Major bathroom remodels are never cheap, and redoing a big bathroom is even more expensive. But if you find yourself on a tight budget, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice quality, or even the scope of your project, to get the job done. For anything you might want to buy, chances are there’s a whole range of similar items in different price ranges. This is especially true of bathroom vanities, including larger (and more expensive) double vanities. Why? Because a lot of factors go into the bottom line of pre-made bathroom vanities: what materials they’re made of, how they’re manufactured, how they’re finished, and how they’re sold. If you know how to look, you can find affordable double bathroom vanities in the same styles you were already considering, but at a fraction of the price – often under a thousand dollars. Here are a few things to look for (and a few vanities to get you started!)
Say YES To Solid Wood Framing
I’ll start with the one place that you SHOULDN’T skimp on when shopping affordable double bathroom vanities. While there are tons of ways to reduce your costs, the one must-have is solid wood framing. It doesn’t particularly matter what kindof wood, and if the whole vanity isn’t made of a single solid wood (which can be quite expensive), probably it’s some variety of hardwood maple or oak, whatever happens to be available. The important part is that solid, natural hardwood framing creates the best foundation for a bathroom vanity, and can help prevent warping and wear and tear over time. Something like this Vesta Double Sink Vanity is made with a composite wood paneling (either MDF or plywood), but has a solid wood framing for the highest degree of structural integrity, which can significantly extend the life of the vanity.
Consider MDF Or Plywood Panels
While solid wood framing is an important marker of quality, one of the most dramatic ways to reduce the cost of a bathroom vanity is to swap from solid wood to fiberboard. No matter what kind of wood, natural, solid wood is always going to be more expensive, even if you opt for a relatively common maple or oak, or exotic wood veneers rather than a more expensive wood all the way through. But MDF (medium density fiberboard) and plywood are both made from salvaged wood – basically, the small trimmings, or even sawdust left over when wood is processed – which makes vanities with paneling made out of these materials much, much more affordable. That said, many manufacturers go to great lengths to replicate the look and feel of natural wood in their MDF vanities, and many more affordable double bathroom vanities, like this Catherine Double Sink Vanity come pretty close despite the significant cost reduction.
There are actually quite a few advantages to vanities made of a composite rather than a solid wood. Not only will it mean more affordable double bathroom vanities, but they’re arguably also more durable. While “real” wood is considered very desirable in everyday applications, in the harsh, humid, temperature-fluctuating environment of a bathroom, even well sealed wood is prone to warp, stain, fade, and even crack over time. MDF and plywood, on the other hand, undergo extensive chemical and thermal processes just in the formation of the boards, which makes them incredibly resilient. Then, once the vanities are assembled, they’re typically very thoroughly finished and sealed, making them waterproof and highly warp resistant. Finishes that would obscure the natural grain of “real” wood could make MDF or plywood vanities like this Corona Double Sink Vanity last a whole lot longer.
Forget “Hand Made”
Let’s face it – craftsmanship costs, and while ornate hand carved detailing and painstakingly hand-finished wood are ostensibly nice to have, even if you want an authentic-looking, ornate, antique-style vanity, it doesn’t have to be made with traditional methods. Take this Saturn Double Sink Vanity, for example. It has all the beautiful carved floral detailing you’d expect from a period-inspired vanity, right? Not quite – the vanity isn’t “carved” at all. The paneling is made of MDF, which is basically a lot of really fine pieces of wood smooshed really tight together with a few different compounds until it holds its shape. This vanity is smooshed into a hand carved mold, so when it’s done, it has all the beautiful detailing of an artisan-made piece, but at a mere fraction of the cost.
Check For Eco Friendly Tax Breaks, Rebates, And Credits
If you’re still on the fence about switching to MDF or plywood to save a little money, be aware that you could be saving on more than just your initial investment. Depending on your city and state, and some of the other elements in your bathroom, purchasing a more affordable double bathroom vanity made of MDF or plywood, like this Seville Double Sink Vanity could actually help you qualify your bathroom as a “green remodel.” You’ll need to check your local ordinances, but if you play your cards right, you could end up getting 10% or more taken off the top of the total cost of your remodel.
YES To Package Deals
This one might seem a little odd, but buying from a company that sells the whole vanity – vanity, sink, counter, and even faucets – in a single package is a spectacular way to dramatically cut costs. Manufacturers like Stufurhome and Silkroad Exclusive have an admittedly relatively limited selection of counter top materials, but all of them are 100% natural stone – typically granite, marble, or travertine. For example, vanities like this Alexis Double Sink Vanity are typically available in 2-4 different materials and an equal variety of colors. This particular type of packaging has a couple different advantages: because they source the stone directly, you won’t pay nearly as much as you would if you’d paid for the same stone on your own.
As well, companies that market this way cut the counter for you, not just to fit your bathroom vanity, but also to accommodate your sinks and faucets. If you know how to shop, you can even find affordable double bathroom vanities that include the sinks as well. Again, a smaller selection allows them to reduce the price overall because they’ll always have the right sink in stock. Many such vanities, like this Winslow Double Sink Vanity, actually cost about the same or even less than competitors that just sell the vanities, let alone what it would cost you to buy a counter, sinks, and faucets individually. When it comes to cutting costs, if you can stand the limited variety, this is far and away the best way to dramatically reduce the cost of your remodel.
If you’re looking to do a major remodel, chances are you’re looking to get a good price wherever you can find one. Even in a very large bathroom, though, you can find good deals if you know how to look – especially with it comes to affordable double bathroom vanities. If you shop for smart materials, package deals, and with an eye toward government incentives, you’d be amazed how easy it is to find a vanity to fit your budget. What kind of double vanity are you in the market for? Do you have any favorite money saving tips when it comes to remodeling? Let me know in the comments!