An apron-front sink, also called a farmer's sink, brings old-fashioned style to any kitchen. It is known for its large basins and broad, open-front panel. Installing an apron-front sink can be a difficult job due to the weight and support required. Below are a few tips.
Choose Your Sink
Apron-front sinks come in a variety of colors and designs. They are also available in undermount and top-mount models. Undermount models have the top of the sink sit underneath the countertop. With top-mount models, the top of the sink sits level with the countertop.
Consider the Sink's Weight
Most kitchen sinks drop into a hole cut in the top of the countertop and are supported by the base cabinets and the countertop. With an apron-front sink, the sink slides into an opening in the front of the countertop. Its support comes from the base cabinet only. Understand the weight of an apron-front sink can reach several hundred pounds when filled with water. Your base cabinet must be of a material strong enough for supports to be installed that accommodate that weight. Most manufacturers list the weight of the apron-front sink. To figure the added weight when filled with water, multiply the number of gallons the sink holds by 8.34 pounds (weight of one gallon of water). The base cabinet will need to be modified with supports to hold at least this amount of weight.
Take Measurements and Add Supports
Once you have determined your base cabinet can be modified to accommodate the sink's weight, it's time to take some measurements. Having the sink on hand will make this much easier. Begin by measuring the width of the sink. Determine if you need to cut the existing countertop for the sink to fit. This is especially important if your countertop is made of stone, where special cutting may be required. Now measure the height of the sink. Use this measurement on the interior of the base cabinet to mark where the supports will go. Use a level line from the back to the front. Attach three supports, two across the sides and one across the back. Make sure your supports can hold the required weight and are securely fastened to the base cabinet.
Install the Floor
You can now install the floor. Measure the distance between the side supports. Now measure the depth of the sink. Use these measurements to cut the floorboard. Select a plywood thickness strong enough to accommodate the sink's weight. If the plywood is too thin, it can crack. Install the floorboard by screwing it to the supports.
Cut the Cabinet Front and Doors
To cut the front of the cabinet, measure the sink and mark the area to be cut out. A jigsaw can be used to make the cut. Placing painter's tape along the edge of the cut mark will protect the cabinet. To hide the plywood floorboard, a top rail can be cut. Your cabinet doors will also need to be cut to fit between the new top rail and the bottom rail.