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Posted by staceyneil
Tue, Sep 15, 09 at 9:16
|I'm starting to plan bathroom renovations and am so frustrated with the vanity selection I am finding. Everything in my price range (>$400 including top and sink!) just seems to chintzy to me. I see more substantial-looking vanities on line but they're like $1k!!! (The ones I like are like bureaus with three drawers and legs...)
I've always had lovely pedestal sinks and built-in storage elsewhere in bathrooms, but in this bath (the combination hall-bath/company-bath/and teenaged daughter's bath, I know, bad combo huh?) we really need a vanity as its the only storage available.
So I'm down to two ideas: either custom-build one ourselves, or find a nice old bureau and convert it. Either way we're thinking a soapstone top with recessed sink. I know the drawers in a bureau would need to be modified to allow for plumbing... has anyone attempted this?
|I haven't done it (yet) but plan on it. A vessel sink would allow you more drawer space - just have to cut a slot in the drawer below the drain (I recommend adding "sides" around the slot so stuff doesn't fall through/jam), you can leave the drawer front (and back, if you don't want to be able to pull it out all the way, though slotting the back would allow you to install the plumbing and then slide the drawer in) intact. |
Here's a link I looked at - though I am thinking of just putting a really good finish on the wood top and not replacing it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Converting dresser to vanity
|Wow, thanks for the link!! That is so helpful. I think I need to hit the antique stores today.....|
|We have converted an old antique bureau, with the mirror attached to the top, into a vanity. You do have to modify the interior of the drawers to fit the plumbing but we kept the wooden top and dropped a sink in. If you want to see pics let me know.|
|Brutuses has the most beautiful one I have seen. Type in her name at the bottom and it should come up.|
|I have done this twice. Just be sure to look for one that is deep enough from front to back. The avg drop in sink cutout wants 20". Also check the height, 36" is 'comfort height'. Check Craigslist, as there are some options there at times. |
Half bath -
Upstairs bath before I had sanded and painted the wood putty on the nails for the trim on top of the beadboard -
|We did this. We left the wooden top. There was a template that came with the sink (drop it) and my hubby used that to mark on the wood top where to cut. The drawers are modified so you do lose some space. Ours, however, is in a guest bath so it wasn't like we needed a lot of storage, etc. |
|These aren't the best pictures as they were taken when the room was still under construction and before our mirror or trim was installed (well, the trim still isn't installed), but they do show the antique cabinet we converted into a vanity. It has storage underneath and DH converted the top drawer so I can use that for storing hand towels and such. |
We used a handmade copper vessel sink, which gave us the height we needed since the cabinet was on the short side.
|Those are pretty and I hadn't seen any of them before! Here is a link to a 2 yr old thread on the Bathroom forum that has a number of photos and info on doing this. The link to mine is here too. I think you could do this with a modest budget but ours ended up costing more than I thought it would, by the time I spent just over $300 on the buffet, $50 on the granite remnant, maybe $100 on the faucet and I don't remember how much the undermount sink cost. It wasn't expensive, and we got it at Lowes, I think. Fabrication I don't recall....perhaps it is in the thread? |
I love what we did and we get so many comments when people come over. I also love the single handle faucet and the 36" high counter.
Here is a link that might be useful: Antique Dresser made into vanity
|juddgirl2 - can you show us pics of the inside drawer? I am still looking for sink and faucet (well, I bought a faucet 2 years ago but if we do vessel sink for height I will need a different one). |
I was thinking of drilling out this bowl for a sink but my cousin said most drains are made to go in a recessed spot in the bottom, not on a flat bottom. I have to ask a plumber what to do to use this bowl. I was thinking a tall (bar?) faucet so DD can reach, but I love your wall-mounted faucet!
|I have converted old sawing machine cabinet into vanity. The middle section for hiding the machine works great for all the plumbing. I have covered the top with plywood and tiled around the drop in sink. It doesn't provide tons of storage, but I have small bathroom and the size worked perfectly. Good luck on your project!|
|Here is a photo of the converted drawer. I was planning on just gluing the drawer shut until DH surprised me with this. It's nice to have the extra storage for smaller items. I really like the wall-mounted faucet, but was also looking at the taller counter-mounted faucets. Since my vanity isn't very deep, a counter faucet would have had to be installed to the side of the vessel sink. |
|juddgirl - thanks for posting the pic. That is what I was trying to describe to OP, but I haven't done it (yet). If you have a drop-in sink then the center of the drawer would have to be cut out more for the bowl, and you'd just have a narrow drawer on each side (though I'd still keep the front one piece). Your DH did a really nice job. |
Our washstand is small too, only 17" deep and 32" wide (the bathroom is only 36" wide!) so whether I go vessel or drop-in, I have to put faucet to side (or on the wall, but I think it would be strange to have it under the towel bar, and DD wouldn't be able to reach it).
