You are standing in a bathroom showroom, products surround you and you have no idea where to begin, you have no idea why one brand is better then the other one and there is a variety of colour choices.

Having worked in the plumbing industry for over 10 years and having helped hundreds of people select their bathroom products, I gained a thorough understanding of what product is high quality and what the best way to help people choose the right product for their project was.

Every week I will put together a blog post on how to choose a certain product type from vanities to toilets, from tap ware to heated towel rails, so stay tuned!

The first thing I recommend is for people to choose their vanity.  There are a variety of manufacturers with all different designs and who all use different materials and colour finishes, the vanity choice would be the hardest and it would take the longest for people as it really does impact on the design of your bathroom, below are my top tips for choosing the right vanity for your project:


What size are you after?

If you have a large enough space a 1200mm vanity would be ideal, of coarse if you can fit a bigger size then you can go all the way up to 1800mm with some of the vanities (even bigger if you look into custom) .1200mm however is a very common size and is a big enough vanity to have plenty of storage and shelf space. 900mm would be the next size down and then down to 750mm, these are common sizes however if you have an odd size for e.g 600mm then there will be options available however they can be more limited.

You can have the option of having a double bowl from 1200mm size upwards, double bowls are fantastic in ensuites where there may be two people getting ready at the same time, or in the main bathroom where children would be getting ready at the same time, the only thing to consider with a double sink is that you will also require double the basin mixers and pop up wastes.


What is your style?

Is your home a character home? If so then are you wanting to keep the gorgeous character features of your home or are you wanting to go modern? If you are keeping with the character theme then go for a beautiful traditional vanity paired with stunning traditional tap ware, have a look at our Bungalow renovation that we did for ideas. If you want a modern vanity then a square shaped vanity top is popular paired up with a square basin mixer, or if you don’t mind spending a bit of extra money you could choose to go with a vessel basin on top of a stone top on top of your vanity.


 Wall hung or floor standing?

Wall hung vanities help make a space look bigger, not only that but they are a lot easier to clean under then a floor standing vanity, and you will have the option to put an LED light strip underneath a wall hung vanity. Why would you want an LED light strip underneath your wall-hung vanity? Because when you walk into the bathroom at night time you can wire it up to a sensor so that when you walk into the bathroom it lights up, this will give you a lovely subtle light without blinding you.

Floor standing vanities look great in more traditional homes where the vanity has legs, or if the plumbing cannot be moved for any reason and it goes through the floor, then you would need to stick with floor standing to cover the pipe.


Single drawer or double drawer? 

Single drawer is great for guest bathrooms where it wont be getting used often and it does give you the illusion of more space within the bathroom, however you will be restricted on storage. Double drawer is a popular option as a lot of people tend to roll up their towels and put them in the bottom drawer and use the top drawer for everything else like make up, deodorant etc.


White or Woodgrain?

White is a safe finish which a lot of people tend to sway towards as it doesn’t date, however going with a Woodgrain finish can make the bathroom feel a lot more up market and it will also help add a different element into the design.  Choosing a finish, which would go well with tiles, can be tough and overwhelming and this is where our Interior Design service would help you greatly, get in touch with me at for a no obligation consultation.  Otherwise, one piece of advice, if you are well and truly stuck between white and Woodgrain then go for a finish like Washed Oak or White Wilderness, this way you still get the lovely texture of Woodgrain whilst not straying too far away from white.


What material for the top?

Ceramic vanity tops are definitely a top seller, they look good, are easy to clean and they feel up market. However, Acrylic tops are incredibly durable and are a great option if they will be installed in an environment where they will be having a rough life so consider this option if this was to be the case.

Composite stone tops are starting to become more popular, they tend to be a lot more accurate size wise then Ceramic can be (there will always be a variance in ceramic tops), which helps especially if you are wanting to install the unit in an alcove or if one side will be sitting right up against a wall. Composite stone is also incredibly durable but still has a lovely look and feel to it.

Stone tops with a vessel basin on top are also a great option however they do tend to be more expensive. They do however look more high end and designer, not to mention you can personalize your vanity not only by choosing the finish of the vanity but also the finish of the stone top and the shape of the basin to go on top.


What brand?

There are a number of vanity manufacturers in the NZ market, having had access to all the different brands I learnt over the years which manufacturers were easy to deal with if anything did go wrong and which product we didn’t get too many service requests back on. This is why I always use and recommend NZ made product in all of my designs, not only are we supporting a NZ manufacturer but the quality is exceptional. Companies like St Michel design all their vanities in house and they can even manufacture completely custom units, which is great when you have a specific space you are trying to fit and it’s not a standard size.

By now you are probably thinking, “ there are so many options for vanities” and yes there are but the great thing is that the perfect vanity for you will be out there and I am more then happy to help you find it. Hopefully my tips have helped to get an understanding about the basics of how to choose your vanity, keep an eye out for the next blog post on how to choose your tap ware.