Walk into an older home and measure the bathroom vanity height. You’re likely to get a measurement between 30 and 32 inches. Go into a newer home and you may find the vanities are between 32 and 36 inches.
Confused yet? Don’t be. Vanity heights have changed over the years for a number of reasons.
These days, you need to consider several things besides a standard vanity height. Let’s look at what you can find on the market and what you should consider.
In This Article We'll Discuss
Standard Vanity Height
On average, standard-height bathroom vanities measure 32″ from counter top to floor. However, if you take a survey of the height of vanities available, you will find they range from 29″ to 43″ in height.
The “standard” height vanity developed in the years after World War II. That’s when a lot of homes were being built with single bathrooms. A typical vanity had to accommodate both adults and children. The 32″ height was a good compromise for all family members. This became the de facto average for bathroom vanities.
Today’s homes usually have at least two bathrooms. Many people are opting for higher vanities in bathrooms used mainly by adults. This has led to the development of “comfort height” vanities. They are usually 36″ high though they can go as high as 43″. This matches the standard 36″ height of kitchen counters.
The Vessel Sink
There’s another type of sink vanity setup to consider. Vessel sinks have become a popular design choice in newer homes. These have the actual sink sitting on top of the vanity, instead of set down flush with the vanity level.
When buying a vanity for a vessel sink, the appropriate vanity height is going to change. Measure how tall the vessel will sit on top of the vanity. Then, add that vessel height to the height of the vanity. For example, a 7″ vessel sink on top of a 30″ vanity has a total height of 37″.
Also known as “floating” vanities, wall-hung vanities are popular choices in contemporary spaces. They add visual space because they don’t block the floor.
Most often, these floating vanities hang at the standard 32″ height. Because they don’t sit on the floor, contractors can install them at almost any height desired. They are popular choices for those who get around in a wheelchair.
What’s the Best Bathroom Vanity Height for Your Home?
Selecting a vanity height is a personal decision. It depends on a lot of factors. Taking the time to consider these factors will help you find the perfect vanity for your home.
Let’s talk about what’s important in bathroom vanity height selection.
Who Is Going to Be Using the Bathroom
Consider who is going to be using a particular bathroom. If it’s the only bathroom for an entire family, you need to accommodate a mix of heights and ages. In that scenario, a 32″ high vanity may be the best option. A single, taller adult living alone may be more comfortable using a 36″ vanity.
For bathrooms used mainly by children, the 32″ vanity offers an ideal height for kids of varying ages.
Another consideration is for people who have disabilities. For those in a wheelchair, the ADA recommends a height between 29″ and 34″, depending on the individual.
If you need to replace an existing vanity, you need to consider existing features. A higher vanity may get in the way of existing mirrors, outlets, or light switches. Does the wall have tile or trim installed?
You may be able to modify or remove these existing features to accommodate the new vanity. However, you may find the hassle and expense too much.
If you choose a vanity with a different height, you need to consider the current plumbing. For example, you are replacing an existing vanity. Your new one has a similar width and depth, just a different height. This usually doesn’t involve major plumbing changes. You will need longer drains and supply hoses.
It’s a different story when the vanity with a significant difference in width and depth. Another costly situation is moving the vanity position. Consult with a plumber before purchasing the vanity to talk the need to move plumbing.
Uses for Vanity
How do you plan on using the vanity? Many use the vanity for washing hands and brushing teeth. However, if you want to use the vanity for applying makeup, you need to consider its height.
For those who want to sit down to apply makeup, the height of the vanity needs to be between 26″ and 29″. It also needs to have space under the counter to push in a chair. In this set-up, it’s quite common to have the make-up counter lower than the rest.
Stand-up makeup vanities are usually between 30″ and 34″ in height.
Mixing It Up
If you have the space, you can install two vanities at different heights. Many manufacturers offer the same vanity style at both the 32″ and 36″ heights. It’s easy to install one of each in bathrooms with enough room.
This mix of vanity heights is ideal in homes with a single bath. Taller adults can use the taller vanity. Kids and shorter adults will be comfortable with the shorter one. It’s also a good option in a master bathroom when one person is significantly taller than the other.
The Choice Is Up to You
Selecting the height of your vanity is not only one decision you will have to make. It is an important one from the perspective of comfort and usability. Standard height vanities work in almost any bathroom. Taller vanities are great upgrades for taller adults.
Of course, there’s much more to consider than vanity height. You need to consider its width and depth as well as sink position. May you find the perfect vanity for your needs.