Bathroom Remodeling Easy Guide to a Weekend Project

Replacing your bathroom vanity and fixtures is an easy way to update your bathroom and add value to your home, without spending a lot of time or money. Before removing anything or starting to rip out the vanity, it is important to do some prep work. The type of bathroom cabinet and fixtures you choose, will depend on how much you budgeted for the project. Bathroom vanities range is price from as little as $100 for an RTA Bathroom Vanity, or as high as a couple thousand dollars for a decorative bathroom vanity or an anitique piece of furniture used as a vanity. Your choice of cabinet will depend on your decorating tastes and the style you are looking for.

With the increase in the number of manufacturers and importers selling bathroom vanities, you can easily find what you are looking for with a little bit of research. Some of the more modern designs will look nice, but won't provide any storage space, so it is important to figure out how much storage space you will need before buying a new vanity. Once you have picked one out, it is time to move on to the vanity countertop and sink bowl.

Again, this is an item that can vary greatly in price, depending upon what type of surface you are planning on using. With as many options and colors as kitchen countertops, your possibilities are endless. You can use laminate, solid surface, or natural stone. Along with that you can find solid surface sink bowls, porcelein, or ceramic.

Some sink bowls come pre-attached in a kit, others you have to buy seperately, and in the case of solid surface, it would be one big piece without seems. It is important to have your bathroom vanity picked out before you start shopping for a vanity top, since you will want to make sure that all of the colors coordinate. Some of the higher end vanities will actually make it easy for you by providing the top and sink bowl with the cabinet. If you are buying the vanity and top separately, it is a good idea to take a sample piece with you for an accurate match. When shopping on-line, you may want to ask for a sample.

Once you have the vanity and top, it is time to think about fixtures and hardware. Like everything else, the sink fixtures can vary greatly in price as well, with a wide range of styles available (modern, antique, basic). Your fixture choice will come down to personal taste, but it is a good idea to coordinate the fixtures with the hardware. Along with the bathroom vanity, you may also have a medicine cabinet that needs to be replaced. Since most manufacturers offer matching medicine cabinets or mirrors to coordinate with their vanity lines, it is a good idea to pick this up at the same time as your vanity.

Most medicine cabinets can be mounted directly to the wall, or built into the wall, so that will come down to preference. Now that you have your new bathroom vanity, countertop, and fixtures, it is time to start the remodel. Before starting, it is important to make sure that the water is shut off, and if you are replacing the light fixtures, that the power is turned off as well. Before removing the old vanity, it is always a good idea to score the edges that meet the wall with a razor blade to ensure that you don't damage the existing paint or drywall (many times there will be a bead of caulk where there vanity and/or top meet the wall. there could also be some paint that extends onto the cabinet which would tear away when the vanity is removed). Once you have all of that done, it is time to get ready to pull out the old vanity.

Now is the time to make sure that you have enough room around the plumbing to safely remove the cabinet without damaging the pipes. If needed, you might have to cut larger holes into the old cabinet to remove the vanity safely. Once you have the old vanity removed, it is time to prep the new vanity for installation. It is important to accurately measure where the plumbing will be coming thru the new vanity. Many cabinet manufacturers leave an open space to allow access for the plumbing, but it doesn't always match up, especially in older construction. If the water lines do not match up, you will have to drill new in order to slide the water lines thru (don't worry, you can pick up collars that go around the pipes to hide any holes).

Once you have the vanity installed, it is time to install your new top and sink bowl, or replace the old one. Before placing the top on the bathroom vanity, it is a good idea to connect your fixtures to the top (this will save you some of the headaches of trying to connect it underneath the sink). Once you have the countertop in place, reconnect the water lines and you are ready to turn the water back on. Place a bead of caulk around the top and sides of the vanity top to ensure a nice tight seal. If you bought a new medicine cabinet or light fixture, follow the instructions that came with it, and your bathroom remodel will be complete.

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