Upgrading your bathroom with a new vanity can completely transform the look and storage of your space. However once you start researching vanities, you realize that the process of buying one is not so straightforward. Prices can be all over the place and it’s tough to know what one vanity offers over the other since your retailer has an incentive to promote the ones that they carrry.
It’s important to note that where you buy vanities makes a world of a difference as each distribution channel has a particular type of buyer that they serve and a certain type of vanities they carry for their target market.
But which target market do you fit into? Which vanity retailer should you look purchase from based on your current situation?
Well, these are the questions we aim to answer with this blog post as we believe, we have a pulse on the wold of bathroom vanities distributors and understand where each category fit into the market.
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the best places to buy bathroom vanities for any remodeling project and budget.
Your Local Cabinet Maker
Working with a local cabinet maker is your best option if you want a completely personalized, custom-built vanity. A fabricator can design and build a vanity to match the exact size, shape and layout of your unique bathroom. Everything can be customized, from the materials and finishes to the hardware and storage options.
An experienced cabinet maker will take precise measurements of every inch of your bathroom. Then they’ll use those measurements to design a vanity tailored specifically for your space. If you have an awkward, challenging bathroom layout, a custom vanity can ensure a perfect fit.
You get full control over the vanity design details. This includes choosing the cabinet door style, counter top material, drawer configuration, pull-out storage bins, hidden compartments – whatever you desire. The cabinet maker will hand-craft your vanity using high-quality woods, plywoods or luxury veneers you select.
Working with a local maker also means you get exclusive vanity designs not found anywhere else. This allows you to create a truly one-of-a-kind vanity matching your personal vision. In addition, you get direct, personalized service from the maker. You can collaborate on the design, ask questions, and get construction updates throughout the process.
There’s no denying that local custom fabrication comes at a higher cost than pre-made options. But for luxury bathroom remodels or uniquely challenging layouts, the benefits make it a worthwhile investment. It’s the only way to get customization, design expertise, quality craftsmanship and hands-on service all under one roof.
Regional & National Kitchen & Bath Showrooms
Local Kitchen & Bath Showrooms offer excellent quality without the price tag of full customization. Major national and regional wholesalers carry both stock and semi-custom vanity lines from leading brands. With semi-custom, you can select from a range of standard vanity sizes and customize the finishes and materials to create a more personalized look.
Local showrooms are typically regionally based and rarely recognized outside of their given area. They are most often affiliated with your local plumbing supply house which carries plumbing hardware and typically serves your builder, contractor or local plumber. They get the majority of their business from your builder referrals as they already have a relationship with your contactor.
Showrooms have a wide selection on display so you can see and touch the vanities before purchase. Experienced staff can explain your options and recommend combinations of sizes, colors, countertops and hardware to achieve your desired aesthetic. With that being said, these showroom consultants are typically not cabinet designers, just knowledgeable staff who are well versed in all types of bathroom products including vanities.
Depending on the brand, you may be able to choose cabinet door profiles, finishes, countertop materials and hardware. While dimensions and layouts are pre-determined, semi-custom provides more options than stock vanities.
Showroom vanities offer well-made construction with durable woods, quality finishes and soft-close hardware. They are a great option for mid-range to high-end bathroom renovations on a budget.
In addition to your regional showrooms, there are very few large national chains, but here are some names that you may recognize.
Ferguson Kitchen & Bath
Ferguson Kitchen & Bath is a major kitchen and bath showroom chain affiliated with Ferguson Enterprises, the largest wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies in the United States.
Ferguson operates showroom locations nationally under the brand Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. These showrooms display and sell high-end plumbing fixtures, bathtubs, and of course vanities and countertops.
Like many other kitchen and bath gallery, Ferguson offers high quality premade vanities but also offer semi custom options made to order. The semi custom vanities will carry a longer lead time than the prefabricated offerings.
Ferguson is the owner of the Build.Com online e-commerce brand. In 2020, it was rebranded as Build by Ferguson.
Hajoca is the second largest conglomerate of plumbing supply houses. It’s second only to Ferguson and also has several showrooms throughout the US.
However, instead of the Hajoca name, the showrooms operate under various regional brand names such as Facets Design Studio in Texas and Flatirons Kitchen and Bath in Colorado.
Similar to Ferguson, Hajoca focuses on both wholesale distribution and operating showrooms that cater to contractors and homeowners. Their showrooms offer plumbing fixtures, vanities, bathtubs, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, appliances and more from major brands, along with some semi-custom cabinetry lines.
Kohler Showrooms are sponsored by the Kohler Company, a leading plumbing fixtures manufacturer, but are operated by regional plumbing supply distributors who carry the Kohler name.
These showrooms display a wide range of Kohler products including toilets, faucets, bathtubs, shower enclosures and vanities.
They also typically carry other major plumbing and kitchen/bath brands beyond just Kohler. The line of vanities that your particular showrooms carry in addition to the kohler vanities, depends on the regional distributor that Kohler has decided to work with yin your particular area.
Big Box Stores like Lowe’s & Home Depot
If you’re looking for an affordable vanity option, big box home improvement stores have plenty of choices. Lowe’s, Home Depot and similar retailers offer a wide selection of prefabricated vanities at modest price points.
While these big box stores, are known to have “cheap vanities” to draw you in with the low price, you might be able to score some decent quality ones if you’re willing to pay more than the entry level. While their entry level units might be made of lower end materials like particle boards and stapled up drawers, they often offer vanities also made of more durable mdf and dovetail drawers at higher price point.
The big box stores are the go to place for landlords looking for entry level vanities to outfit their rental unit bathrooms and homeowners on a tighter budget.
Online Shops like Wayfair, Build etc..
The rise of online furniture retailers now allows you to buy bathroom vanities without ever leaving your house. Websites like Wayfair, Decor PLanet, Build.com and others offer thousands of vanity styles with the ease of online ordering and shipping. You can filter options by size, finish, price and more to pinpoint choices that work for your space.
Shopping online puts the onus on you the consumer to closely inspect product images and read all specifications before purchase. Since you can’t see vanities in person, verified customer reviews are invaluable for getting feedback on quality and reporting any issues.
It’s important to know the industry terms to know exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also important to pay attention to what they don’t say as the product description is often written by the manufacturer who tries to highlight the benefits and hide the drawbacks.
As far as the quality of vanities they tend to be in the middle, as online shops want to show an attractive price point to entice you to buy but want to minimize damage while shipping. Because of the high probability of damage with the lowest entry level vanities, the better online shops tend to stay away from those.