Choosing a new bathroom vanity is largely about style, size, and storage: you want a vanity that looks great, fits your space well, and has plenty of room to store all your toiletries. But there are a few smaller features you might not know to look for that can make a big difference in the day to day functionality of your bathroom vanity. If you’ve never heard of them, these details are easy to overlook in a product description, so today we’re going to take a look at a few important gems to make sure you don’t miss them.
Soft Closing Hinges
Soft closing hinges, or European style hinges, are cabinet door hinges that have been subtly redesigned so that they close more slowly, stopping the door just before they close and automatically closing them very gently and completely silently, no matter how forcefully you swing them shut. This eliminates the loud banging noise that’s almost inevitable when you close a standard bathroom vanity, and just generally has a smoother, higher quality look and feel.
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Smooth Glide, Soft Close Drawers
There are essentially three types of drawer glides you can have on a bathroom vanity (not counting no hardware at all). The first is a single center glide, which has the lowest weight capacity and is prone to accidentally pulling all the way out and getting slightly tilted to one side, which can cause the drawer to jam. Then there are ball bearing rollers and smooth glide rollers. Ball bearing glides are more common and range a bit in quality, using lots of small ball bearings to roll a drawer smoothly out. Smooth glide rollers, conversely, use fixed parts that are more precise and less likely to break down over time. They also typically move faster and are able to close quietly on their own, but otherwise have about the same weight capacity as ball bearing glides, and both can be pulled about 3/4 of the way. The higher quality your drawer glide, the easier and quieter it will be to use your drawers, so if it isn’t clear which the vanity you’re interested in has, ask!
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Full Extension Drawers
Full extension drawers are drawers that can pull all the way out. Now, that might sound obvious, but traditional drawers with smooth or ball bearing glides can only be pulled out so far before the mechanism stops it. With no glides at all, if you pull the drawer too far, it will actually fall out of the vanity. Full extension drawers are designed to let you pull the drawer ALL the way out, but with sturdy, supportive glides that are strong enough to hold a full drawer even when it’s hanging completely outside the vanity. This is great if you tend to keep very full drawers and hate digging around in the back of the drawer for your toiletries.
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Dovetail joining is the ultimate answer to shoddily made drawers: drawers with bottoms that fall out, that are hastily nailed together, or even slightly crooked. What it means is that small matching tabs and slots are cut into each of the sides of the drawer so when the pieces are put together, they’re held very tightly in place: there are no nails to pull out, no adhesive to break, and there are so many of these tabs that it would really take some effort to get them apart. This is considered a luxury feature because each of the very small “dovetail” shaped tabs and slots have to be individually cut, but if you tend to keep a lot of heavy items in your drawers, this is definitely a feature you want to look for.
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Some bathroom vanities – mostly contemporary, modern, or sometimes transitional in design – are sold with legs that can be adjusted in height or removed entirely. This might seem like a purely cosmetic thing: a simple difference between having a wall mounted vanity and traditional floor mounted one. But if you’re planning on installing a vessel sink – or if you happen to be especially tall or short – this can actually be quite a useful feature. Installing a sink on top of your vanity instead of underneath the vanity top changes the overall height of the vanity, and without altering the height of the legs, can actually make it uncomfortable to use. Bathroom vanities with legs you can alter or remove entirely allows you to install your vanity at exactly the most comfortable height.
What are some bathroom vanity features you can’t live without? Any that I missed mentioning here? Let me know in the comments!
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