How to Remove a Bathroom Vanity

Bathroom vanity
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  • 01 of 09

    Tips for Removing a Bathroom Vanity

    bathroom vanity removal
    Removing a sink vanity is easy if you follow the tips in this tutorial. © 2013

    Do you have an old tired looking vanity in your bathroom? Well, changing out a bathroom cabinet style vanity can absolutely transform the look of your bathroom. Vanities today come with granite counter tops and beautiful contemporary or traditional designs and can be very well priced. In this tutorial, I will walk you through the steps involved in removing an old vanity in preparation for a new vanity installation.


    Needed Tools and Materials

    • Groove-Joint Pliers
    • Adjustable Crescent Wrench
    • Screwdriver...MORE
    • Utility Knife
    • Bucket
    • Claw Hammer
    • Small Pry Bar (may be needed)


    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Shutoff Water Supply at Sink

    shutoff water supply valves
    Water supply valves are typically found under the sink in the vanity base cabinet. © 2013

    The first step in removing the vanity is to locate the water shutoff valve to your faucet and turn off both hot and cold water supply lines running to the faucet. A water shutoff valve will exist for each of the hot and cold water lines. The shut-off valves consist of a small valve and a small handle and are usually found directly under the sink in the sink base cabinet.

    • If the valve is similar to the style shown in the photo above, turn the handle clockwise to tighten and shut it off. Make sure...MORE the valves are turned snugly tight.
    • If your house does not have local shutoff valves then you'll need to go to the water main and shut off the water supply there (see How to Shut Off a Water Supply)
    • Once the water is shut off, then open the faucet fully releasing any pressure and letting the water drain out.
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  • 03 of 09

    Disconnect the Water Supply Lines

    disconnect water supply lines
    Once the water supply is turned off, disconnect the hot and cold water lines. © 2013

    Once the water supply is shut off to both the hot and cold water lines, the next step is to disconnect the water supply lines.

    • Have a bucket handy or place a bucket under the shutoff valves to catch any spilled water during supply line removal.
    • Using an adjustable crescent wrench turn the cap nut on the shutoff valve counter-clockwise to loosen and remove the nut which holds the water line to the shutoff valve.
    • If the valve uses a compression fitting to hold the water line to the valve (such as in...MORE the photo above) there will be a small copper compression sleeve on the water line under the compression nut. (The compression nut compresses the sleeve tight around the water line to hold it in place). Lift the end of the water line from the body of the shutoff valve.
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  • 04 of 09

    Disconnect Waste Drain

    disconnect waste line
    Disconnect the waste line from the sink by detaching the "P" trap. © 2013

    With the water lines disconnected, the next step is to disconnect the waste line known as the "P" trap (because of its shape).

    • The waste line will either be made of PVC plastic as shown in the photo, or it will be a chrome metal. If PVC plastic, the nuts at the joints may have large ears as in the photo which can be loosened by hand.
    • If the waste line is made of chrome metal or is of a PVC material that uses a multi-sided nut, you will have to remove the nut using a wrench or pliers. Use...MORE groove-joint pliers to turn the nuts counter-clockwise to loosen and remove.
    • Once all nuts are removed, the "P" trap waste line assembly can be disconnected and removed from the sink and wall waste line.
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  • 05 of 09

    Remove Wall Mirror (if applicable)

    remove mirror if touching vanity top
    If a wall mirror is touching the sink or its back splash, remove the mirror so it does not crack when the vanity top is removed. © 2013

    I include this step particular in case you have a situation where, as in this installation, the mirror rests on top of the vanity counter top back splash. If this condition exists, you should remove the mirror. If you do not, then it may crack as the vanity top is lifted up and removed in the next step. An "ounce of prevention" as they say!

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  • 06 of 09

    Score Caulk Joints

    score old caulk before removal
    Score caulk joints with a razor blade. © 2013

    Now it is time to actually start removing the vanity!

    In this step you need to break the bond between the wall and any caulk joint running along the vanity top, back splash and cabinet. What this does is create a clean cut line that will release the vanity top and cabinet (if mounted against a wall) from the wall.

    • Take a sharp razor blade utility knife and cut the caulk joint lengthwise down the center of all joints.
    • Try to be careful not to slip and cut the drywall.
    • Use patience, firm pressure, and...MORE a steady hand and try to make just one long cut.
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  • 07 of 09

    Remove Vanity Top

    lift off vanity top
    Carefully lift off the vanity top. © 2013

    Once the bond between the caulk joints and the vanity and top have been broken by scoring the caulk joints, you can remove the vanity top.

    • Check underneath the vanity top to make sure there are no physical clips or other mechanical attachments of the top to the base cabinet. In most cases, there will not be any clips and the top just sits on the sink base cabinet.
    • Carefully grab the front of the vanity and lift up. You should feel the front edge of the vanity easily lift off the base cabinet. The...MORE faucet can remain in place.
    • If you cannot lift the vanity top and there are no mechanical clips holding the top in place, then the previous installation probably has used a construction adhesive or sealant to bond the top to the sink base. Use a small pry bar to separate the top from the base and release the bond.
    • Carefully lift the vanity top from the sink base trying to minimize the amount of wall damage to the drywall. You may have to cut any lingering caulk joints that are still there attaching the top to the wall.
    • Remove the vanity top and set it aside.
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  • 08 of 09

    Remove Sink Base Cabinet

    remove old sink base cabinet
    Remove attaching screws or nails holding the vanity base to the wall. © 2013

    With the vanity top removed you can now easily access the inside of the sink base cabinet. You need to check the perimeter of the base cabinet and find out where it is attached to the wall. You'll find either screws or nails. These need to be removed.

    • Remove any screws attaching the base cabinet to the wall.
    • If the base cabinet is attached by nails, use a pry-bar to get under the nail and gain the leverage needed for removal. You can also try the claw end of a hammer but it may be difficult to...MORE get the claw edge under the nail head.
    • Once the fasteners are removed, the sink base is easily removed from the wall.
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  • 09 of 09

    Complete Vanity Removal

    photo of removed bathrrom vanity
    Removed vanity ready for wall repair, paint and new vanity installation. © 2013

    With the vanity top and sink base removed you will have a cleared area for a new vanity installation. Remaining caulk needs to be removed from the wall with a razor blade and any damaged drywall repaired with spackling compound. Then the area is ready for fresh paint and a new vanity!

    To see how to install your new Vanity, read How to replace and Install a Bathroom Vanity.