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Replacing Vanities, Very Easily

A new vanity can be one of the most cost-effective ways to update your bathroom and, says The Saturday Early Show's Rent-A-Husband Kaile Warren, it's a very do-it-yourself-friendly project.

Warren went to a home in Gorham, Maine, to show how it's done.

"The first thing we are going to do is shut off the water supply, then we'll disconnect those feeds, we'll unhook the drain, remove the sink, and then we'll remove the cabinet and check the wall and floor for rot," explains Warren.

Then he goes into detail:

  • First, shut off the water supply on each line.
  • Then go topside and turn both faucets on, to be sure both lines are completely drained, using an adjustable wrench to disconnect both water lines.
  • Our final disconnect is the drain line, which is loosened using a pair of channel locks.
  • Use a power screwdriver to remove the sink.
  • After the sink has been removed, unfasten the screws that held the old vanity to the wall.
  • Before installing the new unit, attach the fixtures (the faucet and the pop-up). A tip: It's extremely difficult working from underneath. It's much better to do all of your assembly work when you have good access to all the parts.
  • The first thing we want to install is the faucet. It has a plastic gasket. You need to install a bead of plumber's putty for a perfect fit. So grab a ball of it and roll it right out, almost to a string size. Take it and run it around the perimeter.

    Once the faucet is set, you'll see some of the plumber's putty ooze out along the edge. Clean that up later.

    Hold the faucet in place as someone else does some tightening so the alignment isn't lost.

    Take the channel locks and come in from the side and do a one-and-a-half to a-quarter turn. You don't want to turn it too much because you'll break the fins off the side of the nut.

  • Now you are going to put in the flange, which is part of the pop-up assembly. Before you set it into place, you'll need to run another bead of plumber's putty around the perimeter. Again, don't be afraid of any excess because it will clean right up.
  • Put the rest of the pop-up assembly in now. First, the rubber washer. Then, the metal friction washer. And finally, the retaining nut.

    You want to hear the squeak, but you don't want to tighten too tightly because you'll crack the porcelain sink.

  • Now you are ready to install the tailpiece, but before attaching that to the threads, run a few laps of Teflon tape around the threads for a better seal.
  • Finish the stop assembly by installing the stopper, the pivot rod, the lift rod and the extension.
  • We're down to the last part of our assembly and that's to hook up the two water lines. I really recommend using flex lines, which are much more do-it-yourself friendly, as opposed to the rigid steel lines.

    Slide the vanity up against the wall, which was removed with the wallpaper and painted. Set it in place, kind of centering it with the mirror. You always want to look for that. And then before attaching it to the wall, make sure it's level. Attach it using wood screws that go into the studs.

    One more note: add a bead of caulk where the backsplash meets the wall, to keep water from getting behind the new vanity.

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