Bathroom Makeover Question: Replacement Vanity Doors, or Buy a New Vanity?
Bathroom makeovers take a lot of planning. First, there’s deciding on a budget. Next, it’s time to decide what work is necessary, and then figuring out if any of this necessary work can be “adjusted” in size and scope to save money. In a typical bathroom makeover, the vanity is a focal point. Should the vanity be replaced, or can the vanity be “spiffed up” with a new set of doors (also sometimes known as refacing the vanity)?
Here are some things to consider when making your decision:
Cost Effectiveness: Replacing the bathroom vanity doors is generally much less expensive than installing an entirely new vanity. Frankly, this is one of the main reasons that people replace doors – it’s affordable, yet it can really change the look of your vanity. In terms of savings, the cost of replacing doors can be pretty low:
- Most people create new doors out of MDF or plywood – materials that can easily be purchased at the local hardware store for $20-$40, depending on the size of your vanity.
- If MDF or plywood is used, painting (rather than staining) is appropriate. In many cases, paint used on the rest of the bathroom can be used on the new doors.
- New hinges and/or new door pulls are often purchased, but again these are relatively inexpensive ($20 or less).
So, assuming you have basic woodworking tools and some woodworking knowledge, you can replace vanity doors for less than $50.
HOWEVER, if you don’t have these tools – or the knowledge to build your own replacement doors – the cost advantages diminish. A designer replacement vanity can be purchased for as little $500, yet a professional cabinet builder probably won’t come to your house unless you plan to pay he or she for a few hours of work…which means you might not save any money at all.
Size: If the desire is to make the bathroom vanity larger or smaller, a re-facing will not work. The vanity door can only be replaced, not made into a larger (or smaller) vanity.
Obviously, replacing the vanity can also improve storage capacity, a big consideration in smaller bathrooms.
Condition of Existing Vanity: If the condition of the existing vanity is still in good order, replacement of the vanity door is possible. If the cabinetry is in poor condition, the entire vanity should be replaced. For instance, if the bottom of the vanity is warped or has cracks in it, or if the vanity has an inexpensive laminate paper surface that won’t look good painted, it just might be wiser to replace the vanity.
Sink and faucet: Do you want to upgrade or replace your existing faucet? Perhaps you want to go with a trendy new counter-top sink? If so, you might not be able to keep your existing vanity.
Vanity counter-top considerations: Are you thinking about having granite, marble, soapstone, or concrete added to the vanity counter-top? If so, be sure to check with your counter-top installer prior to refacing your vanity. You may find out that your current vanity doesn’t have the load bearing capacity – or long term durability – that your new counter-top will require.