Raw Edge Wood Vanity
It all started with a ‘pretty in pink’ bathroom we wanted to convert into a powder room. This new room would need a focal point, and what better than the natural element of a birch tree. We had to keep a balance, and the raw edge vanity was our starting point.
The rough industrial piping and funky DIY pendants, balanced with the mild glam of the chrome p-trap, faucet, hooks, and the colourful wall of vintage playboy prints gave us the right mix of elements for the space.
You may need to get a little resourceful when it comes to finding the best possible materials for this project. We were lucky to stumble upon a merchant at a nearby market who specialized in chainsaw-cut furniture – he was gracious enough to find us a 2 inch thick piece of birch that met the specs we were after. Sourcing and sizing this piece is crucial to the project as all other dimensions of the vanity components rely on the wood slab size.
- Dimensions of your wood slab will depend on your opening (22 inches is the standard vanity depth), your mounting height (28-30 inches) high), your plumbing setup (standard or in-wall), and your vessel size. From our original slab, we trimmed out a piece that was no wider than 20 inches wide at any point and 45 inches long: we did this using a circular saw. A table saw could work as well, but keep in mind the weight of the slab.
- Next, you’ll want to make sure the slab is as dry as it will get (a kiln-dried piece is preferred) before you start applying a sealer to all surfaces. Available at most hardware stores, you’ll want to get a sealer that shows very little sheen to preserve the wood’s beauty. We did a good four coats using a natural hair paint brush, making sure to hit any and every nook and cranny of the chainsaw-cut slab.
- At this point, you’ll want to have figured out your plumbing situation. We opted for the less-common in-wall setup – if you go this route, make sure you go over the placement and dimensions of the vanity with your plumber as this will directly impact the mounting height of the faucet. If you’ve opted for the standard plumbing which comes out from your vanity top, you only have to ensure your water line and drain rough-ins are in before installing the vanity.
- Bracing/supporting the vanity comes next – you’ll want to look at different options depending on the number of supporting walls surround your vanity. We had a nice corner (two supporting walls), which allowed us to use two 1×2 braces in addition to a steel pipe assembly which would take care of supporting the last corner of the vanity while adding some industrial flair to the end-product. Make sure you take into account the pre-determined height of the vanity before installing the braces to the studs. The steel piping was cut to measure at our local Home Depot. We left the pipes in natural steel, but these would also look great in black or brass. A helpful tip when working with steel pipes is to degrease them with rubbing alcohol; you’ll want to do this especially if you’re painting the pipe.
- Now that the vanity top is up, your plumber should be able to take care of the rest (installing the plumbing fixtures). You may want to pick out a fancy p-trap since it will be exposed (we went with the standard bend in chrome), and a nice vessel sink which will rest on your vanity top (we went with a piece from Kraus).