The most important component of the bathroom is the vanity. As the centerpiece of most bathrooms, the vanity helps to improve the function and design of the bathroom. It facilitates important tasks, such as hand washing and brushing teeth, ensuring that all users enjoy a smooth and comfortable experience in the bathroom. This is why you should always choose your bathroom vanity carefully, considering important factors such as cost, style, size and material to ensure that you settle for the most functional vanity piece.


Is it Cheaper to Buy a Premade Vanity?

When it comes to cost, it is cheaper to buy premade vanity. Small, premade vanities go for very affordable prices, usually being sold for just a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, custom vanities cost more money, with larger sized ones going for even over $3,000. The cost of the bathroom vanity is also dependent on other factors, such as installation costs, vanity material and design.

How to buy a bathroom vanity online



Main Options for Bathroom Vanities

When shopping for bathroom vanities, you have three options to choose from:

  1. Prefab vanities
  2. Semi-custom vanities
  3. Custom vanities

Each of these three types of bathroom vanities has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, before you can settle for which vanity to buy, you would do well to first research and understand what each of these vanities entail. Then, you will be able to determine which type of vanity would be ideal for your bathroom design.

Let’s look into each of the options for bathroom vanities:


bathroom vanity

1. Prefab Vanities

Also known as premade vanities, prefab bathroom vanities come put together and fully assembled, ready to install. They offer a preselected number of base colors, hardware finishes, countertop materials and sinks, giving users a variety of choices to choose from. Besides, these vanities are designed in a wide range of styles, ranging from modern to farmhouse designs.


Prefab vanities are available in standard sizes, from 18″ to 72″. The most commonly manufactured vanity sizes are 72″, 60″, 48″, 36″ and 24″. Still, some manufacturers design vanities of larger sizes, such as 80-inch and 90-inch vanities. However, while homeowners may be able to make their preferred choices on several factors (such as the countertop material to be used and the finish color), they have little say about the sizes, since prefab vanity sizes are usually limited and standardized.

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The good thing about prefab vanities is that they are sold at cheap, affordable prices. And fortunately, most bathroom designs are built to accommodate prefab vanities comfortably. Therefore, if you are looking to maximize your budget and find a quality, yet affordable bathroom vanity, consider getting a standard prefab vanity that compliments well with your bathroom layout and design. These vanities have a lifetime of about 10-15 years.

For cheap


  • Prefab bathroom vanities are cheaper than other types of vanities.
  • They are available in a variety of colors, styles and finishes to match all bathroom aesthetics.
  • Since the vanities are manufactured early on, their delivery is usually quick and on time.
  • Prefab vanities sections (mainly the cabinets) that are damaged are easy to replace. This is because these vanities are made using repeatable modular construction.
  • They are easy to install.



  • The bathroom vanities offer less design choices than custom vanities. The fewer options may force a homeowner to compromise and settle for vanity that is not their preferred choice.
  • Prefab vanity cabinets are quite difficult to refinish.
  • The vanities are limited in terms of sizing, materials and finishes.


2. Semi-Custom Vanities

As its name suggests, a semi-custom vanity is a type of vanity that includes a mix of features for custom and prefabricated vanities. In other words, it is the happy medium between custom vanities and prefab vanities. This type of vanity is similar to the pre-made model in that it is mass-produced in a warehouse, just like prefabricated bathroom vanities. Still, the bathroom vanity has some options for customization, usually allowing homeowners to order for unusual sizes as per their bathroom needs and preferences.


Compared with custom vanities, semi-custom vanities have a lower price tag. And while they do not allow for full customization, you can still design those simple details to create a unique and eye-catching bathroom vanity that enhances your bathroom space.



