How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (2023)

Home Rooms Bathroom Drain

Updated: May 06, 2019

    We show you every gritty step—start to finish

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    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (1)Family Handyman

    Make your cramped bathroom feel more spacious and stylish by tearing out the old vanity and sink and installing a new pedestal sink. It's the easiest way to remodel a bathroom. This simple change-out will make your entire bathroom will feel fresh and new again.

    By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

    Time
    Multiple Days
    Complexity
    Intermediate
    Cost
    $501-1000

    Pedestal sinks present unique challenges

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (2)

    The remodeled bathroom

    The pedestal sink makes a bathroom feel bigger. To complement the new sink, you can add new lights and mirror for even greater impact.

    Replacing your old vanity cabinet with a pedestal sink is one of the quickest and easiest ways to remodel a bathroom (Photo). But we should warn you—pedestal sinks can be tricky to put in, even for pros. Often the pipes aren’t in the right spot, making it difficult to fit the pedestal in place and connect the pipes so they look nice. You may discover that there’s no floor tile underneath the vanity cabinet so you’ll have to patch or replace the floor. And you may also have to patch missing baseboard.

    In the following article, we’ll show you how to handle the most common problems, including how to relocate your drain and water pipes for a neater installation.

    You’ll be able to install a new pedestal sink and faucet in a day even with no previous experience. If you have to relocate the pipes, plan to spend a few more days to move the pipes and patch and paint the wall. For this you’ll need basic plumbing skills like soldering copper and cutting and gluing plastic pipe.

    For a complete listing of the tools and materials you’ll need, see “Tools and Supplies” below. And be sure to contact your building inspections department to see whether a permit is required for this plumbing work.

    Tools and supplies

    Tools:
    Adjustable wrenches
    Large slip joint pliers
    Hacksaw with fine-tooth blade
    Close-quarters tubing cutter
    Tubing cutter
    Drill and bits
    5/16-in. masonry bit
    Tape measure
    2-ft. level

    Soldering tools and supplies: Propane or Mapp gas tank with regulator Lead-free solder Flux Wire brush for 1/2-in. fittings Emery cloth Heat shield cloth Leather gloves 10-ft. length of 1/2-in. copper pipe 1/2-in. copper elbows, couplings and caps

    PVC pipe tools and supplies: Fine-tooth saw PVC glue PVC primer 1-1/2 in. PVC pipe PVC 45- or 90-degree elbows PVC sanitary tee Transition couplings Organic vapor respirator

    Other tools: Reciprocating saw and metal-cutting blade Circular saw Drywall keyhole saw

    Note: You can download a copy of this list from the Additional information below.

    Step 1: Tear out the old vanity

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (3)

    (Video) How to Install a Pedestal Sink and Faucet -- by Home Repair Tutor

    Photo 1: Disconnect the pipes and remove the old sink

    Shut off the water at the main shutoff valve. Remove the trap by unscrewing the slip nuts and pulling it down. Cut the tubes that supply water to the faucet with a hacksaw or tubing cutter or loosen the nuts and pull them out. Lift off the vanity top and remove the vanity cabinet.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (4)

    Photo 2: Cut open the wall

    Cut out the drywall (or plaster) to expose the plumbing and allow access for installing wood backing. Cut along the edge of the studs. Caution: Keep your saw blade shallow to avoid hitting electrical wires.

    Tear out the old sink and vanity (Photo 1) and check the drain and supply pipe locations. Pedestal sinks look best if the drain and supply pipes are centered and partially hidden by the sink. Your new sink will come with wall measurements showing ideal plumbing locations.

    To be absolutely sure, position the pedestal sink and loosely install your new faucet, pop-up drain and P-trap. Now measure from the floor to find the drain height and determine the best location to put the water supply valves mostly out of sight. Our old drain was 6 in. off center and a few inches too low. The water pipes also were in the wrong spot.

