36 inch wide vanity or 32 wide inch tub in hall bath

heartspeaceJuly 8, 2012

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask your opinion. I dis-like small vanities but it also dis-like small bathtubs. Our builder gave us a choice either have a 36 inch wide vanity or a 32 inch wide bathtub.

The choice is this if I get to 36 inch vanity I only get a 29 inch tub, if I get a 30 inch vanity I only get a 29 inch tub. Now the tubs that you upgrade to all pretty much come 32 inches wide (eg walk in the, whirlpools, etc) Which would you do?

A little background. The bathroom is for two bedrooms. The people living in the bedrooms have yet to be determined but it could be an elderly couple or two elderly people. It could also be young people. The possibility of both are very real and if it is an elderly person they will need a place where they can go in easily... hence the need to possibly upgraded to a walk-in tub or if they prefer a whirlpool to help their aching muscles. Or it may just be left alone in a 32 inch can be used as a just much larger and would allow person to move around easier.

A 36 inch vanity might be useful for two individuals or more using the whole bathroom from the two bedrooms. As if you have more than one person you will need extra room both above and below the vanity. I am assuming above the vanity that the bowl for the sink is just smaller and the sides/edges are the same width to put things on ( is this generally true? ). After that I will have to figure out storage in the bathroom. The cabinet that is and there is going to be hard to match, without spending a pretty penny.

This is a home to be constructed so I still have some options. But not for long as I have to make decisions this week.

Thoughts and or advice? The faucet will be a smaller 4 inch model to save space.


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I would go with the smaller vanity and larger tub in your case. It sounds like tub size is important and the vanity difference won't be enough for you to be happy you sacrificed a larger tub for it.

The difference between a 36" and 32" vanity isn't enough that you will think, "Geez, if only we had 4" more storage under here."

Now, the sink size does not scale with the vanity in all cases, so you will sacrifice counter space. You often see the same size sink in a 32" and 36" vanity, it's just that one will have more space to put stuff down.

You can probably make up for the loss in vanity storage with a recessed medicine cabinet that is sized generously. There are even some cabinets that are like a full length mirror, but it fits between 2 wall studs and there is a lot of storage in there. I think Robern makes one (they aren't cheap).

For the record, we put in a 30" wide tub in our hall bath upstairs and with a curved shower rod it is plenty of space for showering (for me, at least). But I don't like baths, and it's probably not a good tub for that (it's the Kohler Villager in cast iron, too shallow to be a soaking tub).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 1:58PM
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I second E.

Since this is a new build, I wonder if you have considered a wall-mounted faucet to maximize available countertop area.

Some vanities are built for the convenience of the installer/lumber. That is, the under-sink area is bigger than it really has to be, and drawer storage is sacrificed. Try to get as much drawer space as you can. Usually a drawer box is only 16" deep, even when a cabinet is 21" deep. Custom drawers can be made deeper.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:33PM
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How is the room configured? Can you post a sketch?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Don't base your decision on the general dimensions. You need to look at actual tubs and, if possible, sit in them. I had a similar problem to yours in that I wanted no smaller than a 27-28" shower door, which limited the width of the adjoining tub options. After a ton of searching, I finally found a couple of 30" wide tubs that had equally large interior dimensions or felt more spacious inside than others. I ended up going with a Mirabelle Edenton (60"x30"x20") air bath, which was substantially cheaper than the wider Hydrosystems Lacey (and had a larger bottom interior dimension), and more attractive and sturdy feeling than the slightly cheaper Kohler Archer (which seems very tight inside but has good bottom interior dimensions. Anyhow, I'd take a closer look at 30" wide tubs and get the vanity you want.

I just posted a video of the Edenton air bath in action if you want to check it out. You can also see other posts I have made regarding it and my remodel if you cannot find it locally (the brand is only sold by Ferguson's and the affiliated Californian equivalent).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:32PM
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There's a couple a reason so I don't want a 29" tub, the first being that it's just too small for looks, the second if I were to replace it for elderly or disabled the end that you want something in the 32 inch range. There really is nothing for this in anything under 32". Lastly for adults I think the 29 inch tub is just too small to maneuver. If you have children it makes perfect sense if you want something that when they grow up they don't need. If you get out of the townhouse of the time the children grow up you're fine.

I will have to ask and see what changes to the sink is going to happen when I change the vanity. I'll ask that now. As for the medicine cabinet I will have to ask that also.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Be it over the counter faucet is a great idea, I don't think the builder will go for that without a lot of additional expense. I think also that the drawer is a great idea but I don't think the vanity is built for that. I will check on the latter but the first one probably just is not going to happen. I'm having problems getting ADA faucets for a reasonable price.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:57PM
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How do you post a jpg on the site?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:59PM
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The main tub in the master bathroom, so this is the hall bathroom. But it is still important because other important people will be living in the house.

However I am going with the kholer products that would be interested knowing how well this kholer 32 inch tubs are made and what the typical options are that the builder will put into the house? What models are there?


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:03PM
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>How do you post a jpg on the site?

Have the file on your desktop or someplace where you can easily find it, then click the Choose File button above the message composition area.

You can also link to files that online at sites like photobucket and so on. Usually they have the code posted on the page for you to copy and paste here.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:11PM
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If you're just doing a regular bath, I'd take a look at the Kohler Archer. It has the best lines and since you're not doing a whirlpool or air bath, you won't have the hideous removable skirt panel to deal with. You'll still have to deal with the textured bottom, however. If you can swing cast iron, the Memoirs cast iron 60"x32" tub is a great tub (but it does have, in my opinion, a hideous, flowery anti-slip applique on the floor).

What's your aversion to using non-Kohler for the tub? (You'll certainly save money over some of the higher end acrylic tubs, but there are other brands that are worth considering if you are just doing a basic soaking tub.)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:00PM
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I have to go through photo bucket on the iPad, just upload, click on the share icon, then copy the HTML link and paste in the body of your message. It should appear when you preview your post if done correctly.

We just put in a Stetling tub and surround, which is a Kholer line in their proprietary acrylic type material. Very pleased so far. I spend about 10minutes once a week keeping it and the textured floor inside clean. Just spray on the Comet bathroom stuff, let it sit while I brush my teeth, rinse tub, shower, then scrub with a magic eraser. Still like new 4 months out.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:47PM
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that I don't have an aversion, but this is only the hall bathroom and I have to go with what the builder deals with now to get the changes, otherwise it's 29".

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:06AM
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