How to install bathroom vanity: A complete guide  

The most crucial question that will cross your mind when replacing or mounting a bathroom vanity is, “How do I install a bathroom vanity?” Are you a novice DIYer who wants to complete the task alone? You don’t need to worry if you’re unsure about where to begin. We provide you with this thorough instruction to assist you in doing the process with confidence. 

Sometimes it is necessary to refresh the bathroom or overall home. You might consider repainting the bathroom or replacing the old single bathroom vanity with a different style single bathroom vanity or a double bathroom vanity. Installing a bathroom vanity correctly is important to gain proper functionality. You might think this procedure is daunting, but with some instructions and planning, you can perform this professionally. 

When you enter the market, you will find different bathroom vanities. You will find different options for free-standing or floating bathroom vanities. The installation process for all types of bathroom vanity would be similar with slightly changing the process. Whether you are an amateur or an expert, with the help of the right tools and our detailed procedure, you can install the bathroom vanity in no time. 

A detailed method to install the bathroom vanity

The bathroom vanity installation could be labor-intensive. With plumbing fittings, the process calls for a little expertise. Nonetheless, when replacing the old vanity, it is simple to mount the new bathroom vanity to the wall over the old drain fixtures. In the following process, we’ll go over the precise steps. But first, we will review the necessary tools and materials to perform the process. 

Required Tools

  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Leveling bar
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • Flashlight

Required materials

  • Bathroom vanity cabinets
  • Vanity top with faucet and sink
  • 2-inch drywall screws
  • Wood shims
  • Sink-drain assembly
  • Silicone caulk
  • Water supply pipes

After gathering all the necessary items for installing the bathroom vanity, you can start the process. 

Remove the old sink by shutting off the water supply.

You need to shut off the water supply to remove the old sink. You need to find the shutoff valves from where you can completely turn off the water supply. Then open your sink faucet and drain the water until it leaks slowly. Doing this lets you release the water pressure out of the lines. While removing the water supply tubes with the help of an adjustable wrench, try to place a bucket nearby to gather any extra water. Before proceeding to the next step, carefully notice that the water supply is totally off. 

Disconnect the P-trap and remove the sink completely.

You need to disconnect the P-trap and water supply lines to remove the sink. You can do it manually and unscrew the P-trap while putting a pail beneath the sink. The P-trap is the U-shaped part of the drain lines connected to the vertical drain pipe. This part always carries some water in it, so getting rid of water from the P-trap is important. An adjustable pipe wrench should disconnect the hot and cold water supply pipes from the wall-mounted shutoff valves. If the gap is big enough to fit the bucket beneath the P-trap, you can place the towel as an alternative. 

Lift out the vanity sink and top

The next step is removing the old sink and vanity top. With the help of a utility knife, slice out the old caulk securing the sink on top of the vanity. If it is tightly jammed, use a flathead screwdriver to pry it. Pull the bowl away from the vanity. When cutting through the caulk adjacent to the sink’s basin, keep the countertop intact. If you have a metal sink, metal clips might support it. Carefully remove those clips. 

Remove the vanity base.

After removing the old vanity countertop, remove the vanity base so you can place your brand-new vanity in your bathrooms. Pull out the vanity top carefully after unscrewing any screw at the back of the vanity with the help of your drill. Any wall damage must be repaired.

Take proper measurements for the new bathroom vanity and sink.

For measuring the vanity dimensions before mounting it to the wall, you can consider the guidelines given by the manufacturers. After taking an estimated idea, start outlining the wall and consider the vanity base’s height, width, and orientation. With the help of a stud finder, locate the stud position on the wall where you want to attach the vanity. The standard distance between the studs is 16-24 inches. Find the studs in the sidewall when fixing the vanity between the walls.

Besides, the modern sink has the faucet hole points, mounting opening, and sink cutout location. To ensure the sink will fit in the intended place, use the given points as a measuring guide. If your sink has no pre-defined points, you might need to make the points by cutting and trimming. Another thing to consider is that if you mount the vanity the first time, you might need to define the location of the plumbing system.

