You’re so Vain, Vanity

Our main bathroom is taking shape.  Yesterday you saw Saturday’s progress, but on Sunday, more bathroom magic happened.  Ben started working on the vanity.  After finding a remnant piece of quartz for sixty bucks, we nailed down the width of 43 inches.

With the linen closet ready to rock, we could start the vanity.  Right off the bat, Ben and I agreed we wanted an open design similar to the basement bathroom at our first house.  I even made a to scale Photoshop drawing.

Ben had 3 1/2 inch square oak posts already, so we used those for the legs.  For a modern look and sleek clean-ability (a must with two little boys!) we chose the Archer sink by Kohler.  But we had a little problem.  The sink is almost 20 inches wide, our top is 43, and our legs are 7 inches wide.  43 – 20 – 7 = 16 inches.  Divide 16 by 2 (we wanted a drawer on each side of the sink) and you get 8 inch wide drawers.  That’s the outside dimension, now take away an inch for glides and another inch for building materials and you’re left with a 6 inch drawer.  Too little space to make it worth building drawers.  Boo.  On the upside, this made building the vanity a little easier.  Instead of cutting several pieces to make openings for the drawers, Ben used 2 by 6 boards to frame up the top.

To secure the boards, Ben drilled long screws to hole the boards to each other and the studs in the wall.

But not before making sure every part was level several times.

Then Ben nailed the legs to the cross boards, using filler pieces where our floor isn’t completely level.

Tile floors don’t work to hold the leg bases down, but shelves stabilize nicely.  Knowing we won’t have drawers, I adjusted my plans to include two shelves instead.

For maximum stability and strength, Ben cut plywood (not MDF) to size and notched out the post corners.  To cover the ugly plywood edge and add even more rigidity, he tacked on an oak face.  We shouldn’t have to worry about the boys using the shelves as a step stool.  In our humble opinions, the easiest and sturdiest way to support shelves is with cleats; thin pieces if wood which the shelf rests on.  Ben added two short ones to each leg and a long piece along the back wall.

One shelf down, one to go.  Through the power vested in me the internet, I give thee a second shelf.

And a peek at the counter and sink.  Oh look, here’s another.

And I snapped a ton of pictures of the cutting and polishing process for those requesting a granite post.  Check back for that tomorrow.  After a weekend of work, this is what we accomplished.

And a little action at the tub.  Ugly framing covered and a pretty granite sill on top.

Have you ever built a vanity?  Do you prefer the look of an open style or the option to tuck items away in a cabinet?  Who’s excited for the stone cutting post?

5 thoughts on “You’re so Vain, Vanity

  1. I love having two shelves, but I like hiding things behind a cabinet. LOL! The bathroom is coming together beautifully. I love it!

    1. Hi Sabrina! I know how you feel. I’m excited for the little linen closet to use baskets to tuck away items and leave towels and such in the open. And I can add pretty containers for all sorts of storage. 🙂


    1. Hi Fran, Only for a second. Because Ben is the one cutting the hole and he can’t get it perfect enough to leave it exposed without spending too much time on it. And we didn’t want our $60 counter top to cost $360 for the labor. In our main bathroom at our first house we used a vessel sink to get more space in the drawers.


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