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Small Bathroom Makeovers: Pedestal Sink Installation (Step-by-Step)

Get a Leak Proof Sink in Two Hours

 

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by Jeff Patterson in Bathrooms
small-bathroom-makeovers

Small bathroom makeovers are one of the best ways to transform you old bathroom into an amazing space.

Today you’ll learn how to install a pedestal sink in just a few hours.

The bathroom I’m working on in the tutorial is over 120 years old. It needed a makeover badly!!!

And unfortunately there’s not a ton of space.

American Standard shipped us their Retrospect sink and console. The nice thing about this unit is it looks awesome, has an integrated towel bar and storage.

Anybody can install this sink…anybody.

It only took me a few hours to transform my bathroom and I’ll show you step-by-step how you can do the same thing.

Let’s start with what the sink looked like when I finished

Small bathroom makeover sink

Pretty sharp.

There’s space on the top for a toothbrush, shaving cream, etc.

You can see the towel bar in the front and there’s a glass shelf on the bottom.

The nice part is you don’t need a ton of tools for this project.

Here’s the supply list

I want to thank American Standard for sending me the Retrospect, console and faucet. These work perfectly in my small bathroom and I wanted to share the makeover with you.

This project starts with assembling the console table legs, let’s begin.

 

How to Assemble the Console Table

Let me show you how easy it is to put the console table together…easier than a bicycle, let me tell you!

Place the towel bar on the floor.

towel-bar

Then slide the two front legs into the slots closest to the towel bar.

font-legs-sink

Add the last two legs to the back of the towel bar and adjust their nuts to about 5/8″ from the end of the rod.

front-legs

nuts

Slide the decorative tubes onto all four legs and slide the shelf support onto the bottom of the console.

shelf-support

Just make sure the pins on the shelf face the correct direction (closest to you) because they’ll support the glass shelf.

Slide the leg tubes onto all 4 threaded rods.

leg-tubes

Place nuts on all four threaded rods and tighten them with your crescent wrench.tighten nuts

Thread all four chrome feet onto the rods such that there’s a 1/4″ gap between the rod and edge of the foot.

chrome-foot

Finally, turn the sink over and place two leveling trumpets on the back legs.

finished-look

And that’s it, pretty easy. I like this metal console better than a traditional pedestal because it has the integrated towel bar and extra storage. Both come in handy when you have a small bathroom.

The next step is to secure the sink to the wall. This is a super important step because your sink will be rock solid afterward.

 

How to Secure a Pedestal Sink to the Wall (and make it ROCK solid)

If you get this step wrong you’ll pull your hair out.

Here’s the deal, if you’re doing a bathroom makeover and redoing the drywall you should add wood blocking to your walls.

This is especially true if you’re installing a pedestal sink. We’ll get to this in a second.

I centered the sink on the light and placed it flush with the wall. You can see my center mark on the wall and how it lines up with the center hole in the sink.

center-sink

By the way, the Retrospect slides down onto the rubber grommets and leveling trumpets on the console table. It’s a sweet setup that allows you to manhandle the sink while centering it.

The best way to attach a pedestal sink to the wall is with lag screws that go into wood blocking.

lag-screw

Here’s the deal, you should install wood blocking behind your drywall. The lag screws can’t just go into the drywall and you call it a day.

Attach would blocking to the studs using 3 inch deck screws but you’ll have to remove the drywall to do this. I know this isn’t always convenient but it’s the correct method.

You might get lucky and have at least one sink hole line with a stud. Use a stud finder to locate studs behind the drywall and mark their position with a pencil.

stud-finder

The bottom line is to plan your sink location. And prep the wall if there are no studs where you want to mount it.

Pedestal sinks are pretty darn heavy. So installing them right into the drywall isn’t a great option. In a few years the sink will pull away from the wall and present you with a dangerous situation…plus a drywall repair.

Position the sink back on the console (or pedestal…if you’re using one) and place a level on top of it.

level-sink

Get your sink as level as possible and mark the wall where the lag screws will go.

sink-holes

Before you remove the sink it’s not a bad idea to dry fit the p-trap assembly.

dry-fit-plumbing

That way you know the plumbing will work. This isn’t absolutely necessary but I do it anyway because I’ve become anal retentive when it comes to plumbing.

Remove the sink again and drill holes where you placed your marks. In this example I had to drill 1 inch into the drywall. Here’s a PRO TIP: add painter’s tape to drill bits to help you drill to an exact depth.

drill-holes

Finally, install the lag screws using a socket wrench. Just be careful not to crack your beautiful sink, it doesn’t take much torque.

lag-screws

Whew, those lag screws make the sink super sturdy.

A 3-year old could do a pull-up on this bad boy.

solid-sink

Once the lag screws are tightened you can move onto the faucet installation.

 

How to Install a Pedestal Sink Faucet 

There are some basic plumbing tools that make faucet installation a breeze.

Just in case you’re wondering, I chose the Portsmouth faucet because it closely resembles what I think the faucet might have looked like in the late 1800s…when this house was built.

But who knows. If you have any pictures of old faucets from that time period send them my way. I’d love to see them.

Faucet installation for the most part always begins with the spout. Slide the spout down into the sink’s center hole.

center-the-faucet

Each faucet is a little different in terms of how it attaches to the sink. This one came with a rubber gasket and metal washer.

The metal gasket & washer slide onto the bottom side of the spout and are secured with a nut.

washer

You can hand tighten the spout’s nut then use a basin wrench to tighten it more.

This is Milwaukee’s basin wrench. I like it because it’s adjustable in length. Let me know if you’ve use a different tool for this step.

basin-wrench

When you tighten the spout to the sink just make sure it’s still centered on the drain. Sometimes the spout has a tendency to shift as you tighten the nut.

I’ve got several faucet tips in the video. Watch it below and you’ll be well ahead of the game when it comes to installing a pedestal sink in just a few hours.

Small Bathroom Makeovers: Pedestal Sink Installation

https://youtu.be/YdWt91bXvQU

 

What’s Next

We hope the tips in this tutorial help you with your own project.

If you’re remodeling a bathroom you might like our free ‘Guide to a Bathroom Makeover in 10-Days’, it has a ton of great tips

Get Our Guide

Also, here are two more step-by-step tutorials that might help you with your bathroom makeover. The first shares how to waterproof a shower in one day and the second shows how to build a curbless walk-in shower. Great tips in both.

kerdi-board

How to Build a Walk-In Shower

Thanks for reading and watching. Ask your questions down in the comments. I’d be happy to help.

Have a great day and talk to you soon,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you didn’t know, we have online classes for homeowners doing a DIY bathroom remodel.

They’re affordable, step-by-step and awesome for newbies.

Learn More

5 Comments
  1. Tommy L. says:

    Hi Jeff, you are right. That Retrospect sink looks really nice. I think I’m ready for DIY installation after watching your video. Thanks man.

    1. Awesome Tommy, keep me posted. If you have any questions I’d be happy to help.

  2. Erica Green says:

    That is great tutorial. I would never try that on my own. I would rather call for plumbing expert because when I start doing jobs like that, always something gone wrong and can’t finish so easily like you. Thanks

    1. You’d be surprised Erica, I bet you could do this yourself. Sure it takes a little work, but most homeowners can do a great job 🙂

  3. Genevieve says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Question about the wrench you used at 09:56 to tighten the lock nut of the water valve. What is that wrench called and do they sell it at the big box stores? Thank you in advance!

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