Advice for Self-Installing Home Bathroom Vanities

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud of the huge variety of bathroom vanities we offer our clients. We carry traditional, rustic and modern bathroom vanities in numerous different specific styles, with a wide selection of paints, stains, finishes and other design factors.

We’re also here to offer expertise to those looking to install one of our beautiful modern vanities in their bathroom. If this is your first time taking on such a DIY project, you should take care to approach things properly and take the right precautions. Let’s go over several important areas to consider as you plan out bathroom vanity installation.

self-installing bathroom vanities

Tools and Equipment

For starters, ensure you have all the proper tools and equipment required for the job on hand before you get going. There’s nothing worse than being a third of the way into an installation before realizing you have to stop and head to the home improvement store for a tool you don’t have.

A few tools you may require for your vanity installation include: Hammer, tape measure, drill, leveling tool, caulk, marking pencil, wrenches (preferably adjustable), bucket, safety glasses, safety gloves, chisel, knife and potentially others. The specifics here will depend on the precise vanity you’re installing – your manufacturer’s guide will list any other tools you might require.

Plumbing Areas

Once you have your tools organized, it’s time to ask an important question: Do you need to re-do or replace any plumbing areas during your installation? Many systems will be set up such that very limited changes are needed, or perhaps even none at all. But in other cases, even the most handy homeowners will need to call professional plumbers to assist them with this area.

If you’re performing your own plumbing upgrades here, be sure to keep the water valves under the sink off. In addition, keep a bucket around to collect any residual water that leaves drains.

Leveling

As you’re preparing to install the vanity into the wall, use your leveling tool to measure from each side of the wall. Make sure the entire vanity is fully even before you secure it.

Drawers and Doors

One pro tip on the heavy lifting section of the installation: Remove all the doors and drawers from the vanity before installing. This not only makes it weigh less, but removes parts that might fall out or become damaged during the actual installation.

Testing for Leaks

Finally, once your vanity is in place, open each valve one at a time to confirm there are no leaks in your new sink. If you do locate a leak, you can attempt to tighten the pipe that’s causing it. If this doesn’t work, try plumber’s tape or plumber’s putty, or simply call a plumber for assistance.

For more on installing a bathroom vanity, or to learn about any of our custom kitchen cabinets or other woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Utilizing Custom Cabinets Throughout the Home

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer not only a wide range of beautiful kitchen cabinets, but also numerous additional custom woodworking projects. If you have a wood-themed design in mind for any part of your home, our cabinet makers and woodworking professionals are here to help you realize it.

One area that sits somewhere in between these two poles: Utilizing our quality cabinetry for areas other than the kitchen or bathroom, by far the two most common locations where cabinets are generally found in a home. These aren’t the only home areas where cabinets can be valuable, though – here are a few others you might consider.

utilizing custom cabinets throughout home

Dining Room

As long as you keep things classy and tasteful, you can carry over your kitchen’s cabinet design into areas of the dining room as well. In some cases, homeowners performing a remodel will purposely extend their theme in precisely this way for an aesthetic effect.

In addition to the visual, these cabinets can be highly practical. They’re perfect for storing fine china, pitchers, serving trays and even wine glasses you might not want to mix in with the clutter of the standard kitchen. If you have enough space, you can also utilize these cabinets for alcohol storage for hosting guests.

Basement

Finished basements are a popular remodeling project these days, and cabinetry can contribute to the space here in several ways. They’re once again both functional and beneficial from an aesthetic standpoint, helping hold things like movies or video games if you’re using the basement as a kids’ chill room. In other cases, cabinets can serve as vital elements of a converted living space in the basement. By matching them with surrounding walls and floor designs, you’ll have a great-looking and highly functional space.

Laundry Room

You may care a bit less about the aesthetics of your laundry room, but cabinets can be a huge practical draw here as well. They’re great for storing everything from detergent and dryer sheets to various other chemicals – even those that are used in other areas of the home, but you want to prevent access to from pets or children. Many people create an area in their laundry room where they store all their major chemical cleaners, far away from prying hands or paws.

Entryway

The home’s entryway is the transition between the outdoor and indoor spaces, and cabinets can play multiple roles here. They’re great for storage of shoes, boots and other similar pieces, plus can offer a great place for kids to leave their backpacks or school books. In higher areas, you can also leave storage space for your keys, purse, jacket or other items.

Home Office

Finally, if you’re someone who works from home often or keeps a home office, cabinets are highly valuable in these spaces. They bring a professional atmosphere while also providing you simple storage solutions for any documents, files or other materials.

