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So why do they call them bathroom vanities anyway?
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I’ve been seriously toying with the idea of remodeling my bathroom for the past several months.

It’s not a big space as it is five feet wide and about eight feet deep but thanks to the vaulted ceiling and large window it seems bigger. It’s fairly functional except for a few minor details – the cheap toilet the bank installed to try and modernize the bathroom, the hatchet job the bank’s contractors did when they took out a perfectly good tub and replaced it with a bottom-of-the-line fiberglass model complete with ill-fitting shower wall panels, and a vanity that is low to the ground.

Actually, it is of typical vanity height which is 31.5 inches.

When I first saw the bathroom I was thrilled with it. Every house I had looked at back in February of 2008 in my price range either had the toilet ripped out, the tub smashed with a sledge hammer or a hole punched through the wall. The real bad houses had all three maladies plus broken sinks. It certainly did little to back up the government’s theory that home ownership somehow creates more responsible citizens which was behind the relaxing of lending standards that triggered the foreclosure mess.

I’ll never forget my sister’s comment when she first saw the house. “Why,” she asked, “did you get a house with only one bathroom?”

I looked at her like she had gone bonkers. After all, I bought the house for myself to live in and not the Waltons who I’m sure, by the way, probably just had one bathroom although it may not have been inside the house. Besides, growing up with a family of six in a two-bedroom house in Roseville we had one bathroom as well. I’m not one of those folks who believe the American Dream includes having a different bathroom to use each day of the week.

The vanity was cutting edge in 1951 complete with tiled top and an accompanying 36-inch wide medicine cabinet. I liked it except for one detail – the height. Like every other vanity it is designed either for shorter people or with women in mind.

I’m solving that in the remodel by having Perez & Sons custom build one that is 42 inches high that I will finish off with a vessel sink. It will also resemble more of a pedestal than a big box.

I got the idea from the home that Milo and Suzanne Candini built in the country in their 20-acre grape vineyard. Of all the homes I’ve seen in the last 20 years doing real estate stories in Manteca, it was the only thing that completely bowled me over.

They had his and her areas in a bathroom that, if I recall, correctly is larger than my current house. His area was simple. It consisted of a high vanity that allowed him to actually shave without bending over. I thought it was the greatest concept. It was a 100 percent ‘duh” moment.

I get why you compromise on a shorter, standard vanity. But why when you have two sinks in a bathroom – especially a master bathroom – are the sinks the same height?

The toilet is another issue. Up until a few months ago I had no idea that toilets had ratings in terms of flush power. Home Depot rates them on a scale of 1 to 10. I was told by a Home Depot associate that a “10” is capable of flushing golf balls.

He warned, though, it was loud enough to wake up people. Quite frankly I don’t care if it wakes up the dead. It would be nice to have a toilet that actually flushes without help.

By now I was thinking color which meant I had to have a high efficiency black toilet that has a price tag of $400 or half of what I paid for my first car.

That left the shower-bath tub combination. It was functional but cramped. I was simply going to replace it with something a bit better but then I had this vision of sending a contractor and his family to Hawaii by having it ripped out and replaced with a larger shower that was completely tiled.

And if you’re going to put in a new shower, toilet and vanity you might as well as have a new lighting fixture, tiled floor, new medicine cabinet new bathroom door, and repaint the bathroom that the “I-could-care-less” crew hired by the bank used latex to paint over enamel.

I’m taking out the recessed toilet roll holder. It makes no sense to me to waste time placing toilet paper rolls on such a device. Setting them on the toilet tank cover makes more sense. At age 54 I seriously doubt I’m going to change my habits.

All of this had led a friend to comment that I should worry about the resale value as quirkiness doesn’t sell easily.

Wait until she sees what I have in mind for the kitchen.