How to Install a Bathroom Vanity and Sink

How to Install a Bathroom Vanity and Sink

So, you’ve decided it’s time for a vanity change, fantastic! Or maybe you’re installing a vanity in a brand-new bathroom all together. The right vanity can take the layout and feel of a room to a whole new level. It offers more than just utility. It’s the centerpiece of every bathroom, bringing with it the unique style specific to your design. With that being said, it’s important to know how to install the vanity correctly.

To install a bathroom vanity and sink all you need are the right tools, correct dimensions, and a little help to walk you through the process. The installation of a vanity and sink can be broken down into a series of simple steps.

If it seems like a daunting task, that’s ok. Sometimes, bathrooms are tight on space, so moving around a new centerpiece without scratching anything important can feel impossible. But if you break the process down into manageable pieces, the whole installation becomes a piece of cake.

At the same time, if you still have doubts about your ability to install the new vanity and sink, don’t be afraid to call a professional. They can be a huge help in coordinating the placement things like vanity, sink, and plumbing. They can also aid in removing the old vanity (if there is one), ensuring that none of the important pipes or valves are damaged in the process.

Though they can be a huge help, consulting with an expert usually isn’t necessary. After reading through our easy-to-follow guide on how to install your new bathroom vanity and sink, you’ll have all the tools and skills necessary to take on any home improvement project that comes your way! Let’s check out the following steps and see just how easy installing your new bathroom vanity will be.


A Simple Bathroom Vanity and Sink Installation Guide

As mentioned before, if you are a little scared to install your vanity on your own, don’t be, it is much easier than you think. However, to make the process as easy as possible, you’ll want to have all your tools and materials organized and ready before you begin.

Required Materials

·       New Bathroom Vanity

·       New Bathroom Sink

·       New Sink Faucet(s)

·       New Drain Assembly

·       New Vanity Top

·       Caulk + Caulk Gun (Silicone Sealant)

·       Wood Shims

·       Drywall Screws

·       Teflon Plumber’s Tape

·       Any Other Supporting Hardware


Required Tools

·       Pencil

·       Tape Measure

·       Hammer

·       Level

·       Screwdriver

·       Drill/Impact Driver

·       Stud Finder

·       Flashlight

·       Crescent Wrench

·       Adjustable Pipe Wrench

·       Utility Knife

·       Bucket & Towels

·       Cleaning Gloves

·       Eye Protection


Step 1: Plan the Installation

Before you can even think about moving the new vanity into your bathroom and hooking up all the plumbing, it’s important to take the right measurements to make sure everything is going to fit cohesively in the allocated space.

Ideally, this is done before you have even purchased your new vanity. If for any reason you still need some help in choosing a bathroom vanity setup that works for you, check out Home Spa Designs for the most fitting options.  

If the dimensions of the new bathroom vanity match those of the old one, then your work here will be lessened significantly. This is most relevant to the stud placement in your wall. If the dimensions of the new vanity are the same, you can use the same studs to secure the vanity to the wall. However, if the dimensions greatly differ, you may have to find new studs to ensure safe, secure attachment. Regardless, just be sure you take down the measurements for when you are ready to actually install the new vanity. This includes the outer dimensions of the vanity (both on floor and wall), backsplash, and stud position.


Step 2: Disconnect the Plumbing

Be sure to turn off the water supply before you break out any tools. The last thing you need is a flooded bathroom. The shut off valves should be easy to spot and turn off. After that, it’s a good idea to open the faucet (both hot and cold knobs if you have them) to release any pressure left in the system.

Place your bucket and towel underneath the connection points before you remove either of the supply lines. Your first disconnection will be the drain trap (also known as P-trap). This is the U-shaped pipe fitting at the bottom of your sink plumbing. Be aware that it’s full of the excess water in your system (hence the bucket and towel). You should be able to disconnect this by hand via the nut at the top of the fitting.

After the P-trap is disconnected, remove both hot and cold-water lines from the valves. This can be done with the correlating combination/open-ended wrench or adjustable crescent wrench. Again, don’t forget the bucket and towel to avoid any messes.

Image Credit This Old HouseImage Credit This Old House

Step 3: Remove the Old Vanity and Sink

Now for the exciting part, demolition! Or not, if you are trying to repurpose your vanity or sink. The first step here is to use the utility knife to cut all sealant connections with the vanity and wall. The main areas are around the entire outside of vanity, sink, and backsplash. This will prevent you from accidentally tearing any of the sheetrock off your wall when you pull the existing vanity.

You should be able to pull the sink free now. It’s best to do that before you try to move the vanity, as it makes the load lighter. Then you can unscrew the bolts or screws from the inside of the vanity’s cabinets. These are the screws securing the vanity’s placement to the wall. If there are any screws or caulking holding the vanity in place on the floor, be sure to remove those as well. After this, pull the vanity gently away from wall, carefully so as not to damage any of the remaining plumbing.


