Faux floating vanity with deeply recessed platform?

kaysdJune 25, 2013

We are planning a 76" long x 28" deep floating vanity in a 3-sided alcove. It is deeper than usual because there will be a 4" deep x 12" high tiled ledge behind each faucet. The vanity will float 7" off the floor. The side walls will have pockets for pocket doors, so the vanity cannot be supported on the studs of the side walls.

The designer for the cabinet company said we have to support the cabinet from the bottom, not just the back wall. He suggested using 7" x 1" boards along the back and side walls to rest the cabinet on to provide additional support. These boards would be tiled to match the floor tile, and he claims no one will be able to tell. I already purchased custom 3.5" high bullnose tiles (out of our floor tile) to use as baseboards in the bathroom. I am worried how it will look where the baseboard meets the 7" high tiled area, even if it is recessed a few inches back from the front of the vanity. I also want to make sure the vanity has plenty of support, since DH and I both lean on the vanity while doing certain grooming tasks.

I am wondering if using a deeply recessed platform with a tiled toe kick would be a good alternative for support. Since the vanity base is 28" deep, it could go on a 12-14" deep platform that would run the length of the back wall. There would still be an open area at least 14" deep from the front of the vanity, that hopefully no one would notice does not go all the way back. Does this sound like it would work? Have you seen this done before? Any other ideas?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Steel. Lots of it. Secured to the studs and projecting inward into the structural support of the vanity. It's how many floating vanities are done. Internal steel supports are screwed to the steel wall supports.

Or fur out the walls the same 4" as the ledge and make the vanity 4" shallower. You'd still want some extra internal frame support with it floating though.

However, 28" is VERY deep for a vanity. Vanities are 21" deep for a reason. (Which is 4" shallower than kitchen cabinets. For a reason.) Overall, I'd suggest rethinking the whole thing as it will be ergonomically difficult to use. People want to lean forward and be able to see themselves close up in the mirror. 28" is WAY too deep to do that. You'll never be able to apply mascara! A mirror should begin approximately 4-6" above the top of the vanity. 12" above will render it difficult for shorter people to adequately see themselves. Even taller people won't be able to view their outfits well etc.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would think a platform would be a good idea to support your vanity. Unless you have long views, no one would see the platform if it was recessed. Also will make sweeping/mopping under there a lot easier.

Regarding what Hollysprings says, I agree with the vanity depth. I am going with a custom made 18" depth vanity for this very reason, so I can get close to the mirror :) I got a feel for 18" vanity with my first bathroom remodel when there was a space issue. I love it, so I am doing it again in my 2nd remodel, even though I didn't need to.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely steel.

Also +1 on rethinking the plan entirely. 28" deep will positively kill your back.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the warning on vanity depth -- I thought more storage sounded good. I originally told the cabinet guy I wanted the vanity to be 25" deep (standard 21" vanity depth plus 4" for ledge), but he said it is better to allow full 24" depth so sink and faucet aren't crowded, plus 4". I think I can get the cabinet depth down to under 24". The sink is 15" front to back (13" opening plus 1" flange) and the faucet escutcheon is 2 5/8". So, 3/4" cabinet front + 1" flange + 13" sink opening + 1" flange/gap between sink opening and faucet + 2 5/8" faucet + 1" gap + 4" ledge = 23-3/8" cabinet depth + 1-1/4" counter overhang = 24-5/8" total depth to mirror. That is only 2" deeper than what I have now.

Our current vanity has a very high tile backsplash, so the mirror starts at 46" up from the floor, and it is fine for us. I can see from above my head to several inches below my waist in that mirror. There will also be a full-length mirror hanging on the opposite wall that can be used to view outfits. The reason the tile ledge is 12" tall is that we are using Graff Sade faucets, which are 10-3/4" tall, and my designer said it would look best if the ledge is a little taller than the faucet. The 12" ledge height also lines up with the break in the center storage tower above the appliance garage. I might be able to reduce it to 11" and still fit my electric toothbrush.

