Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

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knightrider
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Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by knightrider » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:46 am

Should I replace this vanity with something modern? It is perfectly functional, just looks old. The faucet is from Kohler and works beautifully. My philosophy is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". But then again I realize it might make my place harder to sell. So if I upgrade I get to enjoy something nicer looking.

On the other hand, I like to live the "green" life and reduce my carbon footprint by reduce/reuse. So I am conflicted!

I should add that we paid ~500k for this condo. It is in a HCOL area.

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Kenkat
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by Kenkat » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:54 am

My wife would tell you yes...

I am with you on the "ain't broke" approach.

We worked out a compromise.

rebellovw
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by rebellovw » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:59 am

If I was selling the condo - I would do an assessment and replace the most important stuff first - that may end up very low on the list due to costs. Ex - you may need new hardwood flooring - which will cost a couple K and maybe complete interior paint another K - and new appliances another couple K.

I'd have the realtor tell me if it should stay or go. Seems to small to greatly impact things one way or another.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by BanquetBeer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:06 am

You can buy a modular vanity for like $300 (cheap and nic option) and install yourself. Tearing that out would cause maybe $50 in drywall work but flooring underneath is unknown. On a 500k house I think the impact vs cost should not be a big swing either way should you replace it. (You're talking about a few hundred bucks). I would do it if we used that area regurly and it is noticeably less fancy than the rest of the house. If it's a seldom used room somewhere in a corner would probably skip.

The wood TP holder - might have to replace or paint cabinets even if you just want to swap the top.

runner3081
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:16 am

No, I wouldn't. Our first 2 places, we were young and ambitious. Gutted them and replaced things like this, simply so they would look nicer.

Now in our 3rd home? It it isn't broken, it doesn't get upgraded. Saves a ton of money and time :)

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Abe
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by Abe » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:32 am

No, I would not.
Slow and steady wins the race.

redrocker
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by redrocker » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:42 am

If it's solid wood, I'd bear in mind that every single vanity at the big box stores has a significant amount of MDF in its construction.

Lynette
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by Lynette » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:46 am

I've replaced two vanities recently. In one case, I had the floor replaced. I cannot tell from the wall receptacle but is it GFCI compliant? I think that the faucet will have to be replaced. In one instance, the guy who was replacing the vanity had a problem with the hot water and I had to call in a plumber. He only charged me $200 but said it might have cost $500 if he had to replace the connection in the basement. Slightly differently but when I had a quartz counter top installed in my kitchen, I had to get a plumber to disconnect and install the new faucet. I also replaced the medicine cabinet and lighting.

I would not replace it unless you are really confident that you can fix other problems that my occur such as flooring and plumbing.
Last edited by Lynette on Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lthenderson
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:56 am

Personally I wouldn't replace the vanity as a whole. Unless you have plans to sell the condo and even then, I doubt replacing the vanity would bring you any more dollars on the transaction.

If you want to update it for a more modern look just for personal preference, I would just replace the vanity counter top leaving behind the sink basin and water spout. If you don't like the water spout, it is a pretty easy fix to just replace that.

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Pajamas
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:42 am

No, because I can see that old wooden towel ring in the mirror. No point in replacing just the laminate-top vanity without sprucing up everything, especially if you have vinyl flooring or dated tile, unless it is in especially bad condition compared to the context. If you have stinky shag carpet and smoke-stained or yellowed white paint on the walls, I would focus on those things before replacing cabinetry and fixtures.

It would also depend on the other units in the building and what you expect to get for yours. If it is a $500k+ unit in a HCOLA, it might be best to choose between just cleaning it up for sale in the expectation that a buyer will want to completely renovate the kitchen, bath, and finishes to their taste using better quality fixtures and finishes as opposed to you renovating with builder-quality fixtures and finishes before selling. At least that's what I see where I live. Unless an apartment has been recently renovated under the supervision of an architect and is in move-in condition, it's going to get that level of renovation after the sale anyway. Used to be that people would keep and refinish the wood flooring and maybe even the kitchen cabinets, but now everything gets ripped out.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:42 pm

If the rest of the unit is of similar vintage and finish then just replacing this one thing will not make a significant impact on sales price. A well-done ROOM (especially kitchen or bath) can be a selling point.

Inexpensive new vanities will be new builder's grade vs. old builder's grade. Buyers will be able to see what it is. Also builder's grade may not wear well.

AlwaysBeClimbing
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by AlwaysBeClimbing » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:00 pm

Being handy I might just replace the countertop/sink( yours doesn't look that bad though) and maybe throw a coat of white paint on the rest. Otherwise, no.

TTGO808
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by TTGO808 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:56 pm

Is this the guest bathroom? I just replaced my stained vanity with an inexpensive Swanstone one from Home Depot. You could DIY and reuse your faucet. I also painted my cabinets, and the bathroom walls, put cabinet pulls on the doors and replaced the ugly light fixture the builder put in. It gave the guest bath/shower a cheap facelift. I'd replace it if it would make you happy to look at an updated bathroom.

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tooluser
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by tooluser » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:06 pm

The selling advice I have gotten from real estate agents in the past is to not update anything, only fix broken items. Very few improvements pay back 100% or more (e.g. adding a second bathroom to a one bathroom house). So don't do it for the money.

However, if you're going to live there a while, and would like a change, feel free to do so.

