Vanity Height — Preference or Rule?

      Thirty inches high is traditional for bath vanities, but many customers may prefer something taller. March 5, 2007

We build our vanities at 36". Why does AWI specify vanity height at 31"? Why not 36"? I hate having to stoop over a sink, especially because I have a bad back. High vanities are a godsend to me. How tall do other people out there build their vanities?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
Normal vanity height is usually 29 to 30 high. I agree it is low, but that is what they have been for the 25 plus years I have dealt with them.

From contributor C:
It's probably 31" so the rugrats can wash their hands, too. But I agree that 36" is more comfortable.

From contributor E:
They are low because it is a shared area with children. Kids don't normally work or use the kitchen countertops, thus the 36". It also evolved from women washing their hair in the bathroom sink... It was easily accessible from sitting in a chair. If no kids are involved and I was building for myself, I would make them at a comfortable height. If you're building for someone else, I would stick to the 30" to accommodate the kids.

From contributor N:
29" is our standard vanity height and 34.5" is our standard adult height vanity. I'll build a vanity any height the client wants; I'm not the one that will live with bending over it.

From contributor A:
I build mine between 32" and 34". For the last two years I have been asking my customers how high they want them and they've all (to a person) asked me to raise them a little higher than the standard 30". Many of the factory lines are offering higher vanities also. 36" seems a little high to me, but if the customers are happy, I'd be happy.

From contributor M:
I do the same as several others. I ask. Many times the customer has no idea what height a vanity should be. I like to show them the difference. Many times the price is the same and so they go with 34.5" in height where they will be and 30" for the kids.

From contributor P:
The type sink being used also has an effect on the cabinet height. If the customer wants to use one of the new vessel sinks, the ones that are installed on top of the countertop, you will want to use the lower height vanity, otherwise, the top of the vessel bowl will be about 40" to 42" if used with a 36" high vanity.

From contributor R:
Our standard is 32 1/2 to top cab, then 3/4 or 3cm top. But we'll make them to whatever height they want.

From contributor H:
34" floor-to-finished top surface.

From contributor D:
I like to make mine 36'' with tops. If you do, you may have to use a 3'' fill strip to clear the bathroom doorknob if you have a bank of drawers against the wall. I know this because I learned it the hard way - the drawer opened and hit the doorknob.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
It is important to remember the client’s age from young to old when installing a vanity at 36". If elderly -- that client could become temporarily or even permanently wheelchair bound, than have quite an issue reaching the faucet. If on the other hand the client has other bathrooms available for children and guests or a handicapped individual there should be no problem having a vanity at this height. Considering all of the factors is important before deciding, anywhere between 29" - 36" can be appropriate considering all circumstances. I have seen all the way up to a height of 42". Best of luck in the decision and building process!

Comment from contributor B:
The height of almost all modern furniture-style vanities is 33 1/2", with a few coming in 3/4-2" shorter. This usual height, with 1" granite, marble or quartzite, brings them to 34 1/2". This is about as standard as I can see for a current adult-height, furniture-style vanity.

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