Plumbing: Installing a Vanity

Changing a vanity cabinet and top can give your bathroom a new look and give you valuable storage by increasing the vanity’s depth, width and height. Just don’t crowd the toilet or have the vanity protrude too far into the room. Leave at least 15 in. (38 cm) from the toilet center to the vanity side. When choosing a taller vanity, be aware of obstructions, such as electrical outlets.

Always check the flooring material to see whether it runs underneath the old vanity. If it doesn’t go underneath, get a vanity with a similar footprint or larger. Also, if a vanity side will rest against a wall, make sure drawers will clear any protruding trim. To create clearance, you can add a thin filler strip to that side of the cabinet.

SHOP for Vanaties here!

1. Shut off water. Disconnect supply lines and drain. Remove backsplash if it’s separate from top. Remove screws or cut through adhesive holding the top. Pull top free from vanity; lift straight out to minimize wall damage.

2. Remove fasteners holding old vanity to wall. Use a cat’s paw to remove nails. Scrape away glue or adhesive left on the wall and patch any wall damage. Repaint the room. Locate studs and mark level lines on wall for cabinet-edge locations.

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Recommended Reading

The Bathroom Idea Book

Book Description:

As its name suggests, The Bathroom Idea Book is all about ideas. In fact, anyone who views the book's 400 color photos will have clearer ideas about what they absolutely love, simply appreciate and definitely detest in bathroom design. Andrew Wormer has done an excellent job of covering enough ground to make this guide useful for both the do-it-yourselfer and the homeowner who wants to paint a clear picture for an architect or a builder. Just about every bathroom style and option is covered and beautifully photographed, from antique fixtures (pedestal sinks, clawfoot tubs), to modern luxuries (a shower with a bubbling footbath and eight adjustable body and hydromassage jets), to high-tech touches (a cascading waterfall shower digitally controlled by a thermostatic valve and 10 massaging body jets), to the low-frill and durable (installing an acrylic liner over your old, battered tub). The book would be even more useful if Wormer devoted additional space to the costs of the sometimes sensible, sometimes spacious and sometimes glorious bathrooms we see. He does offer a few paragraphs on general price ranges and helps the reader understand what drives up costs (moving fixtures and walls), but this guide ultimately is about dreaming, not budgeting. Read it to imagine how your bathroom could look, then worry about the price. This isn't to suggest that the book lacks helpful planning tips. Overhead drawings on many pages give you a sense of the rest of the bathroom that can't be captured in a photo. And Wormer offers options for one of the trickier challenges when trying to improve the most frequently remodeled room in the house--finding more space. Among his ideas is annexing space from an adjoining area, such as a closet or hallway. Readers of The Bathroom Idea Book will find that even if their dream bathroom isn't pictured, they will be able to mix-and-match and combine features from various photos to get a good idea of what they can do. --John Russell

From Library Journal
Wormer, a remodeler and contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding, explains how to create a bathroom designed specifically with the user in mind--families with kids, working couples, or the physically challenged. Beautifully photographed bathrooms by top designers demonstrate the huge range of possibilities available to remodelers. Materials, fixtures, and storage options are also discussed.

From Booklist
This is really a wish book, but with the difference that carpenter and author Wormer throws so much textual data into his pages that it almost overwhelms the visual effect--but not quite, fortunately. Although none of the designs are outreor outlandish, bathrooms here do span styles and periods--from serene Japanese style to clawfoot tubs on country bare floors--giving readers an abundance of choices. This decorating anthology acts as both instruction and viewing gallery; we learn about specific materials, fixtures, and features, such as antiscald shower valves and the characteristics of porcelain enamel. The builder's perspective adds great value to an otherwise run-of-the-mill look-see book. Barbara Jacobs

Today's bathrooms offer a quiet, private space in a hectic world. More money is being put into bathroom renovations, and this guide, with a wealth of fresh ideas, shows how to rearrange bathroom components into a satisfying whole.

Issues covered:

vanity area, bath design, bathroom design, shower enclosure, face frame, shower area, task lighting, finish materials


A good starting place for design: This book is has a lot of photos of bathrooms. Very many styles and sizes of bathrooms are featured. Many different color/decor schemes are pictured. Many different fixtures, baths, showers, etc. can be seen on these pages. What I found most inspiring were the less traditional bathrooms (even some rather tiny ones) that really showed some creative design aspects.
The text is rather average for this sort of book, basically it explains the many options that are available. It's nice to have this info in one place, but there were no radical insights. This book is chiefly a picture/idea book.

I was very pleased that Universal Design got more than a nod by the author. Several baths featuring universal design principles were pictured and diagrammed! Being a wheelchair user myself, I wish more people who built homes thought even for a few minutes about incorporating a little universal design into their homes.

