Published on October 4th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Bath Vanity from Appliance Cabinet

Materials: LACK bookshelf and AVSIKT roll front cabinet

Description: I recently remodeled a former laundry room into a very narrow (41″) bathroom. I needed a sink, countertop and storage, but didn’t want the space to feel cramped, so I used a shallow wall-mounted hand sink (150mm = 9 7/8″ deep), and cut down a LACK wall shelf to float underneath.

I ran the shelf lengthwise through a table saw to make it 3/8″ narrower at the back – – this still kept enough veneer to hide the support bracket, while making the front flush with the sink depth. I then cut the shelf to fit the room length, and cut the internal metal shelf support to the match. I core-drilled holes for the sink supply and waste plumbing lines, positioning the holes to avoid the shelf’s internal supports. I filled the hole sides with patching compound and put 3 coats of polyurethane on all surfaces.

For additional storage, I recessed the 12″ deep AVSIKT roll front kitchen cabinet into the stud bay, so that it fits underneath the shelf. The roll-front avoids the problem of cabinet doors swinging into the adjacent toilet. The grey foil and brushed aluminum finish goes great with the chrome plumbing fixtures. A small shim above the this cabinet snugs the LACK shelf to the underside of the sink, providing additional support.

Final installation has to follow a sequence for proper fit: first the wall-mounted sink, then the cabinet exactly 2″ lower, then the shelf support, then the faucet and water supply lines.

Slip the shelf halfway onto the supports, then pull the water lines (braided flexible pipe) through their shelf hole as you continue to slide the shelf into place. Connect the water lines to the supply. Finally, install the waste line. Due to the small size of the bathroom, I waited until the shelf was installed before setting the toilet into place.

Notice the GRUNDTAL toilet paper dispenser attached to the underside of the LACK shelf — I find that it still holds strongly even though the 2 screws are in the hollow portion of the shelf.

~ Steve, San Gabriel, CA

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

17 Responses to Bath Vanity from Appliance Cabinet

  1. Kelly says:

    AVSIKT cabinet.. I dont see 12 inches cabinet in Ikea website… the only thing I see is 18 inches… did you modify your cabinet to 12 inches or was there 12 inches cabinet to begin with?

  2. Anonymous says:

    looks great .. really .. but AVSIKT is soooo expensive here in switzerland (~USD 300) that u could buy a made to measure unit for that price

  3. Anonymous says:

    Andrea – so sorry, I haven’t visted this site for a while, but here is my belated response:
    I looked at the Bredviken sink on the Ikea website, and I couldn’t tell if it is self-supporting, or if it requires a vanity or brackets for support beneath.
    My own sink was originally designed to be wall-mounted/self supporting, so the LACK shelf I used is really bearing no weight at all, other than the occasional cosmetics or hair dryer on its countertop. I wouldn’t trust the LACK shelf to hold up the sink + plumbing on its own.

    There are many materials other than LACK shelves (which are hollow-core door technology) that make good countertops. If you’re putting a big hole in the counter, don’t use LACK.

    Steve (fogot my login ID)

  4. Andrea says:

    Hi Steve!

    First thing first, great job you’ve done there :) I always appreciate nice craftsmanship and you’ve made a nice bathroom out of a very tiny room!

    Second, I stumbled upon this page looking around on the net for other people who might have already done what I was planning to do: getting some Ikea stuff and make something “new”, and your project here is the closest thing to what I have in mind I’ve found :)
    I’m planning to buy a Bredviken black double sink from Ikea and mount it on the wall, using a dark wooden shelf as support. What do you think?
    I could hang it on the back wall and on one side and cut a squared hole big enough to fit the sink in (or just lay the sink ON it). Got any advice? :) Thanks in advance man!

  5. Steve says:

    The sink is a Hastings Verso 50 (in Europe, sold as Catalano). Kinda pricey acually, but I loved the look of it, almost like someone had carved a bar of Ivory soap. After the purchase, I found a similar knockoff for much less at Whitehaus: http://www.whitehauscollection.com/whitehaus/catalog/collection.aspx?cid=268

    The drain “bottle trap” is Kohler K-9033-CP. The visual effect is almost like a piston pushing the sink upward.

    @ Anonymous: yeah, I originally planned to use a veneer MDF countertop. When I found that the LACK shelf fit with a few simple modifications, I thought, “for the price, why not?”, just as a cheap placeholder to keep me on-schedule until the new counter was fabricated. So far, with a couple months of use, there’s been no problem with water stains,etc. I assume the additional polyurethane coatings help. I’ll let you know if I have problems in the future.

    The bathroom itself is well-ventilated. Just out of view to the left of the photos is a shower with a ventilating skylight above, and a pretty decent ceiling fan, so there’s no moisture issues.

    337, you are right about the GFI outlet. Everything was installe dby an electrician and plan checked / inspected closely by the city.

  6. 337 says:

    electrical outlets and switches are perfectly acceptable by sinks as long as they’re protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet/circuit. I’m guessing that the power goes to the outlet first, then to the switches so if any one of those elec items gets wet, it will trigger the GFCI and shut off.

    I’m sure that there is a bit more to it than that in the electrical codes since I’m not an electrician but I’m pretty sure that gives the gist of it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great idea and execution.

    But electrical plug socket and switches by the sink!?!

    Are you/electricians allowed to fit them in such locations in the US?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Where did you get that sink???

  9. AMR Design says:

    Great use of space and very fresh!

  10. 337 says:

    Really slick, I think I like the use of the AVSIKT roll front kitchen cabinet the most out of the hack. dig the TP hung under the shelf. nice outlet/switch location too.

    I too hope the LACK holds up in that environment. I guess its good impetus to put the fan on.

    I think the metal waste pipe is from duravit. not sure though.

  11. Kelly says:

    That’s beautiful!

  12. Anonymous says:

    To my previous post above:

    I don’t mean to say this doesn’t look awesome…it does (I wish my bathroom looked like this)

    I just thought it was unfortunate that something so nice would probably only stay nice looking for a year (when it could have been done with MDF and countertop-grade laminate for a small amount of money more).

  13. Anonymous says:

    Some times I am alarmed by hacks like this that use LACK parts…

    While the lack looks good for what it is (really cheap surfaces that look good for the first few years of their life), I can’t imagine putting so much effort into customizing one let alone using it as a bathroom counter.

    These are not solid wood or even fiberboard…the inside is mostly a honeycomb of thin cardboard and the surfaces are really thin board with a REALLY thin veneer.

    I have seen lack tables get bubbling, peeling veneer after having glasses of water set down on them a few too many times…I can’t imagine the humid and wet environment of a bathroom being somewhere that a lack would last very long.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Where did you get that metal waste pipe from?

  15. Sing says:

    What a great idea for this narrow space.

  16. Very nice! Looks super sleek & well thought out!

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