Things to Consider Before Buying Bathroom Cabinets

Whether you’re completely remodeling your bathroom, or just updating the cabinetry, buying new bathroom cabinets is a big decision. The cabinets you choose will have a significant impact on the look, style, and storage capabilities of your bathroom. The overall process will be similar to buying kitchen cabinets, but there will be some differences.

Bathroom Vanities

Once you start looking for bathroom cabinet retailers, you’re going to be overwhelmed with options, styles, assembly methods, and colors. Before you begin, it can be wise to take a step back and think about the big picture.

  • Purpose: What is the purpose of your bathroom cabinet purchase? Are you more concerned with aesthetics or functionality and storage options.


  • Budget: It helps to have an idea of the budget that you’re willing to allocate towards your bathroom cabinet purchase. Consider the total cost of any new sinks or other bathroom accessories and appliances that may coincide with your cabinet upgrade.


  • Layout: Think about the layout of your existing bathroom and what you intend on changing.


  • Measurements:  We’’ll share some tips about measuring your bathroom later in this article, but having a rough idea of the dimensions will help narrow down the selection process early.


  • Ease Of Installation and Assembly: If you’re purchasing RTA bath cabinetry, your cabinets will arrive ready to assemble, which will save you money on shipping AND manufacturing costs. Not all RTA cabinets are created equal - look for an RTA cabinet retailer that designs cabinets that assemble with ease and are built to last. Read some online reviews and you will quickly see which RTA cabinet companies you will want to avoid entirely.


A bathroom vanity is simply a bathroom cabinet that is built to accommodate a bathroom sink, or multiple sinks. Under the sink itself, the bathroom vanity will often double as a way to hide unsightly pipes and plumbing from the sink, with the remaining space typically used for additional bathroom storage. Many people consider the entire set of bathroom cabinets as the vanity. Technically, the bathroom vanity is one unit, though it may be surrounded by other cabinets which can create the illusion of a larger vanity unit. If discussing the project with a significant other, a solid understanding of common cabinet terminology can simplify communication and keep you on the same page.

Choosing a Bathroom Vanity

When selecting a bathroom vanity, one of the first things you’ll want to know is the dimensions of the vanity you desire. If you are doing an apples-to-apples replacement, you can measure the width, length, and depth of your existing vanity and look for a replacement of equal size. If you’re remodeling, now is your chance to choose the size of your vanity! Larger bathrooms usually have a vanity width of 48” or 60” which provide more storage and are setup for two separate sinks. For smaller bathrooms, a freestanding or single basin vanity in the 30” to 36” range is more typical.

Tips for Measuring Your Bathroom Space

bathroom vanity top

Keep these tips in mind to maximize your bathroom’s square footage.

  • Pay attention to the location of your plumbing, as this may be a deciding factor on the overall width of your bathroom vanity. If you plan to relocate the pipes or plumbing, understand this will likely be a more involved task and can quickly add costs to the total project.


  • Be sure to account for existing features or planned upgrades, such as mirrors,  switches, and wall outlets.


  • Leave space to account for your shower and doorways. You want your new bathroom vanity and cabinets to improve your bathroom, not disrupt the natural flow of the space.


  • Will you be purchasing your vanity with or without a top? You’ll likely want a top that is at least 1” wider and 1” longer than the cabinet base.


Wall Mounted or Freestanding Bathroom Vanities

Another thing you need to know is whether or not you want your bathroom vanity to mount to the wall, or whether it be ‘freestanding” and rest on the floor.  Free standing bathroom vanities are great for small spaces, but can feel “cheap” when used in larger bathrooms.


Other Features to Look for in your Bathroom Cabinetry

  • False Drawers - Some styles of bathroom cabinets will have what is referred to as a false drawer. For example, from the outside a cabinet may appear to have three drawers, but only two may actually be functional drawers. The other is added for aesthetic purposes only. While false drawers can add to the style of your cabinets, make sure not to  expect any functionality out of one!


  • Hardware - Especially if you are choosing RTA bathroom cabinets, you’ll want to pick dependable retailer (hint: Lily Ann!) that takes the hardware they use in their cabinets seriously. We offer a wide range of hardware options on our bathroom cabinets, so that there is quality and affordable cabinet available at many different price points. We offer cabinets with great hardware options, such as adjustable soft closing doors and drawers.


  • Assembly type - metal clip, dovetail, etc. Our metal clip assembly is very durable but leaves some metal hardware visible. We developed our proprietary dovetail assembly, which in addition to creating a tougher cabinet, also takes unsightly metal hardware out of the equation.


Bathroom Cabinet Specs

When shopping for bathroom cabinets on our site, you will see our bathroom vanities are broken up into a few different types: Sink Base Cabinets, Base Cabinets, and Drawer Base Cabinet. If a bathroom cabinet has drawers and doors, we will also refer to it as a Drawer Right or Drawer Left cabinet, based on what side of the cabinet the drawers are on.


Bathroom Cabinet Drawers and Box Construction

At Lily Ann, we use ½” furniture grade plywood for our drawer and box construction, while most others use inferior particle board or other filler materials. Even our competitors that do use furniture grade plywood typically max out at ⅜” in thickness, which might not sound like a huge difference but is 25% thinner than what we use.


Bathroom Cabinet Finishes

Most bathrooms see a lot of daily use, and your bathroom cabinets need to be durable enough to stand up to that. This includes a high-quality finish on your cabinets to protect them from fading, nicks, and other unsightly damage that may occur. We utilize a 12-step hand applied glaze and stain to all of our RTA bathroom cabinets. Look for a cabinet retailer that puts as much emphasis on their glazes and stains as they do everything else.

You’re Ready To Buy Your Bathroom Cabinets

If you’ve read through this guide, you’ve probably got a good enough understanding to start the process of buying your new bathroom cabinets! Check out these links to see what Lily Ann Cabinets can do for you.


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