How to Replace a Bathroom Sink

There are numerous styles of bathroom sink available today designed to fit any space and decor scheme. Counter-top, pedestal or wall mounts all have their own unique installation details. Read on for some general tips on how to replace a bathroom sink.


The first step, which is common to all bathroom installations, is to turn off the water and get a bucket and some towels to catch any remaining water. Turn on the taps to drain as much as possible.

How to Replace a Bathroom Sink and Pedestal

In one way, pedestal sinks are the easiest to replace. Because they come in two sections as in the sink and pedestal, and the design is very open, it is easy to get around to hook everything up. However, they can be heavy and they require a bit more precision and care than some other types because everything is so visible.

Remove the old bathroom sink by disconnecting all hoses and pipes. It will take careful measurement and placement to get the pedestal sink in the right place. Some puttying and finishing work may be required to redo walls and floors if a cabinet-style counter top is being replaced with a pedestal.

Some pedestals are heavy enough and shaped just right so that setting them in place is all that is required. Then the hoses are re-attached in an operation that takes only a few minutes. For other designs, it will be necessary to drill some holes in the floor and/or wall. Lag screws bolt the pedestal to the floor in this scenario while the sink may provide a means for installing a wall-mount bracket.

How to Replace a Wall Mounted Bathroom Sink

If you are going to replace a bathroom sink in a room where space is at a premium, wall mount sinks are a great option that do not require any cabinetry. They can fit in a corner or occupy a little more than a foot of one wall. However, since they are ‘floating’ the installation requires great care to ensure they are well supported and do not tear out the wall during use. Everybody leans on the sink at some point.

Here again some wall and/or floor re-finishing will be needed if the sink replaces a cabinet or counter-top style. It is best to do that once you are all done. Fitting the wall mount bathroom sink requires drilling into available studs and sinking secure lag screws and/or brackets. The inevitable slip will produce cracks and tears that you do not want to have to patch twice.

Tile walls will require use of a masonry bit. Even at that, it is possible to crack a tile while drilling into it. Be prepared to possibly replace one or two. However, you can avoid that scenario with a little preparation.

Once you have marked the drill holes on the tile, cover that small area with a few strips of paper masking tape. This will stop the tile surface from splintering during drilling. Make sure that your electric drill is not on the hammer setting and set to its lowest speed. Carefully line up the bit with the marked drilling point and without actually pushing on the drill start drilling the hole allowing the bit to do the work. You will eventually drill a clean hole through the tile at which point, you can turn the hammer option back on to drill into the brickwork.

In all cases, simply following the manufacturers’ directions step-by-step when you replace a bathroom sink will get you to your goal. Be generous and exact with any Teflon plumber’s tape. Wind in a direction so that the fitting will squeeze it into the threads, rather than loosen it. Be accurate with any plumber’s putty used to seal a drain flange and wipe up any excess before it dries. Be equally precise with caulk. That gives a professional look at the end.