What Can Be Used as A Bathroom Vanity? (Helpful Tips!)

Finding a bathroom vanity that is super unique and has the exact dimensions you want, can be a teensy bit tasking, but the good thing is you can use other pieces of furniture in its stead.

You can use anything from a teak table to a trunk as a bathroom vanity. Reference the guide below to see how exactly you can do this.

Bathroom vanities are very essential and functional pieces of furniture, they must be made of certain types of materials to efficiently serve their purpose.

So, it’s important that you are super knowledgeable about their specifications before substituting them with any other type of furniture.

Can you use anything as a bathroom vanity?

Here’s what can be used as a bathroom vanity: teak tables, three-drawer chests, cupboards, filing cabinets, a sideboard or a buffet, office desks, trunks and cases.

When choosing a substitute, it’s important that you implement the following tips, to help ensure that you make the right choice.

Tip #1: Outline Your Storage Needs

It’s important that your storage needs are at the forefront of your mind when choosing a bathroom vanity substitute.  

If you have enough shelves or storage compartments in your bathroom then you wouldn’t really be bothered if the furniture you’re looking to use has little or no storage units.

But if you have considerable storage needs, you might want to go with a substitute that has drawers or compartments where you can keep your stuff, for example, a chest or a cupboard.

Tip #2: Asses Whether the Furniture Can Support Plumbing

Make sure whatever option you go with can withstand the weight of a countertop, sink, and other essential vanity accessories.

A piece of furniture that is very sturdy has thick frames and some form of internal bracing would be super ideal to use as a bathroom vanity.

You can make some modifications to your desk, trunk, or whatever you decide to go with to make them more suitable to serve as a bathroom vanity.

Tip #3:  Have in Mind the Number of People Making Use of It

If your makeshift vanity is going to be used by multiple people then you’re going to have to go with a piece of furniture that has a storage compartment, if there aren’t enough storage units in your bathroom.

Consider installing a double bowl sink top, as this is more convenient for a vanity that’s going to be in use by several persons.

Use a single bowl sink if your makeshift vanity is considerably small due to the space available in your bathroom.

Tip #4: Make Sure the Material of the Furniture Is Suitable for a Bathroom

Furnitures that are made of materials that cannot withstand moisture and high humidity levels should either be worked on to adapt to their new function or avoided.

You can use a piece of furniture that is not water-resistant as a bathroom vanity, provided that you coat it with layers of polyurethane or any other sealant.

In case you’re clueless on how to determine if a furniture is water-resistant, the following pointers should give you an idea.

  • Furniture made of materials like, plywood or poly vinyl chloride (PVC) can serve as a bathroom vanity without being coated with sealant.
  • Materials like solid wood, or medium-density fiberboards, can’t really withstand high humidity and water and should be coated with sealant if used for a bathroom vanity.

Can you use a dresser as a bathroom vanity?

A dresser is amongst the array of furniture that can be used as a bathroom vanity, here’s a step-by-step guide on how it can be repurposed into one.

The below guide is not only limited to a dresser, but can be used to navigate other pieces of furniture such as, a cabinet, or a buffet.

The tools and materials needed for this project include,

  • A dresser,
  • Basin and Faucet
  • Clean Cloth
  • A Circular Saw and Jigsaw
  • Drilling Machine
  • Wood Glue
  • Retractable Measuring Tape
  • Clamps
  • A hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Plywood Board
  • Safety Glasses
  • Pencil and Chalk
  • Silicone Caulk and A Caulking Gun

Step #1: Ready Your Dresser and Sink

Make sure your dresser or whatever piece of furniture you decide to go with is perfect for your bathroom, then proceed to get a basin or sink that goes with it.

There are three main types of sinks or basins, there is the undermount basin which is installed underneath the countertop, the overmount basin which is designed to be mounted over the countertop and the vessel basin which sits completely on the surface of the vanity.

Step #2: Outline Where You Want Your Sink to Go on Your Dresser

Outlining where you want your sink to go on your dresser should be pretty straightforward, if your sink came with a cut-out template, but if this isn’t the case, you can simply make a cut line on your dresser with the aid of your measuring tape.

If you’re looking to install a vessel basin then your cut line should be exactly the same size as the drain hole at the bottom of the sink.

 As for a drop-in sink, place your basin facedown and trace its outline unto your dresser with a pencil making sure to center it. Once you have done this, draw a line about an inch inside the outline, this is the line you’d be cutting.

Undermount sinks, on the other hand, require the perimeter of their inner rim to be drawn on the wood top.

The outline should go on top of the dresser for a drop-in sink and under the dresser for an undermount sink.

Step #3: Cut the Sink Hole

Cut the sink hole according to the circumference of your basin using a jigsaw and a long saw. The jigsaw should be used for corner cuts and the long saw should be used for long cuts.

You can make holes on the cut line with a drill to make the insertion of the jigsaw or long saw blade easy.

Step #4: Create Space for Plumbing by Working on Drawers

Take out the drawers that will interfere with the plumbing and the sink and try to measure how much of the drawer you’ll need to cut off.

Once you’ve done this, proceed to cut the back of each drawer with a blade or your jigsaw.

Depending on the type of dresser you’re working with, you might have to remove the interior side of the top drawers.

Once you have cut the drawers, place them back in the dresser to see if they fit properly, and make additional adjustments if necessary.

Insert the drawers back in place and tack or secure them with some wood glue or nails and a clamp.

Step #6: Cut the Bottom and Back of the Dresser

Before cutting the back and bottom of your dresser, trace the plumbing space onto the inside of your dresser.

Proceed to make measurements outside of the dresser, or make holes at the corners of your dresser to guide you when cutting.

After doing the above, turn your dresser on its sides and cut the outlined area with a jigsaw or circular saw.

In order to ensure that you are on the right track, put the drawers and sink in the dresser to ensure that everything fits perfectly.

Step #7: Install Sink and Plumbing

Use some chalk to trace the perimeter of your sink, then remove it. Apply some silicone within your chalk outline and then gently fix your sink in place.

Hold the sink in place and wiggle it a bit to ensure that it is firmly installed. Clean the surface of your dresser with a towel or a cloth.

Proceed to connect the plumbing and your faucet then put all the drawers back in place.

Can I build my own bathroom vanity?

You can build your own bathroom vanity from scratch, they aren’t so difficult to construct. But you’d have to be more than ready to put in the work.

You’ll need pretty much the same materials you’d need for repurposing an old piece of furniture into a vanity, the only difference is that instead of working with an existing piece of furniture you’d be working with boards of wood.

Whether it’s a freestanding or wall hung bathroom vanity, you should be able to build something of high quality on your own or with some assistance.

Watch the video below to have an idea of what this entails.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, this is all you need to know about repurposing other pieces of furniture into a bathroom vanity.

We hope you found this guide super informative and encourage you to let your creativity run wild.

You can get an affordable small pre-made vanity for as low as $100 if you’re not really interested in embarking on any |DIY project.

However, if you’re looking for something a lot bigger and opulent, you’re going to have to spend a lot more.