There is a lot of traffic that goes through a bathroom. It is, hands down, the most widely used room in the house. So with so much use, it is no wonder that things get bent, beat up, or just plain broken. It is the nature of homes. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how well built it is.
During the course of owning a home, you will likely have to replace a bathroom vanity. There may be something wrong with it such as the sink leaks or you may be tired of it and want to remodel the bathroom. Whatever the reason, you have to go through the trouble of changing out the vanity. But how do you replace a bathroom vanity? Don’t you have to get a professional to do it? Well not necessarily. It is not all that hard to replace a vanity. All you need is just a basic understanding of plumbing and anyone can do it.
How Big Are We Talking
The first thing you need to do in order to replace your bathroom vanity is to figure out how big you want it. Vanities come in a wide variety of sizes. It all depends on your budget and the size of your bathroom. If there is only enough space in the bathroom for the current vanity, then the new one will have to be no larger than the current dimensions. However, if there is more room in the bathroom, then depending on your budget you could always get a larger vanity.
Where Do You Get A New Vanity
You can get a new bathroom vanity at a couple of places. One of the best spots is a home improvement store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. These stores will have a wide selection of vanities to choose from and most will be on display so you can see the actual product.
Another good place to shop for vanities will be in the bath section of a home furnishings store. Depending on the type of store, the vanities may be inexpensive and practical or they might be more elaborate and thus more expensive. It is the difference of a vanity with a plastic counter top or one with an imported marble counter top and chrome fixtures.
If you are having trouble finding the right vanity, you can always check out the internet. There are a number of retail websites where you can purchase bathroom furnishings. You will probably have a better selection of vanities to choose from but you won’t have the advantage of seeing it up close before you buy. Make sure that you read the item’s dimensions so that you can be sure it will fit in the space in your bathroom. Do yourself a favor and read the site’s policy on returned items just in case the vanity doesn’t fit.
Installing Bathroom Vanity Steps
Hopefully by now you have shopped around and gotten a good deal on a vanity that will fit in your bathroom. Now you need to install it. Here are the steps.
- The first thing to do is take the old vanity out. Depending on the vanity, this could be easy or it could be really hard. You will first need to shut the water off to the sink. Most modern houses have shut-off valves on the water lines that lead to the sink, one valve for hot water and one valve for cold water. Turn them both off and turn on the sink to make sure the valves aren’t leaking. Then take a crescent wrench or plumber’s wrench and disconnect all the plumbing from the sink. This will be the water lines and the drain from the bottom of the sink. After all of the plumbing is disconnected, take out the entire vanity. It will probably be connected to the wall with screws or nails (hopefully screws. They are easier to take out). If the vanity is a single unit, it will be easier to take out. If it is built into a cabinet then it will be much more difficult and you may need to hire a carpenter. Either way, by using the proper tools, remove the old vanity.
- Once the old vanity is out of the way, bring the new one in. Get it into position before the plumbing. If the vanity is a cabinet, you may have to drill or cut some holes inside the vanity for the plumbing to go through. Use your tape measure to figure out where the hole should go. Once the hole is completed, set the vanity over the plumbing. You may need to disconnect the lines and drain pipe and then reconnect them once the vanity is in place.
- When your vanity is where you need it to be, hook up the water lines and drain to the sink. Most vanities have the sink built right in. If not, you will have to install your sink before hooking it up. If this is the case, make sure the sink lines up properly and then use silicone bathroom sealant around the edges. When hooking up the plumbing, it’s pretty easy. Just screw the water lines into the bottom of the faucet and then connect the drain pipe to the sink. Once you take it off, it is easy to put back on. After everything is back together, turn on the valves on the water lines and make sure there are no leaks.
- After the plumbing has been hooked back up to the sink and nothing is leaking, you will need to secure the vanity to the wall or the floor. Otherwise it may shift around which can cause stress on the plumbing. If the vanity is a cabinet type, get a screwgun and put several screws through the back and into wall. If the vanity is nothing more than a pedestal sink, then you will need to put screws in the bottom through the floor. Be aware that some pedestals have a place in the back where you can run bolts through a wall to secure it instead. There are also some of the more expensive vanities that are very heavy and made of expensive materials. If unsure, you should always ask an expert on the best way to secure it. The last thing you want to do is destroy and expensive piece of furniture by drilling a couple of big screws into it. But once the plumbing is connected and sound and you are sure the vanity is not going to go anywhere, then step back and admire your new bathroom vanity.