Replacing Your Bathroom Vanity
Replacing your old vanity can make a big aesthetic difference in your bathroom. The following are some helpful tips when it comes time to replace your bathroom vanity.
When is it Time to Replace my Vanity?
Unless your vanity is broken, most of the time these are replaced to give the bathroom an aesthetic upgrade and to improve storage.
Cost Factors of Replacing Your Vanity
Both labor and material costs factor almost equally into this project. If you are a capable do-it-yourselfer, then you can save approximately 45-50% of your project cost depending on the quality of your finishes selected. Below are the main cost factors in the project of replacing your vanity.
- Removal of the old sink and vanity
- Purchase, delivery and installation of the new vanity, sink and faucet
- Replacing water supply lines and angle stop (if necessary)
- Installing any new plumbing and materials
- Hauling away the old vanity and sink materials
Saving Opportunities on Labor Costs
If you are hiring a plumber to install your new vanity and sink, you can still save on costs by removing your existing vanity yourself. Below are the steps to remove your existing vanity.
- Turn of your waterYour water can be turned off under the sink on the wall. If you can't turn the water off here you can always turn off the main valve. Once the water is turned off you will want to open your faucet to release any water pressure that's left. It's always a good idea to have some bath towels on hand when disconnecting water lines.
- Detach the plumbing and water lines to the sinkUnder the sink, disconnect and remove the p-trap by loosening the slip nut located at the top. Note that there will be water left in the pipe so be ready with a bucket or towels. Unscrew the water lines to sink with a wrench and disconnect. Be ready for any water that is still in the water lines.
- Remove the sink and vanity-topIf you have a drop-in sink then removing the sink first will make removing the vanity-top easier. Cut along the caulk around the sink and gently pry it loose from the vanity-top. Remove the sink. You want to also cut any caulking where the vanity-top meets the wall. You will need to see how your vanity-top is connected to your vanity. Usually they will either be screwed to the base or glued. Unscrew the screws if that is the case. If your top is glued, use a hammer and screwdriver or chisel to pop it from the base. Pry the top off making sure not to damage the walls and remove.
- Remove the vanity baseThe vanity is usually screwed to the wall. Remove any vanity doors to gain access to the screws. Unscrew the vanity and remove the unit.
Choosing Your New Vanity Style
Now that your old vanity is removed, you will need to make decisions on your new one. Vanities come in both built-in or freestanding variety and come with or without vanity-tops. On top of that, some vanity-tops come with the sinks built-in as one piece. If you are replacing a same-sized vanity you will not need to make any major changes to your plumbing. If you are expanding your vanity size, make sure to measure your new space. If your new vanity-top does not come with a built-in sink you have options of adding a drop-in sink, underneath the counter sink or a vessel sink (bowl shaped that sits on the counter). Once you have made your design decisions, it's time to install your new vanity. Below are the steps to install your new vanity.
- Attach your new vanity base to the wallRefer to the manufacture instructions that come with your new vanity. Measure and mark where you are going to attach your new vanity to the wall making sure to find your studs. Slide your vanity into place and make sure it is level. You might need to use wood shims to level your vanity base. Once in place, secure your vanity to the walls with screws using your markings. If you are not screwing into a stud you will need to use appropriate sized wall anchors to make sure your vanity is secure.
- Pre-assemble your faucet and drain to your sinkFollow the manufacturer instructions to install your faucet. This will be easier to do while your sink is off the vanity.
- Attach the vanity topYou can attach your vanity top to the base with glue-like adhesive. Run a bead of adhesive around the top of your base and gently lower the top into place. Let the adhesive dry to the manufactures specifications.
- Install the sink (if applicable)If your sink was not built-in to the vanity-top you will need to install your sink. Follow the manufacturer directions for cutting and installing your sink. Once your sink is installed you will need to apply sealant around your sink for a nice water-proof finish
- Reconnect your plumbing and water supply linesMake sure any adhesive or sealant has dried before you re-connect your plumbing. Turn on your water and test for any leaks.
- Finish your intallationApply caulking where the vanity-top meets the wall to hide any imperfections or gaps.
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