How to Install a Kitchen Sink
Installing a kitchen sink might seem like a daunting challenge, but most people find it to be a very straightforward task. Sinks come in many different sizes and are made out of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, enameled cast iron, or enameled steel. Choose the kitchen sink that fits best with your kitchen and will hold up to tasks performed in it.
Before starting, it helps to gather your materials together. Obviously, you will first need a kitchen sink — choose one that fits the cabinet. If the sink has a backsplash, it will need to be 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) less than the depth of the counter, measured from the front of the counter to the wall. If the sink has no backsplash, it should be 2 inches (5.1 cm) less than the depth of the counter. Also needed are a sink frame, if installing a framed sink, mounting clips, silicone caulk, plumber's putty, a caulk gun, and screwdrivers. If you are installing a new sink into a new countertop with no existing hole, or if the sink is a different size, you'll need a jigsaw or a saber-saw blade to cut the hole.
Before beginning this project, turn off water to the sink faucet, or to the house if there is no shutoff at the sink. The first step in installing a kitchen sink, is to create the opening. Sink manufacturers usually include a template, that should be centered on the countertop. Next, trace the template with a marker. It may help to tape the template onto the counter. Drill a hole into each corner of the traced rectangle. Next, using a jigsaw or saber-saw blade, and cut along the inside of the lines. Replace the faucets before replacing the sink.
Installing a Frameless Sink
Place the sink upside down on the counter. Apply an even one-quarter inch (6 mm) line of plumber's putty or silicone caulk around the underneath perimeter of the sink's flange, or rim. Carefully place the kitchen sink right-side up and insert it into the cutout opening in the counter. This can be done most easily by holding the sink from the drain openings. Press down around the edges of the sink to create a tight seal, and wipe away excess caulk or putty.
Installing a Framed Sink
Turning the sink's frame upside down, apply an even one-quarter inch (6 mm) line of plumber's putty or silicone caulk around the perimeter of the frame, on both sides of the frame's flange. Next, set the kitchen sink upside down in its frame, and bend frame tabs down to hold the sink in the frames. Carefully place the sink into the cutout opening and press down. Framed kitchen sinks will come with mounting clips that can fasten the lip of the sink onto the countertop. These clips should be spaced evenly around the frame, attaching it to the countertop. Tighten the screws and wipe away excess putty or caulk.
When the sink is installed, you will need to re-connect the P-trap — the U-shaped pipe located under a sink. The faucet lines need to be connected to the water supply lines with supply tubes, and the strainers connected to the waste lines. Turn the water back on to try out your new sink — be sure to check for leaks.
Written by Bronwyn Harris