Was your copper bowl an actual sink (with recessed ring for drain) or is it a flat bottomed bowl that you modified?
|ajsmama - my vanity is pretty much the exact size as yours and our room is only 36" wide also, but this works really well for the space. |
My copper sink is an actual double walled hammered vessel sink with a recessed ring for a drain, although no overflow so we used a bar drain so it can't fill up. (This is a powder room so that wasn't an issue.) I purchased it on ebay from mexicopper and I've seen them offered by other sellers on ebay as well. The oval shape is really nice because I could use a larger sink despite the small vanity - I think it's 19" wide or so.
|We converted a side board into a vanity. It turned out very nicely if I do say so myself. |
|WOW aktillery, that is truely beautiful.|
|Aktillery, that square sink is amazing. I would never have thought about using a square! |
|Here's ours. Apologies for the lighting. |
|Red - We have the same type faucet. I didn't think I would like it, but it was the only thing we could find tall enough for the sink. It's actually a bar faucet and was on-sale for half price. |
We have turned two dressers into vanities. This first vanity has been moved to my current house. I couldn't stand to leave it because I worked so hard on the finish. I will probably move it again if DH will let me.
The second vanity had to stay behind because it was built-in. :( I wish the legs showed in this photo. The dresser was not tall enough, so I added pineapple finals to the legs and stained them a dark brown to match the above mirror. I painted the vanity green, then crackled it and added new hardware in a brown/bronze. It was so cute!
Our plumber also made cut-outs so that we could have partial use of the drawers in our vanities.
|I just had to repost a better photo (not great, just better). |
|I clicked "submit" too soon. I meant to add, as did newhomebuilder that my husband took the back off the bureau, took the fronts off the top two rows of drawers and fixed them in place, took the backs off the bottom two drawers and cut down the sides, reattaching the back so that I have two skinny drawers which store toilet paper and assorted odds and ends.|
|Much better photo! I like the way the darker stain picks up the dark of the black tile.|
|I am planning to do that same thing. What I am wondering is what did you use to seal the wood as much as possible. It looks like a very strong poly coat and a dark stain. Is this enough to keep it protected>? How many years do you think it can go before the finish is broken down or would warp in some way? Also what is the height of some of these? Did you then put in a higher 'stool' ( my old plumber calls a toilet this lol)?|
|My stained vanity has regular stain and poly on it and has held up to "guest" use for almost 10 years. The green piece had a slight lacquer. As you can see from the left side, in the photo, my teenage daughter scorched the top with her straightening iron. Not happy about that! If I ever make another, I may consider placing a granite slab on the top. |
The vanities were 35" and the sinks added another inch. We have had "comfort height" toilets placed in our homes.
sorriso's vanity looks very tall, especially with the sink.
|It's 36" to the top of the vanity and nearly 41" to the top of the sink. Our upstairs "normal" vanity is 33". We needed to cut off some of the legs to bring it to that height. It worked out well because my husband is quite tall and he appreciates every little bit. I'm short and it's okay for me too. |
The dreaded finishing question... Prior to the project I had anticipated using a marine varnish on the top, I wanted a really hard, almost bar-top finish. I purchased the bureau on eBay and the finish wasn't very good, I sanded it to smoothe it out and went to our local unfinished furniture store to look at stains. There I got talked into gelstain and a poly gel finish. They insisted it would be hard enough to withstand the water. Well, yes and no.
Like newhomebuilder, if I did it again I'd go with stone on top. The sides of the bureau took the stain and poly very well--actually the top did too. I clean it with hot water and a microfiber cloth and dry it with a microfiber cloth. It looks fine but has dulled a bit. In the better picture you can see the edge where it's worn a bit--not as dramatic as in the photo. This happened in another place and it was certainly easy to fix with sanding and reapplication.
The woodworking forum has lots of good advice. I'd suggest you troll through the posts before asking your own question. There are at least two members who are very generous with their professional advice but they end up answering the same questions over and over again. They display admirable patience! I'm pretty sure that what I did wouldn't be what the experts would recommend but I do have to say that it was rather simple and the results have been satisfactory.
|It looks taller because of all the drawers. |
Mine has not worn at all, and I clean with furniture polish.
|I just saw an episode on Saturday of Sarah's House. In the kids bathroom she got this bureau from Pier 1 and painted it green. I love it! Such a good idea. |
It's picture number 20 out of 24.
Here is a link that might be useful: sarah's house season 1 kids bath
|We did this several years ago --- bought the dresser at a consignment store --- worked well because we sacrificed the top center drawer (cut it off and glued it back in place) then the pipes ran between the other drawers. I hate to even post my sad little picture in comparison to these other AMAZING pieces! |
|my3...are you kidding, that's gorgeous plus I award you bonus points for putting the granite on top!|
|Thanks so much for the kind words sorriso. This forum is great!|
|aktillery, that buffet/sideboard is outstanding! I have one that is very similar and I only hope it grows up to be what yours is, someday, LOL! |
All of these are just fabulous! Love NHB's and my3dogs, natch! And sorriso's small freestanding "chester" ;-) WOW!
mythreesons... I'm with sorriso: "Are you kidding?!?" Fantastic!
This IS a great forum and this is a great thread! I know we've had these before, but this one seems to have it all! Great job everyone!
|All the above pictures looks great. Wonderful job ladies. Thought I would show what I had done. Tiles, sideboard, tools and supplies I spend about $100.00. I did not realize I did not take a finish picture will do that this weekend. Staceyneil I know what you mean about vanitys costing so much. But I can now seat in my bathroom and say I did a great job. OK my hubby helped out. Good luck with your project and lets see pictures. Have a great day |
|Nice photo sequence bebob! And your vanity is looking really nice. Do you have a completely finished photo? |
|I am thinking about doing this with a sideboard that has drawers all the way down. I know the drawers can be cut the way juddgirl2's is done, but how would we accommodate the shutoff valves in that case? Anyone have any ideas?|
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