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Installing a Vanity and Sink

A new vanity and sink provides a dramatic change to any bath. You'll use a lot of do-it-yourself skills on this rewarding project.

Measure the Old Vanity

Make sure the new vanity will fit in the same area. Take special note of location of wall trim and floor tile.  You can buy a larger vanity, but you may have to cut some baseboards to make it fit.  Make sure the new vanity top is the appropriate size for the new vanity.

Removing the Old Vanity Top Sink

  1. Turn off the water supply.
  2. The water valve is under the sink, or use the main water valve.
  3. Turn on the faucet to release any water pressure.
  4. Loosen the slip nut at the top of the P-trap. You may have to remove the entire trap.
  5. Disconnect the water lines from the valves with an adjustable wrench. Have a bucket ready to catch water. If the sink top is attached to the vanity with a sealant, use a hammer and chisel to cut the seal on the underside of the countertop. Use a utility knife to cut sealant along the backsplash.
  6. With the help of an assistant, remove the old sink.

Removing the Vanity

  1. If the new vanity is the same size as the old vanity, trace a light pencil line around the old vanity while it’s still in place. This will help when placing the new vanity.
  2. Remove the mounting screws from inside the old vanity.
  3. With the help of an assistant, remove the old vanity from the bathroom.

Repairing the Wall Surface

  1. Any old wallpaper or marks inside the outline will be covered by the new vanity, so repairs may not be needed.
  2. If there are any marks outside the outline, now is the time to repair them.

Installing the New Vanity

Installing shims

If your new vanity is a different size than the old vanity, follow these steps to
determine the new placement.

  1. Mark the height of the vanity on the wall in three different locations where the new vanity will sit. Mark the width of vanity on the wall. Now you should have a rough outline for the new vanity.
  2. If the old vanity was not secured to the wall, use a stud finder to locate a wall stud inside the outlined area.
  3. If the new vanity has a back, measure the distance from the wall marks to the pipes. Translate these measurements to the new vanity back.
  4. Cut the pipe holes with a hole saw.
  5. Remove the doors from the new vanity. This step is not necessary, but it may make installation easier.
  6. Slide the new vanity into place.
  7. Level the vanity with wood shims. Check front to back, and side to side.
  8. Attach the new vanity to the wall studs with wood screws. Use the nailer across the vanity back for attachment. Recheck to see if the vanity is level and make necessary adjustments.
  9. Use a utility knife (or a hammer and chisel) to cut off the edges of the wood shims.
Be careful not to scratch the vanity or floor.

Installing the New Vanity Top

Faucet assembly
  1. Assemble the new sink before setting the top in place.
  2. Start with the faucet. Apply plumber’s putty into the putty groove on the underside of the putty plate. Most sinks have pre-cut holes for a universal fitting faucet. Place the putty plate and
    deck plate onto the pre-cut sink holes. Insert the faucet into the hole. From underneath the sink, secure the faucet with the metal washer and long nut.
  3. Install the sink drain. Apply a bead of plumber’s putty on the underside of the threaded bowl flange. Push the flange down into the bowl opening, securing the flange into the putty. From the sink bottom, install the threaded flange. Screw the locknut onto the flange, then wrap the threads with plumber’s tape. Screw the tailpiece onto the threaded flange. The tailpiece has to be oriented so the pop-up lever is pointed straight toward the back.  Install the stopper, lift rod and pop-up lever according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Verify everything works properly.
  4. Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the vanity top and on the wall where the backsplash will attach.
  5. With the help of an assistant, place the assembled sink on the vanity top and press firmly in place. The tailpiece must slide back into the P-trap. Tighten the nut.
  6. Attach the vanity doors.
  7. Wipe away any excess caulk or plumber’s putty with a wet sponge. Apply a bead of sealant along the edges of the backsplash where it meets the wall.
  8. Connect the water supply lines to the shut-off valves.
  9. Turn on the water and test for leaks.