How to Replace & Install a Bathroom Vanity and Sink

Newly installed bathroom vanity with white countertop and single sink

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 - 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $100 to $3,000

Along with kitchens, bathrooms offer one of the best returns on your renovation dollars. And one of the easiest ways to update your bathroom is to replace the vanity, countertop, sink, and faucet. For a few hundred dollars, you can really freshen the space, while for $1,000 or more, you can add that upscale spa-like look to your bathroom. The first step in this easy renovation is to remove the old vanity, which takes less than an hour. 

Installing a new vanity is easiest with a unit that includes a countertop with an integrated sink. The vanity cabinet is separate from the top. The cabinet has an open top and back, so it's easy to set in place and fasten from above. Once the cabinet is secured, the countertop-sink unit is dropped in, usually with the faucet pre-installed. The final step is making the water supply and drain connections. Some vanity sets include a separate backsplash piece. This is typically installed with caulk or adhesive after the countertop is secured.


When replacing your bathroom vanity, it's also a good idea to check the plumbing supply lines, p-trap, and other piping that connect to the sink. If the plumbing is older, consider using this project as a time to replace it all, or at least do a tune-up to ensure everything is in good working order (and won't leak into your new vanity).

bathroom vanity and tub
Ann Marie Kurtz / Getty Images

Need more help? Talk to a plumber near you

Our partners can help you compare quotes from top-rated professionals near you

Get a Quote

The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which The Spruce receives compensation.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Drill with screwdriver bits
  • Jigsaw (as needed)
  • Coping saw (as needed)
  • Small profile gauge (as needed)
  • Carpenter's compass (as needed)
  • Caulk gun


  • Vanity with countertop and sink
  • Wood shims
  • 2-inch drywall screws
  • Filler strip (as needed)
  • Wood finish materials (as needed)
  • Wood blocking
  • Silicone caulk
  • Faucet
  • Water supply tubes
  • Sink drain assembly


Materials and tools to replace and install a bathroom vanity

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  1. Locate the Wall Studs

    Use an electronic stud finder to locate at least one wall stud on the wall behind the vanity location. Mark the center of the stud. Repeat the process to find a second stud if possible (studs are typically 16 inches apart, center-to-center). If the vanity is boxed in by a sidewall, also find the wall studs in the sidewall.

    Electronic stud finder placed on light blue wall to find wall stud

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  2. Set and Fasten the Vanity

    Measure the height of the vanity cabinet (not including the countertop), and transfer this dimension to the back wall (and sidewall, if applicable). Use a level to draw a straight line at the marked height. 

    Place the vanity cabinet into position. Confirm that the cabinet is level both side-to-side and front-to-back using the line you drew. If necessary, use wood shims slipped under the cabinet to level it. Secure the cabinet to the back wall with two 3-inch cabinet screws driven through the mounting strip in the back of the cabinet and into each wall stud in the back wall only. If there is a sidewall, you will fasten that to the wall after fitting a filler strip. 

    Wood shim placed under new cabinet to level

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  3. Fill the Side Gap (Sidewall Installation Only)

    If there is a wide or undesirable gap between the cabinet and the sidewall, you can cut a narrow filler strip to fill in the gap. This may involve shaping the filler strip to fit around a baseboard or coved tile piece at the bottom of the cabinet.

    To do so, use a small profile gauge or carpenter's compass to "copy" the profile of the side wall onto the wood strip. Alternatively, create a paper template that matches the profile and transfer the profile onto the filler strip by tracing it with a pencil.

    Cut out the profile with a coping saw or jigsaw. Test-fit the filler strip and adjust as necessary. Sand and finish the wood strip to match the base cabinet. Attach the strip to the cabinet with screws driven through the inside edge of the cabinet face frame and into the edge of the filler strip. If the strip is thin material, glue it in place with a small amount of epoxy rather than using screws.


    Some vanity kits come with filler strips made of the same material as the cabinet. If yours didn't, you'll need to buy wood that matches the cabinet's facing and finish it to match.

    Carpenter's compass placed alongside wall and trim to create profile copy

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  4. Fasten to the Sidewall (Sidewall Installation Only)

    Although this step is sometimes omitted, it is best to anchor the side of the vanity cabinet to the sidewall, as well as securing the cabinet to the back wall. Because there is a gap between the side of the cabinet and the wall to allow for the vanity countertop, you'll need to add blocks to the gap for support before driving screws. 

    Cut two wood spacer blocks to a width about 1/8 inch short of the distance from the vanity side to the wall. Place two wood shims between the wood spacer blocks and the wall.

    Drive a drywall screw through the cabinet side and into the wall at a stud location, making sure the screw is long enough to extend at least 1 inch into the stud. This will draw the side of the cabinet snug against your spacing blocks and shims.

    Side of vanity cabinet fasted to wall with wood shims and spacer blocks

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  5. Install the Vanity Top

    If the sink is separate from the countertop rather than an integral piece, attach it to the countertop before installing the countertop on the vanity. Install the faucet and drain fittings, following the manufacturer's directions. 

    Place a small amount of construction adhesive onto the top corners of the cabinet. Set the countertop/sink assembly in place onto the cabinet so it overhangs evenly on all exposed sides.


    Some vanity kits come with brackets that screw to the bottom of the countertop from beneath the sink. Use these in addition to the construction adhesive if they were included.  

    Vanity top installed on cabinet with sink attached

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  6. Connect the Plumbing

    Connect the water supply lines to the faucet, and connect the sink drain to the drain trap and the branch drain, following the manufacturer's instructions.

    Water supply lines connected to bottom of sink faucet and drain

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  7. Install the Backsplash (as Needed)

    If your vanity came with a separate backsplash, apply a bead of construction adhesive in a serpentine pattern to the back of the backsplash and press it firmly into place against the wall.

    White backsplash installed behind sink faucet with construction adhesive

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  8. Caulk the Joints

    Apply a bead of silicone caulk where the countertop meets the wall. If there is a backsplash, caulk along all joints where the backsplash meets the wall and where it meets the countertop. Let the caulk cure for 24 hours before using the vanity.

    Caulk applied to vanity and backsplash joints

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris