A vanity provides handy storage space for large containers below the sink. It also adds a bit of cabinetry to your bathroom. Surprisingly, a vanity is actually the easiest type of sink to install. The cabinet will cover all the plumbing. Count on spending a day to remove a wall-hung sink and to replace it with a vanity. Choosing a Vanity If you have the space, get a large vanity. Not only will you have more storage, but you will gain more counter space by the sink. For ease of installation and low maintenance, buy a unit with an integral sink and countertop, meaning that only one molded piece sits on top of the cabinet. The cabinet should feel solid. Avoid units with doors made of particleboard. The cabinet should have a solid paint to protect against the humidity of a bathroom. A unit without a back will be easier to install than one with a plywood sheet that you have to cut for the plumbing. For the countertop, synthetic marble may be your best bet. It is sturdy and has a surface that will stay shiny for years. Plastic and fiberglass will dull over time. Remove the Old Sink Shut off the water at the stop valves below the sink. If there are no stop valves, shut off the water to the house and drain a faucet on a lower level. Set a bucket under the P-trap, and disassemble it with a channel-type pliers or a pipe-wrench. If it looks worn, plan on replacing it. Disconnect the supply lines at the stop valves. If you have a wall-hung unit that just rests on a wall bracket, simply lift it up and out. If it doesn’t budget, it may be connected to the bracket with bolts, which probably have rusted. Use a hacksaw to cut them. Prepare the Plumbing If you don’t have stop valves under the sink, now is the time to install them; they come in handy in emergencies. Choose an angle or straight stop made to fit your type of pipe. Install the valves and test by turning on the water. Measure to make sure the supply lines and the drain line will fit inside the cabinet. In most cases, this will not be a problem. Secure the Cabinet If your cabinet has a back, cut holes for the drain and the supply lines. It is often difficult to fit the pipes through small holes. Because the back will not be visible, you may want to make a large cutout that will easily accommodate all the plumbing. If pipes come up through the floor, you will need to cut precise holes in the bottom of the cabinet. For a neater job, use large drill bits...
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