Choosing Cabinets for Your Bathroom Remodel
For many homeowners, one of the biggest reasons to remodel a bathroom is to upgrade the cabinets and provide more storage. There are dozens of reasons that you might be ready to remodel your bathroom. Perhaps you've purchased an older home and the bathroom needs a serious update. Maybe you have a basic shower stall, and you've always dreamed of installing a luxurious soaking tub. Whatever your motivation for remodeling, these tips can help make it easier to narrow down the options and choose the right cabinets for your bathroom remodel.
Determine the Cabinet Layout First
Many experts in bathroom remodeling suggest that the first thing you do in the process is establish a layout for the space. Some remodels will keep major items, such as the sink, the toilet and the shower, exactly where they are.
If this is the case for you, then you'll already have some measurements that you can use to pick out cabinets. If you are changing the layout, make sure you leave ample space to walk around the bathroom, and avoid overcrowding.
Another issue to address when planning the layout is plumbing. If you want to move your existing small vanity to the other side of the room and replace it with a much larger version, you will also have to move the water supply and drains.
These bigger plumbing endeavors can take a lot of time, money and even involve removing the floor altogether. If you aren't willing to commit to such a big project, consider only tweaking the layout slightly or keeping major water and electric-based appliances where they already are.
Get Practical About Your Bathroom Storage Needs
The biggest role of bathroom cabinets is to provide storage. In a guest bathroom, a smaller vanity might be large enough to hold some basic cleaning supplies, a few extra towels and a couple of spare rolls of toilet papers.
However, a bathroom shared by three teenage girls will need substantially more storage to avoid a daily disaster. Be realistic about how much storage you need and what you can move into another room.
If you have a large hallway cabinet nearby, for example, you might easily store towels there. Homeowners who want a neat and uncluttered bathroom should definitely plan for the most storage possible.
Where to Add Cabinets
Think outside the box when it comes to where cabinets can be installed in your bathroom. The most traditional option is a large vanity.
A vanity consists of base cabinets, a sink and often some kind of storage option behind a mirrored panel. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a great vanity, you can do a lot more if you need the storage.
For starters, a vanity can be floating, which means that it is mounted to the wall, for a more contemporary look. Other options for cabinets are floor-to-ceiling height cabinets against one wall for towels and hygiene supplies.
If you have an unused corner, open triangular shelving can be a modern way to utilize that area.
Another often ignored area of the bathroom that can absolutely accommodate cabinetry is above the toilet. Typically, this space is left blank, but a wall-mounted cabinet can look attractive and be practical - especially in a smaller bathroom.
Built-in or Stock Options
Another big decision you will need to make about your bathroom cabinets is whether to have them custom made or to purchase stock options. Stock cabinets are produced in large quantities and are readily available for purchase.
Stock cabinets are typically cheaper than the custom version, and they are available in a wide range of materials, colors, sizes and styles.
If you opt for stock cabinets, be very careful when you take measurements. Since they are pre-made, it can be a little more difficult to choose stock cabinets that fit into your space perfectly.
Custom cabinets typically cost a lot more than stock cabinets, simply because they have to be constructed with your exact measurements and specifications in mind.
If you have a large budget for your bathroom remodel, you have the time to wait several weeks for your cabinets to be built and delivered, custom bathroom cabinets will most likely be the ideal choice for your remodel.
Cleaning and Maintenance
When choosing what kind of cabinet fronts or materials to use in your remodeled bathroom, make sure you consider how much maintenance will be required.
Intricate details and even raised trim around the panels will equal more work when it comes to regular cleaning. Also, remember that bathrooms are generally wet and humid spaces.
If you're thinking about some kind of cabinets that won't handle either of those conditions, think carefully about whether it is truly the right fit for your bathroom.
Choosing Cabinet and Countertop Materials
Once you've decided on the best layout and location for your cabinets, as well as their size and whether to pick a stock or custom option, it is time to consider materials.
Typically, all bathroom cabinets are made from the same material, which gives continuity and cohesiveness in a small space. Wood, while very popular in kitchen cabinets, may not do well in a humid bathroom.
However, wood that is lacquered and sealed, as well as thin wood veneers, can work and give you the natural grain or coloring you want from wood.
One popular option for a durable and easy-to-clean bathroom cabinet is laminate, which is also quite affordable. Thermofoil can also last for years and needs little in the way of maintenance.
The countertop for your vanity is also an important element to think about as you plan your remodel. Solid surfaces, either synthetic or made from natural stone, work very well for bathrooms.
Cabinets do not always need to be replaced in a bathroom remodel, but if you need more storage space and you have the budget to update them, it’s a good ideas to take the plunge with either stock or custom-built cabinets that will add style and functionality to your bathroom for years to com.