Note: If you are going to install the floating vanity, then you need to take the measurements according to the guidelines for the standard height of mounting such vanities. 

Prepare your new vanity to sit against the wall.

Most vanities come with a mounting opening, as we said earlier. But somehow, if your vanity doesn’t have any openings to perform the installation process, you need to make them yourself. You can use the outline mentioned on the wall. From the base to drain pipes, you can mark the measurements on the back of your vanity and cut holes for drain, and water supply lines with the help of a hole saw.

Assemble and secure the new vanity.

By considering the outline, set the vanity cabinet in place. Carefully verify that the vanity base is perfectly level from front to back and side to side. If you require setting the cabinet level, you can do it simply by slipping tapered shims below it. Two 3-inch cabinet screws should be used to attach the cabinet to the back wall, and they should be pushed into each wall stud on the back wall and through the mounting strip on the back of the cabinet. If there is a need to set the vanity against the side wall, then secure it by installing filler strips, which come with the vanity kits. Afterward, you can sand and finish the strips to look neat.

With the help of a drill, you can secure the vanity base by screwing the screws into the studs. If your holes are not parallel to the studs, you can use the anchors.

Install the vanity faucet and sink.

The faucet and sink must be assembled before placing the top on the vanity base. We advise consulting the manufacturer’s instructions because each type of sink requires a different installation procedure. If you have an under-mount sink or the integrated sink, their installation process will differ.

While installing the drain and faucet, don’t forget to put the plastic gasket under the handles and faucets. Fix them into the holes defined for them by applying the bead of caulk. To keep them in one place, install the washers and nuts. Every vanity has mounting brackets, which should be tightened underneath the sink. Then wipe out the excessive putty/caulk.

Set the vanity top

If you want to mount the vanity top with an integral sink. For setting the top, apply a bead of caulk or silicone sealant around the edge of the vanity. Place the vanity top on the right location and press it firmly to fix one location. Remove the excessive caulk with the help of a damp cloth. Affix the sink before setting the top as described earlier for another type of sink.

Connect the plumbing

Finally, connect the plumbing system. Ensure the faucet’s supply lines align with the water supply valves situated beneath the sink. It might be possible that your pipes are larger and need to be cut to fit in the available place under the sink. You can use a knife to cut them into perfect size pipes. Set the new top and sink in place and check if the drain openings align with the existing plumbing fixtures. Make sure to connect the sink drain with the drain trap and branch drain.

Set the backsplash

If your vanity comes along the backsplash, then fix it to the wall above the vanity. To unite these, apply the caulk bead in a helical pattern and then firmly press these together.

Note: if you are going to install the semi-recessed or vessel sink, then the sink should be placed after fixing the backsplash and vanity top.

Set the door or hardware of the cabinet.

Every bathroom vanity set comes with separate hardware and doors you must fix after successfully installing. When you fix the vanity in one place, along its top, fix the doors and hardware of cabinets to give it a final finish. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before setting these.

Avoid these common mistakes while installing your next bathroom vanity.

Installing the bathroom vanity might be challenging, but if you do it the right way, you can avoid many problems while performing the bathroom vanity remodeling project. It will cost you more than the expected cost. Therefore, you must know about some important aspects besides knowledge of the installation process. Use the following suggestions to steer clear of typical blunders and complete your installation of a new bathroom vanity effectively the first time.

  •  Failing to get an appropriate plan ahead

Before starting any procedure, you need to make a proper plan. Some projects need detailed planning, while some can be done immediately. Installing a new bathroom vanity requires detailed planning in advance. One should always prepare to start important projects like these. If you make a proper plan, your project can save money and take more time.

Whether you want to move the electrical or plumbing fixture for installing the bathroom vanity, you can fix it with the pre-defined points of them. Besides the location, you should also consider what materials will be used.

In addition to the plumbing fixture, it is crucial to consider other minor details like tile accents for the walls and the best colors for the floor. If you want to change them, then you need to make a plan before installing the bathroom vanity.

