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Editors Note: Updated October, 2018
Find out what’s the best material for a bathroom vanity cabinet from the Bath Vanity experts at Tradewinds Imports.com! Choosing the right material is a long-term decision. After all, a typical vanity will be installed for 20 years.
I’ve seen many different materials in the bathroom and many of them were very much under par. People think that price is the only thing to look at but this is the wrong approach to take. Think about the money you’ll have to spend if you end up replacing your cheap vanity when the frame warps.
Caroline Double Bathroom Vanity – $1,989.00
2 Reasons Why Your Vanity Needs to Be Built Out of Quality Materials
- Moisture and humidity can wreak havoc on a low-quality vanity made from particle board. These conditions can cause your vanity to crack, warp, and discolor over time.
- Vanities must be strong enough to support the weight of a heavy countertop. Poor materials will lead to sagging and drooping in the center of your vanity where the countertop and basin are the heaviest. Over time, sagging will worsen. In most cases it won’t collapse completely but it will lead to cracks. The seal between your vanity and it’s top will likely break as well.
Read a comparison of MDF vs Wood Bathroom Vanities.
MDF, Solid Plywood, Rubberwood, or Solid Wood
Solid Wood Bathroom Vanities
- The best material for a bathroom vanity cabinet if price isn’t an issue. It’s the strongest and most durable material. Solid oak vanities are the strongest material hands down. Nothing compares to the capabilities of good ol’ mother nature! Includes birch, maple, oak, and polar. JWH Living offers a line of Solid Oak Bathroom Vanities.
Grand Crater Single Sink Vanity – $1,399.00
Rubberwood Bathroom Vanities
- Made from the Hevea Brasilienesis rubber tree. Rubberwood is 90% the strength of oak and it is eco-friendly, making use of materials that would otherwise go to waste.
Grand Lune Single Bath Vanity – $1,199.00
Solid Plywood Bath Vanities
- A very strong wood. Residential roofing is made from plywood so rest assured, the roof above your head uses plywood. It’s a strong material and a great choice if you want to ride the mid-line between price and quality. It’s not as strong as the two above but it will last if moisture is controlled.
MDF Bathroom Vanities
- The economical choice for homeowners seeking to stay within a given budget. MDF vanities are approximately 30% of the quality of oak vanities. Want to upgrade? Here are some ways you can cut down your bathroom remodeling budget so that you can upgrade to a stronger vanity!
Amare Single Bathroom Vanity – $1,749.00
Bathroom Budget Remodeling Tips:
- 5 Budget Saving Bathroom Remodeling Tips
- The Top Ten Ways to Decorate for Less
- Budget Remodeling for Small Bathrooms
Best Material for the Main Skeleton
Grand Lune Single Vanity – $1,199.00
The main skeleton includes the sides, bottom, back, and inner support beams that form the structural integrity of a bathroom vanity. It’s important that these parts are made from strong materials to withstand humid conditions and the weight of a heavy countertop. The main skeleton provides structural support and includes everything aside from cabinet doors and drawers.
MDF is decent when painted but it doesn’t hold up quite as well as a solid wood bathroom vanity. This is due to the humidity and moisture that is contained in the bathroom. When moisture and humidity are present, your vanity cabinet will want to shrink, warp, and crack over long periods of time.
The key weakness of an MDF bathroom vanity is the penetration of moisture/water past the surface. This could happen when stress cracks allow water to seep into the MDF wood. Because it is compiled essentially of saw dust glued together, this could lead an MDF vanity to weaken dramatically.
This is what causes the paint on your vanity to chip and crack. The wood is constantly expanded and contracting as the room goes from dry to humid. The paint is set and will not expand, ultimately leading to unsightly cracks on the finish of your bath vanity.
Drawers and Door Panels
The drawers on most bathroom vanities are made from MDF or plywood. This is done to keep costs down. Even when suppliers say Solid Wood, drawers are more than likely made from cheaper materials but it’s not a bad thing.
Willowapple Single Sink Vanity – $804.00
It saves you money and it will stand up to daily use so long as your sink doesn’t leak or you have any problems with flooding. For all intents and purposes, MDF drawers are completely fine!
How to Avoid these Problems
In order to avoid problems with humidity and moisture, you MUST make sure that you have to know what size bathroom exhaust fan you need. Don’t forget to run the extractor fan through the roof to avoid problems with mold in your attic.
You can learn what size bathroom fan you need here.
Where to Find Quality Bathroom Vanities
Tradewinds Imports is the web’s premiere source for high-quality bathroom vanities. In business for many years, their bathroom vanity experts are knowledgable and more than willing to help you pick out the right vanity for your Master Bathroom!
- What is the Standard Height of a Bathroom Vanity?
- Choosing the Right Bathroom Vanity for You: A Basic Guide
- 20 Small Bathroom Vanities that Are Big on Style
About the Author
Cheryl Khan is a designer and writer at Tradewinds Imports, an online specialty site dedicated to retailing fine bathroom furnishings. She has extensive knowledge about all the finer details that go into planning the perfect bath renovation project and is an expert in all things bathroom!