Step 4: Wall/Floor Repair and Redecoration

No matter how careful you were in the removal of the old vanity and sink, there is likely some amount of repair to be done. You’ll want to remove excess caulk, fill in holes, paint the walls, and fix or upgrade any other bathroom accents you may want to change. If your new vanity is the same size or bigger than the old one, you can afford to be a little sloppy on the repairs because the new vanity will cover up much of your work. But, if you are sizing down to a single-sink vanity to save space in the bathroom, you’ll want to be very particular about wall and floor repairs. They will now be out in the open where everyone can see them.

The best part about this step is after all the repairs are done and you have a chance to redecorate. If you need an excuse to restyle the entire bathroom with new floors, curtains, mirrors, or paint, this is a great time to do so. At the very least, it’s a great reason to add an accent wall to welcome your new vanity addition.


Step 5: Mark Wall and Floor for New Vanity

Now that you’ve already taken down the measurements of your new vanity and studs, it should be fairly easy to translate them onto the wall and floor. This will create an easy outline for you to slide the new vanity into, and you won’t have to worry about anything being out of square. Don’t forget to account for the backsplash if you have one.

Depending on whether or not your new vanity has a solid back, you may want to mark out holes where the plumbing is going to be connected.

Step 6: Install the New Vanity

Piggybacking off the last step, be sure to cut the plumbing holes into the back of your new vanity if needed. This is best done with a drill via hole-saw bit. After this, you should be able to slide your new vanity into the marked position. Be careful here to not damage your freshly repaired and painted walls. Make sure all the plumbing and outlines line up properly before securing anything. It’s also worth mentioning that it may be easier to remove the cabinet doors here to make attaching the plumbing easier.

Next, you will want to check and make sure the vanity is level before you secure it to the wall or floor. If it needs adjustment, use the wood shims to level the height accordingly.

Now you can secure the bathroom vanity to the walls by first drilling pilot holes through the back of the vanity and into the studs you’ve marked. Screw them tight, but not so much as to strip them. If for some reason you couldn’t find studs that line up correctly, you can always use drywall screws as anchors. Follow the same process here, drilling pilot holes first, then tightening the screws appropriately.

At this point, it’s fine to add a bead of caulk to the sides of your vanity, but if your vanity came with a separate backsplash or top piece, you’ll want to wait and secure them all together. As far as the floor connection goes, if your vanity has individual legs, you won’t want to add any caulk, because it will take away the clean, seamless look. However, it isn’t uncommon to put a bead of caulk along the floor if your vanity has a continuous bottom that sits flush on the floor all the way around. This is especially true if the very bottom is covered by overhanging cabinetry.

Step 7: Install New Vanity Sink and/or Top

This step assumes the vanity’s sink, top, and backsplash came separate from the main piece of furniture. If that is the case, you can secure the vanity top to the vanity itself by applying a few dots of caulk around the edges of the vanity. After this, press the top firmly onto the vanity, making sure all edges line up evenly. You can then add another bead of caulk or sealant where the vanity top meets the wall. Don’t forget to wipe away any excess caulk with a clean, damp cloth. If your vanity comes with a detached backsplash, follow the same steps to secure that to the vanity top and wall.

Each sink and faucet will have different installation procedures according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow these accordingly, careful not to scratch your new vanity top and wall paint.

Step 8: Reconnect Plumbing

First reconnect the U-shaped P-trap to the new sink’s drain line. This should screw on just as easy as the last one was unscrewed. Moving on to the water supply lines, be sure to apply Teflon plumbers’ tape in a clockwise direction before reconnecting the supply lines. This will ensure a connection with no leaks. Now you can attach the hot and cold water supply lines, tightening them with a wrench.

Next place a bucket and towel under the plumbing configuration, then open the valves. If you’ve done everything correctly, there won’t be any leaks and you’ll be good to go. For added security, you can place another bead of caulk around the outside of the valves, where they connect to the wall.

Final Thoughts: A Simple Application

Hopefully now the once-daunting task doesn’t seem so scary. With a few tools and the right steps to follow, anyone can complete a DIY bathroom vanity and sink installation. The most important thing is to move at your own pace, careful not to tear apart your bathroom during the process.

Don’t be afraid to make additional changes to your bathroom layout. If there was a perfect time to do such a thing, this is it.

It’s a great reason to add new tile, flooring, paint, mirrors, light fixtures, and even a new bathtub. Now is the time to make your bathroom truly yours. Don’t be afraid to go all-out on your design and layout. After all, this isn’t a process you’ll want to repeat more than once. You should have all the tools, knowledge, and skills to install your own bathroom vanity and sink now, so don’t be afraid to start. Turn your bathroom into the quaint, peaceful, spa-like oasis you’ve been dreaming of.