For more on how our cabinets can be used all over the home, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

High-ROI Remodeling Areas to Boost Home Value

For any homeowner, regardless of your specific situation, knowing the value of your home is very important. Whether you’re planning to sell in the near future or just looking to stay as informed as possible in case things change down the line, understanding and working toward raising home value is a valuable, intelligent approach to take.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we offer several remodeling and upgrade areas that are known to be some of the highest-value home renovations available. From modern and traditional kitchen cabinets to bathroom vanities and several other custom woodworking areas, we provide you with high-quality materials that tend to bring excellent return on investment. Let’s look at the three home upgrade areas that are known to provide the most value, plus what we offer for you in each area.

high-ROI remodeling home value

Kitchens

For decades, the kitchen has been considered both the foundation of most homes and the highest-value upgrade area. It’s the central gathering area in almost all homes, somewhere where everyone from the core family to a larger group of friends can gather and socialize.

In 2019, more and more buyers are looking for clean, modern-looking kitchen upgrades. Neutral, minimalist tones are all the rage, with stainless steel appliances and practicality being prioritized. This extends to cabinets as well – buyers want a variety of storage options and potential add-ons, and we have brushed or metal and fluid lines available in all our cabinets that give a distinctly modern feel.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are the other major home area that generate high-value returns when they’re upgraded. This is particularly true of bathroom vanities, which help tie the entire space together.

We have a huge variety of bathroom vanity products on hand for you to choose from, including several vanity tops that offer a few different styles. We offer sealing technology that will protect against stains or any other kind of mess, plus make cleaning and maintenance far simpler. You can complement a new vanity in several areas, from tiles on the floor to an accent wall if appropriate.

Outdoor Areas

Some other factors buyers are looking for today include curb appeal and space for social gatherings, and you can accomplish both with some intelligent outdoor design. Decks, patios, porches and similar areas all serve as extensions of your indoor space, chances for you to complement their aesthetics while also making the outer areas of the home look and feel appealing. Our pros are happy to offer several pieces of advice on how your outdoor upgrades will interact with and contrast your kitchen and bathroom upgrades, plus recommendations on which areas offer the highest value.

For more on making home upgrades that will keep property values high, or to learn about any of our custom kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Tips on Choosing a Mirror for Your Bathroom Vanity

There are certain home upgrade purchases that tend to go hand-in-hand, and one great example here is the bathroom vanity and the bathroom mirror. Almost always linked and placed together, bathroom vanities and mirrors go together like spaghetti and meatballs, as some would say.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of traditional, rustic and modern bathroom vanities for you to choose from. We’re also happy to help you choose the perfect complementary mirror for your new vanity no matter what your needs and desires are for the bathroom space – let’s go over some of the important factors in determining exactly which mirror you need, including a few unique styles you may desire.

choosing mirror bathroom vanity

Countertop Width

The primary factor that will play a role in the mirror you select? The width of your bathroom countertop. The mirror will almost always be placed on this countertop, and therefore it’s the measurement you should use to define the mirror size.

Generally speaking, you want to go for a mirror that’s a couple inches shorter than the overall countertop, often placed flush with the vanity itself. Based on this broad assumption, here are some of the popular bathroom vanity sizes and the mirror size ranges you should consider along with them:

  • 24-inch vanity: 22-23-inch mirror
  • 30-inch vanity: 28-29-inch mirror
  • 36-inch vanity: 34-35-inch mirror
  • 48-inch vanity: 46-47-inch mirror
  • 60-inch vanity: 58-59-inch mirror
  • 72-inch vanity: 70-71-inch mirror

The above assumptions are made for a single mirror, though there are other options as well (more on this below).

Mirror Height

Mirror height is also an important factor to consider, especially if anyone using the bathroom space is particularly tall or short. The mirror needs to be tall enough that no one’s head will be cut off, while countertops and vanities need to be free of blockages if there are any shorter people utilizing the space. If height is an issue for a mirror you already own, you can consider placing the mirror a bit higher on the vanity.

Wide Mirrors

In some cases, buyers may prefer a mirror that’s wider than the countertop or vanity it’s set on. This is less common due to the awkward way this can look if it’s not done well, but it’s easily possible to purchase a mirror a couple inches wider than your countertop.

Double Mirrors

Others may prefer a double mirror look, a very popular modern arrangement that’s mostly used for double-sink vanities. Double mirrors for single sinks may look awkward, though some may have the creative juices to arrange it well.

