How to Install a Bathroom Vanity in 9 Steps

Earn your badge as an expert DIYer by installing your bathroom vanity

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated September 1, 2022
A white bathroom with two sinks
Photo: ostap25 / Adobe Stock
Difficulty

Challenging

Only DIY if you know what you're doing.

Time to complete

4 hours

Cost

$500–$1,000

Only buy supplies if you’re comfortable with advanced-level DIY.

What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Tape measurer
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Pry bar
  • Drill

SUPPLIES

  • New vanity and sink
  • 3-inch drywall screws
  • Nails, screws, and other fasteners

Prepping to Install or Replace a Bathroom Vanity

Before you start installing a new vanity, you’ll need to make sure everything will fit into place. Not only that, but forgetting to disconnect the plumbing before you get started can lead to a huge mess and costly water damage. After prepping the area, and repairing any damage that could happen while removing the old vanity, you’ll be ready to install your stylish new vanity.

  1. Take Measurements

    To ensure you purchase a vanity that fits in your bathroom, it’s important to measure the space beforehand.

    In addition, consider the type of vanity you’re installing when measuring the bathroom. For instance, if you’re installing a double vanity, you’ll need more space for the plumbing and vanity. Or, if you’re installing a bathroom vanity with a top, include measuring space for the countertop.

    To make it easier for yourself, take a pen and mark out the new widths and heights for the new vanity.

  2. Disconnect the Sink’s Plumbing

    Since you want to avoid making a mess when installing your new vanity, you’ll want to turn off the water supply at either the sink or your main shut-off valve. The shut-off valves are typically located in the cabinet beneath the sink. 

    Make sure to add a small bucket beneath the pipes to catch any water or other debris that may be left in the plumbing after you disconnect the water. 

    Follow the steps below to turn off your water supply:

    • Turn the hot and cold valves clockwise until you can’t turn them any farther.

    • Turn on the hot and cold faucet taps to empty the faucet lines.

    • Remove the drain trap (also known as the p-trap), and clear away any debris. 

    Note: The drain trap looks like a U- or S-shaped curved pipe that comes down from the drain opening. To remove it, loosen the connecting nut using a hand or channel locks.

    After turning off the sink or main shut-off valve, you’ll also need to disconnect the water supply lines.

    • Make sure the valves are shut off and the faucet lines are emptied.

    • Use a wrench to detach the top of the water supply line from the sink faucet.

    • Hold the water line upright until you can dump it over into a bucket to release any remaining water.

    • Use a wrench to loosen the nut at the base of the water supply line from the water supply valve.

    • Wipe the connections on the valve dry and add fresh Teflon tape to prepare for the new water supply line connections after installing the new vanity.

  3. Remove the Old Vanity

    With the plumbing disconnected and any water drained, you’re ready to start removing the old vanity. But you’ll need to do so with care to avoid ripping out any drywall or causing other damage. 

    • First, run a utility knife along the sealant around the back of the sink or against the backsplash.

    • Remove any screws or bolts connecting the vanity cabinets to the wall and sink.

    • Use a putty knife to wedge slightly beneath the vanity top and the cabinets, then tap the end of the putty knife carefully with a hammer.

    • Follow up by using a pry bar, moving around the edges of the vanity top, to loosen the vanity top and sink.

    • Once loose, lift the vanity top and sink from the vanity base or cabinets.

  4. Repair Any Damage

    During this project, you may do some damage to your walls and floors when you’re removing your old vanity, so your bathroom might require some repairs. This might include filling any incidental holes with caulk, re-painting the walls, or laying new flooring/tile.

  5. Install New Vanity

    It’s finally time to install the new vanity! To do so, follow the steps below:

    • Position your vanity into place.

    • Use a pen or pencil to mark the vanity’s outline.

    • Take your stud finder and pinpoint the studs, marking them with a pen or pencil.

    • Level the vanity, shim at the floor if necessary 

    • Mark and then drill holes for the drain and supply pipes.

  6. Attach the Vanity to the Wall

    Following the vanity’s installation manual, secure the vanity to the wall using 3-inch drywall screws. Make sure to drill the screws into the wall studs. For added security, consider adding wall anchors to anchor the vanity into the wall studs.

  7. Assemble and Install the Faucet

    Use the screws, hardware, and instructions provided with the new faucet to install it to the sink before reconnecting any plumbing. 

  8. Attach and Secure the Vanity Top

    Once the vanity is in place and the faucet is installed, make sure the vanity top sits securely against the wall. Add lines of silicone caulk around the back edge of the vanity top and along any shims that were necessary to level the vanity. Follow the vanity manufacturer’s instructions to secure the vanity top to the base with fasteners or glue. If you are redoing any backsplash, add that now.

  9. Reconnect the Plumbing

    Once you’ve installed the new vanity, you’re one step closer to earning your DIY badge. The final step is to reconnect the faucet lines to the water supply, and secure the P-trap back into place.

    • Replace or install the sink drain and connect it to the drain pipes, hand-tightening the drain trap and waste lines.

    • Screw the supply lines back into the faucet and water valves, using a wrench to tighten the connections.

    • Turn the shut-off valves back counterclockwise. 

    • Place a towel and bucket beneath the plumbing pipes under the sink.

    • With the plumbing reconnected and the water supply turned on, turn on each faucet handle and check for any leaks. Turn on both and check again for leaks.

    Remember: If you have any confusion, questions, or mishaps, don’t be afraid to call in a local professional plumber for help. Installing a bathroom vanity can be challenging, and you want to have a properly-installed vanity to ensure there are no incidents.

DIY Bathroom Vanity Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

This is a difficult DIY project, so you should only take the plunge if you feel confident in your skills and knowledge. If you do decide to go the DIY route, your wallet will thank you. On average, according to HomeAdvisor, labor costs for installing a bathroom vanity are around $100 to $150 per hour.

If you aren’t comfortable embarking on this task, don’t hesitate to call in a professional handyperson service that can properly and confidently install your new vanity.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on your personal needs, aesthetic, and bathroom size. There are several different types and styles of vanities, including floating vanities, double-sink vanities, and corner vanities.

To ensure you consider all options, do some research before choosing a vanity—think about the space you have, how many people will be using the bathroom, and how much you want to store in your vanity.