"a practical hands-on
   guide to bathroom


Vanity Faucet Install

Read these entire instructions before actually doing any plumbing.  It is much easier to do part of the plumbing while the vanity top is "on the floor" and finish the plumbing when the top is installed.  We will tell you what should be done and when it should be done.

General information:
Most faucets have good instructions included with diagrams, but here are a few important things to consider that may not be spelled out in the instructions.

It is very important when installing the lavatory pop-up assembly that you use non-staining plumbers putty (especially on cultured marble tops); otherwise, over time, serious staining can occur around the drain. 

Depending on the thickness of the vanity top, it may be necessary to get a deck extension kit for the hot and cold supply lines (especially on quartz and granite) - these may be purchased at a plumbing supply house.  It is wise to set the faucet in the same non-staining putty to prevent any leaking around the faucet deck.  Some manufacturers provide good vinyl gaskets for this purpose; however, they may not prevent water from leaking into the cabinet if significant splashing takes place in the sink area.

Also, it will make your life easier if you install split escutcheons (as opposed to solid escutcheons) on the wall on the drain line and supply lines.

When the vanity top is on the floor:

Shut-off valves for the hot and cold water lines should be the quarter-turn type with a silver solder sweat connection.  We prefer the ball valves since they will give good service for many years as opposed to the old-style shut-off valves with rubber washers that are subject to deterioration.  When the shut-off valves are installed, if you have some water in the line you can use dissolvable pipe plugs. These jelly-like pellets are normally installed with an insertion tool to a point about 4" from the solder joint and will normally keep the solder area free of small amounts of water so the soldering can be completed - they won't work if there is water pressure in the line.  Once the soldering is completed, heat the pipe at the location of the plug to speed the dissolving process and turn on the water for testing.  Let the air out of the water lines until the water flows (use a small bucket for this).  It is critical that no air is in the lines, since this may cause a leak in the solder joints that may not appear until some time after the top installation (leak may develop several hours or days after the top is installed without anyone knowing about it until damage occurs to the vanity base and surrounding areas).

Install the vanity faucet rough-in valve on the vanity - the trim will be installed when the top is placed on the vanity base cabinet.  If the faucet has the trim as part of the rough-in valve (as most, but not all, 4" faucets do), then this part of the work is completed.

Install braided flexible stainless supply lines or copper lines for the supply lines (depending on personal preference or what is supplied with the faucet) - do not use plastic or braided plastic.  The plastic lines may crack or burst under occasional high water pressure in the lines.  Normally, water pressure in a house should be under 60 PSI (pounds per square inch) - this can be checked by a test gauge available from a hardware or plumbing supply shop.  Keep in mind that high water pressure in a house can be caused by a malfunctioning pressure reducing valve or excess pressure from the public water supply.  Pressure above 60 PSI can cause toilet damage, appliance damage or serious leaks elsewhere.

When the vanity top is placed on the base:

Install the faucet trim, if needed.

Install the other end of the supply lines to the water shut-off valves.

Install the drain line - the drain line should be PVC (no accordian fittings) and should be primed with PVC pipe cleaner (the purple color is preferred) and then followed with a good all-purpose PVC cement.  Do not connect ABS (black pipe) to PVC - instead use a stainless steel banded rubber connector.  Please note that it is extremely important to have the correct drainage pitch and venting if you are changing drains (if you are adding or removing a sinkbowl for example).

When cleaning vanity faucets, exercise care in the selection of your cleaning product.  Many bathroom cleaners may damage the finish, so try to stay with products that will put a protective film on the faucet and also be gentle to the finish.