of past discussions, and I obviously can't search the pictures
: I will probably build a double-sink vanity, but would be
: see examples for single-sink styles as well. I know I can look
: commercial vanities online for ideas, but I was wondering if
: here has built their own vanity for their bathroom. It would
: if anybody had a link to pictures on their website or could
: pictures in a.b.p.woodworking group.
Looks like lots of good advice here; I have a couple of "other"
category things to add, I think.
1. If the sink is "hung", un-hang it. Much easier to get the
sink out for faucet replacement, etc. And remove the brace it
was hung on. If it's not hung, no sweat.
2. Height, as someone mentioned is good to consider. IFF it's
feasible, but be sure it's not the only bathroom in the house or
you'll go "out of spec" for many people. I'm very tall and
arthritic: I put my sink at MY height so I didn't have to bend
to brush teeth, lean on it to shave, etc.. But the main sink is
at the standard height. Turned out most everyone like the height
of MY sink though; it was the most popular one in the house,
except for young kids.
3. Test fit as many of the harder to measure areas as possible
before actual construction. It'll save days of misery.
4. Don't forget the toe space. Don't forget the electrical if
necessary. I build cabinets above mine so those things mattered.
Don't forget the GFCI's! I dropped my electric razor into the
running water once; no sweat, the GFCI just turned it off.
5. Be sure to consider any possible interference with mirrors,
holders etc. around it. Some may have to be moved, depending.
6. Enjoy the work; it'll be there to look at for a long time if
it works out well <g> and you'll be proud of it.
I built a double for my master bath along with two medicine cabinets,
two towel cabinets, and a hamper. There is nothing unique about them,
they look just like stock cabinets with raised panel doors that you
would get at the home center. They are probably a little heavier and
sturdier and the towel cabinets were sized to fit niches unique to
this bath. That is why I chose to build them, to not have to choose a
stock dimension and block in the wasted space.
Thanks Dave, I had already saved a link to yours some time ago and it
looks great. Make sure you update that page with the finished install.
Something more elegant such as yours is what I had in mind, although I
don't want to go down the curved front route. I can easily construct a
basic vanity along the lines of kitchen cabinets, but wanted something
more distinctive that a basic cabinet carcase.
(1) What woodworking skills do you have ?
(2) What tools do you have ?
(3) Do you have basic plumbing skills ?
(4) Will you need to move wires ?
A basic vanity is fairly easy project, but
you got to put on a top and you must do some
You will also be moving wires and pipes around.
Go to Lowes or Home Depot. They both have books
with any number of plans on building a
basic vanity. Just remember, every single bathroom
is different, so you will have to adjust your plans.
How are your drawer building skills ?
How are your door building skills ?
Here is a basic version:
If you are building this to save money, forget it
and go to Lowes/HD and buy one.
If you want a challenge and you want to develop
your skills, this is a pretty easy job.
Got a "backup" bathroom till the project is done ?
Mark Blum wrote:
You pose some good questions and I should have provided more specifics
in my original post. More info follows...
I'm a fairly accomplished woodworker and feel comfortable tackling just
My shop is reasonably well-equipment with pretty much everything,
machine and power tools. Only piece of major equipment I don't have is
I have both basic plumbing and electrical skills.
I plan on replacing my current vanity, a circa 1965-style standard
vanity. I am looking to build something distintive and/or elegant,
something more than just a basic vanity.
That should be no problem.
I am well familiar with the assaults on the best-laid plans that
renovations entail. ;-) Most books only have basic plans for
woodworkers of modest skill. I like to think I have the skill to tackle
something a bit more distinctive.
Both are fairly solid.
Nope, I build them myself to get good quality construction tailored to
my needs (I built all of my bedroom and family room furniture). I'm not
trying to beat the cost of the particle board stuff you can buy.
Sounds like you have the skills to build the vanity.
We get folks on this group who want to build a set of kitchen
cabinets and their entire tool set consists of a circular saw
and a hot melt glue gun.
Something I had done which I found to be very handy was to put the
drawers of the vanity BELOW the cupboards. It might not be as much of
an issue with a two-sink version where you can have a drawer in between
the sinks, but in my single sink version the sink prevented me from
having a drawer at all. Undaunted, I decided to make it "up-side-down"
and put the drawers on the bottom. Granted, the sink hangs down
somewhat into the middle cupboard, but I just put shorter stuff into
There are some pictures of it here:
I've got a few thousand ft. of sawmill lumber drying at my new
house. I took one look at your vanity and said "there's my kitchen
cupboards". Right way up mind you. :)
Thanks for the post.
Here's some pictures of the place and my gang.
P.S. Wouldn't happen to have a good shot of one of those
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