How to Install a Vessel Sink Drain with Overflow

Vessel sinks have become very popular in modern homes due to their aesthetics and functionality. For a vessel sink to work properly, installing the drain correctly is crucial.

So, how do you install a vessel sink drain with overflow?

First, you need to choose the right sink drain that matches the requirement of the sink. Just before you put the sink in place, you need to install the overflow drain on the sink. And then, you can set the P-trap to complete the sink installation.

How to Install a Vessel Sink Drain with Overflow

How to Install a Vessel Sink Drain With Overflow

Here is a list of the tools you might need during the installation. Take a look at the list before we get into the installation process.

  • Tape Measure
  • Putty Knife
  • Level
  • Pencil or Marker
  • Jig Saw
  • Plumber’s Putty and Caulking
  • Silicone Adhesive
  • Vessel Sink Drain Assembly with Overflow

Step 1: Prepare All the Required Tools

You need to put all the tools together so that you can find the necessary tool when it is required. Don’t throw the tools here and there as they can damage the bathroom surface.

And remember, don’t remove the vessel sink or the drain assembly from their packages unless you are going to install it.

Step 2: Mark the Cutting Hole for the Drain

You need to measure the exact dimensions of the sink drain and determine the location of the drain hole. Use the measuring tape to determine the location of the drain hole and draw the perimeter using a pencil or a marker.

Step 3: Cut the Drain Hole

Take the jigsaw and cut a hole of 3.5 inches in diameter for the sink drain. You should wet the surface so that no dust or debris flies around while you work.

Step 4: Install the Drain

This is the time to add an overflow drain to the vessel sink. Check the pop-up drain with an overflow for any faults. And then attach it to the sink before putting the sink in place.

You need to use a plumber’s putty to keep the drain in place and prevent water leaks. Also, make sure silicone gaskets are in place so that the drain works properly without leaking.

Once this is done, lightly pull the sink from the top and bottom to check whether it fits the sink tightly.

Step 5: Install the Sink

It’s now time to install the sink. Apply silicone adhesive along the rim of the vessel sink. Check whether the sink is level on the surface before you set it up. Once everything is in order, you need to place the sink and secure it on the countertop.

Apply more silicone adhesive along the sides of the sink so that it doesn’t move on the countertop. Let it sit for some time so that the adhesive dries and the sink becomes usable.

Step 6: Connect P-trap

You need to connect the P-trap before you start using the sink. Kneel down and determine the right position for the P-trap. As it will stay inside the cabinet beneath the sink, you need to fit it in the right orientation to save space inside the cabinet.

Step 7: Check the Assembly

After you finish installing a vessel sink drain with overflow, you need to run the faucet and check the assembly for any leaks. If there is no problem, congratulations, you have successfully installed a vessel sink drain with overflow.

Do You Need a Special Drain for Vessel Sink?

Before a vessel sink pop-up drain installation with overflow, you need to know that they come in different types. Some drains will have an overflow hole, and others will not.

If your sink has the overflow option, you must buy a drain with an overflow hole. Otherwise, the overflow water won’t be able to enter the drain.

But if your vessel sink has no overflow option, you can buy a drain with no overflow hole. No matter what type you buy, you need to ensure the diameter of the drain is a bit smaller than the sinkhole.

Pro Tips

Things can easily go wrong if you mistake choosing the drain assembly or putting them in the right order. So, here will be a few quick tips to make the process waterproof.

  • You must choose the right drain assembly that matches the design of the sink. Check it twice before ordering.
  • Don’t cut a larger drain hole than the drain assembly itself. The drain might fall down after installation.
  • Be careful while cutting the drain. If you use power tools wrongly, the sink or the countertop may get damaged.

Where Does the Overflow Drain Go on a Sink?

Where Does the Overflow Drain Go on a Sink

An overflow drain hole is located near the top of the pop-up drain you use with vessel sinks. The function of this overflow drain is to let the overflow water pass through the drainpipe to prevent your bathroom floor from flooding.

In the case of pop-up drains, the overflow drain will remain closed until you pop the drain up and close the hole. You should be careful so that the overflow drain hole is opened during regular use.

How Does the Overflow Hole Work on a Vessel Sink?

You might already know that installing a vessel sink drain with overflow is only required when the sink has an overflow channel. Why is the channel there? And how the overflow works? Here are the answers.

The overflow on a vessel sink is a narrow channel that can’t be seen from the top or bottom. You will only see the overflow hole near the sink rim.

It is placed in a way that prevents water from flooding the sink completely. Once the water reaches the overflow hole, it flows through the channel inside and gets into the drain assembly.

This channel uses the same drain the sink use. The only difference is the drain should have an overflow hole to let that water escape.

Though the main drain of vessel sinks usually has a stopper, there won’t be one on the overflow hole to prevent mishaps.


Putting the right drain assembly into the vessel sink is important for the drainage system to work perfectly and keep your bathroom free from wastewater.

I first informed you of the right type of drain for vessel sinks. And then, we went through the installation process in simple steps so that you understand the whole thing.

These steps and other necessary information should help you to install a vessel sink drain with overflow. Make sure you follow the mentioned steps to set up a drain assembly that works perfectly.

Lisa Burks

Hi, I'm Lisa Burks, founder of the Sink Formula blog, and plumber of 5 years experience.

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