Bathroom Furniture that will take your bathroom to the next level
Bathroom Furniture Buyers Guide
The following guide to buying bathroom furniture gives insight into styles shape and materials used. When refitting your bathroom or cloakroom consider how you and your family will use the space.
What space do you have to work with what storage do you need?
Furniture for your bathroom is available in all shapes sizes and designs. A freestanding Vanity unit with basin and storage cupboard underneath is quite the normal choice in this modern age but traditional washstands still last the test of time. Drawers are a must for all those small makeup items jewellery and shaving equipment, tallboys are perfect for towels toilet rolls extra shampoos. Wall hung furniture is a great option to create floor space and give that ultra-modern feel.
Before we begin to look at the different types of bathroom furniture, we need to get an idea of the space you have to work with. Accurate measurements of the width, height and depth of your bathroom room will be essential, along with the locations of any utilities such as mains water and power supplies. Plot your layout in your mind, or with a drawn plan if needed. Large units will make a statement and give you more storage, but you will want to ensure that walkways into and within the bathroom be clear. Remember to check things such as door openings and their protrusion into the room to ensure that they do not clash with each other and that all storage remains accessible. Having a smaller bathroom or a cloakroom does not mean having to miss out on furniture in your bathroom. Slimline units and cloakroom basins will provide much-needed storage in the smallest of spaces.
Bathroom furniture is available in many shapes and sizes, from square sink units, curved vanity units with basins corner vanity units or even L shape combination basin and toilet furniture the choice is endless.
When selecting your new furniture, the different amount of material to pick from can be staggering. Let’s run through the ones you are most likely to encounter.
Most bathroom cabinetry will be comprised of a wood material of some type. There are 3 main contenders
Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)
Probably a material you are already familiar with due to its use in kitchens, MFC consists of a melamine resin material bonded to chipboard. As you can imagine due to its use in kitchens, melamine board is a very resilient material due to its tough outer finish and can be cleaned very easily. It is however very susceptible to water damage and must be finished properly to avoid this. Most MFC units represent extremely good value for money and are ideal for use in a secondary or rented bathroom.
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)
Another product you are probably familiar with, MDF consists of offcuts and waste from other wood manufacturing processes mixed with binders and glues and then pressed together. Much denser and more substantial than MFC, it is one of the most popular choices in the bathroom industry. Able to be finished in a dazzling variety of colours and veneers, and resistant to temperature and humidity changes, MDF is also resistant to warping. Most quality bathroom furniture will be manufactured from this.
For a premium finish to a bathroom, look no further than solid wood. The natural character of oak or walnut is often enhanced using stains and paints that reveal the grain. The wood grain of any cabinet will never be identical not just because of the different trees used but also the choice of cut during manufacture. Crown cut tend to be more visually circular grainy in comparison to quarter sawn. Heavy and substantial, solid wood furniture should last decades if treated correctly. The beauty of real wood needs extra care to ensure it is not exposed to high humidity or rapidly fluctuating temperatures.
Whichever wood product you choose, keep a lookout for The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo. This means that the wood in your furniture comes from FSC certified forests. This ensures that the material has been environmentally sourced.
After you have decided the material you must decide which finish you want, there are three main finishes
A foil-wrapped finish is exactly what it sounds like. A base material is taken and wrapped with a thin plastic “foil” which is then heat set with adhesive. Giving a characteristic contoured look, foil wrapped material are a great value proposition. Historically, foil wrapped materials have suffered in the bathroom, as the heat and humidity of a bathroom caused this foil to peel and bubble. Modern foil wrapped material handle these environments much better, but still have this vulnerability
Painted finishes have some major advantages over their foiled wrapped counterparts. Available in a huge palette of colours, including custom colours in some circumstances, painted finishes are far more resilient to moisture and heat. Over the past 5 years we have seen a wide scale change in colours and finishes. No longer are we sticking to the standard white sink unit and basin or the old traditional oak washstands, we have moved on to greys and blues in mat and egg shelf paint finishes.
