Picture this – you’ve just agreed with your partner to redo your bathroom, you have some ideas saved already, but you have no idea how to choose a vanity unit. First of all, you should celebrate the fact that you get to design a brand new space tailored completely to your needs! This is an exciting prospect!

Or, perhaps you’re halfway through a bathroom remodel and are trying to choose a vanity unit. With so many different options and variations available for bathroom vanity units, it can be an overwhelming process! From different colors and materials, to styles, and even freestanding or built-in vanity units. How can you possibly choose the right one for you?

Today, I’m going to take you through the pros and cons of built-in vanities versus freestanding vanity units. I’ll also be sharing my top tips and ideas on how you can choose wisely, and which styles are applicable for you.

Let’s explore bathroom vanity units!

This bathroom design benefits from a freestanding vanity unit because it’s positioned in the center of the room and makes the most sense for the overall design!


The Benefits of A Bathroom Vanity Unit


You may already have a pretty good idea of the benefits of having a bathroom vanity unit, but let’s break them down.

Bathroom vanity units allow you to create a well-ordered and calming space. Considering your specific storage needs is the first step to creating a clutter-free bathroom. Your vanity unit should be able to store everything away neatly. 

Do you have lots of smaller items? Drawers will be the easiest to see and access these items, while cabinets are best for larger items.

Aside from the necessary bathroom storage they offer, vanity units can add to and complete a design scheme! Making your bathroom look stylish.


Need to inject some color into your bathroom? Add a colorful vanity unit!

Need to keep things simple and modern? Use a freestanding or floating one!

Want to keep to tradition? A built-in or classic design freestanding unit could be for you.

It’s important to decide which type of storage you need in your bathroom. What do you need to store away in the vanity? And go from there.


Built-In Vanity Units


Built-in vanity units are those that have been custom made, and look like a permanent piece of furniture, in a similar way that kitchen cabinets look.

These are great for larger spaces that would benefit from custom sizing. If you have an entire wall that needs to be transformed into a vanity unit, a built-in one will eliminate any gaps between the wall and vanity where dirt and dust can collect.

Going down the built-in route will allow you to fully customize many parts of the vanity unit, which is useful if you have lots of things to store away. Fancy having a drawer designated for your hair dryer? You can do this with a custom built-in unit!

Built-in vanity units are more of a permanent fixture in a bathroom, they are more difficult to change, swap, reposition or remove. Therefore, it is important to make sure you’re making the best decision based on how long you envision being in the house, and that it complements the overall design of the bathroom.

The style of your home (and the design of the bathroom of course!) should directly influence the type and style of vanity unit that you choose. For traditional homes, a built-in is a good option if the space allows for it. While a more modern home will work best with a freestanding or floating one.

Typically, a built-in vanity is more expensive than a freestanding one because they are custom-made. The price will include the materials and labor involved in building it.

This bathroom needed a built-in vanity unit because it needed to fit perfectly in this space! If you have an abnormal dimension where you need a vanity unit, a custom built-in will be a good route.


Freestanding Vanity Units


Freestanding vanity units are those that look like a piece of furniture! They are super stylish, and sleek and allow you to inject personality into a bathroom.

As these vanity units are freestanding, they are much easier to swap out when they start to look tired, or you fancy something totally different. There are lots of options on the market that vary in storage, style, and size.

Freestanding vanity units often have a lighter visual look because of them having legs (like furniture) and, depending on the style you purchase, open shelving beneath drawers or cabinet doors.

Your bathroom flooring will need to be installed all the way under these vanity units, so you should keep in mind that this may inflate the tiling costs of the project.

For traditional interiors, choose a vanity unit that has ornate legs, and shaker-style cabinet doors or drawers. You could either use a muted tone, or neutral to blend seamlessly into the bathroom design.

Freestanding vanity units look like a piece of furniture and in this example, the vanity complements the interior perfectly! If you prefer a traditional interior, choose a vanity unit with ornate or detailed legs.


Floating Vanity Units


Another option to consider is floating vanities! 

These vanity units are supported by the wall, and literally “float” off the floor, so they haven’t got any legs or shelving. 

Floating vanity units are great for use in smaller bathrooms to give the illusion of space! Their appearance creates an attractive, modern, and sleek look. These are most suited for modern spaces.

Floating vanity units give the illusion of space! And are therefore great for use in smaller bathrooms.


So there you have it! The full rundown of custom vs. freestanding vanity units! Which style of vanity unit will you choose for your bathroom? Do you prefer one over the other? Let’s carry on the discussion in the comments below!