How to Replace a Bathroom Sink

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON – VO
THEY SAY IN MOBILE, ALABAMA, YOU’LL DISCOVER SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY IS NOT JUST A WORD, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE.  AND AS THE CITY HAS GROWN INTO A THRIVING METROPOLIS, IT HAS ALSO PRESERVED ITS PAST.  BEAUTIFUL HISTORIC HOMES AND BUILDINGS SEEM TO LINE JUST ABOUT EVERY STREET.
NOW ONE MOBILE RESIDENT, RETIRED NURSE, LAURA ALLEN LOVES HER HISTORIC CITY, BUT HER 1970’S BATHROOM VANITY? …  WELL, THAT’S A BIT OF HISTORY SHE’S READY TO REPLACE.  CHIPPED SILVER ON THE MIRROR HAS CAUSED THESE UNATTRACTIVE BLACK EDGES.  THE COUNTERTOP FEELS OUTDATED, AND THE SINK IS BADLY WORN AND SCRATCHED.  EVEN THE LIGHT FIXTURE COULD USE A NEW LOOK.  SO TODAY, LAURA AND I ARE EMBARKING ON A VANITY MAKEOVER.
Ron:
Hey!

Laura Allen:
Hi, how are you, Ron?  Nice to see you!  Welcome!

Ron:
Nice to see you!

RON-VO:
SINCE THE VANITY AREA IS A BIT TIGHT, I HANDLE THE SIMPLER BUT HARD TO REACH JOBS, SUCH AS REMOVING THE LIGHT FIXTURE, AND TAKING DOWN THE MIRROR…ON MY OWN.
NOW, I’VE HARDLY BROKEN A SWEAT WHEN LAURA APPEARS WITH A SNACK THAT’S STRAIGHT OFF THE MOBILE FAMILY TREE.
Ron:
The inventor of the Krispy Kreme donut came from Mobile?
Laura:
The McAlair Brothers.

Ron:
These are the best.  These are the best.

Laura:
The only way these get any better is to have them hot.

Ron:
These are good enough for me.  Absolutely.  You know what?  I’m going to take charge of these, and I assure you, they’ll be well taken care of.

Laura:
All right.

Ron:
What I’m going to do is run outside and get some plumbing tools.  We’re going to have to disconnect the water main right here.  Would you mind kind of taking the drawers out and…

Laura:
Well you’ve got your coffee and donuts I’ll take the drawers.

Ron:
Coffee, and, uh, Donuts.

RON – VO:
LAURA WORKS ON THE DRAWERS WHILE I WORK ON THE DONUTS. THEN, IT’S TIME TO GET UNDER THE SINK.
Ron:
OK.  Got all the tools in here.  But I’m going to have you do all the plumbing.  Are you comfortable with that?
Laura:
Comfortable with that?  How long will it take before I can get my plumber’s license?

Ron:
Oh, now there’s a good thought.  I think about 15 minutes if you work with me.  So you’re not worried about this, are you?

Laura:
Not worried about it.

Ron:
Okay, we’re going to start with this P-trap here…

Laura:
As long as you stay right there I’m not worried about it.

Ron:
I’m not going to go anywhere.

Laura:
All right.

Ron:
Now this is called a slip or multi-grooved pliers.  I’ve got that set up just about where you want it.

RON - VO:
LAURA MAY BE RETIRED, BUT SHE’S STILL RARING TO GO.  SHE GOES TO WORK UNSCREWING THE DRAINPIPE NUTS, AND THEN REMOVES THE U-SHAPED “P TRAP”.
Ron:
OK, you OK?

Laura:
Mm hm.

Ron:
All right, now just take it out.  Now what happens with these is, the reason they do this, did you wonder?  The reason they don’t go straight into the wall, or did you know this already?

Laura:
Probably, it’s the trap in case anything goes down.

Ron: 
If your wedding ring falls in here then you can you know take this off and retrieve it.  But what’s even more important is this is always full of water right in here.  And it keeps the gases in the sewer from coming back up into your sink.  It acts like a, a valve.

