What is a Vanity Cabinet?

What is a Vanity Cabinet?

When you’re building or renovating a new bathroom, the sink and its surrounding storage are fundamental. Cabinets, vanities and or the combined term, term vanity cabinet become key design considerations. 

But what is a vanity cabinet? What many people are talking about is a built-in or freestanding structure that houses the bathroom sink, often with bench and storage space. 

Yet there are differences between types of vanities and cabinets worth exploring. Read below to learn more and what will best suit your bathroom.

Key Summary

A vanity cabinet is a unit that houses the sink, storage and bench space in the bathroom. They are customisable and available in many configurations, colours and sizes.

What is a vanity cabinet

What is a Vanity Cabinet?

What are vanity cabinets? Vanity cabinets will vary in price, size and materials and are bathroom storage units that have a sink (or sinks).

Vanity vs Vanity Cabinet: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes, the terms vanity and vanity cabinet are used in confusing ways. We explain the differences below:


The general term for the different units that house the sink/s, storage and surrounding bench space in the bathroom. Sometimes, vanity also refers to a wider vanity area in the bathroom that includes above the sink and hardware such as mirrors, lighting and separate tap fixtures. Not all vanities are cabinets!

Vanity Cabinet

A more specific term for a bathroom cabinet that incorporates a sink, storage and often bench space. Although various designs exist, many have doors and/or drawers that close.

Given the similarity of the two terms, many people use them interchangeably. What some people may mean when they say vanity cabinet is a general bathroom vanity unit that may be one of many different types. But technically, a vanity cabinet is a particular type of vanity.

As long as you clarify someone’s usage of terms, you will be on the same page.

What are the Types of Vanities?

For ease of understanding, we describe the main types of vanities in terms of their installation:

  • Cabinet – Similar to a kitchen cabinet, cabinets may have pull-out drawers or doors that can be customised in many ways and suit a variety of hardware. 
  • Built-in, floor mounted – Is attached to the wall and floor – often with vanity cabinet style for the most storage.
  • Freestanding – A vanity that is like a separate piece of furniture. Suitable for two sinks.
  • Pedestal – A small profile, freestanding unit with no bench space on either side.
  • Floating or Wall-Mounted – Attached to the wall and provides open floor space underneath. Typically less storage than a floor-mounted cabinet.
  • Vessel – The sink bowl sits on top of the bench and has its own separate tap/s.
  • Under-mounted – Is a unit where the sink is mounted below the vanity.

What are the Differences Between Vanity Cabinets?

There are many options when it comes to the features of your vanity cabinets. The main differences are:

Sinks: might be under-mounted, drop-in or sit on top (vessel).

Material: many options are available to suit various budgets including solid wood, particle board composite, laminate, marble, granite, quartz, concrete and solid surface.

Design: you have many options when it comes to configuration. Your sink may be centred or set to the left or right. 

You might opt for drawers or standard doors, or a combination of both, but traditionally, a cabinet style features pull-out doors.

You might also choose to have a design with some or all open shelving.  The unit might be round, rectangular, square L-shape or a customised design.

Style: many choices including basic, V-groove, mirrored, flat style and recessed.

Size: You may need a vanity to fit in a certain sized bathroom or accommodate the number of sinks. As a guide, smaller than 1.5m wide suits a single vanity. Larger is for double sinks or a design that has extra bench space on one or both sides.

What are the Advantages of Vanity Cabinets?

There are several benefits to having vanity cabinets in your bathroom:

  • Storage: many vanity cabinets provide some decent storage to house things such as cosmetics, linen, hair appliances, cleaning supplies and personal care items. It’s your bathroom – you can store what you like!
  • Aesthetics: Hides plumbing and streamlines the appearance of a bathroom and will enhance interior decor. Doors and drawers hide clutter which will make a space appear larger.
  • Utility: your sink needs to be mounted onto something and a cabinet is a great option. The bench space on the top of many vanity cabinets is also valuable for most people when using the sink and mirrors.
  • Customisation: vanity cabinets are available in many materials, configurations and sizes which make them suitable for almost all bathroom design requirements.

Upgrading your Cabinets? Contact our Expert Team Today!

At Mint Kitchens, our experienced team are also experts in bathroom renovations. Do you have questions about vanity cabinets, bathroom fixtures or the design process? We can help! Contact us to get started.

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