One of the easiest ways to change the look of your whole bathroom when remodeling is to switch out your old vanity cabinet for a new one. You might want something more durable that will hold up to moisture, heat, and humidity from the shower or bath. Or you might just want something that will support the weight of your new granite countertop for the bathroom.
Buying cabinets for the bathroom is not that much different than buying a new set of kitchen cabinets. Remodeling either room requires having a plan of how you will go through the process. You need to figure out your priorities and identify what goals you want to achieve by renovating the room. Then you also need to have a vision of what you want the completed project to look like when all the work is done.
Choosing the Right Grade of Cabinet for Your Bathroom
Just like cabinets for your family’s kitchen, cabinetry for the bathroom comes in one of four basic types of grade. These grades include:
- RTA – RTA stands for Ready To Assemble and it is the cheapest grade of cabinetry on the market. Because of the low price, you can guarantee that you will sacrifice both cabinetry materials and quality of construction.
- Stock – Stock bathroom vanity cabinets come in a wider variety in door style, cabinet size, and materials. However they still retain the affordable prices (although not typically rock bottom cheap) as ready to assemble, or RTA cabinets.
- Semi-Custom – Semi-custom cabinets, like stock ones, offer a broader range of variety for drawers and doors, types of materials, and the finish applied to the completed product. It is measured in 3-inch increments so custom sizes are not always an option.
- Custom – The best choice for open-ended or high-end budgets, custom cabinetry is built to suit the job and the sky’s the limit when it comes to material, style, and size. You can add any decorative elements that you want, but be warned that some of these elements will cost a small fortune.
Framed vs Frameless
There are two general approaches to how a bathroom vanity is constructed by the manufacturer. The first is face framed and the second is frameless. You may also, however, purchase your bathroom vanity in the form of a free-standing cabinet.
Framed cabinetry uses what is called face framed, or just framed construction, where the rails and stiles create a slight frame along the front of the box section of the bathroom vanity or kitchen cabinet. Cabinet doors can then fasten along the frame which lends an extra layer of durability to the vanity cabinet. Some framed cabinets are adjustable so the hinges can be moved. It gives a custom look without the custom price tag.
Frameless cabinetry, whether for the bathroom or kitchen, is a newer trend than framed and it was inspired by European style. Sometimes contractors will call it “full access” because, due to not having the face frame, it allows better accessibility. The only type of doors that can be used are ones called full overlay, and the hinges attach to the inside of the bathroom vanity or kitchen cabinet. This type of cabinetry offers a sleek, modern look.
How Long Will It Take to Get Your Cabinets?
You may be wondering how long it will take to get your new bathroom vanity cabinets. After all, you do not want to spend the entire length of the job in a hotel just to be able to use the bathroom – and waiting on a vanity can really hold up the rest of remodeling your bathroom. How long your bathroom vanity cabinet takes to arrive will largely depend on the style that you select.
For example, if you choose stock cabinets that the retailer has in their inventory, then you could see your new cabinet arriving that same day. If you choose a custom bathroom vanity cabinet, however, then you could be waiting upwards of two months to be able to finish your bathroom renovation project. This is especially true if you waited to the last minute to select your cabinets.
When selecting your cabinets, be sure to take in things like a sample of the countertop that will sit atop the bathroom vanity, a spare piece of tile from the wall, or just snap a photo of the room on your smartphone. This will help you narrow down your options when you get to the retail showroom, and ensure that you make a quick, informed decision.
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