RON - VO:
NEXT, WE DISCONNECT THE WATER SUPPLY LINES.  NOW, WE’RE READY TO REMOVE THE OLD COUNTERTOP. 
Ron:
So are you ready to start tearing your bathroom apart?  There is no going back after this.

Laura:
Ready to tear it up.

RON-VO:
FIRST WE RUN A UTILITY KNIFE ALONG THE BACKSPLASH TO CUT THROUGH THE PAINT AND CAULKING.  THEN LAURA ATTEMPTS TO SEPARATE THE BACKSPLASH FROM THE WALL BY GENTLY HAMMERING A PUTTY KNIFE BETWEEN THE TWO…BUT THE ADHESIVE BOND IS TOO STRONG, SO I SUGGEST LAURA TRY A PRY BAR…WITH LESS THAN PERFECT RESULTS. 
Ron:
Uh oh.  I think the tool was too big for the job.  We’ll fix that. 

RON – VO:
AND WE REALLY WILL FIX THE HOLE, BUT FIRST WE REMOVE THE REST OF THE BACKSPLASH AND THE COUNTERTOP.
Ron:
There we go. We’re going to try to lift this up now.

RON-VO:
LAURA’S SON-IN-LAW CHARLIE STOPS BY TO HELP CARRY THE WHOLE PIECE OUT.
NOW IT’S TIME TO FIX UP THAT HOLE.  FIRST, I CUT A RECTANGULAR DRYWALL PATCH AND PLACE IT OVER THE DAMAGED AREA, TRACING AROUND IT WITH A FELT PEN.  NEXT I CUT OUT THE SHAPE WITH A DRYWALL SAW.  NOW I’M READY TO EMPLOY MY SPECIAL WALL PATCHING TOOL.  A BALLOON.
Ron:
Boy this is going to be a tough one to tie.

RON-VO:
THE BALLOON WILL ACT AS A CLAMP FOR THIS PIECE OF DRY WALL WHICH I CALL A BACKER BOARD.   I APPLY SOME GLUE TO THE FRONT SURFACE, INSERT THE BALLOON INTO THE HOLE, THEN PRESS THE BACKER BOARD AGAINST THE BALOON.  .  THE BALLOON PUSHES BACK FORCING THE PIECE OF DRYWALL AGAINST THE BACK SIDE OF WALL AND HOLDING IT IN PLACE WHILE THE GLUE DRIES.
NEXT, I APPLY SOME GLUE TO THE DRYWALL PATCH THAT I USED AS A TEMPLATE FOR THE OPENING,  AND PRESS IT FIRMLY ONTO THE BACKER BOARD.
FINALLY, I COVER THE SEAMS WITH JOINT COMPOUND AND PAPER TAPE.  I’LL LET IT DRY A FEW HOURS, SAND IT SMOOTH AN APPLY A SECOND COAT.  IN THE MEANTIME WE’LL STEP OUTSIDE FOR AT LOOK AT THE NEW COUNTERTOP AND SINK.
Ron:
Well, this is our new countertop, it’s very nice looking.  It’s acrylic.  Some people call this cultured marble, not really marble; it’s really plastic.  Molded in the shape we wanted it, and it’s been cut to just the right length so it can slip up into that alcove.  Now, we had the opening cut out for our sink, and by the way if you buy one of these I think that’s a really good idea.  Have them cut that out at the factory, and also holes bored back here for the faucets.

And this is our sink, it’s called a drop in, it’s porcelain enamel, it’s gonna drop right in that hole like that; we’ll seal it later on with some silicone over there. 

