This area of the bathroom is the most active and important and may be viewed as a "workstation". It should also be designed as such.
It needs storage space, elbow room, counter space, light and viewing space and hot and cold water.
There are a number of combinations that create these facilities with the most popular being the vanity and wall cabinet or mirror. A wall basin or pedestal basin are the options in place of a vanity. A wall cabinet or mirror is also part of a basin arrangement.
Vanities consist of a cabinet, a top and a wash basin. The most basic unit is usually 600-900mm long and is made of HMR (highly moisture resistant) board with a one piece top and basin. The cabinet consists of a cupboard section and drawers and the top is usually made of cultured marble or acrylic with the basin moulded into the top to make a one piece counter and basin.
Variations of the above differ only in material, design and top construction. An understanding of variations would be of value in deciding the most suitable combination to instal.
The following explains the detail and construction of different styles of cabinets, tops and basins.