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Why Are Bathroom Vanities Lower Than Kitchen Cabinets?

almost finished bathroom renovations

If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, you’re probably researching bathroom vanities. In your quest to find the perfect one for your space, you might have noticed that bathroom vanities are a few inches shorter than kitchen cabinetry.

The height difference is due to a few key reasons, including:

To help answer why bathroom vanities are lower than kitchen cabinets, we’ll explore each factor below. We’ll also discuss stock cabinets and the benefits of custom bathroom cabinetry.

Want to update your bathroom or kitchen cabinets? Call Cabinet Coatings at (480) 641-9611 or schedule a free consultation online. We’ll send one of our cabinet experts to your home for a same-day, no-obligation quote.

Daily Routines

woman over sink

All cabinetry may look like it serves the same purpose. But you’d be surprised how differently you use bathroom versus kitchen cabinets. This is probably one of the biggest reasons bathroom vanities are lower than kitchen cabinets.

Think about yourself in the kitchen for a minute. You’re probably standing at the sink washing your hands and doing dishes. Or, you’re chopping vegetables beside the stovetop while waiting for a pot of water to boil. At 36 inches tall, this height is comfortable for the average man or woman to do everyday cooking and cleaning.

Now, imagine yourself in the bathroom. You’re probably leaning over the sink washing your face or brushing your teeth. This posture isn’t something you typically do in the kitchen, so you need a little more clearance.

Bathroom vanities are only about 1-3 inches shorter than kitchen cabinets, but if you’ve ever used an extra tall vanity before, we’ll bet it felt noticeably awkward. Just an inch or two can make all the difference.

Young Children

two girl toddlers brushing teeth at bathroom sink

If you have young children, chances are they don’t hand wash your dishes or hold knives while preparing food. They might have a little step stool to help crack an egg for baking, but that’s about it in the kitchen.

On the other hand, kids need to use the bathroom vanity twice daily to brush their teeth, wash their hands, and do other hygiene activities. For this reason, bathroom vanities are made slightly shorter to accommodate children.

Very small children will probably still need a stool to reach the faucet. But again, that 1-3 inch shorter cabinet height will make everyday routines a lot easier and more comfortable for all ages in your household.

Sink Type

When it comes to kitchen sinks, there are numerous styles to choose from—drop-in, under-mount, farmhouse, apron-front, single bowl, double bowl, corner, etc.

However, the one style you won’t see in a kitchen is a vessel sink. Vessel sinks sit above the countertop, which makes them too tall for kitchen cabinets that are already 36” in height. Plus, kitchen sinks need to hold deep pots and pans for washing up, so a shallow vessel sink would be impractical.

That said, vessel sinks are an increasingly common design choice for the bathroom. Having a slightly shorter cabinet makes it easier to use without hurting your back or bumping your face against the sides of the sink.

Stock Vs. Custom Cabinetry

modern luxury sink in bathroom interior

Now that we’ve explained why bathroom vanities are lower than kitchen cabinets, let’s address one important thing:

Standard cabinet dimensions are simply “best practices” for home builders and stock cabinetry manufacturers, but by no means are you stuck living by them! When you hire a craftsman to build custom cabinets, you can select whatever height you want.

In fact, with custom cabinetry, you get to choose just about everything, including:

  • Dimensions
  • Material
  • Color
  • Finish
  • Drawers
  • Doors
  • Organizers
  • Hardware
  • And more!

If you’re a tall person or you don’t have any young children living with you, you can design a custom bathroom vanity the same height as your kitchen cabinets. You’re not limited to what the big box stores have on the shelves; it’s completely up to you.

Yes, custom cabinets cost more, but when it comes to your comfort, daily routines, and style preferences, the investment may be worth it.

To explore your options and get an upfront estimate, contact Cabinet Coatings of America today.

Want to Update Your Bathroom Cabinets? Call Phoenix’s Best: Cabinet Coatings of America.

Calling us at (480) 641-9611 to get a free, custom cabinetry quote for your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room project. You can also book online through our website. We’ll come see your space in person, answer any questions you have, and then provide you with our top recommendations. As a family-owned business since 1996, we’re proud to be one of Phoenix’s most trusted cabinet remodelers!

Chuck Derouen