Embarking on a bathroom renovation or simply upgrading your space with a touch of elegance? Installing a pedestal sink can be a transformative and visually appealing choice. With its classic design and space-saving features, a pedestal sink not only adds a touch of sophistication to your bathroom but also creates an illusion of openness.
Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-time renovator, the prospect of installing a pedestal sink might seem daunting at first. However, fear not – this step-by-step guide is here to demystify the process and empower you to tackle the installation with confidence.
In this article, we’ll break down the installation process into manageable steps, providing clear instructions and valuable tips to ensure a successful and visually pleasing outcome. From gathering the necessary tools and materials to navigating potential challenges, our article will equip you with the knowledge needed to turn your bathroom into a stylish and functional haven.
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and discover the satisfaction of installing a pedestal sink that not only enhances your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal but also adds a touch of your personal style to the heart of your home.
What is a pedestal sink?
A pedestal sink stands independently, featuring a single unified basin structure often with a sleek and refined appearance. A wide array of styles exists, suitable for various interior design motifs. These sinks are distinguishable by their straightforward composition, comprising solely a basin and pedestal base, which are assembled during installation. Unlike conventional sinks, they do not necessitate a cabinet or encasing. Typically positioned centrally over the drainpipe, they are secured at the base and against the wall to ensure stability.
Pedestal Sink vs. Vanity Sink
While pedestal sinks save a lot of floor space, they offer no countertop space or storage around or under the sink. This can be a dealbreaker if you need extra space to store your cleaning products, lotions, makeup, hair tools, and other bathroom essentials. Most vanity sink options feature a countertop and base, allowing for more storage than pedestal sinks. Vanity sink options also tend to be more customizable.
Pros of a pedestal sink
Resilient and durable
Pedestal sinks boast superior durability compared to alternative sink types owing to their construction from fireclay or similarly robust materials. This design withstands water exposure and regular usage, thanks to its seamless structure and minimal attachment points. Prioritize value over the lowest price point when selecting a sink for longevity, ensuring optimal durability by investing in high-quality materials engineered for lasting performance.
Maximizes Floor Space
Opting for a pedestal sink translates to increased floor space, making it an excellent choice for compact bathrooms. With the bowl typically occupying the widest area of the sink, more floor space remains visible, imparting a spacious ambiance distinct from conventional vanity sinks housed in cabinets. Furthermore, most pedestal sinks come pre-drilled and tapped, concealing plumbing within the pedestal or behind the bowl, minimizing visible pipework.
Easy maintenance and cleaning
The straightforward design of pedestal sinks, coupled with their minimal components, facilitates effortless maintenance and cleaning routines. A simple wipe-down of the bowl and fixture suffices for daily upkeep, while the absence of countertops and display surfaces contributes to a clutter-free bathroom appearance. Cleaning around the pedestal area is equally hassle-free. For porcelain or fireclay surfaces, gentle cleaning products are recommended, eliminating the need for abrasive scrubbing.
Cons of Pedestal Sinks
Limited Storage Capacity
For individuals who store numerous cleaning supplies or beauty products in their bathrooms, a pedestal sink may lack the necessary storage space. Thus, unless ample storage exists elsewhere in the bathroom, a sink with a cabinet and countertop may be preferable. Pedestal sinks are often better suited for powder rooms, guest baths, half baths, and smaller bathrooms, unless floor space constraints dictate otherwise.
Despite their streamlined appearance, pedestal sinks are not necessarily the most economical option. Higher-quality materials can drive up the cost, and installation expenses may escalate if anchoring to the wall and floor is required.
The cost of a pedestal sink varies depending on the chosen material, with stainless steel typically being the most affordable and solid surface porcelain commanding the highest price. On average, a quality pedestal sink costs around $250, excluding the faucet, although luxury models can exceed $2,000. Installation costs typically range from $230 to $800, but this can fluctuate, particularly if plumbing modifications are necessary or additional charges apply for sink removal.
Overall, budgeting for a new, installed pedestal sink typically falls between $600 and $2,500, placing them toward the higher end of average bathroom remodel expenses. Despite their relatively higher cost, pedestal sinks offer affordability across various styles and are characterized by durability, space-saving attributes, and timeless aesthetics, making them a worthwhile long-term investment. However, for those with budget constraints, numerous alternative sink options exist, many of which can be self-installed by knowledgeable individuals seeking to economize.
