Installing a drop-in sink is a simple project, although care must be taken when cutting the opening in the counter; this step is delicate and requires dexterity. Nonetheless, any cutting inaccuracies can usually be overcome.
This guide provides instructions on installing a sink assuming that the plumbing is in place and ready to connect up. Drop-in sinks, whether with a single, double or triple bowl, are all equally quick to install because only one cut needs to be made. A sink made from cast iron or another heavy material will be more difficult to lower into the counter; for this job you will need a helper.
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Do as much of the work as you can above the countertop to avoid working under it where space is tight. Use the drain holes to support the sink when inserting it into the opening.
If the drains are not exactly aligned with the new sink, use angle fittings (or elbows) of different sizes to make the necessary connections.
Most kitchen sinks are made of stainless steel, though some are made of cast iron, which is much heavier. For heavy sinks, the countertop may need to be reinforced first.
Wear safety glasses when working under the sink and protective gloves when using the jigsaw.
Turn off the water supply.
1.1. Decide the location of the sink. Check that the plumbing lines can be easily hooked up. Read the manufacturer's instructions regarding the amount of clearance space to leave around the sink.
1.2. Attach the sink template to the countertop with masking tape.
1.3. Draw a pencil line around the template. 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(s) and soap dispenser or sprayer, as applicable.
1.6. Drill a hole 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, 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 saw and to prevent splinters.
For a clean cut, use a jigsaw blade specially designed for laminates, which has a higher tooth count than a regular blade.
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 not possible 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.
2.5. Remove the protective plastic film from the sink as necessary.
A strainer is not required if you plan to install a garbage disposal unit.
3.1. Apply a bead of plumber's putty around the sink drain hole.
3.2. Place the strainer in the hole and press down firmly.
3.3. Under the sink, slip a rubber gasket over the neck of the strainer.
3.4. Attach and tighten the lock nut by hand, followed by an extra half-turn with a pipe wrench, to secure the strainer to the sink.
3.5. Wipe away the excess putty.
3.6. Repeat these steps for the other sink bowl, if installing a double sink.
4.1. Clean the countertop around the sink opening to remove any dust or debris.
4.2. Lay the sink upside down on a piece of cardboard or clean cloth to avoid damaging it.
4.3. Apply plumber's putty (or caulk) around the bottom edge of the sink.
4.4. Lower the sink into the opening. If the sink is particularly large or heavy, have someone help you do this.
4.5. Press the sink down firmly to fasten it securely to the countertop.
4.6. From under the sink, tighten the mounting screws that fasten the sink to the countertop.
4.7. Wipe off any excess putty with a cloth.
5.1. Run a ¼" bead of stainless plumber's putty (or caulk) around the bottom side of the faucet plate.
5.2. Insert the metal stems of the faucet through the holes and make sure that the faucet plate is parallel with the back edge of the sink.
5.3. Press down on the faucet plate so that the putty adheres well and forms a watertight seal.
5.4. Remove any excess putty.
6.1. Slip the metal friction washers and nuts onto the faucet tailpieces.
6.2. Fasten by hand and then tighten with a wrench.
6.3. Connect the flexible water supply hoses to the housings by tightening the union nuts on the tailpieces.
6.4. Connect the other end of the supply hoses to the shut-off valves. To do this, slip the nut and compression ring onto the hose. Then slide the hose into the coupling and the ring and nut onto the valve thread.
6.5. Hand-tighten, then tighten further with a wrench. To avoid damaging the copper pipes, hold the shut-off valve still with another wrench while tightening the nut. This recommendation also applies for tightening a single-handle faucet.
Most kitchen faucets now come with a sprayer hose.
7.1. Run a ¼" bead of putty around the base of the sprayer holder.
7.2. Insert the sprayer holder into the hole in the sink.
7.3. Slip on the washer and tighten with the mounting nut using a wrench or pliers.
7.4. Wipe away any excess putty from the sprayer holder base.
7.5. Insert the sprayer hose through the holder and connect it to the stem designed for this purpose under the faucet.
7.6. Tighten it by hand, then further tighten with a wrench.
7.7. If the sprayer does not sit back in place properly, you may have omitted to install the counterweight. Attach the weight to the hose according to the manufacturer's directions, and adjust as needed.
8.1. Use the waste pipe and a P-trap to fit the strainer body to the wall pipe. If the drains are not exactly aligned with your sink, use angle fittings (or elbows) of different sizes to make the necessary connections.
8.2. Fit washers onto the ends of the connections.
8.3. Strengthen with slip nuts, tightened with a pipe wrench.