Home Decorating For Dummies
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A vanity cabinet offers counter and storage space in your bathroom. Before you begin installing your vanity, check that its measurements are correct, and move it into position. Use a carpenter’s level to make sure that the floor is level so that the new vanity can rest on a sound, level surface.

When leveling and installing a vanity, removing the drawers and doors provides you with easier access and handling.

If you find that the floor isn’t level, do the following:

  1. Find the high point of the floor using a carpenters level. Lift one end of the level or the other, as needed, to center the bubble in the vial. The point that touches the floor is the high point.

  2. Measure the height of the cabinet. Measuring up the wall from the high point on the floor, mark the height of the cabinet, and then draw a level line at that point.

  3. Use the level to draw a vertical line where one edge of the cabinet will be located.

  4. Slide the vanity in place and align it with the horizontal and vertical reference line on the wall.

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    Drive tapered wood shims between the floor and the base to adjust and level the vanity.

Finding wall studs behind your vanity is important. You can use an electronic stud finder to accomplish this task. The original builders probably used the studs to secure the old unit, so old screw holes may point to the studs.

If the wall behind the vanity isn’t flat (plumb), you may need to insert shims in any gaps between the back of the vanity and the wall at each stud location. If you don’t place shims here, the screws pull the vanity frame rail to the wall and rack the cabinet out of square. Here’s how to finish the installation:

  1. Use long drywall screws to fasten the vanity to the studs through clearance holes drilled through the mounting board.

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  2. Use a utility knife to cut off any shims that stick out.

  3. Caulk small gaps between the vanity and the floor and wall.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Katharine Kaye McMillan is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to Florida Design Magazine and the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer whose work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. A prolific writer, McMillan is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

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