How to Install a Bathroom Vanity and Faucet
Skill Level: Intermediate | STANLEY Pro Project Guides
A new vanity can change the entire look and feel of a bathroom. It can also add much-needed storage. With a little planning, installing one is something you can do on your own in about six to eight hours.
Step 1: Turn off Hot and Cold Water Supply Valves
Start by shutting off the water supply valves to your sink. Turn them clockwise until they won’t go any further, then test the faucet to confirm the water is off.
Tip: Use a rag or tongue & groove pliers to help turn supply valves.
Step 2: Detach the P-traps
Place a bucket underneath the P-shaped drain under your sink. This is commonly known as a P-trap. Loosen the slip nuts on the P-trap and slip it off the drain. The contents of the drain will empty into the bucket.
Step 3: Detach the Supply Lines
Move the bucket under the supply lines, then use an adjustable wrench to detach the hot and cold supply lines from the supply valves.
Step 4: Release the Caulk
Many vanity tops are secured against the wall with caulk. Use a utility knife to break the caulk seal so it can be easily removed.
Step 5: Remove the Vanity Top
If your vanity top is attached to the cabinet below with brackets, loosen them with a screwdriver. If it’s not fastened with brackets, it’s most likely attached with glue or silicone. Use a hammer, chisel, and pry bar to detach it.
Step 6: Release the Cabinet
Remove any screws securing the vanity cabinet to the wall with a drill/driver. Move the vanity and scrape away any remaining sealant from the wall with a putty knife.
Tip: Need to paint or tile? Do it before installing your new vanity.
Step 7: Check for Clearance
Remove the doors and drawers from your new vanity, then position it in place. Make sure your sink’s stop valves and drain outlet are easily accessible. If not, mark and cut as necessary.
Step 8: Find Studs
Since your old vanity may or may not have been properly attached to studs, use a stud finder to locate wall studs for your new installation. Mark each location so it will be visible once the vanity is pushed into place.
Tip: Can’t find—or reach—a stud? Secure your vanity with a wall anchor.
Step 9. Level and Fasten the Vanity
Slide the vanity into place, making sure it’s level, back-to-front and side-to-side. If your vanity doesn’t have adjustable feet, adjust it with shims, trimming as necessary with a utility knife. If you’re fastening your new vanity to drywall, it’s best not to reuse existing holes. However, if your old vanity was attached to a tile wall, use the existing holes, marking them with a vertical line. Center the vanity and mark for screw placement. Drill your holes, then install the new vanity with screws.
Step 10. Install the Faucet Set
Set the vanity top upside down on sawhorses. Place the plastic gasket on the faucet. Then, holding the faucet from below, screw on mounting nuts, keeping the faucet properly aligned.
Step 11. Attach the Supply Lines to the Faucet
Attach the supply lines to the faucet with an adjustable wrench.
Step 12. Install Drain
Flip the vanity top and wrap the lip of the waste seat with a rope of plumber’s putty. Push the waste seat into the drain hole, then fasten the locknut onto the threaded end. If your drain includes a stopper mechanism, follow manufacturer instructions to properly connect it.
Tip: If your unit has a gasket, putty may not be necessary. Check instructions.
Step 13. Set the Vanity Top
Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the top edge of the vanity. Have someone help you carefully set the vanity top in place.
You can choose to either let the caulk dry overnight or firmly clamp the vanity top in place so it won’t move as you complete the job. Apply caulk to any gaps between the bottom and the top of the vanity. This will seal it and provide a finished look.
Step 14. Trim the P-trap
Trim the drain extension or tailpiece with a miter box and fine-toothed saw, sanding off any burrs before assembly.
Step 15. Make Supply and Trap Connections
Attach the supply lines to the stop valve and complete your P-trap installation. Turn the supply lines back on and test for leaks. Gently tighten connections if needed.
Step 16. Caulk the Top
Using silicone caulk, neatly caulk along the backsplash and the wall. Use just enough caulk to cover the gap. Wipe away any excess and smooth with your finger. Congratulations! You’ve installed a new vanity and faucet on your own.