If you are renovating your bathroom I thought it would be good to review how to layout the vanity vignette. Involved in this vignette are the following details: Flooring, Cabinetry, Plumbing, Countertop, Mirror, and Lighting. While that sounds simple there is actually a straight line centering each of these items and when it is off by just ¼” it might as well be a mile. So, how do you avoid the mile off? A lot of planning.
Step 1. DESIGN
Always start with the design and planning. This is not a time to “wing it” or let people do their thing and you’ll figure it out later. Plan ahead and stay with your plan. Start with the vanity layout with size, doors, and drawers. Then move on to plumbing and how that will be incorporated into the cabinet. For example, do you want a deck or wall-mounted faucet? This will determine if you have tile or a higher backsplash on the wall. Next look at the mirror. Many people skip this step. It’s true, you can always just go with a plate glass mirror custom cut to the size you want but finding a nice mirror in the size you need after the light fixture is installed is a stressful challenge. Then address how you want the lighting to be interpreted – either on top of the mirror (quantity 1) or on each side (quantity 2).
Step 2. SUB-CONTRACTORS
The Plumber goes in first to the project for rough-in plumbing. Make sure he sees your design and that it is taped to the vignette wall so that everyone gets on the same page quickly. Plumbing can be tricky and you want to make sure that it is done right, runs the way you want it to, and has a plan for draining into the sewer or septic.
The electrician’s piece is easier because he will probably just pull a whip into the wall and can locate the fixture later. But if you need to pull the exact fixture location early in the project, this needs to be spot on. My recommendation is to go ahead and write on the studs exactly what is happening with heights and widths. Once that fixture is set, everything will follow – cabinetry, sink, faucet, and mirror.
Step 3. INSTALLATION
First, it will be the flooring then the cabinetry. If freestanding, make sure that this is absolutely in the right spot. If it is up again the wall, we typically “scribe” the cabinet to the wall for a clean line and no gap. Next will be the countertops- make sure that the sink and faucet are there when they template. Typically, the stone company will install the sink before setting the top in place. The plumber will then come and install the faucet. Next up is the light fixture (s) by the electrician. Lastly, the contractor will install the mirror. And… Voila, you are done!
I know that many of you are trying to get home projects done during this building boom and getting subs in can be very difficult. The key to getting them there is…. Sweet, sweet reminders (most of the text – not email), pay quickly, and be SUPER polite. Remember, these guys (and yes, they are mostly men) are all working very hard with the supply and labor being low and demand through the roof. People who complain and don’t pay just simply are not getting the work done.
Patience is a virtue for a reason. In the end, it will absolutely be worth it. Just plan, plan, plan your project, and stay on top of the schedule as best as you are able. And… good luck!