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The bathroom is a busy place, and the bathroom sink gets used several times a day. It therefore needs to be properly installed and watertight.
The following step-by-step project describes how to install a drop-in lavatory sink in a bathroom countertop. This type of installation is simple and requires only a few tools. Care should be taken when cutting the hole in the countertop – using a jigsaw requires concentration and a steady hand to cut the opening to exactly the right size. Fitting the mechanical (pop-up) plug also requires a certain amount of patience and dexterity.
Wear safety glasses when working under the sink or vanity unit.
Turn off the water supply by closing the shut-off valves under the sink. If there are no shut-offs, close your home's main water valve.
If the drain pipes under the sink are not exactly where you need them, use angle fittings (elbows) of different sizes to make the necessary connections.
1.1 Decide the location of the sink. Check that the plumbing lines can be easily hooked up. Read the manufacturer's directions regarding the amount of clearance space to leave around the sink.
1.2 Attach the sink template to the top of the vanity counter with masking tape. If you do not have a template, draw around the rim of the sink itself.
1.3 Draw the sink outline with a pencil and remove the template.
1.4 Make sure that the outline is parallel with the counter's edge.
1.5 Determine the position of the faucet, if necessary.
1.6 Drill a hole in the countertop at one of the corners of the outline, staying ½" inside the cutting line.
1.7 Drill another hole using a drill bit with a larger diameter, so as to be able to insert the 5/8" jigsaw blade.
1.8 Stick masking tape around the cutting line to avoid scratching the countertop with the jigsaw and to prevent splinters.
For a clean cut, use a jigsaw blade specially designed for laminates, which has more teeth than a regular blade. If you have a stone countertop, have it cut by a professional to avoid damaging it.
2.1 Lower the blade into the hole and begin cutting the sink opening, taking care to stay on the line.
2.2 Use blocks to support the sink cut-out and prevent the counter from vibrating as you cut.
2.3 Protect the backsplash with a piece of cardboard. If it is impossible to cut along the back of the sink from above the counter, cut from below. Draw a guide line before cutting.
2.4 Lower the sink into the opening to check that it fits well. Cut out more counter if needed.
For most lavatory sinks, it is advisable to fit the faucet and plug (pop-up assembly) before fitting the sink in the counter.
3.1 Run a ¼" bead of plumber's putty around the bottom side of the faucet plate.
3.2 Insert the tailpieces (metal tubes) of the faucet into the mounting holes. The faucet base must be parallel to the back of the sink.
3.3 Press down firmly on the faucet so that the putty adheres well and forms a watertight seal.
3.4 Your faucet either has two handles or it is a single-handle unit. If it is a single-handle unit, the holes in your washbasin might still be visible. If this is the case, conceal them with a special cover designed for this purpose. Place the faucet cover over the hole(s) and tighten the bolt from below.
4.1 Screw the mounting and coupling nuts onto the faucet tailpieces.
4.2 Wrap thread seal tape (polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) tape) around the exposed thread of the faucet tailpieces to ensure a watertight seal.
4.3 Tighten with a basin wrench or channel-type pliers.
4.4 Wipe away the excess putty from the base of the faucet.
4.5 Connect the supply tubes to the shutoffs.
5.1 Wrap thread seal tape around all the drain threads and screw into the body of the plug.
5.2 Apply plumber's putty or silicone to the underside of the flange (the part with chrome trim).
5.3 Push the flange down into the drain hole with one hand, and with the other hand, insert the drain plug body (with its gaskets and lock nut) up into the hole beneath the sink.
5.4 Tighten the lock nut under the washbasin, taking care not to over-tighten so as not to damage the porcelain. N.B.: the plug body has a hole on the side, through which to pass the pivot rod that moves the plug up and down. That hole therefore needs to be exactly aligned with the pivot rod before tightening the nut.
5.5 Insert the pop-up stopper in the plug hole, lining up the hole in its plastic stem with the hole on the side of the plug body.
5.6 Insert the horizontal pivot rod into this hole. Turn the stopper if necessary until the rod is properly inserted.
5.7 Hand-tighten the nut holding the rod in place.
5.8 Pull the stopper to the "open" position; the horizontal rod should now be pointing downward.
5.9 Insert the vertical lift rod into the hole behind the faucet.
5.10 Assemble this lift rod on the perforated extension rod (clevis).
5.11 On the clevis, find the hole nearest the end of the horizontal pivot rod (the rod pointing downward).
5.12 Pass the pivot rod through this hole and block it with the spring clip.
5.13 Pull on the lever to close the stopper and check the adjustment.
6.1 Lower the sink into the hole in the vanity. If the sink has a rubber seal around the rim, it can be inserted directly. If not, apply plumber's putty (or silicone) around the rim before lowering it into the hole, and press down firmly.
7.1 Tighten the mounting screws under the sink. Do not over-tighten as this could cause the porcelain to crack.
7.2 Wipe off the excess putty with a cloth.
8.1 Connect the sink drain pipe to the wall pipe.
8.2 Fit washers on the ends of the connections.
8.3 Strengthen with slip nuts, tightened with a pipe wrench.
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