How can I winterize my bathroom vanity?
November 1, 2018 8:17 PM   Subscribe

My main bathroom is an addition that has three exterior walls. The whole bathroom is pretty poorly insulated, but the worst is the area of my vanity, which is in the corner against two of the exterior walls. How can I stop my poor toes from getting a blast of cold air whenever I stand at the sink?

FWIW, it's an old vanity in poor condition that I dream of replacing as soon as my budget allows. In the meantime I'm stuck with it and its fragile state. It has three flimsy drawers on the right side and doors that open to a cabinet on the left side. It sits about 4" off the floor, with a kickboard that touches the floor and prevents anything from getting under the vanity. But there's about a 1" gap between the bottom of the door/drawers and the kickboard, and this blasts cold air on me. It's very difficult to access the space underneath the vanity though I can sort of get in behind all the drawers if I pull them out.
posted by TwoStride to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
If I understand correctly, the 1" gap is not visible without getting down on the floor, because the kickboard is recessed a bit behind the face of the cabinet, correct? If so, can you just stuff things in the gap to close it? Rags, an old towel, random pieces of foam, a slice of a pool noodle (that might work best, because you could make it just the right size to fit in snugly)... It doesn't have to look good; it just has to stop air from moving through the gap.
posted by whatnotever at 8:50 PM on November 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is essentially the problem door and window expanding foam is designed to fix. It is important to get the window and door formulation and when applying wear disposable gloves and clothes you don't mind having permanent foam stains on. Leave any drip that get on floor walls harden and then scrape it off. Attempting to wipe it before hardening just smears it around.
posted by Mitheral at 10:41 PM on November 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

I second the pool noodle idea. It's cheap, it doesn't rot, it can be cut to size easily. It stays easily removable, as opposed to expanding foam.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:20 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Depending on what kind of house you have (especially the siding) and what programs exist in your state, it may be pretty cheap to have someone come out and retrofit your bathroom with better insulation. I'm talking about having them pop off a clapboard and blow in dense-pack cellulose from outside—pretty effective and not necessarily very expensive, depending on your circumstances. That and sealing any windows in the bathroom (or just replacing them, if they're old single-pane wooden ones—another surprisingly easy task) would fix the source of the problem.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:44 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

This sounds like the perfect place for a kickspace heater, although the cost to install may put this solution out of reach.
posted by lakeroon at 3:02 AM on November 2, 2018

If insulation doesn't do the trick, a foot warming pad might.
posted by metasarah at 7:20 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

If it doesn't get wet, go to Home Depot and buy some insulation with paper backing and staple it to the wall. It can be folded, doubled up, etc. and doesn't have to be pretty because its hidden by the vanity.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:38 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

It won't warm our toes (not reasonably, anyway) but a heated toilet seat is incredibly pleasant on a cold morning.
posted by theora55 at 9:33 AM on November 2, 2018

Expanding foam in the gaps. You can cut it to hide it if it expands outward into view. Fluffy bath mat for your feet & a wall mounted blow heater to add some warmth to the room while showering. Source I live in an old house with huge gaps & no insulation. If you need to cover the wall inside the cabinet, some insulating foam board, easy to cut to shape. I have a sheet of foam board behind my desk as it's on an external wall & the chill just comes straight through he all onto my legs & it works great.
posted by wwax at 10:02 AM on November 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks, all! I don't trust my fine motor skills enough for spray foam, but the pool noodle idea seems very doable. Off to experiment!
posted by TwoStride at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2018

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