What are the most common bathroom vanity materials used? And what are their pros and cons? In this article, we’ll explore a number of different materials in order to try and identify which one is best.
But first, what is a bathroom vanity? And why are they so important to have in a bathroom?
What is a bathroom vanity unit?
A bathroom vanity unit is quite simply an item of bathroom furniture that services as storage space. In many cases, a bathroom vanity unit might be topped with a plumbed in sink (or several, like these double basin vanity units for example).
With enough shopping around, there’s no end to the amount of different bathroom vanity units on the market. That being said, there are many materials used which aren’t as suitable as is expected.
And that’s just it, when you purchase a bathroom vanity unit online, you expect it to function well in a damp, bathroom environment. However, if you skimp too much and try to save as much money as you can, that’s when you can fall into traps and end up with a poorly manufactured unit with unsuitable traits. Let’s look at a few examples:
Particle board (or composite wood) uses glue and wood particles to form this well-known material. They are heated to extreme temperatures and shapes into sheets of varying sizes and thickness, and then used to assemble all-manner of furniture.
Now, particle board in almost any other setting works great. However, in the bathroom, not so much. This is because they tend not to be the highest performers, sagging under excessive weight and giving way to moisture and damp fairly easily.
As for medium density fibreboard (MDF), whilst it is an attractive budget choice, like particle board, it is heavier and denser. Therefore, it must be properly treated and sealed before use. Otherwise, with too much exposure to moisture, your MDF bathroom vanity unit is going to swell and fall into disrepair.
Plywood is another attractive budget option, it all depends on how well it is treated and weather the varnish sealant can be finished with an attractive wood-grain effect. Otherwise, plywood is rather tasteless. That being said, it is known for its longevity, its resistance to contracting and expanding when exposed to varying temperatures and moisture levels, and its otherwise versatile nature.
It doesn’t look as good as many of the other available materials, but it’s cheap and gets the job done.
Solid wood (which can either be single natural wood, or mixed hardwoods) is a fairly common material used for bathroom vanities. Certainly much can be said about the strength and durability that hardwood provides, however, if not treated properly, it won’t last long. It can easily absorb the moisture in the air, leading to swelling and cracking. This is why it is paramount that you order a quality solid wood bathroom vanity unit.
Rubberwood (used from the rubber tree) is fast becoming an eco-friendly alternative to many other materials. Whilst it certainly isn’t as strong as oak for example, it cuts down significantly on waste. In any case, you need to opt for the style and material that resonates the most with you.
Making the right choice
If you are struggling to settle on the ideal material for you, consider the following things:
- Resistance to moisture: If you are unwilling or unable to manage the humidity in your bathroom (consider installing extractor fans etc.), then you must consider a bathroom vanity material that has a high resistance to moisture. Water-resistant, or even waterproof materials are recommended.
- Durability: In a busy household with growing children it pays to invest in a bathroom vanity unit that is made from a durable material. Think about how much weight you may need to accommodate (unless you trust your children never to try climbing on the sink), and so on.
- Budget: Whilst you should definitely be conscious of how much you spend, if you prioritise spending as little money as possible, then you’ll likely end up with a substandard product that will soon let you down. Find the middle ground!
At Bathrooms and More Store, we have a wide variety of solid woods and hardwoods, and other handsome and decorative materials to choose from. All of our vanities are treated and sealed accordingly, making them all the more suitable for a bathroom environment. Simply head over to our website to start exploring your options!