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Bathroom Remodel Tips: Bathroom Vanity Material Types

Aug 7, 2008
One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is:
What material are your vanities made from?

Though the answer is a simple one, the response we get from clients can be at times frustrating. There are many myths about bathroom cabinetry material type. The goal of this article is to help educate you on this subject and provide clarification.

Bathroom vanity cabinets can be manufactured from many materials including solid hardwood, MDF (medium density fiberboard), laminate, and glass, just to name a few.

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to each:

Solid Hardwood
You will pay a much higher price for a vanity made from solid hardwood. Solid hardwood needs to be laminated together matching grain and color. It must also be adequately dried to prevent warping. There is a higher waste factor in the manufacturing process. You can easily determine if a vanity is made from solid hardwood by looking at the interior finish; if the inside of the vanity has a stain finish, it is made from solid wood; if it is painted, it is made from MDF.

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
MDF is a composite wood product made out of wood waste fibers glued together with resin, heat, and pressure. MDF is used in many applications because it is smooth, uniform, and won't warp with a quality paint or finish. MDF is appropriate for bathroom cabinetry because it is more stable with changing humidity levels (no swelling or shrinking). MDF has gained popularity because it has a lower impact on the environment as compared to lumber because it is made from leftover scraps that would otherwise be dumped into a landfill.

Laminate
Laminate comes in a wide variety of colors and textures: wood patterns, stone, marble and solid colors. Laminate is often used in commercial jobs because of its durability and ease of care. It is also used in post modern remodels and children's rooms.

Glass
This very simple to care for; usually considered a contemporary look with limited cabinet space. Most glass vanities have open shelves for storage which require a focus on organization as it is visible to all. Glass vanities can be expensive, depending one the size of the vanity. Glass vanities are usually mixed with chrome for a clean line sophisticated look.

All of the materials mentioned above are considered acceptable materials to manufacture bathroom vanities. The more important factor is the quality of the manufacturer. I have personally seen solid hardwood vanity lines that are manufactured poorly, and have seen very high quality MDF bathroom vanities. Do your research when choosing a vanity retailer, and ideally ask others for recommendations when possible.
About the Author
Julia Ritzenthaler is Owner of boutique online furniture stores, http://www.UniqueVanities.com, http://www.UniqeMirrorsOnline.com, & http://www.UniqueLightFixture.com. For more information about unique bathroom vanity ideas, visit us online or email us with your questions at uniquevanities@msn.com.
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