Best Bathroom Vanity

Best Bathroom Vanity

Bathrooms can pose an interesting challenge to lighting design. Like kitchens, bathrooms require practical and functional lighting solutions for a primarily task-oriented space. Grooming requires just the right amount of well-placed lighting. Too little and you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Too much lighting, or poor placement can cause glare issues. However, like kitchens, you also want something beautiful. Something with style and quality that both suits your décor and creates a soothing environment. So how do you pick the perfect bathroom vanity lighting? It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. These days, a wide selection of wall mounted bath bars and vanity lights are available to provide the light you need in virtually any style. There are a few things to consider when choosing and installing your bathroom lighting. The following questions are the ones I hear most often from my customers (homeowners and interior designers alike). Cube Wall Sconce by Tech Lighting Help! The lighting in my bathroom is terrible and really unflattering. What are my options for really nice mirror lighting? Is that the same thing as vanity lighting? Where do I start? Yes, vanity lighting may be defined as a light fixture installed above, or alongside a mirror. We offer many vanity lighting options with excellent and flattering light output. Two measures to remember when selecting fixtures for your bathroom are CRI (Color Rendering Index), and color temperature. In terms of CRI, choose a fixture with a high CRI (90+ is preferred). Incandescent and halogen light sources always have the best CRI – 100 – meaning they most accurately render colors. If you wish to use an energy-efficient LED or fluorescent light source, ensure your selection has a CRI or at least 90. This provides excellent color rendering in bathroom settings. For color temperature, try selecting fixtures / light sources with a warm color temperature (2700K – 3000K). Many find warm color temperatures more flattering than cool ones, because they are similar to the incandescent lights most people have become used to. When I meet with clients, I work with them directly to determine the color temperature option they like best. That said, you never want to go above 3500K in a bathroom lighting application — it’s just not as flattering and inviting as warmer temperatures. In terms of fixtures, the Twiggy LED 1RE fixture is my personal favorite. It’s a high quality fixture with minimalist styling and great light output, it’s cool to the touch, and there are so many lengths to choose from. Generally 36-48 inch lengths are best for vanity lighting applications, but this also depends on the size of your mirror. Also, I highly recommend installing a low voltage electronic dimmer for this fixture to control its light output, and create a different atmosphere as needed. At what height should I install wall mounted bathroom lighting such as bath bars and vanity lighting? If you are mounting wall sconces on each side of your mirror, you should mount them with the center of the fixtures about 60″ high and about 28″ apart. If you are mounting a bath bar above the mirror, it should be mounted about 78″ high. These are generally-accepted measures from the American Lighting Association. At what angle should my lighting be mounted? This depends on the dimensions of your mirror or medicine cabinet. If the fixture is enclosed with a diffuser to create comfortable distribution of light, you don’t necessarily need an angled bath light. Some of the bath bars that we offer are angled, or are able to be angled. The Bardot, Audrey, and Twiggy Hinged LED vanity lights by Edge Lighting are all great selections that are able to direct the light towards you at about a 45 degree angle. Audrey Vanity with Square Canopy by Edge Lighting What are my options for energy efficient bathroom vanity lighting? Are LED fixtures available? LED and fluorescent fixtures are available for bathroom lighting. These are great energy efficient options that last a long time, and many LED Bath Bars and LED Vanity Lights are dimmable when paired with the appropriate dimmer. Traditional Incandescent and Halogen vanities are also dimmable, which can extend lamp life. Since bathrooms can get pretty wet, do I need special bathroom lighting, or can I use the normal fixtures that I’d put elsewhere in my house? For your shower and/or tub area, you would definitely need shower lighting that is wet rated. If you are interested in recessed cans, there are many options of shower-rated trims to choose from. Elsewhere in your bathroom you can use regular fixtures, but keep in mind that fabric typically stains from moisture or splashing, so glass, metal and plastic are better selections for bathroom lighting fixtures. How much light is the ideal amount for a bathroom? I always say the more lighting the better, because you can always dim lights. You want a lot of light for the bathroom — about 50-75 foot candles on your face — because of the variety of tasks done every day in that room. Consider a layered lighting plan for the bathroom. This is an ideal solution that can address the different lighting needs various areas in the bathroom. What is layered lighting, and why is it important in bathrooms? Layered lighting is very important for any room, but especially bathrooms. Because there are a wide variety of tasks done in a bathroom, (such as shaving, cleaning, grooming, applying makeup, and other general tasks), it is good to have layered lighting options designed for the specific needs of each task. For instance, in addition to bath bars or bathroom vanity lights at the mirror for face-based tasks, I also like to install a downlight mounted over the sink, about 12″ from the wall (with a dimmer, of course). This provides general illumination that fills the area over the sink. Mounting it back from the wall keeps the light out of your eyes. Other examples of light layers in bathrooms include wall sconces to help define the space, small chandeliers to provide general illumination, or even LED uplights installed in the shower for a unique take on task lighting in the shower. I like adding Edge Lighting’s Sun3 LED fixtures as uplights in the corners of the shower or using Port LED fixtures 3-4 inches off the floor in the wall or tile. Use different dimmers for each fixture to set different moods and accommodate various tasks. See our other article on bathroom lighting design to read more about the importance and effects of layered lighting in bathrooms. Left – Solace Bath Bar by Tech Lighting Right – Tigris Oval Recessed Mirror by Tech Lighting Looking for more information? Our lighting experts would be happy to discuss the best vanity lighting for your bathroom. Contact us at 954-4489
best bathroom vanity 1

