Modern Bathroom’s Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

While it might not be the most exciting part of a bathroom remodel, choosing the right bathroom vanity can complete (or completely ruin) your bathroom design. If it’s placed awkwardly in a high traffic zone or doesn’t match with other décor, the rest of your bathroom will suffer the consequences. Since they’re an essential part of a bathroom renovation, they can dictate the overall look and feel of your bathroom. Whether you’re going traditional or modern, our bathroom vanity buying guide can help you select the very best vanity for your home.

Do You Have Room?

Before shopping for a bathroom vanity, scope out how much room you actually have in your bathroom. If you’ve always wanted a double vanity but realize you don’t have the space, this could save you the headache and financial hassle of having to purchase and return an oversized vanity. While double vanities offer more storage and the convenience of more than one person being able to get ready at the same time, the truth is, not many people actually have the space. Once you measure your space and decide how much room you can dedicate to a vanity, it’s time to decide on a style.

Will it Match Your Design Plan?

At the end of the day, your bathroom vanity will have to match the design of the rest of your bathroom. If you’re going for a traditional look and feel, you should browse wood or antique bathroom vanities, as their soft tones and warm colors will perfectly fit in with the rest of the room. If you’d like to take a more modern approach, a modern bath vanity in a dark color or with a sleek glass sink may be your best choice. Regardless of the bath vanity you choose, it’s important that it matches with your sink, faucets, and other bathroom fixtures – so pay attention to your bathroom in its entirety.

Pay Attention to Plumbing

If you’re like most, chances are you’re remodeling on a budget. If you need to change your bathroom’s plumbing in order to install your new vanity, it’s going to take a huge chunk out of your budget. Even switching from a traditional floor-mounted vanity to a wall-mounted version could mean you’ll have to reroute pipes and drains. While locating a vanity far from other bath fixtures might look great, it’ll require a higher cost for rough plumbing. If you’d like to make your bathroom remodel as cost-efficient as possible, experts recommend replacing your bath vanity with one that’s almost identical.

Choose an Appropriate Countertop

While you may not have a choice depending on the type of vanity you choose, some vanity retailers allow you to choose your own countertop. Choosing a good surface for your vanity top is crucial, as it needs to hold up to the rigors of your particular situation. For example, a decorative vanity in a powder room doesn’t require the same amount of durability or resistance as a vanity in the family bathroom. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the types of cleaners you use in your bathroom – certain cleaners could permanently damage the countertops of your vanity.

Managing Your Bathroom Renovation Costs

The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home and can begin to show age rather quickly. Fortunately, a bathroom remodeling project can breathe life into your home while adding value and improving overall efficiency. Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of American homeowners spend more than they plan to during a renovation. From choosing a contractor and selecting a style, to purchasing fixtures and making sure they’re properly installed, it’s easy for the costs of a bathroom renovation to get out of hand. If you’re concerned about not being able to stick to your renovation budget, here are some tips for managing your bathroom renovation costs.

Skip the “Total” Renovation

While in the planning stages of your bathroom renovation, stand in the middle of your bathroom and take a good look around. Chances are, there are parts of your bathroom that don’t even need to be touched. Whether it’s the tile, the toilet, or the vanity, you should determine what can stay and what should be replaced immediately. While a total bathroom renovation would be nice, in most cases it’s not necessary. Make a list of what needs to be renovated or replaced in priority order – you may find your bathroom renovation budget will shrink before your eyes as you cut out any unnecessary aspects.

Resist the Urge to Make Changes

Be aware of the possible consequences that making changes to your bathroom renovation can have on your remodeling costs. The truth is, making changes can quickly cause remodeling costs to spiral out of control. Each time you request a change, it can delay the schedule, cause the contractor to shift workers to another home, and almost always increases the bottom line. If you’d like to finish your bathroom remodel according to schedule and escape extra fees, try to avoid making any changes once construction has officially begun.

