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Two black ceramic bowl basins on a floating timber vanity in a bathroom with slate floor tiles

Overview

This stylish timber floating vanity makes a great centrepiece for your bathroom. It not only looks fantastic, it can be easily adapted to fit whatever space you have available. This step-by-step guide will help you create a designer look in your bathroom without spending a fortune.

Steps

1Choose your timber

When choosing the timber for your vanity make sure it's straight across all planes. Lift the plank and look along the edge, making sure it isn't twisted or bowed. Also, make sure the timber is the same width. Our vanity will have two hand basins and be 1500mm long.
A person checking two lengths of wide hardwood timber

2Prepare your bathroom

Before you start this project, determine where the vanity will go. Use a licenced electrician and plumber to install the necessary power outlets and plumbing fixtures.
A bathroom wall with pipes protruding through holes in the tiles

3Sand the timber

Ensure the two planks for the top of your vanity are face side up. Sand and clean the edges and faces to be joined. They don't have to be sanded smooth, if they're a little rough it'll help the glue adhere to the surface.
A person sanding a piece of hardwood with a belt sander

4Join the two pieces of timber together

Stand the timber and liberally apply glue to the joining edges. Clamp the two pieces of timber together. Place offcuts of timber between the clamps and the wood to protect the timber. Put two sash clamps on top of the wood to make sure the timber doesn't bow.
A person applying glue to the side of a piece of hardwood

5Remove any excess glue

Use a chisel to remove any excess glue from the top of the boards. Wipe the excess glue onto a rag.
A person using a chisel to remove dried glue from a join in timber

6Make the boards level

To make the boards level, place one block of offcut timber underneath and another on top. Use a hammer to hit the offcut timber on top of the wood until your spirit level indicates it is level. Clean off any excess glue and leave it to dry.
A person hammering a piece of pine sitting on top of a length of hardwood

7Remove the clamps

Once the glue has dried, remove the clamps. Use a chisel to carefully remove any excess glue from the top and bottom of the timber.
A person clamping two lengths of timber using bench clamps

8Sand the timber

Use your belt sander to sand the timber until it has a nice, smooth finish. Remember to always sand with the grain.
A person sanding a piece of hardwood with a belt sander

9Make a second board

Repeat each step to make a second board for your vanity.
A person placing two lengths of timber into bench clamps

10Choose the top of your vanity

As well as selecting the best piece for your top, choose which front edge will be the one that faces the room. Once selected, mark them both with tape.
A person writing the letter B on a piece of masking tape on a length of timber

11Cut a 45-degree mitre at one end

Once you've chosen the top of your vanity, clamp the timber to your workbench. Wrap masking tape around the timber where you're going to cut. Use the circular saw to cut the timber at a 45-degree angle.
A person cutting a length of hardwood on a 45 degree angle with a circular saw

12Measure and mark the length of your vanity

From the mitre cut, measure how long you want the vanity to be, ours is 1500mm. Mark this and wrap masking tape around the timber where you're going to cut.
A person marking a piece of timber using a measuring tape and pencil

13Clamp and cut the timber

With the timber clamped to the workbench use a mitre saw to cut the other end of the top of the vanity at 90 degrees.
A person clamping a timber panel to a bench

14Measure and mark the panels

On the second piece of timber, measure and mark for the end, base and return panels. The lengths we used were:

  • 350mm (end panel)
  • 690mm (base panel)
  • 200mm (return panel)

Also, we added a few extra centimetres to make the timber more manageable.

A person marking a line on a piece of timber using a carpenter's square and pencil

15Cut the timber at 90 degrees

Clamp the timber to the workbench. Wrap masking tape around where you're going to cut. Use a circular saw to cut the three pieces of timber at 90 degrees.
A person sawing a piece of timber on a 45 degree angle using a circular saw

16Measure, mark and cut at 45 degrees

Take the three pieces of timber and measure and mark them at 350mm, 690mm and 200mm. Wrap masking tape around the timber where you're going to cut. Clamp the timber to the workbench and cut it at 45 degrees. Remember, they need to be in opposite directions  except for the return panel, which is only mitred at one end.
A person marking a line on a piece of timber using a carpenter's square and pencil

17Sand the edge of the return

Once you've made all your mitre cuts, sand the edge of the return. This will be on show, so it needs a smooth finish. Mark each piece of timber so you know which piece is the end, base and return panels.
A person sanding the end of a piece of hardwood with a belt sander

18Measure, mark and cut the rebate

Place two brackets on the back edges of the timber that attach to the wall. Mark where they will go. Use a set square to ensure your line is square and measure the distance. Clamp the timber in a vice and use a router to cut a rebate in the back edges for the brackets.
A person wearing safety glasses and mask routing the end of a piece of timber

19Join the mitred timber

Put the edges of the timber that will be exposed face down before gluing, this will ensure the face edges are aligned. Liberally apply glue to the mitred edges. Tape the pieces of timber together and use a nail gun to fix them permanently.
A person applying glue to the mitred ends of two pieces of hardwood

20Attach the end piece to the top of the vanity

Apply glue to the end piece where it will join to the bottom of the vanity. Stick the two pieces together with masking tape. Use a nail gun to secure them.
A person wearing protective gear joining two pieces of timber using a nail gun

21Attach the shelf to the vanity

Apply glue to the end piece and the shelf of the vanity where they will join. Line up the shelf and end piece. Tape the two pieces together, then use a nail gun to join them.
A person joining two lengths of hardwood at right angles using a nail gun

22Attach the brackets and putty holes

Place the two brackets in the rebated edge. Attach to the vanity using a drill and screws. These will give added strength to your vanity. Putty and fill any holes or cracks in the timber. Let it dry and sand it back with 120-grit sandpaper.
A person screwing an L bracket into a two pieces of timber joined at right angles

23Varnish the timber

To bring out the natural look of the timber we're using Cabot's Cabothane Clear varnish. Let the first coat dry and lightly sand it back. Wipe away any sawdust. Apply at least three coats, sanding between each coat.
A person varnishing a timber vanity unit

24Measure, mark and drill holes for the reo bars

Transfer the locations for the holes for the reo bars to the back of your vanity. Use the drill and an appropriately sized drill bit to drill the holes in the back of the vanity for the reo bars. Drill the holes into the vanity a little deeper than the length of the reo, this allows for the excess glue.
A person drilling a hole in a tiled bathroom wall

25Lift the vanity into place

Have someone help you lift the vanity into place, so that the holes are lined up with the reo bars. Place something underneath the vanity to help support its weight.
Two people sliding a vanity unit onto reo bars extending from holes in a bathroom wall

26Apply glue to the reo bars

Liberally apply high strength glue to the reo bars.
A person applying adhesive to a reo bar protruding from a tiled wall

27Tap the vanity into place

Push the vanity against the wall so that the reo bars go into the drilled holes in the vanity. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap the vanity into place. Use a spirit level to check that it's straight.
A person using a rubber mallet to tap a floating timber vanity into position in a bathroom

28Add the finishing touches

Now that your floating vanity is complete, add the finishing touches by selecting the taps, sinks and decor to suit your bathroom.
Two black ceramic bowl basins on a floating timber vanity in a bathroom with slate floor tiles

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.