In addition to our recent bathroom renovation post, I wanted to follow up with instructions on how we built our open vanity shelves…and explain why I went with this design instead of replacing it with a cabinet.
I received several comments on the vanity along with a few questions between my original post, social media posts, and questions from family and friends. Though it took some time to think through, I am so happy with how it turned out and that we decided to go with this open vanity that didn’t touch the floor.
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I explained in the original post that we had to renovate the entire bathroom due to mold and water damage. That is the reason I didn’t want to go with a vanity cabinet made of pressboard like we had before. I couldn’t see sinking a few hundred dollars into something that could easily become damaged if we ever had water damage or leaky pipes again. So, we decided to take matters into our own hands and build an open, semi-floating style vanity!
We found these 2 in. thick (which really means 1.5 in) pine boards at Home Depot that measured 8ft. in length…for less than $8 each! We bought two of them and got to work measuring and cutting. I decided to go with a 34 in. wide vanity and after attaching two 34 in. wide pieces, we had a depth of 22 in….again, because although the boards are advertised as 12 in., it really means 11 in.
My Dad came to help me with this one and brought his table saw along with him. It was pretty tough to cut through boards this thick and it didn’t come with out a few choice words while that was happening. I take after my Dad in that way. haha
After we had the pieces cut, the fun part began…using my trusty Kreg Jig K4 pocket hole system! I purchased the Kreg Jig when we built our farmhouse table and it was nice to have it available when this project was in the works.
The Kreg Jig got the job done so perfectly! I used the clamps to tighten the boards before setting the screws and although they were a little heavy, they were very secure.
Here’s how it turned out after the Kreg Jig did the job….and the measurements in case you want to take this project on, yourself.
The only thing harder than sawing these boards was deciding on a stain color. I really liked the Antique Walnut stain we used for the shelves in the music room but thought it might be too much to use that same color again, but when I put the scrap piece I had left over from that project beside the tile and floor sample, I knew that was going to be the right color! <<I think that was the longest sentence I’ve ever written. Good thing for commas, right?
I filled the crack between the two boards with Elmer’s Wood Filler and sanded it smooth, along with the whole surface to make it smooth and avoid any splinters.
The stain color was looking nice after two coats, but I decided to add one more coat to make it a little darker and to have that added polyurethane coverage. I used the polyshades stain that has the polyurethane in with it, so that was another coat of finish as well. I also added a coat of the indoor/outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane from Minwax to add another layer of protection from water.
Now it was time to place the vessel sink on top to see what it would look like…and I loved the look!
I can’t take credit for the next part of the job. I had the contractors install it for two reasons, first I don’t do plumbing and second, because I wanted someone with experience to install it because I didn’t want to screw up the tile while trying to figure out where I wanted it. It had to be done right, and now that I’ve watched it being installed, I feel like I could probably do it…minus the plumbing.
I bought a piece of galvanized pipe at Lowes along with four flanges to secure each end of the pipe to the vanity pieces. I had the contractor cut the pipe, but I am pretty sure Lowes will do it for you as well. They recommended I have the pipe set on the outer corner of the vanity so it could hold the weight.
As for the installation, I can tell you they used this board underneath that is a couple inches in width, and trimmed it down a just a few inches from the edges so that it wouldn’t be as noticeable beneath the shelves. I can also tell you that they screwed those support boards into the studs behind the tile and then glued the vanity shelves down onto the tops of the support boards which were secured to the wall.
As far as the plumbing…well, I can’t tell you anything about that because I know nothing about plumbing. Sorry!
I am thrilled with how our vanity turned out and I love that it looks industrial, rustic, and modern all at the same time. We have a lot more storage than we did with the cabinet we had before, believe it or not! The basket on top of the lower shelf has a lot of storage and the basket on the bottom is perfect for folded towels.
A closer look at the vanity and the exposed plumbing…what a difference it makes when you have new shiny plumbing. The stuff we had before didn’t look so nice, but it was hidden so it didn’t really matter.
I am feeling good about the decision to go with the open vanity and the vessel sink. I love that the vanity has a natural and rustic look and not made of pressboard. It’s my favorite part of our new bathroom and it’s usually more rewarding when you build something yourself!