Bath vanity with laminate counter top. New House Bath:

Installing A Bath Vanity

In This Article: Related Articles:
Skill Level: 3 (Basic) Time Taken: About 2 Hours

By , Editor


Preparations Before Installing The Vanity:

The bathroom. The drywall finishers have just left.

The corner where the vanity will go. Note the white plastic drain pipe in the wall, and the two copper supply lines nearby.


The first step in a cabinet installation is to measure the levelness of the floor. We found that the back corner was slightly low, so we taped a small piece of wood shim to the floor so the cabinet would sit on a level pad.

Next we used the stud finder to locate the framing, so we would have something sturdy to anchor the cabinet into. We made marks just above the height of the cabinets, so the counter backsplash would later hide our marks.

We set the first unit in place...

... and then positioned the next component. The pipes sticking out of the wall prevent the cabinet from getting any closer to the wall.


We used a red felt tip marker to make layout marks on the back of the cabinet.

All we did was hold the marker beside each pipe and trace around it, marking on the cabinet back panel.


Cutting Holes For The Pipes:

We used a 2-1/2" hole saw to cut the access for the pipes.

This saw makes short work of this type of task. Used in our heavy-duty drill, it took only a few seconds to cut the opening.

Cutting holes in vanity for pipes.

While a big professional-grade hole saw may seem expensive, (about $15 and up) they have so many uses that we recommend any serious do-it-yourselfer buy at least one. This 2-1/2 " hole saw gets used a lot for things like cutting the sink opening in a kitchen counter top.


Fastening The Cabinets Together:

With the holes cut for the pipes, we slid the cabinet into place.

The first connection we make is to clamp the adjacent units together and drill a pilot hole in the hardwood face frame.


Then we install a 2-1/2" deck screw to join the face frames together. We attached the cabinets in three locations on the front face frames.

Now the entire assembly is made level with shims.


Fastening vanity to wall with screws.

There was a space at the back, so we placed shims in the gap and drove in some 2-1/2" cabinet mounting screws.

All done. The counter top temporarily in place, just for show.

Notes: The general consensus in the building industry seems to be that screws and nails need to penetrate the framing by about one inch to be effective. In this case we had a 3/4" thick rail at the back of the cabinet, a 1/4" gap, and 1/2" drywall. So our 2-1/2" screws would sink in about one inch.

When installing anything on a wall there is a danger of piercing a wire or pipe, which would require cutting a hole in the wall and patching the damaged section. With conventional 2x4 construction, with the wires run properly in the middle of the studs, a screw penetrating one inch deep should not reach the wiring.


Follow the installation of the counter top and sink basin.



Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Electric Drill and 2" Hole Saw
  • Drill Bits
  • 2 Foot Level
  • Stud Finder


Materials Used:

  • Vanity Cabinets
  • Shims
  • Cabinet Screws


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Copyright 1999, 2005

Written September 2, 1999
Revised January 3, 2005