Do you spend most of your screen time watching DIY videos? If you do, you’re part of a billion+ audience that logs in on one of the world’s most popular video sharing websites.
You could get lost for days browsing through the array of home improvement project videos. Since one link leads to another, you could also go down a lifetime’s worth of rabbit trails. If you don’t believe it, try typing in how to install a new kitchen sink.
What did you find?
One channel — we’re not naming names — offers over 2000 home improvement videos. Talk about everything, including the kitchen sink!
If you’d rather spend your time doing instead of watching someone else DIY, you’re in the right place. We won’t bore you with what we had for breakfast, cute footage of our dog, or a bunch of bloopers (yes, even DIY vloggers seek their 15 minutes of fame)
Instead, we’ve put together a reliable, concise guide to kitchen sink installation! It takes a minute or so to read and just about guarantees you’ll get the project done right!
First Things First
We can’t tell you which sink will work best in your kitchen, but we can help you identify the most common styles. Most DIYers choose between these three:
To keep it as straightforward as possible, we suggest the top-mount style. We love farmhouse sinks!
Before you begin the installation, measure your existing sink. This is a critical step to ensure the new sink fits into the old opening.
The new sink may not be the same size as the old fixture, which means you’ll need to make some adjustments to the countertop. Make sure you’re comfortable cutting into your countertop material before you start.
Remember, even the most talented DIYer calls in the professionals. Don’t hesitate to hire one if you need help.
Do You Own the Right Tools?
The tools of the trade make the DIY life so much more enjoyable. To ensure your installation goes smoothly, make sure you have the right tools. Your toolbox should include:
- Adjustable Wrench
- Channel-Lock Pliers
- Putty Knife
- Plumber’s Putty
- Caulk Gun
- Silicone Caulk
- Razor Blade
Don’t skimp on the bucket. Watch a few videos of people who do, and you’ll see why. It’s also a good idea to buy a new sink strainer—sometimes manufacturers don’t include one with their new sinks.
We won’t cover it here, but you’ll want to take a minute and explore how to install a new kitchen sink drain.
Out With the Old Sink
Of course, you can’t wait to install the beautiful new sink, but you can’t just proceed with an out with the old and in with the new mindset. While it’s not the most challenging home improvement project, sink installation isn’t plug-and-play.
To make the job minimally challenging, follow these steps in order:
- Turn off the water.
- Turn on the faucet.
- Drain and disconnect the water supply lines.
- Disconnect the garbage disposal if you have one.
For this part of the project, you’ll need the adjustable wrench and the bucket.
Tip: Unless you have a photographic memory, take a picture. No, not to record all the cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous items you store under the sink. You want a photo of the pipe and valve configuration before you disconnect everything.
A before photo always helps when it comes time to reconnect the water lines!
Detaching the P-Trap and Other Little Details
Now is the time to get up close and personal with the plumbing under the sink—specifically with the P-trap. Before you can go much further with the project, you’ll need to detach the P-trap and allow it to drain. It’s an excellent opportunity to use the bucket.
Hint: If you have a garbage disposal, now is the time to remove the motor.
With the P-trap detached, the water supply lines disconnected, and the disposal motor taken out, you’re ready to tackle removing the old sink. Keep your screwdriver, razor blade, and putty knife close handy.
Remove the Old Sink
Before you can lift the old sink out of the opening in the countertop, you’ll need to move the clips underneath the sink with your screwdriver. The clips hold the sink in place.
Next, you’ll deal with the old caulking around the sink. Break the seal on the caulk with your razor blade. The putty knife makes cutting the caulk away from the sink simple.
Now, you’ll push up from the bottom of the sink to remove it. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again! Sometimes it takes more than one push.
How to Install a New Kitchen Sink Step-By-Step
Earlier, we shared what we think are the easiest kitchen sinks to install. If you selected one of those, the rest of the project should come together without much fuss.
Even though you’ve already checked to make sure the new sink will fit, now you can put the sink into the countertop opening. It’s never a bad idea to check for fit again before you start attaching clips and wasting plumber’s putty.
Does it still fit? Whew! Now, go ahead and attach the clips to the bottom of the sink, making certain they face the sink bowl.
Next, you’ll get to play with the plumber’s putty! Start by rolling a small amount of putty into a strip. You don’t want a thick rope of putty—make it thin.
Find the new sink strainer.
You’re going to apply the thin strip of putty to the strainer. Roll the putty around the edge of the strainer and the drain. Now, you’ll place the strainer in the drain and press it down with a firm touch.
You’re almost there! The last installation step is attaching the rubber gaskets that come with the new sink.
Tip: Check the drain for excess putty. You don’t want to leave any excess in the drain or the sink bowl.
Almost Time to Turn on the Water
The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived—almost. Before you turn on the water and take a test run of the new sink, you’ll need to do another check to make sure the clips all face the bowl.
Next, grab the caulking gun and your silicone cauls. Seal around the rim of the sink, wiping off any excess caulk.
If you haven’t already done so, attach the faucets. We may create something in the future on how to install a new kitchen sink faucet, but for now, we think you can do it without another video.
Finally, you can reattach the water supply lines, the garbage disposal lines, and the P-trap. Turn on the faucet, and voila, you’ve just completed your first DIY sink installation.
Ready to Tackle More DIY Projects?
Even though we’ve condensed the steps on how to install a new kitchen sink, we’re confident you can do this. Aren’t you glad you don’t need to read the manufacturer’s manual with all the tiny print?
For more DIY kitchen projects, please keep browsing our blog. You’ll find how-to articles and ideas for your next home improvement project.