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A guide to bathroom furniture

Bathroom cabinets, floor-mounted units and vanity units are essential for storing towels and toiletries but more than simply adding practicality and convenience, bathroom furniture can also enhance the feel of the entire room by creating a harmonised and styled look.

Start by measuring the space you have carefully and work out exactly where you want the furniture to go. Make sure you allow for the full opening of any drawers or doors and consider employing the services of a fitter or handyman if installing wall-mounted units.

Vanity Unit

A vanity unit (also known as basin cabinet, bathroom sink cabinet or under sink cabinet), combines a basin with a cupboard underneath. It often includes drawers or doors and is useful for hiding pipework! As well as being functional, a vanity unit can look stylish and works well in any bathroom.

Wall-hung Unit

As the name suggests, they are mounted on the wall so do not take up floor space. Wall-hung units give a feeling of space in a smaller bathroom and allow items such as bathroom scales or a laundry basket to fit underneath.

Freestanding floor or wall furniture

Freestanding furniture, whether on the floor or mounted to the wall, is key for housing towels, cosmetics, toiletries and even cleaning materials. When choosing bathroom furniture, it is best to match the style of the furniture to the rest of the bathroom so that the look is consistent throughout.

Combined basin & toilet unit

These units combine a basin and storage cupboard with a back-to-wall toilet and hidden cistern. This unit is ideal for smaller bathrooms, en-suites and cloakrooms. The overall look is tidy and streamlined creating a feeling of space and work just as well in traditional as well as more contemporary bathrooms.

Fitted bathroom furniture

Fitted furniture is becoming increasingly more popular in contemporary bathrooms. Not dissimilar to a fitted kitchen, fitted bathroom furniture is bespoke, providing the bathroom with a clean, uncluttered look and feel thanks to integrated counter tops, plenty of storage space and a cohesive matching look.

Bathroom furniture is predominantly made from either natural wood, MDF, melamine, rattan, wrought iron or glass. Different materials have different qualities – the most popular materials are listed below.

Melamine or particleboard

Melamine or particleboard is popular as it is readily available and inexpensive. Made by pressing wood particles together then laminating with different decors ie. walnut, beech or pine, melamine is usually lacquered ie. blue, green, or white and then finished in metallic, satin or matt. Most units come ready-to-assemble, are lightweight and easy to clean but beware, melamine can warp around the edges if overly exposed to moisture.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)

MDF is a heavy and stronger composite material than melamine. Consisting of wood fibre and a binder, MDF is subjected in its manufacture to high pressures and temperatures. Like melamine, the MDF is covered with a decor and usually lacquered. MDF is more expensive, better quality and comes in a wide range of metallic, coloured, and aluminium finishes.

Solid Wood

Bathroom furniture can be made from different solid woods, but exotic woods are popular for their intrinsic properties – easy to maintain and rot-proof. Most solid wood furniture is made either of teak, eucalyptus, mahogany, or bamboo but oil or vanish should be applied to protect and ensure longevity.

8th Jul 2020