Does your laundry room need a utility sink? Of course, every laundry room needs a washer and dryer, effective venting, electrical wiring for both machines, drainage, and bright lighting. Elective items such as countertops, cabinets, and supplementary storage make wash day easier, smoother, and less painful. A utility sink, too, is a great addition, allowing you to wash out dirty items before putting them in the washer as well as being a general purpose sink for messy tasks like cleaning paintbrushes.
As long as the laundry room has enough space for a sink and water supply and drainage are accessible, there is no reason you cannot install a utility sink by yourself. Here's how.
Equipment / Tools
- Speed Square
- Cordless drill
- Laser level or bubble level
- Electric miter saw
- Tape measure
- Carpenter's pencil
- Stud finder
- Utility knife
- Copper pipe cutter
- PEX pipe cutter
- 5/8-inch auger bit
- Laundry room utility sink
- 2 push-fit brass tees
- 2 1/2-inch PEX pipes, one for hot and one for cold
- Washer drain line
- Waste Y-fitting
- Metal stud protector plates
- 2 1/2-inch copper stub outs
- 2 metal or plastic PEX bend supports
- Faucet and included hardware
Codes and Regulations
Rerouting, extending, or otherwise changing your home's hot and cold water supply lines, plus drainage, may trigger permitting or other code-related actions. Check with your local permitting agency for information about codes and permits for laundry room sink installation.
Turn off the home's main water supply line. Before opening the wall, turn off all circuit breakers controlling any wires that may run through the walls.
Assess Your Layout
Placement of the utility sink within your laundry room is based both on where you want it and where it will best fit. In terms of logistics, laundry room utility sinks should be placed close to work areas. The best fit for the sink is usually close to the washer since this is a source of hot and cold water and a drain point.
Remove the Drywall
If drywall is covering the wall behind the washer and dryer, concealing the plumbing lines, you will need to remove key sections of drywall. It is not necessary to remove drywall on the entire wall. With the stud finder, locate the position of the studs extending from the current supply and drainage points to the area where you intend to locate the laundry utility sink. With the utility knife, slice through the drywall tape joining full sheets of drywall to each other. Remove the sheet by turning out the drywall screws and then prying back the sheet.
Drill Through the Studs
With your 5/8-inch auger bit, drill two holes in each stud leading to the intended location of the utility sink. Cover the front of each hole by hammering metal stud protector plates into the studs.
Tap Into the Water Supply Lines
Cut into the washer's hot and cold copper supply lines with the copper pipe cutter. After cleaning the burrs from the copper pipes, insert a tee on each line, running two PEX lines through the holes in the studs to the utility sink location. Replace the two severed lines (hot and cold for the washer) on top of the tees, first sanding off the burrs from the copper pipe.
Tap Into the Drain Line Standpipe
Depending on how your washing machine drain line is set up, you may be able to tap into your existing drain line with a waste Y-fitting and extend a PVC pipe to the utility sink area. Alternatively, your local code likely will allow you to make the utility sink drain line the only drain for both the sink and the washer. The washer drain hose is then hooked over the wall of the utility sink. When the washer expels water, the water flows into the sink and then back down to the standpipe.
Attach the Copper Stub Outs
Attach the hot and cold supply lines to the copper stub outs. Use bend supports to direct each pipe at a 90-degree angle. Nail each pipe onto the side of the studs with fasteners. Use the Speed Square to square up the pipes, ensuring that they extend directly from the wall.
Assemble the Utility Tub
Turn the utility tub upside-down, and attach the four legs to the bottom of the tub basin. Many brands of freestanding utility tubs require only that you tap the legs into place, with no additional fixtures required. Add the included leveling feet. Turn the utility tub upright again. Level the basin with the bubble level or a laser level.
Add the Sink Faucet and Trap
Install the drain trap under the utility sink, and then attach it to the drain line. Add the faucet to the two stub outs. Turn the water back on, and test all connections by running the water.
Install the Drywall
After any required plumbing inspection, install drywall over the open wall. Make cutouts at all plumbing entry points.
When to Call a Professional
Plumbing work has a learning curve. If you are not inclined to learn or do not already possess basic plumbing skills, including working with PEX and copper pipe and installing fixtures, have a licensed plumber install the utility sink.