Whether you want to remodel or just freshen up the bathroom, vanities are an important part of any project. In fact, people put a lot of effort into searching for the right fixture. Unfortunately, most of them realize that, once installed, there’s a large space between their new vanity and the bathroom wall.
However, while that might be a worrying sight, changing your fixture is not always a practical solution. That’s why today, we’ll explore a couple of ways you can handle even the most obnoxious gaps. But first, let’s learn more about the causes, prevention, and consequences of gaps between bathroom vanities and walls.
What Causes Gaps Between the Wall and Vanity?
When it comes to gaps, people believe that badly sized vanities are the only culprit. Yet, shifting, damage, and even improper installations can cause or worsen them.
All homes experience a certain amount of shifting and settling. Over time, that causes your bathroom vanity to pull away from the nearby wall, allowing gaps to form. If that’s the case for your bathroom, then most solutions won’t last permanently and will require you to regularly adjust your fixture.
If you don’t install your vanities properly, you might promote the formation of gaps. For instance, one common situation that causes gaps is not attaching the fixture to the wall using screws. Similarly, using construction adhesive or screwing into drywall can also allow the vanity to eventually pull away.
Sometimes, moisture and water can get under or alongside your vanity, slowly rotting the wood. When that happens, the fixture or its connecting mechanisms tend to fail, which increases an existing gap or causes one altogether. The problem is that you might have to replace the entire vanity, especially if its structural integrity has been compromised by rot.
Should You Actually Fix Them?
There’s a lot of debate as to whether vanities have to be attached to the bathroom wall or not. While some people don’t mind a bit of a gap, others would do anything to get rid of it. But there are some key points you need to consider before making a decision:
The main reason why you would want to avoid bathroom gaps is due to the way they look. Since the gap exists between your wall and vanity, it is most likely incredibly noticeable. As a result, your eyes will be drawn to it whenever you’re near. So, rather than having to constantly worry about it, a simple and quick DIY project can offer you some peace of mind.
By covering up the gap, you don’t only make your vanity look better, but also keep moisture from dripping down where it shouldn’t. And, as noted earlier, moisture and water can cause rot and allow other problems to set in.
Last but not least, mold is a serious issue that affects homes all over the world. Sadly, mold and mildew are more prevalent in bathrooms where there’s a gap between the vanity and the wall.
That’s because spores can use the existing space to get behind your fixture and attach to the wall. Then, over time, dripping moisture and humidity will promote the growth of mold, which will also extend and take over your entire bathroom. Sealing the gap will stop this problem from occurring in the first place.
How to Fix the Gap Between Vanity and Wall
Although gaps can cause other problems, there are a lot of relatively simple fixes. From caulking to using sealant tape, let’s explore some of them and find which one works best for your bathroom.
Generally speaking, caulk is an incredibly useful product that can be helpful with many household DIY projects. But it can also be used to hide small gaps between your bathroom wall and vanity. First, start by thoroughly cleaning the area using a wet cloth and letting it air dry. Then, put down a bead of caulking in the gap and smooth it with your finger until the cranny is full. Afterward, clean the excess caulk with a damp rag and allow it to dry.
However, it’s important to mention that there are different types of caulk. For instance, if you want to add a bit of color to it, you’ll need to use paintable caulking. That’s why, most people prefer to use tub and tile caulking, as that’s very durable and entirely paintable.
Additionally, if you have a gap between your bathroom vanity and a tile wall, you can just use grout. Not only does it work just as well as caulk, but it also comes in various colors, so there’s no longer the need to paint it afterward.
Apart from caulking, you can use a special product called sealant tape. This is specially designed to cover small gaps between your wall and vanity. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is clean the area, apply the tape, and apply pressure until it completely sticks, and voilà; no more gaps!
What makes sealant tape a reliable alternative to caulk is its waterproof nature. But there’s also a drawback: it is not very effective for large gaps. So, if you’re dealing with more than a tiny crack, you’ll want to use caulking. Furthermore, sealant tape needs to be replaced regularly. Luckily, you can use the same method to rehide the gap or just use a more permanent solution like caulk.
Vanity Filler Strips
As the name suggests, filler strips have been created to tackle the problem of gaps between walls and vanities. They can be attached to most fixtures and effectively cover up the gap completely. And, since they are available in dozens of styles and shapes, filler strips can work even for vintage vanities that often have a distinctive color and size.
However, vanity filler strips require a bit more effort than other alternatives. Simply put, you’ll need to attach it directly to your vanity using an adhesive or screws. Or, you can cut part of your fixture, glue your strip to it and then place them back with a strong wood adhesive. As a result, this solution may not be the best for vanities made from granite or similar materials.
Finally, there’s another method that can be used to dress up the area and improve its look and feel. By installing a backsplash on the wall behind your vanity, you’ll help clean up the area while also adding a bit of style to your bathroom. Or, you can choose a type of tile that fits your bathroom’s design.
As a matter of fact, you might like your new backsplash so much that you’ll wish to remodel your entire bathroom or home around it! But no matter if you go for subway tile or granite backsplashes, you can easily use any of them to add character and beauty to your home.
What About Side Walls?
Most gaps tend to appear between the back wall and the vanity. But sometimes, you’ll end up with a fixture that leaves plenty of extra space between it and one side of your bathroom wall. These are often too wide for caulking or sealant tape, which is why you’ll need to employ other solutions to get rid of this visually jarring gap.
If you’re stuck with inches of empty space, you may consider bridging the gap with a small cabinet. Even though you can find one online, it’s always best to order a personalized cabinet. Or, if you have the necessary craftiness and knowledge, you can create a custom fixture that matches your vanity.
Don’t want to invest in a full cabinet? Then perhaps you might want to try installing open shelving to give purpose to the gap between your vanity and the side wall. By doing so, you’ll effectively add extra storage space and also embellish your empty space. Yet, you’ll still need to use a countertop that matches your vanity’s top or paint one to avoid making it look out of place.
Bathroom baskets allow you to tackle two issues with a single and appealing item. These can offer additional storage space and also fill a medium- or large-sized gap between your vanity and side wall. Just make sure to choose a basket that complements the appearance of your bathroom.
Lastly, trash cans are a simple and affordable option for large gaps. After all, every bathroom needs to have its own garbage can, so why not use it to get rid of an unsightly rift? But don’t settle for a bland metal trash can. Instead, you can find dozens of nice bins online, some of which can perfectly match your bathroom’s style.
Wrapping It Up
Gaps between bathroom walls and vanities are very common. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid getting the fixture you want. You always have tons of options when it comes to creating a clean, smooth, and chic look with no gaps. Sure, some solutions, such as vanity filler strips, may require additional tools. But with a bit of effort and creativity, you can enjoy your brand-new vanity and never worry about gaps and empty space again!