build your own bathroom vanity?

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maxwell_smart007

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Has anyone ever built their own bathroom vanity? I'm looking at the models in stores, and I really don't like the idea of spending a grand on press-board and melamine. I've found a few plans online, but most are for 48"...I think 42 is about the biggest I can fit.

Anyone build one? Any pitfalls you can identify?

I have a router, but may need to invest in a shaper or build a router table for the doors, I think...
 
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jjjaworski

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I have built several custom cabinets in our last home. If you have a table saw and a router you should be able to tackle it. The case of the cabinet is usually faced with a grid of 3/4 stock that is attached to it with door and drawer openings. You can always make raised panel doors with a table saw or just do flat doors with a rabbeted edge.

Search the internet and you will find all sorts of information on different types of base cabinet construction as well as how to fabricate the top for a sink. So much easier these days with the videos and other help the internet provides. No more going to a library to get books on a subject.

Good luck.
 

gwplunk

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Had the same concerns about limitations of store-bought vanities (limited sizes, flimsy materials) and built one a couple of years back (rough Sketchup below). It was fairly straightforward and only required a few basic tools: Table saw, track saw for breaking down ply (circ saw with jig also works), drill, etc. Shaker style doors meant no router needed.

Upsides: Can customize dimensions and design any which way you choose, including more robust materials than store-bought. Plywood construction gives peace of mind in case water gets where it shouldn't.
Downsides: Ended up being more costly than expected--countertop was 2x cost of all other materials combined, which was a surprise. Getting square cuts on larger ply panels can be tricky without the right tools/jigs.

Ditto on the previous recommendation for videos--lots of in-depth tutorials on cabinet/vanity construction on YouTube.

vanity draft.jpg
 

jttheclockman

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Built in my Mom's house some 20 years ago. Have the tools and some knowledge of cabinet construction. It is not hard at all. The problem comes with the cost of materials and getting decent quality. I had a hardwood lumber yard in my area that I buy my stock from and get to pick and choose. So matching woods not a problem. With this said i am replacing my kitchen next year and at one time thought about building the cabinets but not even on the radar any more. Retired is the word. Will spend a little more for better quality but well worth the effort. Not young any more. Good luck,
 

Charlie_W

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Andrew, first, decide on the appearance you want. Full overlay doors or partial overlay (where you see some of the face frame between the doors). Next comes the hinges. Most everyone these days use fully concealed hinges so mounting becomes a consideration and can dictate cabinet construction.....frameless or with a face frame. The face frame stile width will be decided by the hinge and overlay amount.

In different cabinet shop, we used mortise and tenon as well as half lap face frame construction. The half lap is much easier/quicker and the most strong.
The current trend of pocket screw construction is fine but in my book it is still a butt joint....not as strong as other joints.

For cabinet box/carcass, 3/4” plywood for frameless and 1/2” plywood for framed construction. I always include a cabinet back. Usually 1/8” Masonite or plywood. Dados and rabbets were my preference.

Standard vanity cabinet depth is 21” with 18” for a shallow vanity. The tops are usually 1” overhang 1” or more with full overlay.
Toe kick 2”x 3” years ago. Now, I would go taller....3 1/2”- 4” (kitchen cabinets are normally 3”x4”. Cabinet height is what you want now. Instead of traditional 30” high, most are not up to 34” high. (Standard kitchen is 34 1/2”).

As for doors and drawer fronts, if you don’t have the tools, skills or desire, you can order these from shops that specialize in these products. Then you just make the cabinet.

Remember, accuracy in planning and measurements will make the job go much smoother.

If you have any questions, shoot me a pm and we can talk by phone.

Good luck!
 
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Lucky2

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Andrew, it really helps to have a Kreg Jig, to do the face work for the cabinet. I've built a few vanity cabinets and sets of cupboards, and found my Kreg jig to be an amazing help. In a 42" vanity cabinet, you should be able to build one with at least two small drawers. You will find the drawers to be very nice to have, it is a great place to store hair dryer's and other out of place items. Good luck.

Len
 

sbwertz

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May 11, 2010
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Phoenix, AZ
Not bathroom vanity, but my husband built these a few years ago. Seven drawer 24" deep x 24" wide pantry, four double wall cabinest, 4 sets of drawers below (16 drawers), broom closet and tray storage above on the end. All drawers full extension slides. Mahogany plywood, Euro style (no face frames.) Eight foot counter.
IMG_2923.JPG
 
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