How to Replace a Bathroom Cabinet With a Pedestal Sink

Simple bathroom with a pedestal sink

Small bathrooms are, well, small. One way to make the space feel larger is to remove bulky cabinets and streamline the space with a sleek pedestal sink instead. Even if space isn’t a “big” issue in your bathroom, the design change can make a huge impact. If you’re thinking of ripping out the 1980’s oak in order to install a modern sink, here are some pointers to help you accomplish that goal.

1. Plan

As with any home improvement project, good planning is the first step. When considering pulling out existing cabinetry and replacing it with a pedestal sink, it's important to first inspect the structure of the cabinet, the plumbing, and the ventilation system.

When the house was originally built, it's likely that some of these things were hidden within the cabinet where they will now be exposed. Plan where your floor vent will sit in the absence of your cabinet. Also, look at the way the pipes snake into the wall. If you do not want these pipes to show, you may need to figure out some different angles so that they are hidden by the base of your sink. Also consider the location of your mirror.

When purchasing your sink, be conscious of the height and width to help in your planning. Also be aware that there are two standard sizes of faucets, so if you are not replacing your faucet you need to make sure that your new sink has the right layout to accommodate that.

2. Remove the old Cabinet

Now that you have your project all planned out, it's time for demolition. Start by disconnecting the plumbing of your sink and removing it. Unless you have other plans for your used sink, your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore would appreciate the donation.

Next, gently remove the countertop including the backsplash. Use caution to minimize wall damage. The final demolition step is to remove your cabinet. Consider ways you could repurpose the cabinet or donate it as well.

3. Complete Updates

Broken tiles on the floor

When your old cabinetry is out of the way, assess the damage to the wall. You could patch and texture the area or cover it up with wainscoting depending on your preferences and style. If this project is in conjunction with a larger bathroom remodel, put a support crossbeam within the framing of the wall to later mount your sink to. This is also a good time to repaint and install new floor covering if that is part of your plan.

4. Install the Sink

Once the area is prepped, it's time to install your new pedestal sink. Begin by dry fitting it into the space. Using the directions that came with your sink as a guide, measure and lightly mark the location for the base. Place your sink onto the base and check the fit for the space.

Then, set the sink and pedestal aside. Following the product instructions, install the hardware for mounting the sink to the wall. Then, put your sink and pedestal back into place.

5. Plumb

Plumbing hardware in a bathroom sink

Your plumbing layout may be the same or different than it was before your remodel. Depending on how roughly it was originally plumbed beneath the cabinet, it may take you one or more trips to the home improvement store to find the right pieces. But with today’s standardized plumbing parts, it will not take long to connect the sink drain to the wall pipe by screwing together the pre-threaded piping.

6. Install the Faucet

The final step in your process is to install the faucet and plumb it to the wall. Generally, this just requires a flexible hose for each water line.

Although removing cabinetry takes away storage, it offers a great way to open up your space and provide a nearly instant facelift. Have fun creating new storage solutions such as baskets for wash cloths or small shelving units to pull the look of the room together.