Your bathroom is more than a haven for personal privacy. It’s the place where most days begin and end. Most people take the space for granted, but a well-designed bathroom can offer solitude, relaxation, and freedom from the stresses of work and family.
You don’t have to go to a luxury day spa to enjoy an atmosphere of calm and tranquility — you can have that in your own home with the right bathroom setup. A large part of the transformation from functional to serene starts with replacing outdated bathroom cabinetry to enhance and beautify your bathroom.
Replacing bathroom cabinetry typically isn’t a do-it-yourself project since the main cabinetry in the bathroom —the vanity— usually includes one or two sinks with hot and cold plumbing. You’ll likely want to hire a professional contractor to help with your bathroom transformation — but we’ve got you covered there. Read through this guide on replacing bathroom cabinets to learn more about the main issues involved, what to look for in new replacement cabinets, and how to find and vet contractors in your area who can complete the job to your satisfaction using the Modernize Contractor Checklist.
Replacing Bathroom Cabinets Starts With the Vanity
Unless you bought a fully custom home or had your home built, it’s likely the bathroom was designed for functionality rather than serenity. Many national home builders in recent years have opted to cut costs on bathroom cabinetry by installing base-level “builder-grade” boxes that lack drawers in secondary or Jack and Jill bathrooms, this typically isn’t true for the master bathroom. Still, your bathroom vanity could be the old one you inherited when you bought the home, or it simply doesn’t suit your style. Whatever the reason, if it’s time to upgrade your bathroom cabinets, here are five important factors you’ll need to consider when shopping for new bathroom cabinetry.
- Cost: A good first step is deciding how much money you want to invest in your bathroom cabinet renovation project. New cabinetry is one of the most expensive aspects of any bathroom makeover. And when it comes to a new vanity, you have countless options, from modestly priced off-the-shelf builder-grade cabinets to fully-customized cabinets. Stock cabinetry, such as those found at local home improvement retailers, are your least expensive upgrade option. A custom vanity, meanwhile, will cost several thousand dollars depending on your choice of materials and hardware.
- Style: In many modern homes, the master bathroom vanity usually has his-and-hers sinks. You can keep this layout or change it depending on your living circumstances. You’ll also have to decide whether you want a traditional wall-mounted vanity with a toe-kick or go for a more contemporary look with a freestanding vanity.
- Countertop/sink options: Marble and granite countertops are often used for custom vanity countertops, but those materials are usually very costly. Less-expensive countertop options include engineered quartz and cultured marble. If you are replacing your countertops, opt for a solid surface with no grout lines — you’ll have such an easier time with routine cleaning. There also are a vast array of sink options. You can choose a traditional porcelain recessed or semi-recessed sink, or make a bolder statement with a vessel sink.
- Storage: Many master bathroom vanities are designed with cupboards under the two sinks and pull-out drawers in between. It’s a good layout, but you can work with a contractor to decide how to best maximize your bathroom cabinet storage space. Pullout slides are a great way to maximize your under-the-counter storage.
- Size: In some instances, you might want to increase or decrease the overall dimensions of your new bathroom cabinets.
You don’t have to gut your entire bathroom to transform the space. Installing a new vanity is the best place to start the beautification process, and an experienced bathroom remodel contractor can help you determine what type of vanity best fits your existing space and budget.
Additional Bathroom Cabinetry Options
A new vanity isn’t the only upgrade for your bathroom cabinets. Homeowners who have the space can install a linen tower cabinet to hold towels, toiletries, cosmetics, and other bathroom essentials. The key is choosing a cabinet style and hardware that matches or at the very least compliments your new vanity.
For your bathroom linen cabinet, you’ll want to avoid buying a less-expensive cabinet box framed from medium-density fiberboard. This type of wood is far more susceptible to damage from steam and moisture than cabinets framed from solid wood members. Linen cabinets can be designed with simple shelving inserts, or include pull-out slides for easier access. You can opt for standard flat-panel doors, or make a bolder statement with glass-paneled doors. You have a tremendous range of options and styles from which to choose.
A new medicine cabinet is another important storage option for the bathroom. Designers either love or hate medicine cabinets — that’s why it’s common to find them absent from new homes. Adding a medicine cabinet can free up vital storage space in your vanity or linen cabinet and help keep your bathroom much more organized. Should you desire to install a new medicine cabinet or upgrade your existing one, your bathroom renovation contractor can help you find a cabinet that matches your other bathroom cabinetry.
How to Find a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor
Just like kitchen cabinetry sets the tone of that space, your bathroom vanity, countertop, sinks, and linen cabinet define the aesthetics of your bathroom. You can completely transform the look of your bathroom by adding a new vanity, countertop, and additional cabinetry.
You can find trusted bathroom remodel contractors in your area by using the Modernize Contractors Checklist. Our network of vetted contractors are used to working closely with homeowners to determine which options for new bathroom cabinets best meets their renovation expectations and budgets.