Use a Rewards Credit Card

If you’re taking more of a DIY approach and are purchasing many of the materials yourself, use the best rewards credit card you own. Many credit card companies offer deals and bonuses for customers who use their cards, as long as you pay the balance in full when you receive the bill. Typically, credit card companies offer everything from cash back deals and frequent flyer miles, to free merchandise and discounted groceries. Just think: with all the money you spend on a bathroom remodel you could get a free plane ticket to the destination of your choice. It just might make the renovation stress worth it.

Let the Workers Do Their Jobs

While it’s only natural to want to see the progress being made on your bathroom, it’s best to save the walk-through for after working hours. Many of the workers are there to do a specific task, and will have no idea about the plan for the overall project. If you’re constantly interrupting them during working hours to discuss your project or ask questions, you could be slowing down their progress and unknowingly extending the life of the project. If you have any questions or concerns you’d like addressed, call up the contractor – he or she should know exactly what’s going on with your project.

The Best Vintage Bathroom Decor

Whether it’s antique pieces from the early 1900s or brand new products inspired by days gone by, decorating your bathroom with vintage décor is a chic and stylish way to fuse the past with the present. When many of us think of vintage bathrooms we think of claw foot tubs, pedestal sinks, and white subway tile – but you can add a vintage flair to your bathroom with more than just the fixtures. From shower curtains to color schemes, here’s some tips for incorporating vintage décor in your bathroom.

Shower Curtains

If you’re going for a hippie look, consider purchasing a set of shower curtains in a bright and vibrant pattern. If they look like they were taken straight from last seasons’ Mad Men set, you made the right choice. If you have wallpaper in your bathroom and are worried about the curtains clashing with the walls, consider purchasing curtains in colors that are reminiscent of the time period, including avocado greens, daisy yellows, and tangerine oranges. This funky shower curtain is a fun way to bring pops of orange, green, and yellow into your bathroom. As long as the shower curtains match the color scheme of the rest of the room, you’ll be one step closer to creating the vintage bathroom of your dreams.

Small Accessories

Instead of spending tons of cash on an antique toilet or sink, consider focusing on the details. Soap dishes, antique perfume spritzers, or vintage-inspired makeup bags are an easy and cost-effective way to add vintage charm to your bathroom. If you’ve never been to an antique or thrift store, you’d be surprised at what you can find. Make a list and head to your local antique mall, browse Saturday morning yard sales, or head to an estate sale – you may find just what you’re looking for at a fraction of the cost. If you’re looking for a “free” way to liven up your bathroom, purchase a simple vase and head to your backyard or local park – daisies are a beautiful way to breathe some life into your bathroom.

Vintage Ad Artwork

While in the antique store, ask the sales clerk or owner if they have any old magazines or newspapers for sale. Depending on the decade, these will be full of fun and unique vintage advertisements which can be turned into wall art or, in some cases, even wallpaper. Since the art will be featured in the bathroom, find vintage ads for makeup, brassieres and pantyhose, suntan lotion, or toiletries, and create a collage. Purchase an old frame while you’re there, paint it in a funky color that matches your bathroom color scheme, and feature the DIY artwork near the vanity or on a bare wall.

Mix & Match

When it comes to DIY vintage bathroom décor, it is okay to have some fun with mixing and matching. Instead of purchasing a brand new mirror to hang above the sink, consider using two or three vintage mirrors from the thrift store – if they don’t have frames, put then up anyways! If you have a drawer full of antique door knobs, use them as towel hooks or use them to replace the knobs on your vanity. For a unique “retrodate” on your medicine cabinet, consider using old shutters – paint them different colors and repurpose them as a fun alternative to a mirror.

How to Refinish Wood Vanities

Wood vanities are a great way to add warmth and charm to any style bathroom, but changes in humidity, age, and normal wear and tear can take a toll on even the most maintained wood vanity. Fortunately, you don’t have to rip out your old wood vanities and replace them with new ones – refinishing a bathroom vanity is a relatively simple DIY project. Giving your vanity a new coat of stain or a fresh coat of paint can transform its look, add years to its life, and save you money.

