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by Pei Wen Tan May 11, 2021 3 min read

If you’re getting your bathroom fitted with a vanity, picking the right kind of vanity wood can be a daunting decision. Changing the cabinets will not only will it revamp your space without doing a total remodel, but it can also provide you extra storage. You can conduct your morning routine in a more comfortable and organized manner.

It may be that you buy your furniture from the market or have it custom-built as a project. You may be building the furniture yourself. Whatever the case, there are certain things you need to consider.

With many options to choose from in terms of vanity wood, it’s important to consider the pros and cons for each material. Keep reading to find out more!


Plywood, which consists of multiple layers of veneer glued together into sheets, is a popular vanity wood. It’s popular because it is so easy to work with, and it comes treated to be moisture resistant. It is also very cost-effective and has considerable strength.

There are a few downsides to plywood. It needs adequate protective coating like paint, veneer, or laminate. Also, plywood can never provide the look and feel of solid wood. The edges of the plywood are very susceptible to damage by water.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)

Medium Density Fibreboard is an engineered vanity wood. MDF is composed of fibers and small pieces of different types of wood, bonded by glue. The surface of the boards consists of a veneer or some waterproof coating.

Although it looks good, MDF is not as durable as plywood or solid wood. Hence, if you are looking for a more durable solution for your bathroom vanity project, you would probably do well to use plywood or solid wood.


This vanity wood is widely used for bathroom cabinets as it looks good and is extremely durable. However, using teak for your project can be more costly than other options. Hence, many people steer clear from teak in favor of some of the cheaper varieties of vanity wood.

Teak produces natural water-resistant oils and has a natural resistance to insects, rot, and decay. It takes polish well, and the tight, straight grain of the wood adds further to its waterproof nature. If you have the budget, using teak for your bathroom project would be very appropriate.


A cheaper alternative to teak as solid vanity wood for your bathroom project is birch. Birch has creamy-white sapwood with a dark brown heartwood. Thus, you get a good colour range, and you can select your vanity wood to suit the surroundings.

Birch has similar properties to maple. The uniform and close-grained structure make it waterproof. For this reason, birch is one of the preferred choices for making bathroom cabinets.


If you are looking for a light vanity wood for your bathroom cabinets, then fir is also a good option. It has excellent workability and takes nails and screws well. It also bonds well with various glues and takes different types of finishes with ease. Hence, you will be able to make some very smart-looking but sturdy and durable bathroom cabinets from this vanity wood.

If you’re going for a more affordable option, use solid wood, plywood, or MDF that is adequately sealed from moisture.

If you are selecting hardwoods, then oak or maple would be a suitable choice due to their inherent resistance to water. Avoid using vanities with veneer finishes, because the veneer tends to peel off the wood base (also called the veneer substrate) over time.


Maple is another top choice due to its smooth finish and even grain. These characteristics make it an easy vanity wood to paint, stain or poly. These versatile finishing options make it a good wood for either traditional or modern bathroom finishes.

Maple and birch are compared often- based mostly on their affordable price and availability.

There are many different options of vanity wood to choose from, but if you would prefer to go with a different material, you can also opt for PVC.

Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is a cost-effective cabinet material that is only starting to gain popularity in Australia.

Its best quality is its 100 per cent resistance against water. Because of this, PVC cabinets can have a long lifespan.

PVC has a smooth surface that can be painted with any colour. It’s also resistant to high temperatures and easier to clean than wooden surfaces.

When choosing the material for your bathroom vanity cabinet, make sure to keep durability and functionality in mind.

Pei Wen Tan
Pei Wen Tan

Pei Wen is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about topics ranging from lifestyle to interior design. She has a keen interest in creating content that is informative and easily accessible, and enjoys continually expanding her knowledge in all areas.

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