Unfortunately, when you fail to make the plan before buying a new bathroom vanity, you might cross your budget while buying the costly products randomly.

  • No understanding of countertop type

When you want to change your bathroom vanity, you need to consider first what kind of countertop you want. If you understand the countertop, then your project can be gone right. It might be possible that you will buy a countertop incompatible with the bathroom vanity, and you will get the wrong theme for your bathroom. Having the right bathroom vanity that can enhance the appearance of your bathroom is the only factor you need to focus on before installing a brand-new vanity.

Bathroom vanity tops are available in various materials. Besides having a different appearance they can be different in weight. Some countertops are heavier, while others are lighter in weight. Selecting the countertop for your bathroom vanity that can fit on the base without damaging it is important. You will find different materials like granite, quartz, and solid surface for the vanity top. Besides their weight differences, you will find different advantages and disadvantages for each material. Some tend to clean immediately, while others make an extra effort.

  •  Choosing the Wrong material for vanity base

Besides picking the right material for the countertop, it is also necessary to pick the right material for your bathroom vanity base. The material you select for your bathroom vanity base will define many things, such as its reliability, cost, and compatibility with the countertop material. The most important thing is its visual appearance to enhance the aesthetics. To make sure about the selection you are making for your vanity, you need to think about your purpose beforehand.

Do you desire to hang a durable bathroom vanity that can withstand heavy use from children or teenagers? Or do you desire a delicate vanity piece that can accelerate your house’s sale?

  •  Unsuitable color combination

Selecting the best bathroom vanity with a compatible countertop might be hectic. You must consider some features such as style, color, and material. Select lighter colors for your bathroom cabinets if you want to mount them for your kids. Similarly, the darker color bathroom vanity could be the best choice for adults as they show a clear appearance even after getting stained. Whatever color you select, you must focus on the entire bathroom theme. It will include the wall tile’s color or wall paint and flooring because you must maintain your bathroom theme while selecting the bathroom vanity color.

  •  Choosing the wrong tools

While making the measurements, it is necessary to select the right tool. If you choose the wrong tool, you will get the wrong measurements that will fail your bathroom vanity installation process. Use a laser level or anything similar while cutting the hole in the wall for the new bathroom vanity to ensure that all edges are vertical and level with one another. If you do that, the installed bathroom vanity will have an unsightly jagged line. Although you might consider not using these tools to save time, hiring an expert professional to use such tools is preferable instead of relying on your unprofessional thinking and abilities.

Similarly, during installation, you might need different products like silicone sealant or caulk bead to hold the P-traps and water supply lines or sink on the vanity countertop, respectively. You can get some idea by following the provided guidelines by the manufacturers.

  • Measurement Error

The most common mistake the homeowner makes is taking the wrong measurements before buying and installing the bathroom vanity. It is important to measure the area before installing the new bathroom vanity. Consider that you can only mount the new vanity into the pre-defined holes or any open space. Doing this, you will get a gap between the bathroom vanity and the adjacent wall.

You might guess that the bathroom vanity can be fixed in any area, after seeing the bathroom vanity size. But with the proper measurements, you can fix any size bathroom vanity in your area. Similarly, regarding the height of your bathroom vanity, you might be sure of getting enough usage for yourself. But if other family members use your bathroom vanity, then you should mount the vanity to give everyone proper space.

  • Ignoring the Bathroom Vanity’s Size

In addition to taking the wrong measurements of the area, another common mistake is performed by homeowners or remodelers in that they ignore the bathroom vanity size. before buying your bathroom vanity you need to define the location in your bathroom area where you want to mount the new bathroom vanity. Make sure you need a larger vanity or a smaller one in the available space in your bath areas.

Before starting the shopping it is necessary to measure the space and take estimated vanity measurements. Simply put, do complete research before buying any size bathroom vanity. Try to avoid making poor decisions only to find out later that the cabinet doesn’t fit where you wanted to place it.  

Making the right vanity size decision is necessary for another reason. You might not get enough space to pass nearby the vanity after installing the wrong size bathroom vanity. Additionally, you might block off the nearby doorway by placing the wrong size bathroom vanity.

