How to Raise a Bathroom Vanity
Many people install a standard bathroom vanity cabinet when they remodel or build, without realizing that they are slightly shorter than cabinets in the kitchen. While you may be accustomed to the height, they are somewhat low for many people to comfortably use. Slightly raising the height of the vanity can make it more functional and comfortable for the average adult.
Step 1 - Remove Existing Cabinet
Carefully remove the vanity from the bathroom. If you are planning to reuse the same vanity, be particularly careful not to damage the finish. Even if you are installing a new vanity, use a great deal of caution so that you do not damage the floor. Using a pry bar can help in this step. Before you pry a cabinet up, be sure that it wasn’t screwed down rather than nailed. You may need to remove the bottom of the cabinet to be sure.
After the cabinet is loose, place a tarp, blanket, or strips of wood on the floor away from the work space and place the vanity on the protective layer to keep the flooring safe.
Step 2 - Cut Support Wood
Most bathroom vanities are 29-inches high. With a 1-inch sink top, the completed height of a vanity is 30-inches. A height of 34 to 36-inches is more comfortable for adults. Cut the lumber to fit the footprint of the vanity. Cut 4 pieces of wood to fit the vanity. Measure carefully so that the front block will not extend out from under the vanity. Alternatively, some people use premade glass blocks under the vanity. It provides and interesting look. You can install a light behind it and create a nightlight for the bathroom.
Step 3 - Install Supports
To install the supporting wood or glass blocks, place them on the floor where the vanity used to be located. If you are installing a new vanity, measure the placement of the vanity and mark the floor.
Using an angled drilling pattern, secure the wood blocks to the floor. Drill a pilot hole for easy installation. If you are using glass blocks, secure them in place with thinset or mortar. Place silicone adhesive between the blocks to attach them to one another, or use mortar for the purpose.
Step 4 - Replace the Vanity
Place the vanity on top of the blocks. If you are using wood, secure the vanity to the raised wood supports with wood screws. If you are using glass blocks, use more adhesive to secure it to the cabinet.
Step 5 - Finish the Supports
To finish the supports, either use a material that matches the cabinets (purchased from the cabinet manufacturer), tile, or other wood baseboard material. Standard coving may be too narrow to provide a finished look, but if you are redoing the floor in vinyl sheeting, you can cove the vinyl all the way up to cover the taller supports. Glass blocks have the advantage of not needing to be finished. They can be left as they are for a complete look.
Using a tile that matches the existing floor or shower tiles makes for a built in look that is very attractive. Use a thinset mortar applied to the wood supports. Space tiles evenly, matching the pattern on the existing floor or shower as much as possible. Allow them to dry, then install grout between the tile and let it dry. Seal the grout with a sealant to keep them in place. Standard baseboard materials can be installed with countersunk finishing nails and wood putty.
Step 6 - Consider Taller Cabinets
Instead of raising a standard bathroom vanity, you can install a kitchen cabinet instead. They are typically 34.5-inches tall, so with a countertop will be just over 36-inches. You will need to take into account that using a kitchen cabinet requires a custom vanity top. Kitchen cabinets are usually 24-inches deep, while a standard vanity is only 18 to 20-inches deep.
Use a kitchen cabinet with doors for a traditional bathroom look. You may also find manufacturers who make vanities in a taller height. A few have begun to offer 33-inch tall vanities. If you are building or remodeling, be sure to let your architect, builder or designer know you are installing a taller vanity so that they can make any needed adjustments to electrical outlets and wiring.
Once you have your new bathroom vanity installed, you can easily use all of your bathroom items without needing to unnecessarily stoop to reach a low countertop.