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Installing a New Bathroom Vanity

It looks like it's about that time to replace your old bathroom vanity. So here are some tips and steps so that you can do it correctly.

Posted in Bathroom Vanities over 14 years ago, 0 replies

The time has come to makeover a room, and you’ve decided to turn your attentions to the bathroom. Visions of a traditional retreat, a country haven, or a beautifully sleek and modern bathroom have sparked your remodeling fires. But you can’t get anywhere with that old bathroom vanity in the way. So get charged up and ready to take on a one-day project of installing a new bathroom vanity. It’s the first step to creating the bathroom of your dreams.

What You’ll Need


New Bathroom vanity
3" wood screws
Latex caulk
Quarter round moulding
Wooden shims


Adjustable wrench
Caulk gun
Combination square
Electric Drill/driver
Hole Saw or Jigsaw
Stud Finder
Tape measure
Utility knife

Getting Started

Do you know you can install a new bathroom vanity in a matter of hours? You won’t have to commit an entire weekend to the bathroom vanity installation project unless you want to. That’s the good news. The bad news is installing a new bathroom vanity isn’t easy.

This project isn’t rocket science, of course, but you will need to do some good measuring of the space before purchasing the new vanity to ensure a proper fit. Also, it will take having a bit of muscle to remove the old vanity from the space. And you will need to prepare the space. For example, it is imperative that you check out the installation space for damage and/or problems, and then fix problems before installing your new bathroom vanity.

Removing the Old Vanity

Removing the old vanity sometimes introduces you to a whole host of problems. Common problems include water damage. Your floors can become water damaged from everyday usage. If you discover that this is the case, simply interchange any moldy sections of the floor with plywood.

Also, the drywall may have some water damage. Seeing as drywall is incredibly porous, it will be very difficult to get the drywall to dry out entirely. This means you will need to replace any damaged areas of the drywall if there is any indication that moisture exists. And a good way to help prevent moisture and/or water damage in the future is to install the drywall a few inches above the floor. You can place base moulding over the space that is left between the bottom of the drywall and the floor.

Use a level to make sure the floor’s surface is level in both directions. An uneven floor can be corrected easily with the use of wooden shims or a plywood base. Wooden shims can be placed under the vanity during installation, or you can nail a plywood base to the floor and level it off with shims.

Turn off the Water

Any job involving plumbing requires you to turn off the water supply before beginning the installation project. You can turn off the water supply right below the sink of your old vanity and by twisting off the two valves that are located inside. Or, you can shut off the water supply for the entire house if you need to.

Moving on…

Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the nuts from around the hot and cold supply tubes connected to the shutoff valves. Take your pail and place it directly under the drain to catch any excess water as you undo the slip nut from around the drainpipe. Then undo the nut from around the drain arm that is connected to the wall. Now, take your utility knife and cut away the caulk seal between the sink and the countertop and take out the sink.

If you plan to reuse the sink, turn the sink over and gently lay it down onto an old towel. Carefully cut away any caulk that remains. Clean off the sink well. If you intend on using the sink and the countertop again, however, don’t remove the sink from the countertop. Simply leave the sink inside the countertop and disconnect the entire countertop unit from the vanity base by taking out the screws located on the underside of the countertop.

Taking Measurements

You will need to get good measurements to begin with to avoid making costly mistakes. First, measure the vanity height and width. Do this by measuring the height of the vanity up from the floor in three different places. Using a pencil (or a marker for tile), mark on the wall the height of the vanity from the floor straight up. Make sure the line is level by using a level to draw the line.

Next, use the highest mark to draw a plumb line on the wall alongside the vanity, which will represent the width of one side of the vanity. Do the very same thing on the other side of the wall. Make certain these lines on the wall are plumb and level. What you should be left with is a level and plumb outline of your vanity.

Within this vanity outline there is at least one stud, possibly more. Find a stud and mark it so that you’ll know where to screw in the new vanity. Next, locate your pipes’ vertical and horizontal centerlines and indicate the location of each by marking plumb and level lines on the wall. Now, measure from the center of the drain line to where you have marked where the nearest vanity cabinet edge is to be placed, and do this down to the floor also. Finally, using the lines you made earlier as starting point measure to the center of each supply pipe.

With these measurements, you are now able to mark on the back of the new vanity where you will need to cut in order to allow for pipes and lines. After you have marked the location of the pipes and lines onto the back of the new vanity, drill holes at those marks. DON’T FORGET TO PUT ON YOUR SAFETY GOGGLES AND GLOVES FIRST.

Make certain that you cut pipe and line holes in the vanity back that are large enough to accommodate each pipe and line. Usually, cutting a space 0.5 inches or more will provide enough room for your water pipe and drain line. Note: drill only part of the way inside of the vanity from the outside of the vanity base, and then finish up your drilling from the inside of the vanity base to create a cleaner look.

Install the New Vanity

At last you are ready to secure the vanity to the wall. First, remove the vanity doors before installing to avoid damage. Then pre-drill holes into the back of your vanity that will match up with your wall studs. The holes should be ONE SIZE LARGER than your 2.5-inch screws, and the holes in the studs should be one to two sizes SMALLER to ensure your vanity will have a tight and secure fit.

Now, carefully slide the new vanity into place. Make certain your vanity is level in all positions (side to side, front to back). Remember, if is not level you can always use a wooden shim to level it, but the vanity must be level for proper installation. If you have to use a shim, take a chisel and hammer to cut off the edges of the shims that are sticking out—take care to not damage your bathroom floor.

Next, make certain that the new vanity is plumb and square. Once you are sure that it is, take your washers and 3-inch wood screws and drive them through the nailer (the piece of wood running across the back of the vanity) and into the wall studs in order to attach the vanity to the wall. Check once again that the vanity is level. Caulk around the sink and pipe areas.

And you have just finished installing a new bathroom vanity!




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Re: Installing a New Bathroom Vanity

Great post!

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