Most common bathroom vanity materials


Bathroom Vanity Material – Particle board
Price; costs less to produce and less to buy
Can be covered with wood veneer, melamine, or laminate
Sags over an extended period and under the weight of solid surface countertops, such as granite or quartz.
VERY easily damaged by water, and importantly, steam
You may not realize how much steam comes into contact with your vanity. Every time you shower, take a bath or even have the hot water running for more than a few seconds, your vanity is subject to the steam. This will cause the material to break down, and you will need a replacement.

Particle board bathroom vanity materials
For this reason, we do not use particle board for our bathroom vanity materials at either of our retail locations. While profit margins might be higher, we value our clients and want their purchases to last as long as humanly possible.

Bathroom Vanity Material – MDF:
Engineered wood composite similar to particle board, but denser and stronger
Compressed using tiny bits of wood, for a long time and at high temperatures
Smooth surface
No knots or splinters around the edges
Takes paint extremely well; custom cabinet or vanity makers won’t want to paint real wood due to the cracking of the paint
High maintenance (not easily repairable if chipped or cracked)
Exposure to water causes swelling
The glue within makes it difficult to sink nails or screws
Cannot be stained

Plywood is made from veneers of wood glued into layers that form sheets. Like particle board, these bathroom vanity materials come in a variety of thicknesses and qualities.

On the low-end, softwoods, quick dry glues, and voids can be often found between the layers. This plywood is usually coated with a plastic that has a wood grain pattern applied because the wood they use isn’t very attractive and may not finish well.

On the high end, however, it is a very attractive wood and a truly solid choice (no pun intended) for your bathroom vanity. It VERY rarely degrades.

While you want to be cautious of water damage with all types of wood, high-end plywood has a pretty high success rate in terms of holding up for a long period.

Some people question a vanity that has plywood on the sides or back, and wonder if solid wood would be a better choice. In reality, it’s not. The plywood will be more stable over the long run than solid wood. That is because the plywood will not move due to moisture/humidity/temperature changes like solid wood does.

If covered in veneer, it will be as stable as the plywood and will not chip/peel except under unusual circumstances. In that case, it would affect real wood in the same way. Plywood is a great choice for bathroom vanity materials, which is why we carry them in our stores.

While nothing compares with solid wood in projects, it is not ALWAYS the choice for bathroom vanity. Solid wood comes in two variations; solid wood (all-natural real wood) and solid hardwood.

Solid hardwood is a durable wood material and is made from woods like oak, cherry, and maple. Solid wood tends to shrink and expand as humidity changes. Expansion can cause cracks in the painted finish and also warping (in some cases).

Real wood is porous so it will absorb water molecules in the air. However, I won’t dare say that real wood is a bad material. It’s been used for centuries and is still the preferred option by many contractors and builders. The strength and durability of solid wood are why many choose to go with wood bath vanities, so it depends on what you find important. By keeping humidity in control,  homeowners won’t have any problems with this beautiful material. It works with a natural or stained finish, as opposed to paint.

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