RON – VO:
WHEN I INSTALL A NEW COUNTERTOP LIKE THIS I ALWAYS PUT IN THE FIXTURES BEFOREHAND.  EVERYTHING IS EASIER TO SEE AND REACH, MUCH BETTER THAN DOING IT LATER LYING ON YOUR BACK IN A CRAMPED SPACE UNDERNEATH. IN A MATTER OF MINUTES LAURA AND CHARLIE HAVE THINGS READY TO GO.  THEN IT’S BACK INSIDE TO PREPARE THE BASE CABINET FOR THE COUNTERTOP INSTALLATION.
WE RUN A BEAD OF SILICONE ALONG THE UPPER EDGE OF THE BASE CABINET AND THEN LAY A COUPLE OF WOODEN DOWELS ACROSS IT.  THIS ALLOWS CHARLIE AND ME TO SLIDE THE COUNTERTOP ACROSS THE DOWELS, WITHOUT DISTURBING THE BEAD OF SILICONE.  ONCE IT’S IN PLACE, WE PULL THE DOWELS OUT AND THE COUNTERTOP DROPS RIGHT ONTO THE SEALANT.
NEXT, LAURA RUNS A BEAD OF WHITE SILICONE AROUND THE SINK OPENING, AND THEN THE TWO OF US CAREFULLY LOWER THE SINK INTO POSITION
NOW, LAURA GOES  BACK UNDER THE SINK TO RECONNECT THE PLUMBING,
AND I RE-INSTALL THE MIRROR AS SIMPLY AS I REMOVED IT.  BUT OUR MAKEOVER ISN’T FINISHED YET.
Ron:
So what do you think?

Laura:
I love it.  I love it.  I can’t wait for you to get it up.  Now you’re not going to make me get up there to put the light up are you?

Ron:  I was.

Laura:
Well now I can get down better than I can get up.  Why don’t you get up there and let me do something I know how to do and go get something from the kitchen.

Ron:
More from the kitchen?

Laura:
More from the kitchen.

Ron: 
OK

RON - VO:
WELL, IF I’VE LEARNED ONE THING TODAY, IT’S THAT ONLY GOOD THINGS COME FROM LAURA’S KITCHEN, SO I CONNECT THE WIRING, MOUNT THE LIGHT FIXTURE AND SCREW IT INTO PLACE.  
BY NOW, OUR WALL PATCH IS DRY AND READY FOR PAINT.  OUR LITTLE MISTAKE IS SOON COVERED UP AND FORGOTTEN.
Laura:
Ron, how about a break for an Alabama treat?

Ron:
Another break.  (LAUGHS).

Laura:
These are Dreamland ribs.  And they are peculiar to Alabama because they started out in Tuscaloosa.  So if you went to an Alabama ballgame, you had to go to Dreamland for ribs.  So it’s time for you to have a little taste. 

Ron:
Absolutely.

RON - VO:
AFTER ANOTHER FEAST, IT’S TIME TO ADDRESS THE CHIPPED SILVER ON THE MIRROR.  ONE OPTION WOULD HAVE BEEN TO BUY A NEW MIRROR.  A LESS EXPENSIVE AND MORE DECORATIVE OPTION IS TO COVER THE CHIPPED EDGES WITH WOOD MOLDING.  WE APPLY HOT MELT GLUE TO THE EACH SECTION AND PRESS THEM AGAINST THE MIRROR CREATING A FRAME.  OUR MAKEOVER IS COMPLETE.
Ron:
Well, we got a lot done today.

Laura:
It looks great.  Between the fixtures and the light, it just coordinates so beautifully.

Ron:
I didn’t work you too hard.
Laura:
You didn’t work me too hard.  Learned a lot, it’s been a great experience.

Ron:
Think you earned that plumber’s license?

Laura:
I’m not sure I got the plumber’s license, but I think I deserve a helper’s license.

Ron:
I think so too.  Matter of fact, to kind of make it official…I’m going to give you these.

Laura:
These are mine to keep?

Ron: 
Those are yours to keep.

Laura:
All right.  Then we’ll have to have another job.

Ron: 
Another job?  How ‘bout the kitchen?

Laura:
We don’t have to do it today, though, do we?

Ron:
I don’t see any reason to stop.

Laura:
Oh, we could go to the kitchen, but let’s not do it for another job just yet.