Despite their aesthetic appeal, pedestal sinks may not suit every individual or bathroom. Their compact size, advantageous in certain spaces, might appear disproportionate in larger bathrooms. Moreover, not all homeowners favor sacrificing storage capacity for style. Given these considerations and those outlined above, it is prudent to carefully assess your bathroom usage and overall requirements before opting for a pedestal sink.
How to install a pedestal sink?
Tools Required to install a pedestal sink
- Masonry bit
- Adjustable wrenches
- Close-quarters tubing cutter
- Drill and bits
- Hacksaw with fine-tooth blade
- Large slip joint pliers
- Tape measure
- Tubing cutter
Tutorial – install a pedestal sink
Step 1: Disconnect the pipes and take out the existing sink
Step 2: Slice into the wall
If pipe relocation is necessary, begin by eliminating a portion of the wall covering that provides sufficient width to facilitate the movement of pipes and the installation of wood backing. This process entails subsequent drywall repair and repainting.
Utilize a keyhole saw to carefully cut the drywall, exposing the plumbing and creating a pathway for installing wood backing. Follow the edges of the studs while maintaining a shallow blade depth to prevent any contact with wiring or pipes.
Pro tip: Opt for cutting along the stud edges and subsequently adding 2×2 drywall nailers alongside the studs; this approach is more straightforward than attempting to cut through the center of the studs.
Step 3: Pipes and plumbing
Trim the drainpipe approximately four inches above the floor using either a reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade or a hacksaw for steel pipes. For plastic pipes, employ any fine-tooth saw. Adjust the vent pipe by cutting it around 40 inches from the floor.
Tackling steel pipes with a hacksaw can be laborious, so consider renting or borrowing a reciprocating saw for a more efficient process. Cut PVC pipes using any saw with fine teeth. Indicate the new height of the drain and water supply pipes on a stud, marking the sink’s new center on the bottom plate. Connect the 1-1/2-inch steel drainpipe to a PVC street elbow using a transition coupling, securing the clamps with a 5/16-inch nut driver or socket wrench. Employ a close-quarters tubing cutter to cut copper water pipes.
Transition couplings, featuring a rubber gasket encased in a steel sleeve with screw clamps, are useful for connecting PVC (white) plastic drainpipes to ABS (black) plastic, copper, or steel. If dealing with PVC pipes, join them using glue and a PVC elbow. Trim the PVC pipe lengths so that the drain opening in the sanitary tee aligns with the center marks for the drain. Apply PVC adhesive to the primed surfaces, assemble each joint promptly, and hold tightly for about 45 seconds.
For relocating the drain, use plastic pipes, cutting and assembling them according to the provided instructions. Correcting mistakes is straightforward—simply cut the pipe and use a PVC coupling to attach a new section.
Affix elbows to the transition couplings on the drain and vent pipes, starting at the drain and progressing towards the sanitary tee. Ensure the sanitary tee aligns with the new sink location at the right height. Finish the drain assembly by slightly flexing the PVC drain assembly to glue in the last pipe section.
Opt for a 45-degree angle for the drain and vent pipes to optimize performance. If significant pipe movement is required, consider using 90-degree elbows. Ensure the vent pipe doesn’t run horizontally unless it’s at least six inches above the sink’s “spill line” or about 42 inches above the floor.
Leave the drain stub unglued until the drywall is complete, then cut the stub to fit snugly against the drywall and glue the components together. Solder the copper pipe supply lines by cutting, cleaning, and soldering the tubes and fittings. Support the stub-outs with straps and add a cap to each. Turn on the water and check for leaks after completing the soldering process. To hold the copper pipes securely during soldering, level and screw a piece of wood between the studs, marking the pipe locations on it. Leave about six inches of copper pipe protruding and solder a cap on it for testing purposes before turning on the water.
Step 4: Wall work
Measure the sink to determine the anchor locations and install wood backing between the studs in those areas.
If your project necessitates a permit, arrange for a plumbing inspection before closing the wall. Cut the drywall and attach it to the studs using drywall screws. Conceal the seams by applying drywall tape embedded in a layer of joint compound. Apply at least two more layers, allowing each to dry before recoating. For the final coat, use a 10- or 12-inch trowel to create a tapered patch.
