Installing a new vanity is one of the finishing touches in a bathroom renovation or installation that really brings the room together and helps define its style. A vanity not only serves as the support for the bathroom sink, but can also provide convenient storage space. No matter the size or style of your vanity, the installation process for base cabinets of this type is fairly consistent, as is the method for installing a sink and countertop or single piece vanity top.
|Tools & Materials||Skill Level||Estimated Time|
|• Vanity cabinet||Intermediate||1 to 3 hours|
|• Sink and counter or vanity top|
|• Stud finder|
|• Two-foot level|
|• Jigsaw or a drill fitted with a hole saw|
|• Wood shims|
|• Cabinet installation screws|
|• Utility knife|
|• Faucet and drain assembly|
|• Water supply lines|
|• Drain trap kit|
|• Plumber’s putty|
|• Adjustable wrench or channel lock pliers|
|• Silicone caulk|
|• Caulking gun|
Vanity cabinets, along with other types of base cabinets, are set in place and then screwed to studs in the wall behind as well as through the sides into any neighboring cabinets. Some modifications may be needed to allow for the water supply and drain lines that connect to the sink, depending on their location and the construction of the cabinet.
Bathroom Vanity Installation Process
Follow the steps below to install your bathroom vanity.
1. Dry Fit the Vanity
Set the vanity in place to determine if it fits properly in the desired location and to determine the location of any cuts needed to allow for plumbing. Use a stud finder to locate studs behind the vanity and mark them on the wall above the height of the vanity.
2. Cut Openings for Pipes
If your vanity does not have an open back, or if your water and waste lines come up through the floor rather than through the wall, measure their location on wall or floor. Transfer the measurements by making corresponding marks on the back or bottom of the cabinet and use a hole saw or jigsaw to cut holes to accommodate the pipes.
3. Set the Vanity
Set the vanity in place, lifting it over the pipes if necessary and sliding it back against the wall. Use a level to check if it is level both across the front and along the side. Place shims under the cabinet as needed to bring it to the correct position.
4. Attach the Vanity to the Wall
Using your marked stud locations as a reference, attach the vanity to the wall with a drill and cabinet installation screws driven through the mounting rail at each stud. Once the cabinet is secured, trim any exposed shims with a utility knife.
5. Prepare Vanity Top and Sink
Set the vanity top in place to check for fit and then move the top to a set of sawhorses to install the fixtures. If installing a separate sink and countertop, use the basin or the sink manufacturer’s template to trace and cut the opening for the sink if required. Apply a bead of silicone caulk around the opening and set the sink in place, then clean up any excess caulk. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble and install the faucet and drain assembly in the sink and attach the flexible water supply lines.
6. Install the Vanity Top
Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the top edge of the vanity cabinet and carefully set the top in place. Install backsplash pieces as required and apply caulk to seams between the top and the backsplash or the wall.
7. Make Plumbing Connections
From below, use the drain trap kit to connect the drain to the existing waste line and connect the flexible supply lines to the hot and cold water lines. Turn on the water supply, test for leaks, and tighten connections as needed.
Level of Difficulty
Installing a bathroom vanity is a project that requires basic skills and could take a few hours. Using a power saw to modify the cabinet to accommodate plumbing may increase the level of difficulty for some DIYers, but in most cases this step can be avoided by choosing a cabinet with an open back. Even if you would rather leave the plumbing to a pro, you can save quite a bit on the cost of installation by preparing and setting the cabinet on your own.