  • Choosing the cheapest option

When buying any new thing, you may want to pay the amount for its long-term durability. When you select the cheaper bathroom vanities, you can not enjoy your new vanity for longer. Besides, your remodeling cost will be high and might not be of your budget-friendly. Lower-price bathroom vanities can be your immediate cheaper choice, but they will increase the cost when you need to spend money on their maintenance.

The other worst situation you might face while buying cheaper bathroom vanities is that this will decrease your vanity set’s resale value. Because of this, think carefully before making a decision based purely on low prices; this will prevent regret in the future.

  • Hiring an unqualified contractor

The other common mistake is hiring an unprofessional and unqualified contractor. You might get them on a low budget and think you are saving money. But for some reason, you should leave the vanity installation procedure to the professionals. They are professional in selecting the right material and provide you with a perfect bathroom vanity for achieving comfort while utilizing them.

Besides, don’t forget about safety. The poor installation can result in wires being severed or kicked back into position, leaky pipes can cause mold to grow, and fungus can develop on damp surfaces near the edges of bathroom vanities. Sometimes, DIY projects produce the worst results even after spending significant money.

  • Unprofessional plumbing work

Another major mistake and negligence are misplacing the plumbing fixtures for your sink. Before installing the new bathroom vanity you must know the right drain lines and water supply lines in order to avoid any issues at the end of the project. You should not screw the plumbing pipes from the front side, which will give an unpleasant appearance.

To get the right user experience, the supply line must pass underneath your cabinet base to prevent water from collecting and slowly draining into a gutter. It becomes more important during rainstorms if you don’t have any lid on these openings. Placing some boards across the exposed parts can seem like a quick fix, but this might be highly costly in terms of money consumed and wasted time waiting around doing nothing useful.

  • Leaving no space for Expansion

Another bigger mistake the mostly ignored by unprofessional remodelers and homeowner is to not leaving the enough space for pipes contraction and expansion. During the hot and moisten environment beneath the sink and vanity, drainage or water supply pipes tends to expand and contract. Therefore while installing the new bathroom vanity and making the holes for pipes, make sure to cut the hole slightly bigger then you pipe size.

Cutting the slightly bigger hole will help you to fix the bigger size pipes in the future when you need to change the vanity again.


How Much Does It Cost to install a new bathroom Vanity?

For installing the new bathroom vanity the average cost is $1,500. It generally starts from $300 and can go up to $3000. It all depends on the size of your bathroom vanity. In addition to the size, the cost of other factors, such as hardware and plumbing fixtures, also play an important role in defining the final project cost.

Should you tile the entire bathroom before installing the vanity?

If you want to enhance the bathroom appearance by tiling the entire area with unique and artistic tiles, then you need to perform the project before installing the bathroom vanity. That way, the room, and walls are set for any changes you might need, whether with the vanity unit or any other piece within your bathroom.

Is installing the bathroom vanity a hard process?

Some people consider the bathroom vanity installation process as a hard task. But in reality, the bathroom vanity installation does not require any expertise. You can mount your vanity with the right tools and proper planning. However, it might take a little effort to install an extraordinary piece of vanity, such as floating bathroom vanity. You need to make changes according to your bathroom vanity set.

Which one is placed first inside the bathroom, the floor, or the vanity?

Generally, the contractor prefers installing the vanity first instead of the flooring. It will reduce the chances of getting some scratches on the floor while installing the bathroom vanity. Another important factor is it can protect your brand-new vanity from dust while performing the flooring project.

Summing it up

Installing a new bathroom vanity is not tricky when you have the right tools and materials. But the bathroom vanity installation could be difficult and time-consuming if you perform it without considering the important suggestions. You must take particular care when measuring the height of the vanity and the precise location of the built-in water supply system before mounting your bathroom vanity. Even if you are a new DIYer, you can easily install your new vanity by following the above-mentioned steps. To avoid any mishap, you can read the recommendations that we mentioned above.