Preparation

Before you get started, make sure you have all the items you’ll need to refinish your wood vanity. Since the project is relatively simple, you probably have most of these items available in your toolshed. If you don’t already own them, they can be purchased or rented from a local home improvement store.

  • Cleaning product
  • Sponge/soft cloths
  • Screwdriver
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Hand sander
  • Shop vacuum
  • Stain or primer and paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Polyurethane finish

Once you have all the items, go over the bathroom vanity with a cleaning product to remove all signs of hairspray, makeup, soap scum, deodorant, and other products that may have accumulated over time. Next, remove the drawers, handles, and knobs from your vanity. Place the handles and knobs in a plastic bag so you can easily put them back on once you’re finished.

Strip the Paint

Place the doors and drawers on drop cloths on a flat surface. Make sure the area you’re working in is well-ventilated, as some strippers, stains, and paints have strong fumes. Apply a chemical stripper to the doors and drawers with a paintbrush; once the stripper has been left standing for the recommended amount of time, scrape away the old finish. Wipe down the wood with a clean cloth. Use the hand sander and 180-grit sandpaper to remove any traces of the old finish. Be sure to work with the grain of the wood, and avoid applying too much pressure.

Before stripping and sanding the rest of the vanity, place painter’s tape on the wall around the vanity – this will prevent any paint from getting on the surrounding walls.

Prime, Paint, Stain

Once the paint has been stripped, it’s time to prime, paint, or stain the wood. Before getting started, use the shop vacuum to remove any excess dust from the vanity. If primer isn’t included in your paint, you’ll have to prime the wood before painting – it’ll help the top coat adhere to the wood and will help the paint last longer. Let the primer dry completely, which can take anywhere from one to ten hours. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended drying times. Once the primer is dry, apply either the stain or paint. Once the paint is dry, apply a polyurethane finish designed for the bathroom. Let the polyurethane dry completely before reattaching the cabinets, drawers, and hardware.

Home Appraisal vs. Inspection

If your bathroom is newly remodeled and your home is ready to be put on the market, it’s time to understand the key differences between a home appraisal and a home inspection. While home inspectors and appraisers look at some of the same things, the two professionals have distinctly different purposes: one determines the current value of a home, while the other seeks out any potential flaws or defects within a home prior to a sale. Although both generate reports that are crucial in the home-buying and –selling process, each one has a very specific purpose.

What is a Home Appraisal?

Typically ordered by lenders, a home appraisal is used to determine a home’s market value. The lender hires an appraiser to visually inspect a home for improvements or deficiencies which may impact the home’s overall value. From there, the appraiser takes the home’s location, square footage, and the selling prices of similar homes into consideration and helps the lender determine how much to lend against the home. This way, a lender is confident that they’re not lending more than the home is actually worth, which can result in a negative equity situation.

The focus of home appraisers is to determine the value of a property. The appraiser considers the age of the house, quality of the roof, mechanics, and the type of foundation when coming up with a number. Typically, appraisers give more value to homes with swimming pools, beautiful landscapes, or high-quality bathrooms with tiled showers and marketable bathtubs. Some appraisers may use a standardized value list for home features, while others make judgments based on their experience.

What is a Home Inspection?

Home inspectors make a detailed investigation of the home without making any assessment of the worth of the property. Things like water damage, mold, and termite damage are pointed out during an inspection, and any deficiencies in any of the home’s systems will be noted on an inspection report. As a home seller, it’s important that everything in your home is in working order. If you know your air conditioner doesn’t work or that your water heater is failing, this will be noticed during an inspection.

Although a home inspection is not required in most closing processes, it’s highly recommended and should be prepared for. If possible, plan to be present at the inspection. If the inspection report includes area that need attention, you can either renegotiate the price or take your home off the market and fix the issues. Either way, home appraisals and inspections will help you determine the value of your home and decide which areas of your home need improvement.

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