I will ask about steel supports. The drywall is already up, so we may be limited in what we can do. Unfortunately, coordination between GC and cabinet guys has not been great. Everyone was told about the floating vanity at the beginning of the project, but I'm not sure anyone planned for it structurally. DH would be just as happy to forego the floating vanity I want in order to avoid further delays in finishing this remodel.

Vanity design:

Bathroom layout -- room is 6' x 13.5':

Graff Sade faucets:

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, Steel is the way to go for a floating cabinet.

When we did our hall bath, initially we thought about having a floating vanity but eventually dropped the idea and stayed with full height cabinet. I am so glad we did not use the originally design, because I really like the ample storage space.

Our vanity is 97(L) x 36 (H) x 22.5 (D). I am not very tall, yet the depth feel right. The height is perfect, we are so tired of the low vanity we had before.

Other than the pair of doors below the sink, we use drawers everywhere. It also has a small trash pull out, magazine rack and toilet paper storage area next to the toilet.

In addition to the regular bathroom essentials, there is room for everything, such as bath towels, wash clothes, shoe polishing kit, blow dryers, hair products...etc. Nothing is out, it makes cleaning super easy, the room always looks tidy and clean.

We will use similar design ideas in the next two bathrooms remodel.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 2:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Azmom, that sounds like a perfect vanity. Can you post a picture? I am installing a shorter vanity at 60" but have plans to store most things in the drawers. I would like to see your drawer layout, and with them opened, if able. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd do away with the idea of "floating" and just do a regular base supported vanity. I "get" the idea of a floating vanity that is 18" off the floor. You can see the fact that it doesn't have any support and it's "cool". A floating vanity that is only 7" off the floor is an unusual choice because you will never really be able to see the wall behind it to see that it actually IS floating. Plus, it's not tall enough off of the ground to easily clean underneath.

I also think your designer's 12" ledge and tile band is a better "design world" idea than it is a practical real world idea. It puts the mirror too high and too far away for practical usage. I've done many projects with a tall lavatory faucet and never has any client felt that it needed "backing" behind it. However, I usually unify the space by having the entire back wall behind the vanity tiled, and then just place a medicine cabinet or mirror over that at the appropriate height that suits the client in question.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm with live wire (and others) on this.

When floating vanities, I incorporate the steel supports into the design of the cabinetry. That way the location of the wall studs, the steel, and cabinet structure all meld together. As an afterthought? I'd not be so comfortable.

Based on your floor plan, there appears to be a wall about 48" away from the vanity. I'm not able to confidently interpret the makeup of the wall (is it all wall, or wall and a door?) in terms of will the vanity be looked at from someone in a room off to the right?


With your wall already being drywalled, and with the vanity only having a 7" 'float', and with the bathroom floor only being 4' wide in front of the vanity? I'd recommend the vanity being installed on a partial-depth 7" tall platform. So instead of having a full-depth float, you'd essentially be creating a deep toe space, say 14" deep. The 14" is a WAG, it can be adjusted as needed.

Paint the face of the deep toe kick flat black. Even with undercabinet lighting, it's likely that no one will ever see it unless they get on their hands and knees. It'll simply be a black hole. You can indeed make it deeper if sightlines from across the room dictate.

The idea is that a full-depth float only 7" high will create a dust-bunny tunnel. It'll be hard to clean under. Making the recess 14" deep, or 18" deep, or what have you? It'll provide support for the cabinet and maintain the look of a float.

All while minimizing a deep hiding place for dust bunnies or dropped objects.

Just another opinion.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi enduring,

Do you rememeber you helped me with my bathtub decision? I am so glad I could offer bathroom vanity photos for your reference. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

First photo is the bathroom full view. The vanity cabinet is custom made using clear alder wood. Cabinet pulls are from Ikea.

The counter top is made of quartzite Moonlight. We use same quartzite to trim around the bathtube, shower nitch, and window frame. The quartzite is very pretty, almost maintainence free, super easy to clean.

We thought it would be easier to bath small kids, we decided using long shower curtain (from Restoration Hardware) instead of glass shower door.

