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Old 10-12-2016, 04:39 PM   #1
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Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


I just installed a 60" bathroom vanity in a "cove" (flanked by two adjacent side walls). The cove is out of square and after shimming the vanity to make it level, there is a 1 1/2" gap between the countertop and the back wall on the right side. I was planning to use backer board and tile to make a backsplash thick enough to cover this gap, but this would reduce countertop depth by 1 1/2" on the left side and might also look a bit lopsided. A full wall mirror installed on the wall over the backsplash.

Would it be better to try and square the wall to the vanity before installing the mirror, by using an extra layer of drywall (to build up the right side with the gap and somehow taper it to meet the left side)? Or perhaps to use wood strips as spacers to bring the right side of the mirror out a bit? This would also allow the backsplash thickness to be reduced. If it's not worth the extra effort, I'll just go ahead as planned. I'm the homeowner, not a contractor.

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Old 10-12-2016, 06:22 PM   #2
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


Post a picture so we can see what your seeing.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


Got pictures?
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:09 PM   #4
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


You could remove the existing drywall.. Get yourself a square line as a reference.. Fur out each stud as needed to make it square and put up some new drywall... Not sure how much effort you want to put in to it... But that would fix it...
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


Here's a couple photos. As you can see, the cove is way out of square. The original mirror was 4" lower with the old vanity, but was temporarily raised up to the ceiling after installing the new vanity which is higher. A new mirror will be cut to fit up to the ceiling, or I'll just shorten the height of the old one so that the "out-of-squareness" won't be so visible in relation to the ceiling.

The gap in front of the vanity top is 1.5" on the right side, but there's no gap on the left side (it's up against the wall).


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Old 10-13-2016, 06:47 AM   #6
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


What material is the countertop? Does it have an integral backsplash? If no integral backsplash and if it is cultured marble or corian you could sand the back of the left side so that the gap on the right closes. You dont have to get it exact if you are going to apply a backsplash or tile or even the bottom of the mirror since they would all cover the minor gaps.

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Old 10-13-2016, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


Is the front overhang consistent from right to left?

If so, I would consider building a deeper top and scribing it to the back wall.
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


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Originally Posted by ryansdiydad View Post
You could remove the existing drywall.. Get yourself a square line as a reference.. Fur out each stud as needed to make it square and put up some new drywall... Not sure how much effort you want to put in to it... But that would fix it...
This would be the best option, but maybe the most expensive. It's a rental, so I'm trying to limit expenses. A contractor removed and replaced the drywall behind the vanity as part of a plumbing repair just before the new vanity was installed. Had I known it wasn't square, I would have asked him to fur out the studs to square it. Otherwise, I guess it wouldn't be his responsibility do to so. Any idea what a drywall guy would charge for this?

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What material is the countertop? Does it have an integral backsplash? If no integral backsplash and if it is cultured marble or corian you could sand the back of the left side so that the gap on the right closes. You dont have to get it exact if you are going to apply a backsplash or tile or even the bottom of the mirror since they would all cover the minor gaps.
It's caesarstone (quartz), which would be difficult or impossible to sand or to cut without removing it.

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Is the front overhang consistent from right to left?

If so, I would consider building a deeper top and scribing it to the back wall.
Yes, overhang is consistent. Building a deeper top isn't an option. Too expensive.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:33 PM   #9
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


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I was planning to use backer board and tile to make a backsplash thick enough to cover this gap, but this would reduce countertop depth by 1 1/2" on the left side and might also look a bit lopsided.
Sounds like you don't want to fix the wall, so you are back to Plan A. You will notice it every time you go in there, but a visitor won't. Take a 2x4, maybe paint it white, put it in place, and see how it looks.

I expect a Ceasarstone distributor could fabricate you a piece that may look better. I believe Ceaserstone comes in 3/4" and 1-1/4" thickness, but should be able to glue two pieces together and put a shape on the edge. As you know, however, quartz is not cheap.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


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This would be the best option, but maybe the most expensive.

A couple sheets of drywall are like $13.. add $6 for some joint compound.. $2 for joint tape.. go real cheap and get a plastic joint knife set for $3.. $4 for a couple studs to rip down and fur the wall out.. got some primer and paint leftover?

Sum it all up and i get to $28... figure i forgot something and make it $40.. not all that expensive to me.. if you do it yourself...

Last edited by ryansdiydad; 10-13-2016 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:08 PM   #11
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


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Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Sounds like you don't want to fix the wall, so you are back to Plan A. You will notice it every time you go in there, but a visitor won't.
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Originally Posted by ryansdiydad View Post
Sum it all up and i get to $28... figure i forgot something and make it $40.. not all that expensive to me.. if you do it yourself...
You're both right. The wall needs to be fixed and it's not that much more work than building a thick backsplash which would look strange anyway.

Some background - This is a condo. The bathroom walls were ripped out as part of building wide pipe replacement project, which includes the labor to refinish the walls and install the vanity. All of this is being paid for by the HOA. I used the opportunity to upgrade the vanity cabinet, vanity top and tiles. The contractor just replaced the old drywall on the out-of-square studs and he didn't realize the problem until they were installing the new vanity cabinet. The original vanity cabinet seems to have been custom made to fit the out of square walls, but I told them from the start that I would be buying a new cabinet.

In your opinions, it it reasonable to expect that squaring the wall (or fixing it now) would be included in the fee he is getting paid? If he had known that the wall wasn't square before replacing the drywall, I assume he would have squared it then, but apparently he didn't check. The same GC did both the drywall work and the vanity install (although I think different employees or subcontractors handled each of these tasks).

I'm hoping they will fix it. They'd only need to redo the section of drywall above the vanity, not the entire wall.

Last edited by Mark777; 10-13-2016 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:28 PM   #12
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


Did this contractor do the framing? Or did they just remove drywall, fix the pipes, and replace the drywall?

If they didn't do any framing, I would be hard pressed to say its his fault or responsibility for it being out of square.. If the scope of his contract was to just remove drywall, fix plumbing, and replace drywall, it sounds like he did was he was paid to do.. He would deserve to be paid to fix someone else poor framing job..

Your best bet is to bring it up with the HOA... show them the problem.. Ask them to fix it.. and hope they agree..
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:23 AM   #13
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


One contractor was hired to demo/remove drywall, replace drywall, install vanity and redo tiling. A second contractor (plumber) repaired the pipes.

I think the first contractor should at least bear some responsibility for fixing the wall so that the vanity fits properly. He seems like a reasonable guy and I'm sure we'll work it out.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:21 AM   #14
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


Was that a fully pre-finished vanity and counter?

In retrospect, the cabinet base should have been put in place, probably parallel to the rear wall, but actually, it does not matter much. Then they should have come in and templated for the countertop. (But of course more cost than an off the shelf vanity.) Probably what was done initially -- just like a kitchen countertop.

I actually have the exact same situation in my master bath. The vanity top is a few inches shorter than the distance between the walls. It was finished with tapered side-splashes. Looks like crap.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:26 AM   #15
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Re: Installing bathroom vanity in out-of-square cove


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One contractor was hired to..... install vanity and redo tiling.
If he was hired to install the vanity, why are you making the backsplash?

I don't see a finished installation in that picture.
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