Installing floating vanity

nancyrgApril 9, 2010

My contractor is very reluctant to install a floating vanity attached to the wall only on the back. The vanity is 23" wide by 20" deep with a heavy RonBow ceramic sink on top. I've suggested screwing the vanity in at the top to studs and short supporting brackets at the bottom, but he doesn't think this will support the weight of the vanity and sink, especially if you leaned on it or grabbed it for support when slipping. I'm seeing floating vanities in many bathroom displays and would really like to have one in my small bathroom....can someone please describe how to effectively install one of these without out sidewall attachment. Thank you.

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Floating vanities are not a big deal to install, but success depends on the quality of the vanity as well as the method of installation.

23" wide? You definitely want to hit two studs, with a small width cabinet like that the layout could result in just one stud being behind the vanity. Not good.

Blocking could be installed, steel bracing could be used, etc.

The first thing that needs to be figured is if there is only one stud or two studs behind the proposed location?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 1:02AM
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Am no structure engineer but just like skycraper with flimpsy (relatively speaking) outside glass and mortar/thin panels, the trick is to have a solid interior support. A skeleton if u will.

So..... this is what I would do, in a big picture sorta way: Mount countertop (heavy) as if u have no vanity underneah, supported by two heavy duty triangles brackets attached to studs behind of course. THEN slice your vanity rear in such a way so u can "slide" in covering the brackets. So at least 1/2 of the weight (counter top) and whoever leans, is being supported by these two heavy, now hidden brackets.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 1:07AM
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Mongoct: The vanity is centered over two studs, however, since the vanity is 23" and the spacing between studs centers is 16", it is not possible to screw the sides of the vanity into the studs. Drywall is up so can't put something between studs in wall. I suppose you could on the outside of the wall?

Bobb_2010: Your suggestion sounds interesting....have you (or someone on the forum reading this) actually done this and have pictures?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:18AM
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Is a floating vanity installation less of a concern if it's attached on three sides? Latest thinking is floating but this post now has me wondering about installation complications. Mine is in an alcove though.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:55AM
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The sides don't need to be screwed into the studs.

If the cabinet is well built, you can attach a piece of angle iron low on the back wall, lagged to the studs. The angle iron will carry most of the weight of the cabinet. If need be the drywall can be cut away in that area so the iron is in direct contact with the studs.

If the cabinet back is sturdy and attached well to the cabinet sides, then attach a reinforcing piece, a "nailing strip" so to speak, to the inside back of the cabinet. It should be the full width of the interior back, extending from one side to the other, and it's placed where the back of the cabinet meets the cabinet top.

If the cabinet back is flimsy and just stapled in place, the consider replacing the back. Or run metal "L" reinforcement plates on the interior of the cabinet where the sides meet the cabinet top. One leg of the "L" gets screwed to the cabinet sides, the "L" piece then runs to the back corner of the cabinet and folds around on to the cabinet back. The leg on the back gets lagged to the studs.

Regardless, set the cabinet on the angle iron, and attach the cabinet to the iron. That holds the weight of the cabinet. Then from inside the cabinet run lag bolts through the interior steel (if used), the "nailing strip", through the cabinet back, and into the wall studs.

That will hold the cabinet to the wall and prevent it from rotating out.

If your contractor thinks the cabinet construction is too flimsy for that type of support, you'll probably have to expose the wall studs. The drywall that will be covered by the vanity back can easily be cut away from the wall to expose the wall studs. Attach 1/4" thick steel brackets to the studs by lagging one leg to the studs, the other leg will extend out from the wall and the cabinet will sit right on the bottom leg. Same as before from the top interior of the cabinet, attach a nailing strip and lag through that into the studs.

Don't attach it with drywall screws. Or deck screws. Drill properly sized pilot holes and use proper length lag screws.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Considerably less of a concern if it is connected on at least one side.

Floating vanity w/ Ronbow sinks

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:59AM
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