Bruce W. Maki,
||The 24" wide vanity as it came from the store.
The location for the vanity. There is a drain pipe, hot and
cold water supply pipes, a hot water return pipe (for a
future hot water recirculation system) and a return air
duct. We installed an extra outlet, seen on the wall above
the pipes, to possibly power a hot water recirculation pump,
at some time in the future.
When doing a project ourselves, adding an extra outlet costs
almost nothing. There are some special intermittently-run pumps
available that allow the homeowner to quickly summon hot water,
without running water down the drain. With a mind towards resource
conservation, we decided to prepare now.
||Since the only practical location for the
heating system's return air duct was underneath the vanity, we
cut a hole in the side and installed a 4 x 10" floor register.
We had to drill holes in each end, so we could screw it in
place. We also spray painted this unit with a brass-colored
paint. It was originally plain white.
|The pipes had been capped off during the rough
plumbing installation. We turned off the water supply and cut
the tubing just below the cap.
||Unfortunately, we did not leave long enough
pipes in the first place. All of these pipes had to be extended
Notice the white drain pipe is gone. When the drain
plumbing was installed, this piece was intentionally not
cemented in place, to make this job easier.
|We cut the necessary holes in the cabinet. No
matter how hard we try, we are never able to foresee all the
possible problems, as you shall soon see.
||We set the vanity and top in place, just for
You can see the little problem in this picture... but
do you think we caught on? Heck no !
The problem is... the vanity top is not centered on the vanity.
These "cultured marble" sink/tops are made one inch longer than the
standard vanity sizes. That means the vanity must be at least 1/2"
away from the wall, or the top will look a little odd.
Our solution was to sand down the left-hand edge of the
which turned out to be pretty easy.
|We used a stud finder to locate the framing, and
them drove a couple of 3-1/2" long cabinet mounting screws to
hold the vanity in place.
Why such long screws? The vanity back rail is 3/4" thick. The
drywall is 1/2" thick. There is 3/4" foam behind the drywall. That's
2" of material before the framing is reached. The screws must
penetrate at least 1" into the studs. Ideally, we should have used
3" screws, but we only had 2-1/2" and 3-1/2" cabinet mounting
There is a risk, however, that we could cut a wire with our
longer-than-necessary screws. This is one reason why wiring must
always be run through the absolute center of the stud... it
minimizes the risk of a nail or screw reaching it.
||We had to add a few shims to make the cabinet
|We soldered short pieces of 1/2" copper pipe to
the stubs. Then we installed the shut-off valves, also called
There at least 3 types of stop valves, with different types
of connection methods. We chose valves with compression
fittings, which are very reliable as long as they are not
The other two valve types are Iron Pipe thread (tapered pipe
thread) and solder-type.
||We tested the fit of the drain pipes, just for
Prepare To Say Oops!
|Now pay attention and learn from our mistakes:
We used clear silicone to seal the drain fitting to the
sink. Silicone works better than plumber's putty, in our
opinion. But for a lavatory sink, there is a problem, which
we'll explain in Part 2.
||Note the holes in the drain tail piece (right
next to my thumb). They are of no consequence, this time.
If a sink has an overflow drain, the extra water
gets into the main drain via these holes.
|But first, another little problem. The sink had
tapered gaps at the side and back. The house framing was
||So we took the sink/top outside and sanded the
edges down with a portable belt sander. This took about 10
By sanding down the edge of the cultured marble top we were
able to solve two problems: The non-square corner and the
need to lop off the left-hand overhang.
|Next, we set the sink on a pair of small step
ladders, so we could access the back.
The drain tailpiece had been installed the previous
evening, and the silicone had dried completely, which
actually became a small problem.
||The Moen 84200 faucet has a plastic gasket that
seals the body to the countertop. This piece simply sits on the
|And then the faucet body is set on top.
||From below, two large plastic nuts are threaded
on to the pipe stems.
This is much easier when the sink/top is not yet mounted to
||We put a little pipe thread compound on the
...And then attached the supply hoses. Again, this is so
much easier when you don't have to crawl inside a cabinet.
|We ran a bead of Liquid Nails around the top
edge of the vanity.
We don't really like any of these construction adhesives,
and we don't often recommend them. But this is one place
where we use them.
||The sink/top was set in place. The glue dries
faster if the top is picked up for a few seconds and then set
down again. (It seems the glue begins to dry rapidly as the
stringy strands are exposed to air. Afterwards it holds well and
won't let go.)
Back To Top
- Cordless Drill/Driver
- Electric Drill
- Spade Bits & Hole Saw
- Jig Saw
- Belt Sander
- Stud Finder
- Small Level
- Caulk Gun
- Vanity, 24"
- Cultured Marble Sink/Top
- Liquid Nails