Ron:
Ok, what are we going to do?  Eat?

Laura:
We’ll do that.

Ron:
More food?

Laura:
More food.
RON – VO:
LAURA’S VANITY MAKEOVER BRINGS MODERN STYLE AND FUNCTION TO HER BATHROOM – BUT IT STILL REFLECTS LAURA’S UNFORGETTABLE OLD-FASHIONED HOSPITALITY AND WARMTH.

Replace a Worn, Scratched and Decades-old Bathroom Sink, Updating the Counter, Light Fixture, and Mirror to Complete the Makeover

Replace the sink, countertop, and light fixture to bring your bathroom decor into the 21st Century after four decades of service. Removing the mirror lets us install a molded acrylic countertop, porcelain enamel sink and elegant faucets. After reinstalling the mirror and dressing its damaged edges with molding, wiring the new light fixture brightens the bathroom with more light.

Disconnect the Old Light Fixture and Remove the Mirror
Step 1

Disconnect the Old Light Fixture and Remove the Mirror

Remove the old light fixture and mirror from the wall. First disable the electrical circuit that powers the light, then slip the light's face plate off its bracket and loosen the wire nuts that connect the electrical wires.

Detach the Sink, Plumbing, and Water Supply
Step 2

Detach the Sink, Plumbing, and Water Supply

Remove the sink and plumbing. Unscrew the drainpipe nut and remove the P-trap. Place a container beneath it to catch any residual water. Disconnect the water supply. Emptying and removing the cabinet drawers makes this step easier.

Remove the Countertop with a Putty Knife and Pry Bar
Step 3

Remove the Countertop with a Putty Knife and Pry Bar

Detach the old countertop. Cut through paint and caulking along the backsplash with a utility knife. Use a putty knife and pry bar to loosen and remove the unit. Discard the countertop or recycle it.

Repair Damage Caused by Countertop Removal
Step 4

Repair Damage Caused by Countertop Removal

Repair damage to the wall. Fill holes with drywall patches, using the demonstrated trick of a glued backer-board and balloon to hold the patch in place while you cover the seams with joint compound and tape.

Install the Sink and Faucets before Mounting the Countertop
Step 5

Install the Sink and Faucets before Mounting the Countertop

Install the sink in the countertop before mounting it in the bathroom. Installation is easier when you aren't lying on your back in a cramped area. Have the sink cutout and the holes for the faucets made at the factory.

Apply Silicon around the Upper Edge of the Base Cabinet
Step 6

Apply Silicon around the Upper Edge of the Base Cabinet

Run a bead of silicon along the top edge of the cabinet base. Lay two dowel rods across the open cabinet and slide the countertop over them to avoid disturbing the sealant. Remove the dowels once the countertop is positioned.

Run a Bead of White Silicon around the Sink Opening
Step 7

Run a Bead of White Silicon around the Sink Opening

Apply a bead of while silicon around the sink opening to seal the gap between the porcelain sink and the countertop. Carefully lower the sink into position without disturbing the sealant. Remove the excess.

Reattach the Plumbing and Remount the Mirror
Step 8

Reattach the Plumbing and Remount the Mirror

Reconnect the plumbing under the sink, reinstalling the P-trap and tightening the nuts on the drainpipe. Remount the mirror by positioning it and taping the clips to hold it in place.

Reconnect the Electrical Wiring and Attach the New Light Fixture
Step 9

Reconnect the Electrical Wiring and Attach the New Light Fixture

Install the new light fixture, reconnecting the wiring with wire nuts and attaching the face plate to the mounting bracket. Reactivate the electrical circuit. Paint as necessary to cover any wall repairs.

Cover Damage on the Mirror's Edge with Decorative Molding
Step 10

Cover Damage on the Mirror's Edge with Decorative Molding

Cut mitered wooden molding strips to cover the age damage on the mirror's edge. Apply hot melted glue to adhere the molding to the entire perimeter of the mirror and make something old look like new.