DIY Bathroom Vanity Tops

Updated February 21, 2017

Making your own vanity top is a way to get creative in the bathroom. Tile is one of the best materials to use on a vanity top because it is waterproof, scratch resistant and strong. Choose tiles that are decorative if you want to make the vanity a standout feature in the bathroom. You also can convert an old antique-style dresser into a bathroom vanity by adding a tiled top.

Place the backer board over the top of the vanity and trace around the vanity to transfer the size of the top to the backer board. Trace the position of the plumbing fixtures from the inside of the vanity onto the backer board as well.

Score along the traced lines with the utility knife then snap the backer board along the score line to resize it. Use the hole saw bit attached to the drill to cut out the holes for the plumbing fixtures. Wear the dusk mask while cutting the backer board.

Spread the waterproof membrane over the top of the vanity, covering up the plumbing holes as well. The membrane will stop mortar and grout from falling through the plumbing holes, and can be removed from the plumbing holes after the vanity top is complete.

Place the backer board over the top of the vanity, ensuring the plumbing holes in the backer board are in place to match those in the vanity. Screw the backer board into the vanity with galvanised screws, one every 6 inches around the perimeter.

Set out the tile design on top of the backer board, starting with the V-cap tiles around the edge. Space the tiles with tile spacers to allow for the grout lines. Mark the tiles that will need cutting to fit the design, or allow for the plumbing holes. Transfer the tiles to the floor, keeping the same design.

Apply a 1/8-inch layer of thinset to the backer board, starting at the back of the vanity. Furrow the thinset with the trowel's notched side then place the tiles in position, keeping the design as you set out earlier, spacing with tile spacers. Continue spreading thinset and laying tiles until the vanity top is covered and only the tiles needing cutting and the V-cap tiles are left.

Put on the safety goggles then cut the tiles marked for cutting to the appropriate size. Put thinset on the backs of these tiles and place them individually. Apply thinset to the edge of the backer board and vanity top and set the V-cap tiles in place last of all. Leave the vanity for 24 hours to let the mortar cure.

Sweep grout into the joints of the vanity top tiles using the grout float. Fill all the joints except those around the plumbing holes. As you go, wipe off the excess grout with a sponge. Caulk the joints around the plumbing holes, smoothing them over with a wet finger. Leave to cure for 24 hours.

Apply two coats of tile and grout sealant to the tiled vanity top then leave to set overnight. Follow the time recommended by the sealant manufacturer for drying in between coats.

Things You'll Need

  • Cement backer board
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • Hole saw bit
  • Dusk mask
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Screws, galvanised
  • Tile, V-cap and flat
  • Tile spacers
  • Thinset
  • Trowel
  • Tile cutters
  • Safety goggles
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Caulk
  • Grout/tile sealant
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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.