Historically a premium finish generally the core is treated MDF with bonded acrylic to all sides. The high gloss finish of the modern bathroom furniture set in acrylic will add light and shape with its mirror finish with its reflective surface. This modern-day finish that is on tend for not only the basin units but also the toilet furniture is well worth the little extra expense as its more resilient to bumps and scratches too, unlike the traditional bathroom furniture of the bygone days.
Soft Close Fittings
One feature found on only the most premium of bathroom furniture sets, soft close doors and drawers have become a beloved feature that has trickled down into the mid-range. Drawers and doors will come to a slow close instead of slamming shut, meaning not only a quiet bathroom but a safe bathroom for those with young children or elderly relatives.
Freestanding or Fitted
Before material and features, you will need to decide whether your furniture is freestanding or fitted.
Freestanding vanity units benefit from flexibility. Pipework permitting, freestanding items can be put in any location allowing you to design your bathroom to your exact specification. Floor standing basin cabinets and toilet units are easy to arrange and move about, meaning you can breathe new life into your bathroom just by rearranging the floor plan. A variety of sizes are available slimline sink cabinets for the smaller bathroom. There is a vast choice in space saving small sink with storage cupboards for the smaller floor space.
Consisting of multiple “modules”, modular furniture allows you pick a selection of units such as a vanity and back to wall unit and configure them to how you want.
A fantastic space saving measure fitted furniture sits snugly against the wall and can even be raised from the floor giving a modern wall hung fitted furniture creating a more open feeling to any bathroom. Fitted cabinets such as the combination toilet and basin cabinet can hideaway messy pipes they are designed to conceal the pipework and toilet waste pipe. Fitted furniture can also be used to create a full run, giving amazing bathroom storage cabinets making a real statement in your bathroom. Like their freestanding counterparts, slimline reduced depth or compact versions are available for those cloakrooms that need every spare millimetre.
With so many options available, it can be daunting to look at furniture for your bathroom. Do you need a back to wall unit? What do we mean by a vanity unit? Let us guide you through some of the basics of bathroom furniture types.
Back to Wall Toilet Units
A sleek and intelligent solution to those smaller bathrooms or ensuite giving an utterly modern style. Back to wall cabinets hide the toilet cistern inside furniture itself. This not only gives an extra storage shelf behind the toilet pan but can instantly create a contemporary look for your bathroom. They also make installation of a back to wall toilet far simpler, as the cistern does not have to embedded in the wall, meaning your bathroom is back up and running without delay. You could also opt for the combination BTW toilet and sink unit together this saves floor space and gives the added advantage of storage and bathroom shelves.
Quite simply, a vanity unit consists of a piece of furniture with a basin installed into the top. This simple definition belies the vast scope of sizes and configurations available. The main advantage of a bathroom vanity units over a more traditional basin and pedestal is that the addition of cupboards or drawers under the basin creates much more storage in your bathroom, allow all those miscellaneous bits and pieces to be tidied away. As mentioned, vanity units come in a huge variety of styles and types. Slimline versions will prove ideal for smaller bathrooms, with corner vanity units available for those bathrooms with awkward floor plans. For a busy bathroom, his and her vanity unit with double basins means no more fighting and elbowing over who brushes their teeth first. Vanity units can also be wall hung, opening the floor of your bathroom and creating a feeling of space.
Combination Vanity Unit
Their own special subtype, combination vanity units, as the name suggests, combine a basin vanity unit and back to wall unit. A compact and multipurpose design, they are ideal for the main bathroom where space is a premium, or for those that desire a neat run of furniture. When choosing a combination unit, you will usually need to pick a handing which is dictated by the side the basin sits on. It is worth noting that some options are universal, allowing you to choose your handing after you have purchased the unit. It is always advised checking this before buying.
A dedicated freestanding cabinet for those in need of the most amount of storage possible. Tallboy units can be floor standing or wall mounted and are perfect for storing things such as towels toilet rolls or toiletries. Some tallboys storage cabinets have laundry baskets inside keeping those clothes out the way until washing day. The freestanding option obviously can be moved around the bathroom as you needed.