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How to Install a Vessel Sink

Give your bathroom a unique look with a vessel sink. Installation is easy, and you'll have a modern updated look in no time.

Tools & Materials

Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market.

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Vessel sink and vanity

Think about the height of your new sink and vanity. Vessel sinks can be recessed in the counter or sit on top. Pick a vanity that supports the sink at a comfortable height – about 36 inches to the top of the bowl is typical. Taller vanities will work but keep in mind that children might have a hard time reaching over the sink bowl. Also, use a tall faucet with a long spout designed for vessel sinks.

Vessel sinks and vanities are available together as a package or can be purchased individually for a custom look.

Check local building codes before you get started to ensure compliance. And, if you’re not comfortable, call a pro.

Shop Vessel Sinks
Shop Bathroom Faucets

Vanity Removal

Step 1

Start by turning off the water supply and turning on the faucet to relieve pressure in the lines.

Step 2

A bucket placed under the pipes catches excess water.

Loosen the nuts to remove the drain pipes and disconnect the water lines from the valves. Use a small bucket to catch water in the pipes.

Step 3

Remove the top before removing the vanity cabinet.

Cut the sealant along the backsplash. Remove the backsplash if it’s a separate piece from the vanity top. If your vanity is secured to the wall with screws, removal will be easier if you take off the vanity top.

Separate the top from the vanity with a putty knife. Lift it off and back out the screws securing the vanity to the wall. The vanity should now pull out.


Step 1

Make any necessary plumbing repairs or alterations. If your new vanity has drawers, make sure the plumbing won’t interfere with them.

Step 2

This is an ideal time to paint or to install wall tile or new flooring.

Follow our step-by-step instructions:
Paint a Room
Patch and Repair Drywall
Install Wall Tile
DIY Flooring Projects


Step 1

Use a stud finder to locate wall studs.

Mark the height and width of the new vanity on the wall to see the layout.

Then use a stud finder to locate and mark the wall studs just above the outlined area.

Learn how to locate studs in walls.

Step 2

Cut holes in the back of the vanity.

Use a tape measure to transfer the plumbing locations from the wall to the back of the vanity. Then use a hole saw to cut an opening a little bit larger than the size of the pipes.

For easier installation, remove the doors and drawers.

Good to Know

To prevent splintering on the inside of the cabinet, drill a pilot hole and then use the hole saw from the finished side of the vanity.

Step 3

Use shims to ensure the vanity is level.

Position the vanity so that the holes on the back side fit over the pipes in the wall. Then check that it's level. Use shims to adjust. Some vanities have adjustable feet to help with leveling.

Step 4

Secure the vanity to the wall with screws.

Drill pilot holes through the vanity back into the studs, and secure the vanity to the wall with screws. If you can’t line up the holes with studs, use wall anchors for your wall type.

Learn how to use drywall anchors.
Learn how to drill through tile.

Step 5

Attach the faucet to the vanity top.

Attach the faucet on the vanity top before installing the top on the vanity. Leave the faucet loose to make adjustments after the sink is installed.

Step 6

Apply caulk to the top of the vanity.

Apply silicone caulk or adhesive to the top of the vanity and position the vanity top in place. Make sure it’s even on the left and right.

Attach the backsplash with adhesive. Then caulk along the joints and let it dry following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7

Install the drain.

Apply a bead of clear silicone caulk to the bottom of the vessel. Position it over the hole on the vanity top. Then assemble the drain, but don’t overtighten.


Good to Know

Some vessel sinks don’t have a flat bottom surface, so they will require a mounting ring to hold the bowl. Apply silicone sealant to the ring and position it over the vanity top hole. Apply sealant to the top of the ring and set the bowl in place.

Some mounting rings require bolts to hold it in place. Drill the holes, insert the bolts and tighten the nuts from underneath. Apply sealant to the top of the ring and set the bowl in place.

Good to Know

Make sure the overflow hole is aligned properly.

Step 8

Cut with a hacksaw.

After the sealant has dried, install the rest of the plumbing. You might have to cut the tailpiece with a hacksaw to make it fit. When the plumbing is installed, adjust the faucet as needed.

Step 9

Turn on the water and check for leaks.

Step 10

Add hardware to the vanity.

Add the vanity hardware.

Good to Know

Consider complementing the look of your vessel sink with a matching lighting fixture and mirror.

Shop Bathroom Lighting
Shop Bathroom Mirrors