Planning a bathroom
By Liz Ransome-Croker
Article 3 of 6
We've rated some of the top bathroom furniture brands and collated expert tips on choosing the right furniture to make the most your bathroom.
Bathroom furniture is an integral part of any bathroom. It has to withstand an incredible amount of wear and tear from frequent use, and be resilient to water splashes and steam clouds.
Whether you're totally renovating your bathroom or sprucing it up with new furniture, the quality and durability of your bathroom furniture are as important as the way it looks.
That's why we've asked bathroom owners to rate not only the bathroom brand they bought their suite from but their bathroom furniture too.
Read on to find out what customers thought of bathroom furniture from big-name brands.
Best bathroom furniture companies
Which? members can log in now to unlock the ratings in the table below. If you're not already a member, you can join Which? to get instant access to this and all our ratings and reviews from across the site.
|Villeroy & Boch|
Sample sizes for durability and quality: B&Q 78/84, Bathstore 109/123, Duravit 32/40, Homebase 40/40, Roca 52/59, Roper Rhodes 32, Victoria Plum 62/63, Victorian Plumbing 45/52, Villeroy & Boch 32/33, Wickes 59/68.
Find out how these companies, and more, were rated overall by visiting our page on the best and worst bathrooms companies.
Plus, find out how people rated their bathroom fixtures and fittings - baths, toilets, sinks, taps and shower enclosures - for durability and quality.
Planning your bathroom storage
What bathroom furniture you buy, and subsequently your bathroom's layout is, will be determined by what storage you need. Start by thinking about how you use your bathroom.
- What exactly do you need storage space for and how much will you require?
- How regularly will you use different things and how easily will you need to access them?
- How much do you want to hide away or have out on display?
- Don't forget the essentials - where will you hang your towels or keep toiletries you use on a daily basis?
Answering these questions will give you a good idea of how much storage you'll need so you can better plan what bathroom furniture you should get.
Now you can think about the different types of furniture and storage options available to you. You can get built-in cabinets – for example, bathroom vanities that sit around the basin, which will make use of wasted space – or freestanding ones that give you flexibility to move it around.
Bathroom cabinets and freestanding bathroom furniture
Freestanding bathroom furniture and cabinets are usually cheaper than built-in ones, and often offer more flexibility. From full-length shelving units to mirrored wall units, the options are seemingly endless.
They also mean you can make use of your walls and the height of your room. Consider these different options:
- drawer units
- freestanding cupboards
- shelves with pull-out storage baskets
- wall cabinets with mirrors
- full-height units with shelves and/or cupboards.
Plus, you don't have to stick to the well-known bathroom brands for furniture – many other stores, such as John Lewis and Argos, sell freestanding bathroom furniture and bathroom cabinets.
Before buying, just check that the furniture is intended for use in the bathroom, as it will be exposed to a lot of moisture and heat.
Also think about boxes, wicker baskets, wire racks, hanging rails and hooks. They could be a useful way to solve storage conundrums and create order in your bathroom.
For example, shelves with wicker baskets could be the perfect way to make use of wall space and hide spare toiletries.
Also, wire racks are a great way to have regularly used toiletries to hand in the shower. But be aware they can get rusty overtime if always left damp.
Lastly, don't forget that a radiator can be utilised to hang towels and flannels.
Fitted bedroom furniture
Vanity units, which are essentially bathroom cabinets that sit around the base of a sink, are one of the most common types of built-in furniture.
You can also get combination bathroom vanity units, which adjoin a sink and toilet, to create one large cabinet. These are good if your bathroom is small as they make use of often-wasted space between a sink and toilet.
They can also hide ugly pipework, although keep in mind that they do make it trickier to access plumbing if there are any issues.
Depending on their size, they can include various storage options too, such as shelves, drawers etc. Again, think about the questions above and what you'll be storing - would you want shelves inside the cabinets for pull-out baskets, or even drawers, for example?
Also think about what you'll need to make space for, such as a loo roll holder and the storage of loo rolls, as some vanity units include space for these items.
Making a feature of your furniture
Vanity units also allow you to play around with materials and colours. There are a lot of different worktop options, from marble effect to stone, that can bring another layer of design and a different feeling to your bathroom.
You can have one that covers the sink pedestal, or, to make even more use of the space, consider having a 'floating' basin that sits on top of a unit or is embedded into it.
If you have quite a lot of space, you could have a much more expansive vanity unit that spans the width of a wall (like in the picture at the top of the page).
Bespoke fitted bathroom furniture
Most of the big-name brands sell a range of vanity units, but if you have the budget and want something very specific, you could also consider asking a builder to make bespoke bathroom storage for you.
The benefit of built-in bathroom furniture is that it makes the most of the space available, and makes use of awkward areas that would otherwise be left unused.
For example, you could get floor to ceiling cupboards with a mix of open shelves and hidden drawers that wraps around your sink and toilet.
Plus, getting someone to create furniture for you might get you to think outside the box. Maybe a bench storage seat would work well for your family? Or how about recessing shelves in your bathroom wall?
A local bathroom fitter should be able to create a truly bespoke design to suit your needs and be able to marry this with an entire bathroom refit.
To find a reliable bathroom fitter or joiner near you by visiting Which? Trusted Traders. Anyone who uses our logo has been through our rigorous background checks.
How Which? rates bathroom brands
In May and June 2019 we asked 3,745 Which? subscribers and members of the public about the bathroom they bought in the last 10 years and their experiences with the company they bought it from.
This included rating the retailer for the buying process, such as how knowledgeable the staff were and how good it was at dealing with problems, and the quality and durability of the bathroom itself.
In order for someone to be able to rate a brand's bathroom overall, they needed to have bought three of the following items: tap, shower, bath, toilet and shower enclosure. We also asked people to rate these individual components.