There are a number of things to keep in mind when selecting
a bathroom vanity, not the least of which is its material. Vanities come in a
variety of materials, allowing them to meet any sense of style while keeping
within a budget. It is important to remember however that material will impact
things such as diverse as eco-friendliness and longevity.
The four most commonly used materials for the main frame of
bathroom vanities are solid wood, rubberwood, plywood, and MDF (medium density
fiberboard). Of these, solid wood and rubberwood are the sturdiest, better able
to withstand daily use and water exposure, and capable of producing years of consistent
beauty. Rubberwood is typically more eco-friendly as it is made of materials
that would otherwise go to waste. There are eco-friendly solid wood options
available as well.
Plywood and MDF are more cost-effective than solid and
rubberwood options. When moisture-controlled, plywood can be resistant to water
damage and may last for a good amount of time. MDF vanities are the least
expensive option, but cannot be relied on for extended use. Both plywood and
MDF are more likely to warp and crack, and will require replacement sooner than
more sturdy alternatives.
It is possible to find inexpensive vanities that are built
to last, but cost should not be the primary concern when looking for bathroom
fixtures. Looking at a range of vanities within a specific price-range can give
you the opportunity to find one that meets all of your requirements without
breaking the bank.
Heating an entire house can be incredibly expensive and, if
you have floor-board or radiator heating, eliminating or reducing heat in some
rooms is often a necessity. One of the easiest rooms to reduce heat in is the
bathroom, but this can lead to serious discomfort when the room is needed. This
makes finding alternative (and less expensive) heat sources a very attractive
No matter if you reduce heat to your bathroom intentionally
or your home simply doesn’t heat it appropriately, there are a number of steps
you can take to increase comfort in this important area, starting with an
inspection of the room itself. Take time to look for cracks leading both into
the home and outdoors that may allow precious heat to escape. In some cases,
simply sealing cracks with caulking, weather stripping, or even covering
windows during the winter months is all it takes to make a space cozier.
However, this is certainly not always the case.
Simple additions that can increase heat output without
requiring significant amounts of electricity include:
Space heaters – not always the most attractive
of options, space heaters do come in a variety of styles and can be
complementary to many bathroom designs. Just be sure to keep these units away
Heated towel racks – these bathroom accessories
serve the dual purpose of heating towels and radiating heat into the bathroom.
Free-standing and wall-mounted styles are available along with a range of power
If you are comfortable with electric work, consider an
infrared lamp. Common features in hotel bathrooms, infrared lamps are
relatively easy to install and can produce enough heat to warm even medium to
larger sized bathrooms.
Finally, if you’re due for a bathroom remodel, consider
installing radiant floor heating (RFH). RFH can use electric heating coils or
water tubing to produce a heating effect that, as the name implies, radiates
from the floor. This can help ensure warm feet and a warm room even in the
coldest of temperatures.
Your bathroom is likely the first room you use in the
morning and the last one you use at night. You deserve a space that is aesthetically,
physically, and economically comfortable and inviting. These steps can be used
alone or in combination as space requires, and can help produce luxurious comfort
without breaking the bank.
While often used interchangeably, modern and contemporary –
so far as design goes – are not the same thing. This does not mean the words
cannot be used as synonyms under other circumstances, but when it comes to
design themes, they enjoy some very clear differences.
When a style is referred to as contemporary, the implication
is that it’s happening right now. Pulling from a variety of inspirations,
contemporary style often aims to create new and innovative permutations of Art
Deco, Futurism, and Deconstructivism – frequently blending these elements with
designs from different cultures and communities.
Currently, contemporary design is trending towards a green
focus with renewable and reclaimed surfaces, eco-friendly lighting and
fixtures, and environmentally neutral paints. The eco-trend is constantly
evolving, much like contemporary style, allowing for a number of new designs to
become available every year.
Whereas contemporary design is constantly evolving, modern
style is static. In fact, this style has not changed much since the mid-20th
Century. Modern style has specific characteristics that work to make a space
look futuristic, open, and even minimalist. Simple lines and bolder colors
complement chrome accents and high gloss finishes that often elicit a sense of
luxury. In bathroom design, modern style may incorporate floating vanities,
glass showers, and fixtures made of molded plastic or metal. All of this
combines to create a look that is at once futuristic and classic, a combination
that comprises the very heart of modern design.
Modern and contemporary design can be complementary and even
combined into transitional themes. However, it is important that you choose a
style that is consistent with the other features in your home to produce a
sense of continuity throughout.
Has your vanity been damaged by water? There’s no need to
scrap the entire thing just yet. In fact, many vanities can survive water
damage and those that are impacted may still be repaired with simple fixes.
First off, solid wood vanities are a very good investment.
Not only do they tend to hold up to daily use better than medium-density
fiberboard (MDF), they tend to withstand significantly more water. However,
just because solid wood is less likely to warp, swell, crack, or bubble
following exposure to excessive amounts of water doesn’t mean it is impervious
Cabinetry and shelving may require replacing following water
damage, though surface areas can often be treated by sanding and refinishing
the affected areas.
To remove water stains from a solid wood vanity:
Sand the areas to be treated
Apply a wood bleach containing oxalic acid
Sand again, this time with 220 grit sandpaper
Apply a matching finishing coat
Unlike solid wood, MDF can easily warp, crack, and bubble.
However, making repairs to MDF may be slightly easier. So long as the
foundation of the vanity has not been compromised, you can often repair MDF by
simply peeling off the veneer and reaffixing it with a strong carpenter’s glue.
Be sure to protect the outer surface with wax paper and to tightly clamp the
veneer for at least 24-hours for optimal results.
If a vanity is damaged beyond reasonable repair, it may be
time to consider a new one. This option can even provide you with an unexpected
opportunity to upgrade other parts of your bathroom for a redesign more suited
to your current tastes.
If you are considering selling your home, keep this in mind:
the appearance and features of your bathrooms can literally make or break a
sale. If a bathroom in your home is lacking key features and elegant
enhancements, you risk losing a sale to an otherwise interested buyer. But
don’t fret, there are a number of simple upgrades that can improve the
appearance of your bathroom and even increase the resale value of your home.
Fixtures are quick to replace and can significantly enhance
features and appearance. Consider replacing existing sinks with a more
contemporary vanity. Features that appeal to large numbers of people include
storage space, water saving faucets, lighting, and mirrors. Be sure to pick a
vanity that is appropriately sized for your bathroom to guard against making
the space look crowded or too small.
Replacing old toilets with eco-friendly options can also
greatly increase the appeal of your bathroom. Matching accessories such as
toilet paper holders and toilet brush holders can further improve the
appearance and attractiveness of your commode.
If possible, look into upgrading lighting. This can be done
by adding a skylight or window for natural light. It can also be done by
replacing old fixtures with more efficient and attractively designed light
Finally, take into account the state of your tub or shower.
Upgrades that can make a space more inviting include shower bars, rain shower
heads, and built-in shelving. You can further enhance the area around your
shower by replacing towels bars with heated warmers and choosing soft colors
Many upgrades can be done with little to no experience,
though some installations may require professional help. Take time to plan out
your redesign before you start and enlist the help you need to ensure
spectacular final results.