Installing a Kitchen Sink - How To

kitchen sink granite counter top

A Installing a new kitchen sink is a great addition to any kitchen and is a great do it yourself project. This article teaches you step by step how to install and hook up the plumbing to a top mount kitchen sink on a plastic laminate or solid surface counter top. Granite counter tops must have sinks installed by the fabricator because of the specialized tools needed to cut stone.

 

 

 

brief how to

In this article, you will find information about:

  1. Layout The Sink Outline On The Countertop
  2. Cut Out The Sink Opening
  3. Test Fit The Sink
  4. Install The Faucet Onto The Sink
  5. Attach The Strainer To The Sink
  6. Install The Garbage Disposal Onto The Sink
  7. Set The Sink
  8. Connect The Water Lines, plumb the kitchen sink
  9. Connect The Drain Lines, plumb the kitchen sink

tools and materials

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Framing Square
  • Masking tape
  • Adjustable wrenches (2)
  • Adjustable pliers (2)
  • Screw Driver, flat head
  • Jig saw with plastic laminate cutting blade
  • Drill with 1/2" or larger bit
  • Clear Silicone
  • Plumbers Putty
  • 2" masking tape

step 1 Layout The Sink Outline On The Countertop

Every sink installation is different but most kitchen sinks are centered left to right on the sink cabinet. If you have a symetrical sink the easiest way to mark the sink cut out is to lay the sink upside down on the counter top and trace the outline of the sink edge. Then put the template inside this outline and make the distances from the edge of the template to the outline on the counter top equal and trace the outline of the template on the counter top.

Use A Template To Mark The Cutout: If you have the template for your sink then you will use it to mark the cut out.

  1. Put masking tape on the counter top approximately where the cut line will be. Masking tape helps the saw blade make a clean cut in plastic laminate and provides a good visible surface to mark the cut line on so install 2 inch wide masking tape on the counter top where the cut line will be.
  2. Use the tape measure and pencil find the center of the sink on the cabinet below and mark the center line of the sink on the counter top. Then make a line from the front of the counter top to the wall using the framing square and pencil, make sure the line is square with the front edge of the counter top.
  3. Figure out how far back the sink will need to sit to allow the basin to clear the front rail of the cabinets as it goes down into the cabinets from the counter top AND not hit the back splash. Draw a line parallel to the front edge of the counter top on the counter top
  4. Align the template on the marks on the counter top and tape it to the counter top. The template will show a edge of sink line and a cut line. The cut line will be held back from the

Use The Sink To Mark The Cutout: If there is no template for your sink you will need to use the sink to create the trace the cut out line. If the sink is not symetrical then you should lay the sink upside down on a piece of cardboard and trace the outline. Measure and mark inside the outline the width of the lip on the sink minus 1/8" and cut the template out on this line. The use the instructions described above in "Use A Template To Mark The Cutout".

  1. If you have a symetrical sink and no template then simply put the sink on the counter top upside down and Position the sink on your marks with proper distances from the front edge and centered on the sink hole in the cabinets below. Finding the center line of the sink and marking the sink helps to line up the center of the sink with the center line that you drew on the counter top earlier.
  2. Trace the outline of the sink onto the tape on the counter top.
  3. Remove the sink and measure and mark the cut mark on the inside side of the outline. The distance from the sink outline to the cut line will be the width of the lip on the sink minus 1/8" to give the sink some wiggle room.

Things to check before cutting the hole:

You only get one shot at cutting the hole in the counter top so double check all the clearances of the sink bowl to the sides of the cabinet underneath the counter top. Also, verify that you are far enough back to be inside the cabinet face and at the same time not hit the back splash.

step 2 Cut Out The Sink Opening and Test Fit The Sink

Your jig saw must have a blade made to cut plastic laminate or it will chip and crack the counter top.

  1. Use the drill to make a hole close to the sink cut out line, (on the inside of the sink cut out)
  2. Use the jig saw to cut along the marked cut out line that you made with the template or sink.
  3. Check the size of the cut out and clearances of the sink by setting it into the hole. Trim the hole where necessary.
  4. Sometimes the cabinet is too small for the sink and it is necessary to cut the bracing on the cabinet. Make sure to reinforce any major structural members that you cut out.

step 4 Installing The Kitchen Sink Faucet

Set the sink upside down on the opening you just cut out so you can feed the faucet into it hole(s) without the faucet hitting anything. Make sure the washer and/or any trim pieces that goes between the faucet and counter top are on the faucet and then put the faucet onto the sink hole(s) by guiding the water supply lines and faucet tail piece through the hole(s).

