When planning storage, you may want to specify cabinets in different areas of the bathroom. In order to plan this storage, it is important to understand what types of cabinets are available and how to plan the layout of the cabinets using nomenclature that will call out the selected cabinets. Many cabinet companies carry cabinetry that is particularly suited for the bathroom. These are available in both framed and frameless construction. Framed cabinets have a face frame at the opening of the cabinet box, offered in various door styles and configurations. Frameless cabinets, sometimes referred to as European cabinets, are constructed of panels and do not need a face frame. They are also offered in a variety of styles with full overlay doors.
Often framed cabinets use Imperial measurements and are specified using inches, with stock cabinets usually available in 3 inch increments in width. Bathroom cabinets vary in depth from 16 to 24 inches, with 21 inches being most common. The heights vary, typically from 28 1/2 inches to 34 1/2 inches high for a finished height of 30 inches to 36 inches, once the countertop is added. Cabinets are specified using a code of letters and numbers the manufacturer has determined represent their cabinet selections. Although the labeling is unique to each manufacturer, NKBA has provided generic nomenclature to help designers and design students plan bathrooms using the basic size and dimensions of cabinetry. Bathroom cabinetry is specified with the first letter V—for vanity. Other letters used with the V include B for base, W for wall, S for sink, D for drawer, and LC for linen closet, among others. The first one to two numbers reflect the width of the cabinet, the second two numbers reflect the depth, and the third indicates the height. For example a VSB362134 would be a vanity sink base 36 inches wide, 21 inches deep, and 34 inches high.
Frameless cabinetry is typically built on the metric system and is frequently specified in centimeters, which can result in variations in size from framed cabinets.
Other plumbing and cabinet companies sell cabinetry that is a combination of lavatory and cabinet. These furniture-like pieces come in a variety of styles from contemporary to traditional designs and are in depths, widths, and heights similar to cabinetry. Furniture pieces can also be used for storage in the bathroom. Figure 6.27 (6.27 A, B, C, D, and E) and Figure 6.28 (6.28 A, B, C, D, E) illustrate a variety of cabinet storage accessories and ideas for alternative storage features.