    Pedestal sinks look best if you shift the plumbing. If you have to relocate pipes, start by removing a section of wall covering wide enough so you can move the pipes and install wood backing (Photo 2). This means wall repair and repainting later. Use a keyhole saw to cut the drywall (Photo 2), but keep the saw blade shallow to avoid hitting wiring or pipes.

    Tip: It’s easier to cut along the edge of the studs and add 2×2 drywall nailers alongside the studs later than to try to cut down the middle of the studs.

    Step 2: Replumb the drain and water supply pipes

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (6)

    Photo 4: Mark the new pipe locations

    Mark the new height of the drain and water supply pipes on a stud. Mark the new center of the sink on the bottom plate.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (7)

    Photo 5: Connect new to old with transition couplings

    Connect the 1-1/2 in. steel drainpipe to a PVC street elbow with a transition coupling. Tighten the clamps with a 5/16-in. nut driver or socket wrench. Cut the copper water pipes with a close-quarters tubing cutter.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (8)

    Photo 6: Reroute the drain

    Cut the lengths of PVC pipe so that the drain opening in the sanitary tee is centered on the center marks for the drain. Prime the pipe ends and the inside of the fittings. Then spread PVC adhesive on the primed surfaces and quickly assemble each joint, twisting the pipe about a quarter turn as you push it into the fitting. Hold it tightly about 45 seconds.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (9)

    Photo 7: Reroute the supply lines

    Assemble the copper supply lines. Cut, clean and solder the copper tubes and fittings. Support the stub-outs with straps and solder a cap on each. Then turn on the water and check for leaks.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (10)

    Photo 8: Install sink and drywall backers

    Screw a 2×6 to the studs to provide support for the pedestal sink. Screw additional 2×2 backing to support drywall edges.

    (Video) How to Install a Pedestal Sink | The Home Depot

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (11)

    Photo 9: Close up the wall

    Cut drywall and fasten it to the studs with 1-1/4 in. drywall screws. Cover the seams with drywall tape embedded in a layer of joint compound. Trowel on at least two more layers, allowing each to dry before recoating. Use a 10- or 12-in. trowel for the final coat to create a tapered patch. Sand with 100-grit drywall sanding paper. Prime and paint the wall and nail up the baseboard before installing the new sink.

    Cutting steel pipes like ours is a real chore with a hacksaw. Rent or borrow a reciprocating saw (Photo 3) to speed up the job. Plastic pipes are easy to cut with any fine-tooth saw. To connect PVC (white) plastic drainpipes to either ABS (black) plastic, copper or steel, use transition couplings (Photo 5). Transition couplings have a rubber gasket surrounded by a steel sleeve with screw clamps at each end. Don’t confuse them with the solid rubber or rippled steel collar types. Transition couplings are available at home centers and plumbing supply stores. Match the transition coupling to the pipe size. If your old pipes are PVC, then you’re set to go; just prime them and glue the new PVC fittings on.

    Plastic pipe makes quick work of relocating your drain. Cut and assemble the drain and vent pipes as shown in Photos 5 and 6. Don’t worry if you make a mistake; it’s easy to fix. Just cut the pipe and join a new section with a PVC coupling.

    Begin by clamping elbows to the transition couplings on the drain and vent pipes. Then start at the drain and work up toward the sanitary tee, making sure to center the sanitary tee on the new sink location and at the right height. Complete the drain by flexing the PVC drain assembly just enough to glue in the last section of pipe (Photo 6).

    We’ve run both the drain and vent pipes at a 45-degree angle for optimal performance. If you’re moving the pipes very far, you might have to use 90-degree elbows instead. Keep in mind that your vent pipe shouldn’t run horizontally unless it’s at least 6 in. above the “spill line” of the sink, or about 42 in. above the floor. Leave the drain stub unglued until the drywall is finished. Then cut the stub so the trap adapter fits snug to the drywall and glue them all together (shown completed in Photo 10).