Install the lock nut on the tail piece threads on the bottom side of the faucet so that the faucet is attached to the sink. Make sure that the faucet is facing the proper direction and that it can swing properly before fully tightening the lock nut.

step 5 Attach The Strainer To The Sink

To install the strainer:

  1. Make a "rope" of plumbers putty long enough to go around the lip of the strainer.
  2. Put the putty around the lip of the strainer where the strainer will contact the sink and press the strainer into the sink drain hole.
  3. On the bottom side of the sink put the gasket, washer friction ring and locknut over the threads on the strainer and tighten the lock nut using the adjustable pliers. Most of the plumbers putty will squeeze out.

step 6 Install The Garbage Disposal Onto The Sink

If you are installing a garbage disposal it works best to install it before the sink is installed so that you can get it tightened properly. But it is possible to install it after the sink is set.

step 7 Installing The Kitchen Sink - Set The Sink

Most sinks are held to the counter top with silicone and clips that hook on the under side of the sink flange and a screw running thru the clip tightens the clamp onto the under side of the counter top.

  1. Remove the tape before installing the kitchen sink. Pull the tape toward the center of the sink hole so it does not pull up the plastic laminate.
  2. Put a bead of silicone caulk all the way around the edge of the sink flange.
  3. Turn the sink right side up and set it into the hole.
  4. Align the sink with the hole and the center line marks you started with. Make sure that there is no hole showing around the edges of the sink.
  5. There should be enough clips to install at least two per sink edge but use all of them. Space the clamps evenly along the edges and within 4 to 6 inches of the corners.
  6. Tighten the clamps.

step 8 Connect The Water Lines

For the easiest and most durable water line to faucet connection use "1/2" polymer braid faucet connector lines" with compression fittings at each end. They cost a bit more but they are the most forgiving and easiest to install connection between the house shut off valve and the faucet supply line inlet.

  1. Connect the hot water supply line to the hot water line on the faucet and the other end to the house shut off valve.
  2. Connect the cold water supply line to the cold water line on the faucet and the other end to the house shut off valve.

step 9 Connect The Drain Lines

Every sink drain setup varies a little depending on where the drain is located in the back or side of the kitchen cabinet and the number of drains on the sink but the basic connection goes together as follows.

Two Hole Sink Drain Connections:

  1. Attach the drain tailpiece to the strainer using the threaded compression coupling that came with the sink strainer. Slide the threaded compression coupling and the compression washer onto the tailpiece and then push the tailpiece into the bottom of the strainer and tighten the threaded compression coupling to attach the tailpiece.
  2. The tailpiece on the main sink drain will have an inlet on it to let water in from the second sink drain.
  3. Install a drain tailpiece on the second drain.
  4. Install a elbow and drain pipe from the second drain tailpiece to the inlet on the main drain tailpiece.
  5. Assemble the p-trap and attach it to the drain tailpiece. Make sure that the compression washer is inside the coupling of the two sides of the fitting or it will not tighten properly and will leak. Do not fully tighten the p-trap couplings until the last things so it can swivel to fit into the horizontal drain pipe.
  6. Attach the horizontal drain pipe to the wall fitting. The end of the horizontal drain pipe slides into the inside of the pipe on the wall. It just needs to go in at least 1 inch. You may need to cut the horizontal drain pipe so it only goes into the wall pipe 1 inch.
  7. After all the horizontal drain pipe and the p-trap are in place you can tighten all the compression fittings. Hand tighten them only, especially if they are plastic, so they do not crack.

Single Hole Sink Drain Connection:

  1. Attach the drain tailpiece to the strainer using the threaded compression coupling that came with the sink strainer. Slide the threaded compression coupling and the compression washer onto the tailpiece and then push the tailpiece into the bottom of the strainer and tighten the threaded compression coupling to attach the tailpiece.
  2. Assemble the p-trap and attach it to the drain tailpiece. Make sure that the compression washer is inside the coupling of the two sides of the fitting or it will not tighten properly and will leak. Do not fully tighten the p-trap couplings until the last things so it can swivel to fit into the horizontal drain pipe.
  3. Attach the horizontal drain pipe to the wall fitting. The end of the horizontal drain pipe slides into the inside of the pipe on the wall. It just needs to go in at least 1 inch. You may need to cut the horizontal drain pipe so it only goes into the wall pipe 1 inch.
  4. After all the horizontal drain pipe and the p-trap are in place you can tighten all the compression fittings. Hand tighten them only, especially if they are plastic, so they do not crack.

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