Small or big vanity

lzhwongMarch 3, 2013

Currently, the plans for the bathroom reflect a single bowl 72 inch vanity. This bathroom is a guest bathroom and will not need double bowls. I was thinking of getting a smaller vanity and adding a small linen closet in the corner. What is the smallest size closet that provides usable space? Another option is to put a piece of furniture there. I don't think I need a 72 inch vanity.

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Rather than a linen closet which would require extra space for framing and potentially cause a door-swing issue, would you consider a linen tower on that side of your vanity? There are many examples of this on GW and on Here's a few to give you an idea...

Traditional Bathroom design by Birmingham General Contractor Signature Homes

Traditional Bathroom design by Seattle General Contractor Ventana Construction LLC

Traditional Bathroom design by New York Architect Knight Architects LLC

Contemporary Bathroom design by San Francisco General Contractor Harrell Remodeling

This one might still pose a door swing issue but I love all of the storage it provides...

Traditional Bathroom design by San Diego Kitchen And Bath Jamie Gold, AKBD, CAPS

I know that opinions vary on how much resale factors in to decisions like this but one thing you might want to think about is that if your house would likely sell to a family that would use this bathroom for their kid(s), having a second sink ma;y be a plus. This may be irrelevant so feel free to disregard!

Edited to correct a typo.

This post was edited by treasuretheday on Sun, Mar 3, 13 at 14:16

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Treasuretheday: Thank you so much for all those pictures. My house will have 4.5 bathrooms. This bathroom is the downstairs guest bathroom and there will be 3 bathrooms upstairs so I don't think a double vanity is necessary in my situation.

Thank you again! I love the idea of a linen tower!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Yes, I'd say that's an irrelevant concern in your case!

How nice that you have a guest room downstairs with direct access to a bathroom. Lucky guests! With that in mind, I think something with a glass front so that the extra towels are visible would be especially nice. When I'm a guest in someone's house I don't usually feel comfortable looking in a closed cabinet if I need an extra towel or TP.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Doors # 26 and #24 are an issue it appears. Can you make #26 a pocket door? The interference with these two doors will be a problem.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Agree that 26 would be good as a pocket door if possible, but I've seen worse if it can't.

We have something like the second photo in our master and the deep cabinet is a pain. The lower part was designed as a laundry hamper but no basket fits the space because of the depth, height and framing combination. I hate having to pull everything out on the floor and scooping it into a basket, so we haven't used it. The depth of the cabinet is too deep for anything we'd put in them, even deeper than needed for sheets and towels, so we are considering something like the first one. I have 15'x15" uppers like that in my hutch and I tried folded linens in them. It works for us and they won't be so deep that bottles or such on a shelf would get lost in the back.

I like the idea of the glass front on the uppers so that guest don't have to hunt for the things they are most likely to need. That third photo is a really nice look for that if ot works with your home.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:59PM
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How about the linen closet/tower between the vanity and the toilet to further block the toilet from view when the door is open?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:12PM
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If you keep it 24 inches deep, I wouldn't go any narrower than 18 inches, maybe 15 if you just want to put some towels, TP, and basic cleaner. But even at 15 it might start feeling cave-like due to the depth.

I'd agree 72 inches might be a bit much. 48 with a 24 inch storage cabinet might work well.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:15PM
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I think I might do a recessed cabinet like the third image that treasuretheday posted.

I want to leave more room around the toilet so I am planning on doing a 45 vanity, 21 cabinet, and 6 additional inches around the toilet. I'm doing custom cabinets so I don't have use any standard sizes.

I thought about putting the tower next to the toilet but I'm wondering if it will look odd with something jutting out in the middle of the room. Also, my ceilings are 9 ft, should the tower go up to the ceiling? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:39AM
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I'm not good with the how it looks side of things. But I would suggest thinking about either fitting this bath with grab bars, or making a retrofit easy if it's on the ground floor. With several other baths, it might come in very handy having one that older guests can safely use, or that you could use if you broke an ankle or something. There are a few good threads on attractive safety accessories from recent months is you search.

Your comment about the extra room reminded me that it is possible to have the wall too far away, though I think it would have to be more than a 36 inch space to worry about that. Could be wrong though. And there is always the option of a safety frame when needed, though you may prefer the look of a combo grab bar/TP holder.

Or if you have an elevator, maybe one of the upstairs baths.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:28AM
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I think whether you go to the ceiling or not is personal preference. There are several examples of both styles above.

Think about your lighting (in a basement bath, this is critical).

And, also think about the width and depth of the tower. 21" is fairly narrow, esp if you go with 24" deep, and might look funny going clear to the ceiling. But, if above counter height you only have a 12" depth or 15" depth cabinet, it might not look as funny going to the ceiling.

Also, are you a duster? Are you likely to clean the top of the cabinet if it doesn't go clear to the ceiling?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 2:09PM
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I thought about putting the tower next to the toilet but I'm wondering if it will look odd with something jutting out in the middle of the room.

I don't think it would look odd. In fact you might consider doing it they way mongoct has it in his bathroom. Make the cabinet near the toilet a bit higher and deeper than the sink cabinet. That way it can function as a bit more of a screening for the toilet. Then, you can put a tower on top of that cabinet and make it shallower.

I thought I had a picture of his bathroom, but it doesn't appear that I do.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:16PM
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You might try searching with the terms "pony" wall and "throne" -- I remember those in his discussions. A well done bathroom - worth looking for the photos.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Just offering a different suggestion; in my guest bathroom, I have a cart beside the toilet that holds extra towels, luffa sponges etc. You don't really need all the extra storage space provided by a linen tower. I had a custom made 48" vanity made with six drawers and a pullout drawer under sink, and there is more than enough room for everything and to leave empty drawers for guests.

In my main bathroom, I have an antique cabinet to hold towels. Sometimes using an actual piece of furniture rather than all built ins can add some personality, flexibility, and as a bonus, can go with you when you move, or can be changed if you desire.

Keep in mind, chances are that in a guest bath, privacy for the toilet wouldn't be an issue, cuz they would have the door shut, not 'open' like a family member might...LOL

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Since I didn't have a picture of mongoct's bathroom, I snapped a picture of mine. Beagles also has this type of cabinet, but mine is the only one with the top cabinet. With a top cabinet you do have to watch out for sleeping cats.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:04PM
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