I wish there were more bathroom plan examples. I wish there were more diagrams indicating possible and practical dimensions for standard bathroom layouts. There is no how-to install or remodel information in the book (but that's OK because it's supposed to be an "idea" book).

I'm building a new house and I keep returning to this guide to scan the pages for ideas, color schemes, etc. I just wish there was a bit more technical information to make some of the final design decisions easier. I had to consult other books and the internet on a number of issues before I made the final floor-plan layout decisions. So, if you want ideas, this guide is a great(!) starting point. If you want more technical details you may need to look elsewhere.

Being in the home improvement business, I felt odd needing ideas when it came time to upgrade the bathrooms in my own home. Perhaps making a living building the bathroom of everyone elses dreams helped to fog the picture of what I wanted my own to be. Taunton Publishing puts out a trade magazine that I swear by. So when I decided to purchase a book on bathrooms I thought I couldnt go wrong with this one. How wrong I was.
This book is little more than a collection of photographs of high end and ultra high end bathrooms. Here in my neck of the woods a complete bath renovation ranges in cost from between ten and fifteen thousand dollars for an average bath. Very few of the rooms displayed in this guide would make that budget.
Aside from the introduction there is almost no text to assist the "reader" in understanding requirements or even necessaties pryor to planning a bath remodel. Perhaps the fact that I am in this line of work colors my opinion of the book, but if photos qualify as ideas, Id recomend picking up a few magazines on bath remodeling and get a fuller picture.

Not Just a Picture Book: I enjoyed this guide and felt it did provide good information, contrary to other comments and I felt it was well worth the money.

My mother is remodeling her bathroom and it gave us good ideas of what she liked and didn't like. I do agree with another writer that many of the most beautiful bathroom photographs were of "high-end" bathrooms, but I believe most anything can be modified to fit within a budget. The book was useful in providing the bones from which to work. I mean if marble is too expensive or isn't your thing, then maybe travertine would be a less expensive option. I thought the book provided good info on things like sink placement, vanity and cabinet styles, flooring and even toilet options and shower head choices.

The only slight negative, is that the book I read was published in 1999 and did include some older style bathrooms, but I would expect that in a book that was six years old, so I didn't count off for that...just because I'm late in reading it. :-)

There were lots of informative sections in the book. On page 80, it talks about some of the differences in fiberglass vs acrylic showers/tubs. On page 95, there is some discussion about low flush toilets.

To me, the book title indicates exactly what this guide provides "Bathroom Ideas", and I think the author delivered.

Even though most of the pictures don't have much detail about how to construct a particular type of bathroom or what foundation needs to already be in place, this guide isn't called Bathroom Construction and Remodeling. I think this guide does a great job at explaining what you are looking at and includes corresponding numbering on the text and pictures. I found this guide very useful and it provided just what I was looking for....ideas.

First idea, the shape of a single cupboard. The second idea, a way to add counter space over a toilet. That's it. I guess I could have gotten both from any other magazine on the shelf for a lot less than I paid for this silly picture book filled with pictures of _pieces_ of bathrooms. A more appropriate title would have been:

Bathroom Parts Picture Book: A guide to bathrooms for those who can't read.

The most I'll get from this guide is the enjoyment my children will receive from cutting out the pictures for their paper dolls.

Recommended Products

Varesa Vanity Sink

Varesa Vanity Sink

Your bathroom will look amazing and elegant with the Varesa Vanity and Varesa Wall Mirror. These two pieces will give your bathroom a weathered yet sophisticated design. The Vanity is made from solid hardwood in distressed white finish, a brown/cream marble top with a white ceramic bowl and 1” diameter chrome faucet. Purchase the matching mirror to complete the look. Both pieces sold separately. See dropdown menu for details.This item ships directly from the manufacturer. Product usually arrives in 6-12 business days, depending on destination, including order processing and shipping.

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3. Nail filler strips to cabinet sides, if necessary. Assemble cabinets and screw face frames together. Cut holes for plumbing. Level cabinets side to side and back to front using tapered shims and secure cabinets to wall.

4. Set top onto cabinet to check fit against side wall. For gaps greater than 1/16 in. 2 mm), mark a scribe line. For solid surface and cultured marble, use belt sander to remove material. Side splashes cover some gaps.

5. Install faucets and drain assembly to molded sink top before installing it. Apply 3/8-in. (5-mm) bead of clear silicone to top cabinet edge. With assistance, drop vanity top straight onto cabinet and silicone bead.

6. Connect faucet supply lines to shutoff valves and reconnect drain. Some molded sinks have built-in overflow tubes. Others have separate overflow tubes that must be attached with an extension between sink and drain.

Last modified: Saturday, 2016-06-11 1:51 PST