For more on the factors you should be considering while selecting a mirror for your new bathroom vanity, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other custom woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Impact of Humidity on Wood Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to cabinets or any other item made primarily from wood, humidity is a factor you have to consider. Referring to the level of moisture in a given room or area, humidity plays a role in cabinet quality due to the way it impacts the size of wood at a given moment.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to explain how humidity may impact any of our beautiful rustic, modern or traditional kitchen cabinet options. Here are some basics to know in this area, including how the typical Utah climate plays a role here.

impact humidity wood kitchen cabinets

Humidity Level Basics

In most cases, the cabinets in your home will be manufactured at a humidity range in between 40 and 50 percent. This is considered a fairly average range for most humans to be in, and one that ideal homes will generally sit in most of the time as well. It also allows for some fluctuation in basic range due to cooking, showering or other related activities.

Utah, however, is known as an extremely dry place. It’s common to find lower humidity levels than other places in the country, particularly during the winter, when things dry out even more than normal. When humidity reaches the 20 percent range or even below, cabinets are at risk of shrinking due to the impact this has on wood. Similarly, if you overreact and swing your home’s humidity beyond 70 percent or so, you risk swelling of wood cabinets that can significantly impact their alignment and function.

Tracking Humidity Levels

If you’re worried about cabinets shrinking or swelling due to humidity, the first step is to purchase a digital hygrometer, an instrument that measures humidity in the air. This can be bought at any home improvement store, and can give you a quick reading of the humidity percentage at any given time.

Controlling Humidity

Humidity should never go below 20 percent for any reason, and should always be above 35 percent during non-freezing weather. If your humidity is regularly too low, you can invest in humidifiers – either for the whole home or for specific rooms that have these issues. Be sure not to overcorrect and humidify things too heavily, however, as this can lead to swelling.

Signs to Look For

One sign that you’ve gone too far with your humidity levels, apart from the cabinets beginning to swell, is condensation on the windows. This means the outdoor humidity level is far lower than that inside your home. This will actually usually be the first thing you notice – it takes cabinets a few days or weeks to respond to changes in humidity, so you may not notice these changes right away.

For more on humidity and your cabinets, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Choosing Between Single- and Double-Sink Bathroom Vanities

When you come to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft for a new bathroom vanity, you’ll have a few important choice areas to consider. You’ll choose from our traditional, rustic and modern bathroom vanities, for starters, and also consider color, style and several other important aesthetic and functional factors.

Another big choice many homeowners are faced with: One sink or two? There are numerous options available in both styles, each of which comes with their own set of benefits and potential drawbacks depending on your needs. Let’s go over some simple facts on each and weigh the pros and cons before you make your choice.

single double sink bathroom vanities

Basics of Each Format

Firstly, let’s define the options and some specifics. As the name obviously suggests, single-sink vanities contain just a single sink installation and plumbing connections. They’re sized between 16 and 72 inches, and can either be wall-mounted or freestanding if you choose.

Double-sink vanities, on the other hand, have two sinks installed. They will generally feature a cut countertop that allows for both sinks, plus faucet installation. Double-sink vanities require proper spacing, meaning the smallest options are usually around the 48-inch range.

Single-Sink Vanity

There are several benefits to a single-sink vanity:

  • Simple installation: Single-sink vanities are much easier to install than double-sink vanities. There’s only a single faucet to deal with, and only a single set of corresponding plumbing connections to worry about. This generally leads to a cost savings for installation, as well.
  • Space: As we noted in our size comparison above, single-sink vanities can be much more compact than double-sink vanities. This is great if you have a small bathroom space and need to maximize it, or need more room for storage space. Vanities can’t generally have a drawer under a sink, but only having one sink means there’s usually enough room for an additional drawer if you need it.
  • Counter space: In addition, having only one sink but a larger vanity width allows you tons of countertop space for whatever items you need.

There are also a few negatives of a single-sink vanity, namely that they can be difficult for two-person living arrangements. One sink is often not enough for two people who share the same bathroom space every day, and may look strange in a larger bathroom space designed for two people.

Double-Sink Vanity

Some pros of the double-sink vanity:

  • Convenience: Having multiple sinks is much more convenient in many cases, particularly for shared living.
  • Clear spaces: While single-sink vanities may offer more counter space in some situations, this encourages some folks to be messy and leave clutter. A double-sink vanity encourages you to keep the area neat, on the other hand.

While it may sound strange, as we explained above, double-sink vanities may actually have less counter space than their single-sink counterparts. You also have to deal with more plumbing, so you should be sure there’s a real need for both sinks before choosing this option.

For more on choosing between single- or double-sink vanities, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodraft today.

Maximizing Smaller Bathroom Space With Vanity Installation

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud of the way we can help our clients create beautiful and functional designs in their kitchens, bathrooms and other areas of their homes. We’re not a cookie-cutter cabinet maker – we design custom cabinetry, bookcases and other home items, plus work directly with clients to create unique designs that will last a lifetime.

