Vanity Replacement

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Updating a Bathroom

Bathroom Vanity Makeover

Dear NH,
We are in the process of changing our sink and vanity in the bathroom. We want to add a linen closet on the right side. We have to change the size of vanity and the countertop. The present countertop is 48 inches. The new one will be 43 inches. We will have a countertop made to order and we have to give the company the measurement for the faucet's holes. How do we measure for the faucet's holes on an offset vanity top? We don't want to move any pipes. Any information is appreciated.

There are two standard faucet hole spacings, 4" and 8" (center to center). 4" is the typical spacing for a bathroom faucet and 8" for a kitchen faucet. Both types usually require a center hole, too. I would suggest selecting the faucet you want and then use that measurement.

As far as moving pipes is concerned, it is unnecessary in most installations. The faucet supply tubes from the shutoff to the faucet are flexible, regardless of the type you choose to install, so no moving of pipes will be necessary. Similarly the drain-trap setup of a modern home is adjustable within limits. If the existing pipes don't reach, there are generic drain parts available that will solve most any connection problem. Just bring what you have (between the wall and the old faucet drain) to the hardware store, describe how it is deficient and they should be able to supply you with the proper parts.

About the only time I have had problems with existing plumbing is when the new vanity has drawers or interior dividers that hit the drain or shutoffs. So you should also make note of the location of these fixtures when deciding on the type of vanity. Cabinets are usually often easier to modify than plumbing connections, especially the drain location!

About 8 years ago, my wife fell in love with a two-drawer vanity for our smallish master bathroom. Rather than disappoint her, I was able to disassemble the problem drawer, cut it down to a smaller size and reassemble it. Since many vanities now come "broken down", this might be a simple matter if the problem arises for you. Losing a few inches of drawer space was hardly noticeable.

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