Patching hole under bathroom sink

Do it Yourself 15 Replies

There are some small holes under the bathroom sink. It's one of those cheap vanities that's made of particle board (or maybe just wood?--not sure). Can this be taped and spackled the same way as drywall? Or is there a better way of doing this. Is it okay to sand this material? Thanks! It's under the sink and out of view.

The holes indicate there have been drips in the past and the bottom of the cabinet has been wet. The particle board disintegrated and is falling apart.

Best solution is to remove the vanity, pull out the bottom, and replace it with a new, solid board.

An alternative is to just replace the vanity. Depending on the size, you can completely replace a vanity, including the top and the faucets for less than $200 in parts. That's using the cheapest alternatives from Home Depot.

If you don't want to do either of those, cut a piece of particle board that will fit inside the cabinet. If there are pipes that go through the floor, you'll have to cut slots to allow you to slide in the board around them. Save the u-shaped pieces you cut out and drop them in behind the pipes. Tack it down, apply some contact paper that matches the cabinet and you have a quick and dirty solution.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

Thanks Jon. Sorry I didn't explain it correctly--the holes are under the sink, but they're on the back interior "wall" of the vanity as you look in through the doors, not on the bottom underneath the pipes. I could be wrong, but it looks like maybe the former owner or some worker did this on purpose, or by accident, because the two holes are almost identical in size, and the rest of the board looks fine.

Rental, right? Duct tape.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

Sounds like those holes are where the pipes used to go. Maybe that vanity had been used elsewhere before, and old holes left as is. Not something to be patched like drywall, since this is some type of wood-based backing. Probably OK to just glue some thin plywood over it if it is really going to be a source of tenant or building inspector concern; if not a concern to either of those I just mentioned, what's the point?

OTOH, if they were holes from old pipes, they may go back into the wall. You might want to stuff some insulation or something in place to keep bugs out.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

That's why--the tenants are concerned about roaches getting in through the holes.

If the holes are in the walls too, and not just the vanity back, then you could use some of the expanding spray foam as a possible filler.

But you might just be better off uninstalling the sink and vanity, patching the walls as you would with drywall, and then reinstalling the sink and vanity. This will give the "more professional" appearance.

I'd drop some combat roach gel down the holes and cover them with a bit of thin wood paneling. I'd put the wood on with (air gun) staples or brads. Paneling glue would work, too.

If you make the patch the full width of the cabinet and one piece wide enough to cover both holes, it will look just fine, if anyone ever looks at it, which they won't.

Originally posted by P NW:
I'd drop some combat roach gel down the holes and cover them with a bit of thin wood paneling. I'd put the wood on with (air gun) staples or brads. Paneling glue would work, too.

If you make the patch the full width of the cabinet and one piece wide enough to cover both holes, it will look just fine, if anyone ever looks at it, which they won't.


I think I'm going to try that. And I could get that done in one trip instead of having to come back a second day to sand because I had to wait for teh spackle to dry. Thanks for the idea.

Originally posted by Bienes Raices:
... And I could get that done in one trip instead of having to come back a second day to sand because I had to wait for teh spackle to dry. ...


Why would you insist on sanding a surface that is well hidden by the vanity in this case? Just patch it and be done with it; you're already making this more than it needs to be.

Originally posted by Bienes Raices:
That's why--the tenants are concerned about roaches getting in through the holes.


Roaches getting through the holes, Really? If your tenants have roaches, you have bigger problems then holes in a vanity.

Originally posted by Tom C:
Originally posted by Bienes Raices:
That's why--the tenants are concerned about roaches getting in through the holes.


Roaches getting through the holes, Really? If your tenants have roaches, you have bigger problems then holes in a vanity.


The tenants just moved in to the house a couple days ago. But I personally haven't seen any roaches in that (vacant) house in well over a month. There were some there when I first bought it. I put boric acid down a couple of times throughout the house, some of them crawled out into the open and died, and that was that. But the tenant has a phobia of bugs and is afraid they will come through the holes. And supposedly they saw some in the garage the other day. Personally I don't see how having a hole in a cabinet can cause roaches, but I am filling them to make them feel more secure.

just use spray foam....it's my favorite stuff...keep a few cans in my truck at all times...it is my 'duct tape' for rentals

Bryan A., Carolinas Revitalization, LLC | [email protected] | 704‑905‑6510 | http://www.facebook.com/carolinasrevitalization

Originally posted by Bryan Alenky:
just use spray foam....it's my favorite stuff...keep a few cans in my truck at all times...it is my 'duct tape' for rentals

Thanks, I'll remember that for the future. I already filled most of them with spackle + mesh screen. It took about 15 minutes to do. I didn't bother sanding or repainting the areas.

Good tenants are hard to come by. If covering a couple of holes makes them think that they have made a good choice in a place to live, then cover the holes. It'll cost a couple of bucks and take a few minutes.

Again, I'd drop some Combat Gel into the holes and place some behind the range, behind the fridge, and, if they don't have kids or pets, under the kitchen sink.

Then I'd tell them that the house doesn't have roaches, but I'd done a fresh roach treatment just in case one wandered in from the street.

My rental agreement says that the house has been treated for pests before the tenant moved in and that the tenant is responsible for bugs and vermin after they move in. I don't want to be called every time the tenant sees a spider. However, I expect to provide some extra service while the new tenants get settled in.