How to Install a Sink How to Install a Sink

Most Common Mistake:

Not cutting the sink opening the proper dimension or not lining up the opening with the sink base cabinet.


Regardless of the material you have chosen for your counter, some general rules apply for the installation of sinks. Surface mounted sinks are generally installed with caulking and clamps; self-rimming porcelain sinks need only caulk but self-rimming stainless sinks add clamps as well. Recessed sinks, where the unit is set on the plywood base, are most commonly used with tiled counter tops. Porcelain and cast iron are the recommended sink choices for recessed installation. Stainless, tile and mud have different rates of expansion and contraction and are therefore avoided, but double walled stainless can be used in some cases.


1. Position the sink upside-down on the newly laminated counter top or the plywood base. Try to center it but leave at least 1 1/2 inches and not more than 3 inches from the edge of the counter (Fig. E). Draw a pencil line around the edge of the sink; then, remove the sink. (If you are using a metal rim for sinks that are not self-rimming, you can use the rim's vertical flange as a template rather than the sink itself.)

2. Measure inward, and draw another line inside of that sink line, 1 1/2 inch. Be sure of your marks.

3. Drill a hole large enough for a sabre saw blade to the inside of each corner of the inside line. Cut along the inside pencil line with your sabre saw while another person supports it from below. Then lift that waste piece out.

4. Place a bead of caulk along the entire bottom edge of the upside-down (self-rimming) sink. Position it carefully over the opening and press it down firmly until excess caulk oozes out along the edges. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for any additional hardware that comes with the sink.

5. Individual faucets will also have manufacturer's instructions to follow. They are mounted through the holes in the sink using plumber's putty. An adjustable wrench works well to tighten up the hardware that holds the faucet in place.

6. Supply line connector kits are available that contain the flexible chrome pipe, hardware, shutoff valves and instructions. You will need to specify the diameter and material of the supply pipe and whether or not you will be adding a dishwasher. The dishwasher requires a special T-shaped shutoff valve.

7. The basket strainer should be packed with plumber's putty and pushed firmly down into place. Where the strainer is threaded underneath, a washer slips on and then a lock nut is tightened down until the putty oozes out. Clean off all excess putty.

8. Install the P-trap next by connecting the tail piece to the basket strainer using a slip nut over a washer. Then connect the P-trap to the tail piece with another washer and slip nut. Attach the P-trap to the wall stub-out with a curved drain extension pipe.

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