How to make your bathroom converted dresser cabinet with a bowl sink

Written by denise brown
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If you want to go for a one-of-a-kind look in your bathroom, you can adapt an old dresser to become your new vanity cabinet. With the many vessel sink options on the market today, you can often take a converted dresser cabinet and make it into a bathroom vanity with minimal adjustments. Some of the bowl sink models simply sit on the top of the dresser and only require two small holes for the drain and the faucet.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Hinges
  • Hole saw
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Stud finder
  • Screws
  • Water supply lines
  • Plumber's putty
  • Silicone caulking
  • Caulk gun
  • Carpenter's level
  • Pipe compound

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  1. 1

    Measure the size of the opening for the converted dresser cabinet to make sure you have enough room. Measure the location of the existing drainpipe as well as the water pipes to see where they would fit on the back of the dresser.

  2. 2

    Make any modifications necessary to allow the dresser drawers to close, yet still allow room for the plumbing. Remove the back of the dresser. Shorten drawers as necessary. If there's no space for the plumbing with modified drawers in place, remove the drawers from the drawer fronts. Attach hinges connecting the dresser and the drawer fronts, using screws from the assembly kit, to allow you access to the plumbing inside the dresser. You may lose storage in the cabinet if you do this.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole in the dresser top for the sink's drain, using a hole saw. If you selected a vessel sink that sits inside the wood, cut the hole with a jigsaw. Use the template that comes with the sink to cut the hole the correct size.

  4. 4

    Drill a hole large enough for the water line to come through the dresser top, using a hole saw. This size may vary depending on the fixtures you selected.

  5. 5

    Locate the studs in the wall behind the dresser, using a stud finder. Mark their location. Set the dresser into position and attach it to the wall with screws long enough to pass through the dresser and at least 1 1/2 inches into the studs. Put at least 2 screws into each stud.

  6. 6

    Attach the water supply lines to the faucet. Hand-tightening should be enough. Run the water supply lines for the faucet from the top of the dresser through the hole provided for it. Secure the faucet to the underside of the dresser top with the mounting screw in the assembly kit. Attach the supply lines to the water supply. Take care to connect the hot line to the hot water and the cold to the cold. Do not turn the water on at this point.

  7. 7

    Roll plumber's putty between your hand to make it look like a rope or a snake. Lay the putty around the drain opening on the inside of the vessel sink. As you push the drain firmly into the opening in the sink, the putty creates a watertight seal. Wipe off any excess putty.

  8. 8

    Run a bead of silicone caulking around the perimeter of the opening for the bowl sink. Set the sink into position. If it rests inside the dresser top, set a carpenter's level across the sink's top to help you level it.

  9. 9

    Assemble the P-trap for the sink's drain according to package directions. Wipe pipe compound around the inside and outside of connections, using the applicator in the can, to help ensure a watertight seal. Hand-tighten the sink's tail pipe to the P-trap, using the locknut in the assembly kit. Fasten the P-trap to the drain opening on the wall under the sink in a similar manner.

  10. 10

    Connect the pop-up drain connection to the drain using the screws in the assembly kit.

  11. 11

    Turn on the water to the sink. Watch for leaks in the faucet and drain. If you see leaks, tighten the connections another quarter turn.

  12. 12

    Caulk the edge of the dresser, using silicone caulking, where it connects to the wall to create a watertight seal.

Tips and warnings

  • If no water or drain lines exist, hire a licensed plumber to complete the task. This is typically a requirement to meet city building codes.

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