    To secure the copper pipes and help hold them in place as you solder them, level and screw a scrap of wood between the studs and mark the pipe locations on it. Cut the copper pipe and solder the fittings together (Photo 7). Leave about 6 in. of copper pipe sticking out and solder on a cap so you can turn the water on to test for leaks. When the wall patching and painting is done, install the new shutoff valves (Photo 10).

    Screw wood backing to the studs to support the edges of the drywall (Photo 8). Measure the sink for the location of the anchors and screw wood backing between the studs in this area (Photo 8). If your work requires a permit, call for a plumbing inspection before closing the wall.

    Step 3: Install the new sink

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (12)

    Photo 10: Add shutoffs and adapters

    Glue a short length of pipe and a trap adapter to the sanitary tee inside the wall. Then close the main water valve and use a tubing cutter to cut the copper pipes, leaving 2 in. exposed. Slide the decorative escutcheon (for this project you’ll need two 1/2-in. escutcheon), nut and brass ferrule over the pipe stub and attach a compression-type shutoff valve. Hold the valve body with one wrench while you tighten the compression nut with another.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (13)

    Photo 11: Mark the sink mounting holes

    Mark the center of the sink on masking tape stuck to the floor. Align the center of the pedestal with this mark. Set the sink bowl on the pedestal, and lay a 2-ft. level across it. Place 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. Remove the bowl and pedestal and set them aside.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (14)

    Photo 12: Mount the hanger bolts

    Drill 3/16-in. pilot holes into the wall at the mounting bolt locations. Tighten two 5/16-in. nuts against each other on the hanger bolts to provide a grip for the wrench. Screw the hanger bolts in, leaving just enough bolt exposed to extend through the sink mounting hole plus 3/8 in. Use a 5/16-in. masonry bit to drill a clearance hole in the tile floor for the 1/4 x 2-in. pedestal mounting screw. The screw will slip through this hole and screw into the wood subfloor.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (15)

    Photo 13: Mount the faucet

    Attach the faucet parts to the sink according to the instructions provided. The manufacturer of our faucet specified a bead of plumber’s putty under the valves and spout to seal them to the sink.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (16)

    Photo 14: Add the drain assembly

    Install the pop-up drain assembly. Press a pencil-width bead of plumber’s putty under the rim of the drain before you press the drain down into the opening in the sink. Screw this piece to the assembly that mounts under the sink. Assemble the rest of the parts and adjust the opening and closing of the stopper according to the instructions. Coat the fine threads on the tailpiece with thread sealant and screw the tailpiece into the pop-up assembly.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (17)

    (Video) How to Install a Pedestal Sink

    Photo 15: Install the sink

    Screw the pedestal base to the floor. Slide the sink over the mounting bolts and install a stainless steel fender washer and acorn nut to secure it. Be careful not to overtighten the nut or you could break the sink.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (18)

    Photo 16: Cut the supply tubes

    Mark the supply tubes and cut them with a tubing cutter. Bend them to fit and connect them to the valve and faucet with the nut and brass ferrule provided.

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (19)

    Photo 17: Connect the drain

    Complete the installation by connecting the 1-1/4 in. trap assembly to the sink tailpiece and PVC trap adapter. Use a fine-tooth hacksaw blade to cut the trap arm to length if necessary. The arm should extend about 2 in. into the trap adapter. Hand-tighten the slip joint connectors. Then tighten an additional quarter turn with a large slip joint pliers. Cover the trap adapter with a special deep escutcheon (extra deep, p-trap diameter), available at most full-service hardware stores.

    With the prep work done, you can mount the sink in about three hours. Here’s how. First, install the valves, drain stub and sink mounting bolts (Photos 10 – 12). Next follow the faucet directions to install the faucet and pop-up drain on the sink (Photos 13 and 14). Finally, mount the sink and connect the plumbing (Photos 15 – 17).

