Where your vanity is located is going to be of prime importance to the feel of your bathroom; it will need to be of a size, shape and style that fit naturally into its surroundings to enhance its appeal, rather than detract from it. It will also need to complement the lighting and other fixtures in the room while still providing the functionality it's designed for. When choosing a vanity, it's important to strike the right balance between aesthetics and practicality.
How much space will I need?
When you're plotting your bathroom's layout, you'll need to factor in where your vanity is going to go and how big a vanity you can get away with. As well as making sure it's big enough to cater for your needs, you will also need enough room to be available around the vanity to allow you to stand comfortably in front of it and around it, and to clean it. Make sure you account for space needed for any swinging doors and opening drawers too. If you want to install a vanity with two basins or extra bench space, you'll definitely need to factor that into your layout.
When does size matter?
The size of the vanity can allow for some interesting effects, and a large vanity (particularly one that uses two basins) can be very useful - especially if you have a crazy morning routine that means several people are likely to use your bathroom at once. Remember that a larger vanity will mean a larger budget too, and will inevitably mean a little less free space.
If you collect a lot of bathroom clutter, then you won’t want a lot of excess space on the counter top, but you will need enough room so that you don’t feel cramped when using it. If available room is going to be tight, perhaps consider a corner unit, or one that is semi-recessed to make better use of the available space. If you are really short on space it might be worth considering a wall mounted or pedestal sink accompanied by a shelf - or even just an added shelf somewhere to supplement your storage space.
The size of your mirror's an important consideration too - as far as mirrors are concerned, bigger's almost always better. Large mirrors will help to make your bathroom look bigger. Likewise, tall mirrors will ensure that people of all heights are comfortable in front of the vanity.
Standard vanity height
Most vanity units are built to what's more or less a constant, standard height of about 85cm (850mm), but they can be installed higher if needs be. Some taller people may even prefer to install a unit with a benchtop above 1m (1000mm). If you are installing a vanity at a height above the standard, consider how it might affect others in the future - especially if you're planning to have kids.
Plumbing and electrics
If you can, it's often a good idea to position your vanity so that it's convenient to the rest of your plumbing. If the bath and shower taps are metres away on the other side of the room you will need to pay extra to have the plumbing diverted just for the vanity basin. Likewise, you'll also need to ensure that it has convenient access to electrical outlets for appliances. For safety reasons, these electrical outlets need to be positioned and configured in a way that ensures they comply with the relevant standards, so this may be an issue.