Best Bathroom Vanity

Buying cabinetry or a vanity for your bathroom is a similar process to buying kitchen cabinets. Before you start shopping, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your bathroom renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Bathroom Questionnaire and Bathroom Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new bathroom will look like, after exploring various bathroom designs and layouts and planning out space and storage. Finally, you should have a budget to work with. Cabinet Quality Grades Similar to kitchen cabinetry, bath cabinetry is available in four basic grades (RTA, stock, semi-custom and custom) and two general construction approaches (face framed and frameless). Bath cabinetry may also be purchased in the form of a freestanding vanity. Cabinetry is sold through a network of retailers including, building supply stores, kitchen and bath retailers and home improvement centers, such as Lowes and Home Depot. A number of mass home catalogue companies sell freestanding vanities. Ready-to-assemble (RTA) is the cheapest cabinetry grade but you’ll sacrifice on quality of materials and construction. RTA comes boxed, requiring assembly. Stock cabinetry is generally affordable but offers little variety in door style, size and materials. Semi-custom cabinets offer a wide range of door and drawer styles, materials and finishes but like stock cabinetry, semi-custom is measured in 3-inch increments and doesn’t provide a fully tailored fit. Custom cabinetry is completely adapted to suit any given space. With custom-built cabinetry, there’s no limit in terms of style, material, finishes or decorative elements but the trade-off can be extremely pricey. Lead-time on cabinetry can be anywhere from same day delivery with stock cabinetry to eight weeks or more on custom orders. Cabinet Drawers Regardless which grade you opt for, make sure to choose a well-constructed cabinet with drawers at least 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch thick, especially on the bottom. Avoid stapled construction. Check to ensure drawers are snug in their box, open quietly and glide smoothly. They should not sag when extended fully. Wood sides and dovetail joinery marks quality construction practices but substrates, such as plywood, particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF) with doweled joinery is a suitable and affordable alternative. Cabinet Materials and Finishes Bathrooms receive considerable wear and tear and it’s important to choose materials and finishes that can withstand heat, water and excessive moisture. Typically, cabinetry is constructed of a plywood, particleboard or medium density fiberboard (MDF) box with solid wood door and drawer faces. The number of available material and finish options increase with price point. Most manufacturers offer a breadth of painted, stained, glazed, antiqued and distressed finishes and an expansive selection of woods and laminates. Be wary of using veneers in baths, as they tend to peel over time. Cabinet Doors, Accessories and Hardware Door style and decorative enhancements drive the look of bath cabinetry. Doors may be flush or have an elevated or inset central panel that can be squared, arched or rounded. From craftsman to modern, a number of door styles are available at every price point. An assortment of decorative accessories such as posts, pilasters and wainscoting further customize the look. Drawers and doors typically look best when coordinated or identical. The same applies to their hardware, including hinges, knobs and pulls. It’s important to thoroughly consider each of these items as an entity before committing. But bath cabinetry isn’t all about looks. Consider accessories for ease of use. Mid and high-end cabinetry offer an abundance of features, such as pull-out hair dryer drawers with electrical outlets installed inside doors and wire clothing hamper drawers. Cabinet and Vanity Styles Consider first what you’ll be storing in cabinetry before deciding on a design. A double sink vanity offers more storage while a narrower vanity allows more floor space. Another trend is custom designed vanities suspended above the floor. “We’re suggesting and designing a number of wall-hung vanities, says American Institute of Architects (AIA) architect Mark Hutker. “They show more floor beneath, lending bathrooms a larger sense of space.” Freestanding vanities and cabinetry detached from walls on either side are especially popular in powder rooms or half baths. Cabinets sold specifically as bathroom cabinets are generally 32 inches tall and 18 to 21 inches deep. However, kitchen cabinetry suits bathroom applications, differing only slightly in height and depth. Whether you select bathroom or kitchen cabinetry, select cabinetry made from environmentally responsible materials. Look for cabinetry that is approved by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) with an Environmental Stewardship Program (EPS) seal. If you’re going the custom route, select wood cut from a certified managed forest and opt for low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints. Of course, there is nothing easier on the environment than transforming an antique or salvaged piece into a bath vanity in lieu of purchasing new cabinetry. Re-purposed hutches and vintage dressers make one-of-a-kind statements when used as a vanity. “Bath vanities don’t have to be something from a cabinet shop,” says designer Jane Coslick. “Some of the best vanities are salvaged curbside or scored from local flea markets.” In addition, a number of catalogues have knocked off the vintage look, creating freestanding vanities with a furniture-like feel. “A powder room is an excellent place to really show off a cool vanity,” Coslick says. Other companies specialize in custom-built freestanding vanities, which are intended to look every bit as authentic as original antiques. Keep Reading

Best Bathroom Vanity

Best Bathroom Vanity
Best Bathroom Vanity
Best Bathroom Vanity
Best Bathroom Vanity
Best Bathroom Vanity