Need design advice for bathroom vanity/makeup area
ctkathy
March 16, 2013 in Design Dilemma
This is a total bathroom gut and remodel. We will have his and her vanity areas; her's is the problem. There is a 78" run -- 30" for a makeup area at about 30"31" height and a 48" vanity area. I had always thought I would do an above counter sink but I'm second quessing this choice now that I'm looking at sinks and have been told that vessel sinks aren't selling. We are concerned about resale since we will probably be in this house less than 10 more years. So, it looks like I can do a countertop that is about 30/31" in height all the way across with a 4-6" high vessel type sink OR I can do a undermount sink which would make the makeup area a drop down of 4"-6". Which one looks better from a design standpoint? I'm also planning a vanity with all drawers/no cabinet so an undermount will eat into this space more than an above counter sink. Thanks for any input.
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
A few things....first, in most master baths we do, we are raising the height if the vanity counter to 36", the same height as the kitchen. Second, the area of a cabinet below a vessel sink is still pretty full. We have plumbing down there and often electrical too. Third, all drawer cabinets, no doors are a pain for service. Most of us contractor types are bigger than average....so asking us to squeeze big arms, shoulders and hands into a little drawer space to clear a P-trap is...more time...and time is money. We recently did a job where the client wanted an all drawer look. To accommodate them we built U-shaped drawers to go around the plumbing. We used a full overlay style box and drawer front so that the entire front was open with all the drawers removed. No face frame. Those 4 drawers cost an extra $200 on top of our standard charges....which, by the way, was elevated anyway....drawers cost more to make and install than doors.
   March 16, 2013 at 6:58AM
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migcote
agree on not doing the drawers. Many plumbing issues can happen. Prefer under mount sinks as vessels sinks are a big mess when I have used them in hotels. Water gets everywhere and it is difficult to maintain the countertops. Just think of the "junk" that will ultimately form around the bowl requiring a brush to clean.
   March 16, 2013 at 7:20AM
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ctkathy
Hi, I know that. We can do the U shaped drawers. I big yawning cabinet is a waste of space and space is critical in this bathroom. With a vessel sink the height would be 36", right? You wouldn't put a 6" deep vessel sink on top of a 36" high vanity. Just check above to see that I am talking about a step down makeup area AND a vanity area. I will mention to my cabinet guy how you accomplished the drawers--sounds really good and I'm sure your client was pleased.
   March 16, 2013 at 7:23AM
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PRO
ASVInteriors
I have used both. I find they both have pros and cons. For aesthetics, I prefer a sink on the counter... or a vessel sink. I have used various vanities with draws and none have a problem. Even IKEA allows for this. They don't have U shaped drawers but allow for a recessed draw at the back. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S99903528/

Also pricewise I have found both are on par with each other (I am in Europe and client vanities have ranged from $ tto $$$)
Bathroom renovation
House renovation
   March 16, 2013 at 7:31AM
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Right, top of sink, whether vessel or undermount is 36". You want to maximize storage and a single bowl only takes up a 21" wide cabinet with an undermount. So 48" minus 22" leave 26" for storage that you won't have with a vessel...with the vessel, the entire top level is chopped off for the sink to sit on top of the counter. Undermounting gives additional storage space. Your supposition that an undermount eats into available storage space is not correct. The vessel actually eliminates a potential drawer....the sinks take up the same volume of the room...we lift the cabinet up to surround the undermount. Can't think of any more ways to say this.... I discarded the vessel bowl immediately when you talked about needing more storage. Besides, they get gunk in the crevices and are a royal shooting pain to install.

ASV, Most vanity cabinets in the US are 21" deep. We need between 4" and 6" to set a faucet at the back. If a sink 14"X 21" and the drain is centered (some aren't, I know), minimum center line of drain is 11". My smallest available drawer slide in Blum Tandem is 9". Take 1" off for the drawer back and front and I have an 8" interior drawer, 17 1/2" wide for a 21" wide cabinet. Just under 1 sq. ft. of drawer space...for $200. That's some high dollar square footage even for a bathroom when we multiply by 3 drawers. Of course there are many other ways of configuring the drawers, but I need to start somewhere with the calculation.
1 Like   March 16, 2013 at 8:16PM
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ctkathy
I want to avoid having that yawning cabinet under my sink as it is just a waste of usable space. My husband and I first encountered the vanities with drawers built around the plumbing in Europe and feel the deep drawers are so much more usable than the big cabinet. Maybe there are more sq inches in an undermount sink installation, but there is more usable storage in a vanity with all drawers. I saw some very high end vanities today that have above counter sinks and they have drawers directly under the sink; perhaps they do not go all the way to the back but they were very good sized drawers and didn't even have the U cut out in some cases.

I have a vessel sink in a powder room and have never encountered cleaning issues to which you allude.
   March 16, 2013 at 8:24PM
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Right! So you have made your decision and can move forward.
   March 16, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Madeline
A vessel sink, or any sink, doesn't get as much use in a powder room. Using a sink several times a day would be an important difference, I would say.
   March 16, 2013 at 9:17PM
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ctkathy
The kind of sink I'm looking at isn't the round bowl type of vessel sink. I'm deciding between a couple of sinks that are more the square or rectangular type that sit down solid to the countertop--more of an above counter sink. I only use my master bath sink a couple of times a day traditionally--morning and evening.
   March 16, 2013 at 9:20PM
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