    When you set the sink on the pedestal to mark the mounting holes, don’t be surprised if it’s a little tippy—they’re not always perfect. Slide plastic shims under the pedestal if necessary to keep it from rocking, and stick foam pads or rubber cabinet door bumpers under the sink bowl to level it before marking the wall and floor for the mounting screws (Photo 11). When the installation is done, fill the gaps at the floor and between the pedestal and bowl with silicone caulk that matches the sink.

    Making the final connection between the faucet and valve can be tricky. If you’re having trouble fitting the supply tube into the valve (Photo 16), loosen the valve (reverse the procedure shown in Photo 10) and swivel it to allow clearance to insert the tube. Then retighten the connection. Always use two wrenches to tighten compression fittings, one to hold the valve and the other to tighten the nut.

    Complete the sink installation by installing the P-trap assembly (Photo 17). Hand-tighten the slip joints. Then give them an extra quarter turn with a large slip joint pliers. This is a tight spot to work—ideally, your plumbing is lined up just right so you can finish before your neck cramps up!

    Double-check all your connections. Fill the bowl with water. Then let it out and watch for leaks. Tighten leaky joints. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to take apart the leaky joint and make sure the rubber slip joint gaskets are in place and the brass ferrules on the compression fittings are squarely seated.

    Shopping for pedestal sinks

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (20)

    Kohler Portrait

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (21)

    American Standard Reminiscence

    How to Plumb a Pedestal Sink (22)

    American Standard Colony

    Before pedestal sinks became popular again, you had to scrounge around the salvage yards to find one, but today you’ll find half a dozen styles in stock at most home centers, and dozens more in manufacturers’ catalogs. The sinks are 20 to 30 in. wide and cost about $70 to more than $700. First pick out a faucet. Then buy a sink with holes to match the faucet.

    You’ll need a few additional parts and supplies. Buy a 1-1/4 in. 17-gauge chrome-plated trap assembly to connect the drain. The metal pipe cover (escutcheon) that comes with the trap is too shallow to cover the PVC trap adapter and nut we’ll be installing, so buy an extra-deep (p-trap diameter) escutcheon (Photo 17). If you don’t have them already, buy two shutoff valves. Buy valves with a compression fitting to tighten onto 1/2-in. copper pipe (Photo 10) or valves with pipe threads if you’re connecting to the old threaded iron pipes. Buy faucet supply tubes to match your faucet. If your faucet has “pigtails” like ours that are too short, buy two 3/8-in. outside diameter extension tubes (Photo 16).

    Many faucets have no tubes attached. For these, buy standard faucet supply tubes. The rigid chrome-plated ones like the ones we’re using look the best, but flexible braided stainless tubes are much easier to hook up. Buy a small container of plumber’s putty (Photo 13) and thread sealant for the sink tailpiece (Photo 14). All these plumbing supplies are available at home centers and full-service hardware stores. Pedestal sink mounting systems vary. Read the directions included with your sink to find out what you need.

    Additional Information

    Required Tools for this Project

    You can download a copy of the Tools and Supplies List from the additional information.

    Required Materials for this Project

    Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

    • Escutcheon
    • Faucet
    • P-trap
    • Pedestal sink
    • Pipe thread sealant
    • Plumber's putty
    • Shut-off valves (2)
    • Supply tubes (2)
    • Trap adapter

    You can also download a copy of the Tools and Supplies List from the additional information.

    Originally Published: November 28, 2018

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    (Video) Pedestal Sink Installation: What the plumbers didn't tell you

    FAQs

    Where do the pipes go in a pedestal sink? ›

    Water Supply Lines

    The water supply tubing and shutoff valves should be tucked behind the base of the pedestal, if possible, to keep them out of view. The less you see of the drain and water lines, the better the pedestal will look.

    Can you install a pedestal sink with floor plumbing? ›

    Installing a pedestal sink with floor plumbing requires that you block all water entry. The first thing you have to do while installing a pedestal sink with floor plumbing is to disconnect all water supply lines. You can put a bucket under the drain line to collect any water coming out for that time.

