Monday, February 25, 2008

Wall Mounted Sink Installation


If your sink looks like the one in the picture, you need a new one. There are literally dozens of different types of sinks available and you should carefully pick the one that suits you. You can spend a little bit or a small fortune. You can also spend as much on the faucet as you do on the sink itself. Before you buy a new wall sink consider other types of sinks including one with a cabinet below it for additional storage.

If you stick with a wall sink, also consider what sort of tail piece, water connectors and trap to use. You can use the standard plastic pieces but a chrome hookup is more attractive. The installation pictured in this article uses a mix of plastic and chromed hardware and, while not the most attractive, is just as functional. Plastic is also easier to customize for your installation.

Tools:

  • Large pliers
  • Plumbers wrench
  • Screw driver Materials:
  • Wall sink
  • Plumbers putty
  • Teflon tape


Level of Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Time Required: 2 hours

Remove Existing Fixture


The first thing to do is to turn off the water to the sink. Make sure that you turn off both the hot and cold water. Before you remove the water supply lines it is a good idea to put a pan underneath the water outlets. Take a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench and remove the water supply lines from the valves at the wall.


The next step is to remove the existing trap. Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to loosen and remove the nut from the trap. If the nut is very tight, you should use a pipe wrench. If you are planning to reuse the nut, you might want to put a rag around it before putting a wrench on it.

Lift it off!


After all of the pipes are disconnected, check underneath the sides of the sink for screws. Don't remove the screws from the wall bracket yet! The screws on the sides help to stabilize the sink and are generally on the sides.

When you have removed the screws (if there are any), lift the sink straight up and away from the wall.

The Wall Bracket


The wall bracket is the piece of metal that supports the weight of the sink. You might be able to use the bracket that is already there but if it is an old one, like the picture, the new sink may not fit on it. If you have to remove the old one, take note when you remove the screws as at least one of them should have been screwed into a stud or reinforced section of the wall. You might want to reuse that hole if the sink will hang at about the same height when using that hole. If not, you'll have to install the new bracket a bit lower or higher than the old one. Do not go too far above or below that height as you may not hit the reinforced section of the wall. You also have to maintain the horizontal alignment as the drain pipe has to line up with the pipe opening in the wall.


If you have to install a new bracket, you should put the middle screw in part way and hang the sink on the new bracket. Use a brace underneath the sink to help you hold it. Level the sink and mark the wall where you need to drive screws. Pull the sink from the wall and secure the bracket to the wall. There are usually a couple more screws that you have to install after hanging the sink. Look on the sides for the holes. Use a pencil and mark the wall for the holes. If these screws do not hit a stud it is normally not a problem. Since these screws only stabilize the sink you can usually use a drywall anchor for these holes. Set the drywall anchors, if necessary but don't mount the sink on the wall yet.


One note: A tiled wall is the most difficult scenario for installing a new bracket. If you have to install the bracket at a different height, you will have to drill through the tiles. There is a special bit to drill through tiles and it comes in two flavors: one looks a bit like a spade bit and the other is difficult to describe, but here is what they look like. The second flavor is also referred to as a masonry bit. When drilling through the tiles, don't force the drill bit. If you do, the tile might crack. Just keep pressure on the drill and let the bit do the work.

Don't mount the sink on the wall yet!!!

Install the Hardware


Before you hang the sink on the wall, it is best to install the faucet on the sink.� Check the faucet installation instructions for directions on how to do this.� The faucet usually has a gasket that is mounted in between the faucet and the sink.� If it doesn't you may have to use some plumbers putty.� Faucets are normally held in place by large plastic nuts.� Don't install the tail piece (drain pipe) yet.

Hanging the Sink


Hang the sink on the wall and secure the extra screws to the wall.� Check the sink for stability.� It shouldn't wobble.� Now install the tailpiece (drain pipe) and the flange (the part you see from the top) into the sink.� Again, check the instructions as it may have gaskets included or you may have to use plumber's putty.� Either way, install the necessary sealant and tighten up the nut on the bottom of the tail piece.

Make the Connections

The next step is to hook up the trap and the water connections.� Plastic pipes are the� easiest to install as you can easily cut them to length.� There are prefabricated hoses for hooking up the water and these require no pipe dope as they already have gaskets.


The next thing to do is to caulk around the top of the sink.� Use an appropriate color (or clear) for this.� If you need help figuring out caulk, click here.

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