Install a Bathroom Vanity and Sink, Part 2

vanity and sink
  • 3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 35
What You'll Need
Hole saw
3-inch screws
Screwdriver
Vanity
Countertop
Sink
Tape measure
4-Foot level
Pencil
Scriber
What You'll Need
Hole saw
3-inch screws
Screwdriver
Vanity
Countertop
Sink
Tape measure
4-Foot level
Pencil
Scriber

This article is the second part of our series on installing bathroom vanities and sinks. Read on to learn more.

Two Options to Install on Level

Carefully measure the height and width of your new vanity. Determine where you want to position it and mark the edge locations with vertical lines. Measure vertically from the floor and mark the height of your vanity in several places on the wall. With a 4-Foot level placed on the highest mark on the wall, draw a level horizontal line crossing the two vertical lines from the vanity's width. You now have an exact outline for the placement of your vanity. With the use of a stud finder, find where the studs are inside the wall and mark their location above the horizontal line representing the height of the vanity—these markings will guide you as to where the screws can be inserted.

Option 1 - For a vanity with adjusters or adjustable legs or if you prefer to Shim into place—You can attach the higher end first, then adjust the adjustable legs in place or simply place the shims snugly into position so the vanity stands leveled before securing in place.

Option 2 - For vanities with full side gables extending to the floor, You can also proceed as in the previous step and install shims under the lower side to bring it level, but you can also scribe and cut down the higher gable to level off the vanity before securing in place. In this case, the level should be placed so that a line can be traced on the wall from the "lower" side of the vanity and crossing the two vertical lines.

Two Possibilities for the Plumbing

A drain pipe (usually 1-1/4 inch ABS) and two water lines should be there to connect to the sink. They could be coming through the wall or through the floor or a combination of both. Measure the locations of the water pipes and drain lines coming out and transfer those measurements onto the back or the floor of your vanity. Use a hole saw to drill holes for your water lines. Cut the cutout for the drain with a larger hole saw or a saber saw.

Verify where at least one stud is in the wall behind your new vanity, measure and mark its location on the vanity nailer, and drill a pilot hole for the 3-inch screw that will hold it in place.

Step 1 - Install the New Vanity

Minimize the chance for damage (and make the vanity lighter and easier to move) by taking out any drawers and removing the doors. Protect your floors and move the vanity into position, then slide it into place with the water and drain pipes coming through each of their respective holes. Check that the cabinet is level (both side to side and front to back), and use shims to level it if necessary. Once the vanity is level, attach it to the wall using 3-inch screws.

Step 2 - Installing the Top and Sink

If your new vanity has a built-in or molded sink, you will need to install the faucet before you put the top in place. Start by putting the faucet through the precut holes and hand tighten them. Now turn the vanity top over and use a wrench to firm them up. Attach flexible water supply lines to the base of the faucet and the drain pipe from the trap to the sink drain. Finally spread a bead of silicone caulk all around the edge of the countertop, then turn it over and position it on the vanity with the backsplash tight against the wall.

If you're putting a separate sink into your new vanity, you will need to install the countertop first, then install the faucets to the sink, and finally, put the sink into the countertop.

Step 3 - Final Steps

Attach the flexible feed lines to the water supply valves and connect the sink drain pipe to the trap and drain. Run a small bead of caulk around the base of the faucet and where the countertop butts against the backsplash, and then install moldings around the base of the vanity. Finally, turn the water back on and check for any leaks.

Back to Part 1: Removing the Old Vanity