That picture looks very clean and pristine. I personally wouldn't change a thing unless I was tired of it.
Learn economical motion of delivery from a variety of angles, then lengthen the distance gradually. -- Bruce Lee

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chickadee
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by chickadee » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:40 pm

Please at least replace the 70s wooden towel holder and TP holder. They are an eyesore.

jbuzolich
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by jbuzolich » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:52 pm

I generally agree with the other posts here. If getting ready to sell then just a good cleaning and anything broken gets fixed or replaced. If it's for the benefit of your family then personally I would do it myself. From what I can see in the picture you can do new vanity, sink, faucet, towel ring or bar and toilet paper holder for maybe $600 if you can do on your own. Mirror, paint, toilet, baseboards brings up to just under $1000. I've done some similar upgrades at our cabin where we had a contractor tear out the old tub or shower then reconfigure the drain and water lines then do the tile and door work but leave the rest. Wife and I tackled the rest to save money and feel like we did some on our own.

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Pajamas
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:26 pm

I thought you were simply getting ready to sell when I made my previous post.

If you are planning on being there for a while, you might consider replacing the laminate countertop only but keeping the cabinet if it is in good condition and just painting it as well as the sink and faucet. You could also get some nice metal accessories (towel bars, toilet paper dispenser) and maybe switch out the light fixtures if they look cheap or dated.

A few hundred dollars would generate a huge improvement if spent in that manner and the only waste would be the countertop and wooden fixtures.

pshonore
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by pshonore » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:54 pm

redrocker wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:42 am
If it's solid wood, I'd bear in mind that every single vanity at the big box stores has a significant amount of MDF in its construction.
Very little solid wood if any used in vanities for quite some time. Lots of plywood and maybe solid wood in a face frame or door frame. Traditional cabinet making skills are a lost art. Agree with previous poster- granite remnants for this are quite affordable but sink and faucet should probably be replaced as well

edge
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by edge » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:28 pm

I haven't seen a solid wood vanity anywhere. Even in 10MM homes. High quality ply and solid faces, definitely. Extremely rare granite tops too. Solid wood in a bathroom is a bad idea anyway.

I've seen custom solid cabinet faces that had contiguous grain across the different drawers both horizontally and vertically. That was pretty impressive. No room for error.
pshonore wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:54 pm
redrocker wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:42 am
If it's solid wood, I'd bear in mind that every single vanity at the big box stores has a significant amount of MDF in its construction.
Very little solid wood if any used in vanities for quite some time. Lots of plywood and maybe solid wood in a face frame or door frame. Traditional cabinet making skills are a lost art. Agree with previous poster- granite remnants for this are quite affordable but sink and faucet should probably be replaced as well

pshonore
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by pshonore » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:00 pm

edge wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:28 pm
I haven't seen a solid wood vanity anywhere. Even in 10MM homes. High quality ply and solid faces, definitely. Extremely rare granite tops too. Solid wood in a bathroom is a bad idea anyway.

I've seen custom solid cabinet faces that had contiguous grain across the different drawers both horizontally and vertically. That was pretty impressive. No room for error.

Thats not really that difficult to do. Just get a piece of plywood veneer (today mostly MDO) and lay out the drawers fronts or whatever before you cut it right on the surface.(and keep track of which piece goes where). Also works well with "book matching". For solid wood, you would have to glue up large panels which could get tedious (or use 3/4 plywood instead and edge band it).

edge
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by edge » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:14 pm

They were solid. And it carried over the fronts and the frame of inset cabinetry. This is not simple.
pshonore wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:00 pm
edge wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:28 pm
I haven't seen a solid wood vanity anywhere. Even in 10MM homes. High quality ply and solid faces, definitely. Extremely rare granite tops too. Solid wood in a bathroom is a bad idea anyway.

I've seen custom solid cabinet faces that had contiguous grain across the different drawers both horizontally and vertically. That was pretty impressive. No room for error.

Thats not really that difficult to do. Just get a piece of plywood veneer (today mostly MDO) and lay out the drawers fronts or whatever before you cut it right on the surface.(and keep track of which piece goes where). Also works well with "book matching". For solid wood, you would have to glue up large panels which could get tedious (or use 3/4 plywood instead and edge band it).

Yiewsley
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by Yiewsley » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:23 pm

Depending on what color the floor is, paint it gray or white. At the very least, swap out the towel holder and tp holder for chrome ones.

tim1999
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm

I have the exact same outdated towel ring and matching toilet paper roll holder. Both are functional but just look old/cheap. I'd probably upgrade the bathroom if I were going to sell the place, and could get "free" family labor to do it, but otherwise it serves me fine.

pshonore
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Re: Should I upgrade an old but functional vanity?

Post by pshonore » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:02 pm

edge wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:14 pm
They were solid. And it carried over the fronts and the frame of inset cabinetry. This is not simple.
pshonore wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:00 pm
edge wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:28 pm
I haven't seen a solid wood vanity anywhere. Even in 10MM homes. High quality ply and solid faces, definitely. Extremely rare granite tops too. Solid wood in a bathroom is a bad idea anyway.

I've seen custom solid cabinet faces that had contiguous grain across the different drawers both horizontally and vertically. That was pretty impressive. No room for error.

Thats not really that difficult to do. Just get a piece of plywood veneer (today mostly MDO) and lay out the drawers fronts or whatever before you cut it right on the surface.(and keep track of which piece goes where). Also works well with "book matching". For solid wood, you would have to glue up large panels which could get tedious (or use 3/4 plywood instead and edge band it).
I'd love to see a picture. Perhaps it in the finish. The old timers could do wonders with a graining comb.

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