This photo shows the towels storage. I put two big bathsheets, and one roll of paper towel in the top drawer. There are 4 regular bathtowels and 4 face towels in the bottom drawer.

The 2 top drawers on the right sides I keep make ups, grooming items, in the bottom drawer I put a bath scale and jewelry cleaner there.

This photo shows trash pull out. The top shelf I put hair products there. 2nd shelf I put body wash, mouth wash, body lotion, shampoo bottles, face cleaner..etc. 10 full size bottles in total, and still has room for more.

Next to the Toto toilet there is storage room for toilet paper rolls, paper towel and magazine rack. By the toilet (cannot see from the photo) there is an electrical outlet in case we want to add a washelet later.

The two wooden boxes next to the mirror are medcine cabinets.

The only doors are under the sink. There is plenty room for cleaning products and equipments.

The top left drawer is for medicine. The 2nd drawer keeps hair drayer, curling iron, and toiletry bags for trips.The bottom drawer is for shoe polishing kit, shoe pads, emergency medicine bag...etc.


As I mentioned earlier, I am glad we chose full size cabinet. The ample storage keeps everything, so nothing is out. The counter top and tiles are all easy to clean, therefore keeping this bathroom clean does not take much effort at all.

This post was edited by azmom on Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 3:49

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Azmom, thanks, your vanity is wonderful! I love the full sided drawers where the towels go. I am going see if adding this idea to my cabinet order will work! Keeping my fingers crossed. It looks like it really contains the towels yet without restraint. SO thoughtfully laid out. Have you done a "bathroom reveal"?

I bet Kaysd, is inspired with this too.

ps, I hope you like your tub; I don't remember the specifics, but honored to have been able to help.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


We took the size of folded towels when determining the dimension of the towel drawers. The drawers actually hold more than what is needed for one bathroom. The towels stay in; it is easy to take out the one you like without digging through the entire pile.

I like the toilet paper storage too. It is so much better than the expensive toilet paper holder we returned after realized we really did not need it.

I did not have a bathroom reveal, because I was/am quite disappointed by the messed up counter top edges. I will make sure the next two bathrooms would be done right.

We don't have young kids at home, but we tried to cover young kids' needs in the design. The faucet is easy to use. There is room to store a folded steps, so it could be taken out when a young kid needs to reach for faucet and sink.

Yes, I like the bath tub. It is ideal for regular shower and for bathing a young child.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Vote Now on Color Plan 1, 2, or 3!
I have been planning the bathroom remodel for two years...
Toilets, anyone?
Ten years ago we put in the Toto Ultramax after reading...
Master Bath Reveal - Small space, big style
We don't have the bathroom shade installed yet, but...
Console legs for wall-mount sink?
We have installed this sink in our bathroom: http://www.ybath.com/duravit-starck-3-double-furniture-washbasin.html?utm_medium=pla&utm_source=google&utm_content=duravit-starck-3-double-furniture-washbasin&cvosrc=pla.google.duravit-starck-3-double-furniture-washbasin&gclid=CKjNlI3C08QCFYhhfgodmE8A8Q The...
Faux Carrera on floor and in shower, what countertop?
Love the look of all marble bathrooms but I don't have...
Sponsored Products
Filament Design Bathroom Lighting Cabernet Collection 4-Light Oiled Bronze Bath
$84.99 | Home Depot
24" Avis Creamy White Console Vanity for Undermount Sink
Signature Hardware
Fanimation B5270WA Concave Carved 22 in. Blade Set with Woven Bamboo - Walnut Br
$149.00 | Hayneedle
Edge Bath Bar by Philips Forecast Lighting
$238.00 | Lumens
Mirror Vanities Four-Light Polished Chrome Bath Bar
$55.00 | Bellacor
1-light Cube Crystal Wall Sconce
Kichler Currituck Transitional Bath Vanity Light
Fresca Torino 30 Light Oak Modern Bathroom Vanity w/ Vessel Sink
Hudson Reed
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™