  • They are cheaper than custom vanities.
  • Semi-custom vanities offer a wide range of colors, styles and stains to choose from. Therefore, homeowners can be assured of finding the ideal vanity design and color that matches the theme of their bathrooms.
  • They have quick turnaround times, with the delivery usually between one week to one month.
  • Despite being mass-produced in advance like prefab vanities, semi-custom vanities offer great quality excellent end products similar to custom vanities.
  • The vanities offer more options for sizes than prefab vanities.



  • The paint job on semi-custom vanities is usually of lower quality than that of custom vanities.
  • Most semi-custom vanity cabinets come with fillers for placing between cabinets. While these fillers create the preferred measurements from one end of the cabinet to the other and are rarely noticeable if done correctly, they still create a lower quality end product than if no fillers were used.


3. Custom Vanities

A custom vanity is a type of vanity built specifically for your project and designed to meet all your preferences. With this type of vanity, you choose your ideal material, size, color, countertop, finishing, design and style, just to mention a few of the features. The manufacturer may either choose to build the custom-made vanity on-site or at their shop, after noting down all your requirements and taking the exact measurements of your bathroom space.


Custom bathroom vanities are usually broken up into four parts: The vanity base, the hardware (such as the cabinets knobs and pulls), the sink and the countertop (which may include the back splash if need be). Each of these 4 parts is purchased separately from various vendors and built on site. All these separate parts call for many subcontractors, which in turn translates to additional labor costs.


Custom vanities are the most expensive types of bathroom vanities available, usually going for double the price of prefab vanities. This is because they require a lot of detail to design and manufacture. Besides, these vanities require a lot of detailed time, with the manufacturers spending several weeks, even months, to design and build the perfect customized vanities. However, the great quality of the end product makes all the weight and financial investment worth it.

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  • Custom vanities have top-notch quality that other types of vanities cannot beat.
  • You get the exact vanity you dreamt of without having to compromise on any features.
  • They accommodate unusual features, such as pull-out cabinets and hideaways.
  • They are designed to fit the exact dimensions of the bathroom. For example, you can still make the most out of the functional space of your bathroom, even if there is a corner or wall with an odd size.
  • Custom-made bathroom vanities are usually stylish and durable, lasting for many years without wearing out.



  • Custom vanities require a lot of time to design and complete, with the manufacturing process usually taking between 6 to 8 weeks.
  • They are very expensive.


Which is Better: Prefab or Custom Vanity?

The question on whether to buy a prefab or custom vanity has been around for so long. Basically, prefab vanities are ideal for those looking to save on some cash and ensure quick delivery of their vanities. Also, these types of bathroom vanities are recommended for powder rooms to add that elegant look in the space.

On the other hand, custom vanities are ideal for master bathroom projects or for those who wish to add a vanity that meets all their preferences. Adding these types of vanities allows you to design all details, giving the bathroom a spa-like feel and uniqueness that other bathrooms can rarely compare.



Is it Cheaper to Buy Vanity and Top Separate?

No, it is not cheaper to buy the bathroom vanity and the top separately. Buying these separately would mean paying more on the shipping costs, in turn leading to higher overall costs. On the contrary, buying the vanity and top together would be much cheaper since it would mean paying one price for all of them as a single package.


How Can I Make My Prefab Vanity Look More Expensive?

To make your prefab vanity look more expensive, choose a catchy paint color that you can repeat around the bathroom, such as in accessories and linens. An example of a good color choice would be greige or a rich gray paint color as it would keep your bathroom neutral while still giving it an expensive look.



If you are embarking on a renovation project for your bathroom, among the components you should consider adding is a bathroom vanity. Adding a vanity in the bathroom will not only give your bathroom a luxurious, spa-feel, but also improve its appearance and give it a more aesthetically appealing look.

There are plenty of options for vanities to choose from, from prefab to custom and semi-custom vanities. If you are wondering “is it cheaper to buy a premade vanity?” It definately is! If you do not have all the resources to invest in a custom vanity, you can always opt for a cheaper prefab vanity. Despite their low price, prefab vanities still offer great quality and will compliment the theme of your bathroom space perfectly!


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