One great example here? Our selection of bathroom vanities, which includes modern, rustic and traditional vanity styles. One group of people that might be worried about their options when it comes to the vanity selection: Those with smaller bathroom spaces. But never fear – we have numerous options and tips for you to maximize this space and get a vanity that complements your design and practical needs. Here are some tips our installers and design professionals will work with you on if you’re installing a bathroom vanity in a smaller space.

smaller bathroom space vanity installation

Vanity Position

The first and often most important factor here is the physical position of the vanity, which makes a big difference in a smaller space where every square foot is important. In many such cases, the best choice is to place the vanity in a corner or along a wall, thereby removing any possibility of useless gaps in space. Corners, in particular, are popular locations due to the way they allow you to put mirrors on both wall sides.

Storage Considerations

One of the primary concerns of those with smaller bathroom spaces, particularly with a vanity about to use up another chunk of square footage, is ensuring there’s enough storage. The bathroom is supposed to be a clean and relaxing area, but it can quickly turn into a high-clutter zone if there’s nowhere to put anything.

One good solution here for many people is to also install a linen closet. This will allow for easy storage that doesn’t take up too much space.

Medicine Cabinets

Down similar lines, medicine cabinets can often kill two birds with one stone. Not only are they a perfect additional storage space for smaller bathroom items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and various creams or ointments, they also add a mirror and significant function to the area as well. And on top of this, medicine cabinets are very popular these days due to their simple, visually pleasing characteristics.

Using the Walls

There are a few good ways to utilize your walls to maximize space in the bathroom around a vanity. We already talked about installing vanities directly on the wall itself, but you can also consider additions like shelves, wall-mounted cabinets or towel racks in the nearby area so they don’t take up any walking space. You can also consider installing a large mirror above your vanity on the wall – these are practical, of course, but they may also increase the perceived size of the bathroom to those who enter it.

For more on how to maximize space when installing a vanity in a smaller bathroom, or to learn about any of our bathroom vanities or kitchen remodeling services, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Choosing Proper Color For Kitchen Cabinets, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the simple details on selecting color for your kitchen cabinets. We talked about the psychological impact different colors have on mood and happiness, plus some additional kitchen factors that should play a role in your color choices.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re here to help you with all traditional, rustic and modern kitchen cabinet needs. In part two of our series, let’s go into a few broader details when it comes to a big theme in color choice: A lighter or darker shade? Here are some benefits of each.

proper color kitchen cabinets

Benefits of Light Cabinet Shades

  • Era-proof aesthetics: While certain kinds of darker shades may go in and out of fashion as trends come and go, lighter shades – particularly whites – are timeless. They’re never “out of season,” so to speak.
  • High stock: Lighter cabinets are the more popular choice among homeowners, meaning they’re stocked heavily and readily available in a variety of options.
  • Room size: Lighter shades are known to increase our perception of the size of a room, whether we’re talking walls, doors or even cabinets. If you want to make a smaller kitchen feel bigger, opt for lighter cabinets.
  • Complementing: Lighter cabinet shades do very well complementing your various kitchen accessories, plus other colored areas of the kitchen like walls, backsplashes, countertops and others. They also do very well with natural light for those looking to emphasize this in the kitchen space.
  • Home value: Many buyers value some combination of these factors we’ve just listed, meaning new light cabinets often raise your resale value.

Benefits of Dark Cabinet Shades

  • Unique design possibilities: Darker cabinet shades are more central than most lighter shades, often a great way to break up the monotony of an otherwise boring space. They also come in great variety.
  • Luxurious: Darker shades like walnut, maple and others down these lines often lend a formal, luxurious feel to any room. Homes going for a classic, rich look will often choose darker cabinets.
  • Coziness: Darker colors make spaces feel cozy and homely, particularly blacks and darker grays, which are known as welcoming colors.
  • Showing damage: Darker cabinets hide certain small bits of damage, such as minor scratches or food stains. For homes with pets or children, or even those with kitchens where lots of cooking will take place and you want to minimize the appearance of any messes, dark colors might be the right choice for you.
  • Large spaces: While lighter shades can be helpful with making a smaller room feel larger, darker shades are perfect for breaking up the monotony of a larger space. Particularly if you already have lighter floors, countertops or walls in the kitchen, consider accenting them with darker cabinets.

For more on choosing between dark and light cabinet color shades, or for information on any of our kitchen cabinets or how we can help with your kitchen remodel, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft.

