Plans for my retro modern master bathroom remodel are at somewhat of a standstill. After posting my revised layout for the bathroom and considering your comments, I am thinking more about the size of the shower. I like my new layout, but there is only so much space to work with. I’m afraid the shower might not be large enough — and making it larger would force a smaller vanity. Originally, I wanted to convert a 52-inch retro dresser — which I scored on craigslist for $25 — into my master bath vanity. I still like the idea, but I’m also thinking about other options. Regardless of what I end up doing, I still did the research. I went online, reviewed about 15 different tutorials, and narrowed them down to the 6 best sources for instructions on how to install a sink into a bedroom dresser or credenza to create a bathroom vanity…
Taken together, I think these tutorials give a pretty good sense of what’s required to start… and finish, successfully:
- Probably the best source I found was a video tutorial featuring Ron Hazleman. Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to watch someone do it, and that is exactly what you can do with this easy to follow video.
- This detailed step by step from HGTV’s website shows pictures of nearly every step of the process.
- If you want to use a salvaged sink and a salvaged dresser, this tutorial shows how to make a unique bath vanity, complete with a tiled top, though the steps aren’t very detailed.
- This set of instructions from Knoji Consumer Knowledge website is very detailed, but is lacking in photos. Still it is worth a read because it makes some very good points about selecting the proper dresser.
- I did find another blogger who tackled turning a dresser into a bath vanity with great results. Her steps are brief, but some have helpful photos, and her end result is very well done.
- This last link on the website ehow, has brief instructions and no photos, but it has a detailed materials list and is very to the point.
Some key points for converting a dresser or buffet into a vanity
The main points I took away from reading these instructions and watching the video are:
- Try to pick a dresser that is close to the measurements of a standard bath vanity, especially the height. A standard bathroom vanity is usually 34″ high, including the installed countertop.
- It is easier to choose a dresser with doors — like a dining room buffet, rather than like a dresser — with drawers. A piece with doors will make it easier to work with the plumbing — you won’t need to remove the drawer boxes to make room for the pipes.
- Make sure to measure your space beforehand so you know what size dresser you need.
- It is very important to firmly attach the dresser to the wall, just as you would with a regular bath vanity.
- Cover the entire dresser with several coats of polyurethane to protect it from moisture.
As far as my dresser goes, if I were to continue along with my original plan, I may have to do some refinishing or at the very least some touch up. My $25 Craigslist dresser is a little worse for the wear.
I’m not sure if it would be beneficial to lightly sand and stain the whole dresser — it is wood veneer, not solid wood, or whether I should try and just touch the nicks up before covering the whole thing in several coats of polyurethane. If you look closely you can also tell that the strips between the drawers are actually plastic laminate.
If I did stick with this dresser and plan for my master bath, I would likely have to sacrifice at least the top two drawers on one side–if not all three–to house the underside of the sink and its plumbing.
My other option seems to be either trying to fabricate a vanity myself, or pay a woodworker to make one for me. I’ve had limited experience building things out of wood, but I have also been studying our current vanity (which was an original custom built bath vanity) and it doesn’t look that complicated — my famous last words, right? The reality of the situation: It would be much better if I had a 48-inch dresser or vanity for the space. That would give the shower an extra four inches of shower width for my broad-shouldered husband.
If I did try to build a vanity, or hire someone to build it for me, it would likely look very similar to my Craigslist dresser. The coloring, the legs, the simplicity of the dresser are all exactly what I was looking for. If only it were a few inches narrower!