Q: I'd like to have some nice "real" woodwork for our vanity. First, is installing expensive wood products a smart choice for a moist room? Also, what type of wood vanity products do you recommend we look at?
Q: My husband and I have been planning for years to sell our home. But, recently, we decided it's best to stay put and use the money to update it. That means I can put a little extra into the master bathroom area.
I'd like to have some nice "real" woodwork for our vanity. First, is installing expensive wood products a smart choice for a moist room? Also, what type of wood vanity products do you recommend we look at? -- Karen in Georgia
A: What you're describing is a step up from a standard "box" vanity that may use a mix of wood-like materials. Basically, off-the-shelf vanities can be a nice choice because they're easy to install and hold up well in moist environments. But, to move up, you'll want to look at vanities that may be considered "bathroom furniture" instead of a bathroom cabinet.
Bathroom vanities that fall into this category are actually constructed like a piece of furniture. They're made from premium natural wood materials, beautifully designed and nicely detailed. Also, wood choices and finishes for quality bathroom furniture usually allow them to be installed in a moist area, so they should stay beautiful for a long time.
In the past, most bathroom "furniture grade" vanities were custom made on site by a finish carpenter. That could get very expensive. But today, most major plumbing product companies carry complete lines of bathroom furniture customized to fit their sink tops.
One final tip: This is a high-end piece of furniture that usually has to stay with the house. So invest knowing that you won't be able to take it with you if you ever move.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and host of TV shows on Scripps Networks and HGTVPro.com. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Always consult local contractors and codes.