Choosing Proper Color For Kitchen Cabinets, Part 1

At Swirl Woodcraft, we can help you with every element of your selection process for our traditional, modern and rustic kitchen cabinet options. One of the most common areas we help clients with here: The color and tone of their cabinets.

While you may prefer to consider factors like space and practical use first, the color of your cabinets is more important to your overall kitchen remodel than you might think. Let’s look at some basics on how common colors impact mood, plus some areas to consider while choosing your colors – in part two of this blog, we’ll also go over some of the benefits of both darker and lighter shades for your cabinets.
choosing color kitchen cabinets

Colors and Mood

Colors have a strong association with human psychology, and they’re known to impact our general mood and happiness. Some common cabinet colors, plus the mood they can help evoke for many people:

  • Black: Black cabinets are often a major contrast, given that most kitchens contain lighter colors. Black works very well with angular designs, plus with many traditional cabinets in rooms where your walls and countertops are lighter.
  • White: White cabinets are the most popular color out there, with a calming effect that’s great for the kitchen. White is also known to make rooms feel bigger than they are, which is perfect for smaller kitchens.
  • Grey: Greys are also popular due to their neutrality – they offer a wide range of accent possibilities.
  • Blue: Blue cabinets are becoming more popular in both the kitchen and bathroom. Lighter blue shades offer warmth to any kitchen, and bright undertones plus natural sunlight are great for adding elegance and beauty.

Our remaining sections will go over some factors to consider when choosing your color.

Kitchen Design

As you begin looking to narrow down a huge list of options, keep your kitchen’s overall design in mind as an assist. If you have a modern kitchen design, you might be best served looking for brighter, louder colors; if your kitchen is traditional, on the other hand, maybe classic creams and whites are the way to go.

Kitchen Size

Another important basic area to keep in mind is the size of your kitchen. As we noted above, certain light colors can help smaller areas feel larger – but if you already have a large space and aren’t worried here, darker colors are great as well.

Future Value

If you are considering selling anytime in the future, or even if you haven’t specifically thought about this, keep home value in mind. Potential future buyers may not be as attracted to outlandish or unusual colors.

Browsing for Inspiration

Spend some time browsing online galleries, design magazines and other publications to find your favorite designs. These are great resources for viewing certain color combinations and accents – they often provide the inspiration for your choice.

For more on choosing the right color and tone for your cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen or bathroom remodeling services, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets Rather than Refacing

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, you have a couple options at your disposal if you’re looking for upgrades. Generally speaking, the two primary choices here are either refacing your cabinets or replacing them entirely.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we have a huge variety of kitchen cabinets, from traditional options to modern choices and many more. What are some of the situations where our new cabinet services are preferable to refacing your cabinets? Let’s go over some of the basics here.
replacing kitchen cabinets refacing

Purposes of Refacing

For those who have not taken part in it before, cabinet resurfacing is a relatively simple process that involves leaving the existing framework in place. However, some kind of surface replacement material is used to change the look and feel of the exterior cabinet areas, such as doors and drawer fronts.

And for some projects, refacing is great and all you need. It can be done quickly, usually in just a day or two, and usually isn’t the kind of project that uproots the entire kitchen. For those who enjoy the structure and charm of their original cabinets but want a bit of an aesthetic upgrade, refacing is the way to go.

However, refacing does not cover several structural or layout issues that cabinets might be part of. Our next few sections will go over these and some situations where replacing cabinets is the proper route.

Cabinet Condition

In many cases, the existing cabinets in the kitchen are experiencing one of several issues. These may include:

  • Wear or damage: Like other materials, cabinets can wear down over time. This might happen faster if you purchased cheap cabinet materials originally, or if water damage has taken place in your home and affected cabinets. Cabinets that have been damaged too much simply don’t make sense to reface or repair.
  • Age: Any cabinets painted before 1978 may be covered in unsafe lead, and not all refacing contractors are licensed to safely remove this before resurfacing. In addition, this process can be costly and take up lots of time.

Structural Issues

In other situations, cabinets may be contributing to structural issues in the kitchen of some kind. One common concern here is floors settling, which leads to walls shifting and cabinets that either hang or sit crooked. In other cases of settling, cabinet doors won’t open or close properly.

Once again, refacing will do nothing for these issues. However, full cabinet replacement can involve professional contractors who can repair your structural issues while installing new cabinets.

Kitchen Layout

Finally, replacing the cabinets is a great way to address kitchen layout issues in an intelligent way. Removing cabinets allows you to make a new layout based on updated needs and desires, and you can then fill in your space as you wish.

For more on why replacing cabinets is often preferable to refacing, or for information on any of our custom cabinetry, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.