Sand the surface with 100-grit drywall sanding paper. Prime and paint the wall and affix the baseboard before installing the sink. Attach a short length of pipe and a trap adapter to the sanitary tee within the wall using glue. Close the main water valve and use a tubing cutter (wheeled pipe cutter) to cut the copper pipes, leaving two inches exposed.
Slide the decorative escutcheon, nut, and brass ferrule over the pipe stub, then connect a compression-type shutoff valve. While tightening the compression nut with one wrench, secure the valve body with another. Mark the sink’s center on masking tape adhered to the floor. Align the pedestal’s center with this mark, place the sink bowl on the pedestal, and position a two-foot level across it.
When setting the sink on the pedestal to mark the mounting holes, anticipate some instability — sinks are not always perfectly level. Insert plastic shims under the pedestal as needed to prevent rocking, and use small self-adhesive foam or rubber cushions between the bowl and pedestal to level the bowl.
Mark the center of the mounting holes on the wall and floor. Temporarily remove the bowl and pedestal. After completing the installation, fill the gaps at the floor and between the pedestal and bowl with matching silicone caulk for a finished look.
Step 5: Install pedestal sink
Install the components of the bathroom faucet onto the sink following the provided instructions. Attach the pop-up drain assembly by applying a pencil-width bead of plumber’s putty beneath the drain’s rim before pressing it into the sink opening. Secure this component to the assembly mounted beneath the sink.
Complete the assembly of the remaining parts, adjusting the stopper’s opening and closing according to the instructions. Apply thread sealant to the fine threads on the tailpiece and screw it into the pop-up assembly. Affix the pedestal base to the bathroom floor. Slide the sink over the mounting bolts and secure it with a stainless steel fender washer and acorn nut. Exercise caution to avoid over tightening the nut and potentially damaging the sink.
Mark and cut the supply tubes using a tubing cutter. Bend them as needed and connect them to the valve and faucet using the provided nut and brass ferrule. The final connection between the faucet and valve may pose challenges. If inserting the supply tube into the valve is problematic, loosen the valve, swivel it for clearance, and then retighten the connection. Always use two wrenches to tighten compression fittings one to secure the valve and the other to tighten the nut.
Complete the installation by attaching the trap assembly to the sink tailpiece and PVC trap adapter. Use a fine-tooth hacksaw blade to adjust the trap arm’s length if necessary, ensuring it extends approximately two inches into the trap adapter. Hand-tighten the slip joint connectors, followed by an additional quarter turn using large slip joint pliers. Conceal the trap adapter with a special deep escutcheon (extra deep, matching the P-trap diameter), readily available at most home centers and hardware stores.
Thoroughly inspect all connections and fill the bowl with water. Observe for any leaks and tighten any loose joints. If leaks persist, disassemble the problematic joint, confirm the presence of rubber slip joint gaskets, and ensure that the brass ferrules on the compression fittings are securely and squarely seated.
- Pedestal sinks consist of a basin affixed to a pedestal base and are characterized by their simplicity.
- Homeowners opt for pedestal sinks due to their durability, compact size, and ease of maintenance.
- Compared to vanity-mounted sinks, pedestal sinks tend to be pricier and lack storage space.
- The compact dimensions of pedestal sinks make them suitable for smaller bathrooms and those with minimalist design preferences.
• Preserves valuable floor space in the bathroom
• Well-suited for compact bathrooms like powder rooms
• Convenient to transport from home centers, unlike bulky vanity cabinets
• Absence of storage space beneath the sink
• Limited or no countertop area
• Occasionally visible supply and drainage pipes
In conclusion, installing a pedestal sink can be a rewarding and transformative project for your bathroom. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you’ve learned the essential skills and techniques to successfully complete the installation process. From preparing the space and relocating pipes to securing the sink in place and connecting the plumbing components, each step contributes to the creation of a functional and aesthetically pleasing bathroom.
Remember to pay attention to details such as aligning the sink properly, using appropriate sealants, and double-checking all connections for potential leaks. With careful planning and execution, you’ve not only enhanced the visual appeal of your bathroom but also added a touch of sophistication and functionality.
Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a novice in the world of home improvement, conquering the installation of a pedestal sink is a tangible accomplishment. Embrace the satisfaction of a job well done as you enjoy the newfound elegance and space-saving benefits that a pedestal sink brings to your bathroom. Now, with your newfound knowledge, you’re well-equipped to tackle future home improvement projects with confidence. Happy renovating!