How to Remove a Bathroom Vanity


If your bathroom remodeling plans call for a new vanity, one of your first jobs is removing the old one. The procedure for doing this is most troublesome when the countertop has a tile backsplash, because you'll eventually have to chisel that off the wall, and that's likely to create some wall damage that you'll have to repair. You may also discover that removing the vanity leaves a space in the floor, because the flooring installers laid the floor around the vanity. That won't be a problem if your plans include installing a larger vanity.

Things You'll Need

  • Slip-lock pliers
  • Pipe caps
  • Bucket
  • Utility knife
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Rotary tool
  • Grout-removal tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Sawhorses
  • Drill
  • No. 2 Phillips bit
  • Disconnect the water to the sink by turning the handles of the shut-off valves inside the cabinet clockwise as far as they'll go. If the sink doesn't have shut-off valves, turn off the main water supply for the house.

  • Unscrew the supply hoses from the valves, using slip-lock pliers. If the hoses are attached directly to the pipes, screw a cap onto each pipe after unscrewing the hose so you can turn the water back on.

  • Turn the nuts connecting the P-trap to the wall drain counterclockwise so you can remove the trap. If you can't turn the nuts by hand, apply gentle persuasion with slip-lock pliers. Keep a bucket handy so you can empty water out of the trap as soon as it's free.

  • Cut the caulking connecting the backsplash to the wall with a utility knife, if the countertop is plastic or wood. If the countertop and backsplash are tiled, you'll eventually have to remove the backsplash, but to get the vanity out, you just need to cut through the grout connecting the backsplash to the countertop.

  • Chisel through the grout connecting the backsplash to the countertop with an old, dull wood chisel and a hammer. Alternatively, cut and deepen a channel with a grout removal tool.

  • Remove any screws holding the countertop to the vanity, using a screwdriver. Some of these may be accessible from the inside, and you may have to remove the drawers to access them. Once the countertop is free, get someone to help you lift it off, sink and all. Set it on sawhorses until you get a chance to remove the sink.

  • Unscrew the vanity from the wall, using a drill and No. 2 Phillips bit. You should find two or three screws in the top brace holding it to the studs. Once these screws are out, you should be able to lift the vanity away from the wall and walk it out of the bathroom.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you prefer, you can remove the sink while the countertop is still attached to the vanity. Unscrew the clips holding it to the underside of the cabinet, cut through the caulk seal around its perimeter and pry it off with a stiff putty knife.
  • Removing a tile backsplash is easier if you grind out the grout first with a grout-removal tool. You can then pry off the individual tiles with a stiff putty knife. Loosen the tile adhesive with a heat gun or, if that has no effect, by holding ice cubes against the tiles to make the adhesive brittle.

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  • Photo Credit Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images
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