The Story of the Vanity (31 Days of Nest Building: day 28)

The project I am the most proud of in this house is my bathroom vanity.

On our first day here, we ripped out the master bathroom vanity. It had bubbled and chipped wood inside presumably from a previous leak. It also had a “secret” drawer at the toe-kick which would have been quite neat if it closed all the way. But to balance out the drawer that wouldn’t open in the kitchen, we had the drawer that wouldn’t close. The reason it wouldn't close is it bumped into the pipes which ran up through the floor to get to the sink.

[caption id="attachment_3954" align="alignnone" width="335"]bathroom master (11) BEFORE[/caption]

So out the vanity went. We saved the countertop with the idea of replacing the old vanity with one of the same size, then we would simply put the countertop back on.

Well, things went awry, as they do. When we pulled out the vanity, we were left with a rectangular hole in the vinyl flooring that revealed the previous vinyl floor underneath. That’s right, the floor had been replaced around the vanity. Yay. (Also, the walls had been painted around the vanity. And the mirror. Double yay.)

[caption id="attachment_3955" align="alignnone" width="300"]DURING DURING[/caption]

It may not seem like a big deal since we were going to get the same size vanity to replace it, therefore covering the old floor once again. However, if you happen to have looked at vanities lately, the style has trended toward vanities with feet (think dresser-style). Feet would mean we would still see the old floor underneath, which would mean laying a new floor throughout the bathroom. Which would mean pulling up the most recent floor to create a level surface on which to lay the new floor.


I didn’t have that in me. Instead I searched for a vanity that was solid all the way to the floor that also happened to be 48 inches wide to fully cover the old floor footprint and fit the countertop I had saved. Not so easy. But I found one that was *almost* right. The sides were solid, but the front was open. My husband—quite the genius at things like this—found a matching board to use as a toe-kick to cover the opening in the front.

By now three weeks had passed during which I kept running to my son’s bathroom to brush my teeth, but finally we installed the vanity, placed the countertop, and… didn’t hook up the plumbing. We had replaced the drain (which wouldn't plug--did I not mention?), and the new one didn’t reach the pipes.

Because it’s always something.

After a few trips to the store and a few wrong parts, we got the drain hooked up.

And it leaked. Which is likely what started the damage in the old vanity in the first place.

We fixed the leak and finally had a working sink.

We couldn’t, however, open the vanity because there were no drawer and cabinet knobs. I hadn’t liked the ones that came with the vanity so I picked out new ones at the store. Then I had to figure out how to install them because there also weren’t any pre-drilled holes for installing them.

With a little help from YouTube, I learned I needed a template. You can buy them at the store, but I really didn’t want to go back to the store so I made my own out of cardboard (plentiful because of all the moving boxes). Then I measured A LOT. There would only be one chance to drill in the right place to make the handles straight and symmetrical.

You guys… I did it. Those handles are damn near perfect. I did that.

[caption id="attachment_3960" align="alignnone" width="375"]AFTER AFTER[/caption]

Really, the handles are straight, despite the fishbowl effect of this photograph making them looking rainbowed. You'll just have to trust me on that.

Now I have a fully functional and beautiful vanity.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.


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