How to install a vessel sink
Vessel sinks are becoming ever trendier in modern bathrooms because of their clean lines and eye-catching style. That’s why, if you’ve decided on a new white vessel sink for your master bath design, you’re likely very excited about your elegant choice.
One great way to save a little bit of money on bathroom remodels is to take on some of the work yourself. The good news? Vessel sinks are pretty easy to install. If you’re planning on adding a vessel sink to your bathroom, take a look at this installation guide to help you through the process:
“Vessel sinks will add around 6 inches to the vanity’s height.”
Top-mount vs. recessed installations
Vessel sinks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be installed in one of two ways: on top of the counter or recessed. Top-mount installations are when the sink is positioned on top of the counter. Keep in mind that these usually require the countertop to be lower than typical bathrooms, since a top-mount installation will add around 6 inches to the height of the vanity. Recessed installations are when a large hole is cut out of the countertop so that the sink can be partially lowered into it. Recessed installations are only an option if you’re using a round bowl-shaped sink that isn’t made of glass. Glass sinks or vessel sinks of any other shape must be mounted on top of the counter.
Before beginning your sink installation, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, it’s important to make sure you purchase a drain that will suit your sink’s design. Pay special attention to the size of the drain hole in your new sink (they’re typically 1 1/2 inches) and whether your sink has an overflow hole. If it does, you’ll need a drain with an overflow attachment.
Also, many vessel sinks require deck-mounted bathroom faucets (ones that attach to the counter rather than the sink itself). If your sink does not have a hole, your faucet will need to be installed in your countertop. Install the faucet before installing the sink, as they’re usually located behind the sink and will be hard to access after the installation is complete.
Finally, for many countertops, it’s recommended to have a professional drill the appropriate holes for the drain and faucet, rather than doing it yourself. This will ensure the counter doesn’t become damaged. If you’re simply drilling through wood (say, if you’re renovating an old dresser as your bathroom vanity), doing it yourself may be an option, but take care when measuring the drain and faucet holes and make sure they’re positioned correctly.
Position the sink
To get started with the installation, position the sink over the pre-drilled drain hole. If you’re using a glass sink or a bowl- or cone-shaped sink, you’ll want to use a mounting ring to give the sink’s bottom a wider surface area and make it more stable. A recessed vessel sink will not require a mounting ring. Make sure the sink’s drain hole is aligned with the countertop’s and that the sink is facing the right direction.
Install the drain
Your drain will act as an anchor, keeping the sink in place. To install the drain, first apply a small amount of plumber’s putty on the underside (the part that will rest in the sink’s basin). If the drain comes with a rubber or foam gasket for the top of the drain, the putty won’t be necessary. Then, lower the drain into the sink carefully, making sure it’s centered. Then, depending on your drain’s assembly, place a gasket or O-ring on the drain pipe from underneath the counter, followed by a washer. You can tighten the washer with your hands first, and then use pliers, but be careful not to tighten the washer too much, or the sink could crack.
Connect the plumbing
The final step is to connect your bathroom’s drain trap to the sink drain you just installed. If the drain is a standard 1 1/2-inch size, you should be able to use the drain trap and fittings that are already in place. Turn the water valves on and test the sink for leaks. If you want, you can caulk around the underside of the drain to make sure you avoid leaks in the future.