    Does the plumbing show with a pedestal sink? ›

    If you are replacing an old sink, you may be able to use the existing plumbing. However, some of the plumbing will be visible when you install a pedestal sink. You may want to replace old-looking plumbing. You may also need to reposition the plumbing to better fit the new pedestal sink.

    Do you caulk a pedestal sink? ›

    Yes, you should caulk a pedestal sink. It's important to caulk around the base of the pedestal, as well as the area where the rear portion of the sink bowl meets the wall. Applying a liberal layer of caulk to both areas helps avoid moisture getting trapped behind the sink, allowing the growth of mold and mildew.

    Is a pedestal sink worth it? ›

    Pedestal sinks are better suited to some types of bathrooms over others. For starters, pedestal sinks work perfectly in any bathroom where space is limited, including half baths and powder rooms. Bathrooms that aim for an early 20th century period style also can be a great fit for a pedestal sink.

    Are pedestal sinks outdated? ›

    The pedestal sink is a common fixture in bathrooms, and as such, it has evolved over the years to suit a more modern appeal. As opposed to many bathroom fixtures that new innovations have replaced, pedestals remain one of the most popular choices for any bathroom remodel because they're both durable and timeless.

    Can you use a pedestal sink without the pedestal? ›

    A pedestal sink is basically a version of a wall-hung lavatory in that the sink is attached to the wall studs and doesn't need the pedestal for support.

    How do you cover pipe holes under a sink? ›

    You can fill holes around pipes under a kitchen sink (or any other sink in your home) by filling them with steel wool or copper wool and then sealing the patch with caulk, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For best results, use silicone caulk.

    What is the difference between an S-trap and AP trap? ›

    With an S-trap, the drainpipe drops down from the sink and into a conventional trap. It then loops over and exits downward. In a P-trap configuration, the drain also comes down from the sink and into the trap, but instead of looping over and back down, the drain enters a horizontal run before exiting downward.

    What is an S-trap vs P-trap? ›

    The Difference

    An S-trap flows down from the drain, curves up, then curves back down. The P-trap also flows down from the drain and curves, but the curve finishes on a horizontal pipe that takes the waste out. Once the trap dries out, sewer gases can start flowing back into your home.

    How do you stabilize a pedestal sink? ›

    Place the pedestal back in place but do not bolt it to the floor yet. Place the sink on top. Insert a wooden shim underneath the pedestal. Place a level across the top of the sink and insert or remove shims as necessary.

    Can you replace a vanity with a pedestal sink? ›

    Replacing your old vanity cabinet with a pedestal sink is one of the quickest and easiest ways to remodel a bathroom (Photo). But we should warn you—pedestal sinks can be tricky to put in, even for pros.

    How do you stabilize a pedestal sink? ›

    Place the pedestal back in place but do not bolt it to the floor yet. Place the sink on top. Insert a wooden shim underneath the pedestal. Place a level across the top of the sink and insert or remove shims as necessary.

    How do you replace a pedestal sink trap? ›

    Loosen the slip nuts at both ends of the P-trap using channel-lock pliers. First pull the P-trap apart from the outlet pipe in the wall, then gently separate the P-trap from the drainpipe by rotating it back and forth while pulling down. Be careful not to exert too much downward force on the suspended pedestal sink.

    Videos

    1. How to Install a Pedestal Sink | Pro tips | PLAN LEARN BUILD
    (Bathroom Remodeling Teacher)
    2. Pedestal Sinks: The Pros and Cons of Installing a Pedestal Sink | This Plumber Doesn’t Like Them
    (The Grumpy Plumber)
    3. How To: Install a Pedestal Sink - Bob Vila
    (Bob Vila)
    4. Installation of a Pedestal Sink
    (Channel 411)
    5. How to install a pedestal basin
    (B&Q)
    6. how to install pedestal sink #1
    (Do It Yourself)
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