How to Install a New Kitchen Sink

Mixed race woman installing faucet
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A new sink will improve the look and usability of your kitchen. Fortunately, installing a new sink isn’t a difficult project. Here’s a quick how-to.

Measure Your Existing Sink

Measuring your old sink will allow you to identify the location of drains and make the necessary adjustments during your installation. If your new sink has different dimensions or drain locations, you’ll likely need to make countertop adjustments or additions. It’s a good idea to hire a pro to alter your countertops, especially if you have sensitive materials like stainless, natural stone or solid surface.

Examine Your Hardware

Decide if you’re planning to replace your fixtures as well. If so, it’s best to tackle your hardware replacements during your new sink installation. If you’re adding new components like soap dispensers or hot water sinks, you may have to cut additional holes in your sink. Most sink models come with between one and four pre-drilled holes. You can avoid sink alterations by planning ahead and selecting a model that has the right amount of holes for your new fixtures and extra components.

Remove Your Old Sink

Removing your old sink will require several steps. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Turn Off Your WaterBegin by turning off the water supply to your old sink. Most hot and cold water supplies are below your sink. If you’re unable to find these valves, shut of your home’s water main. It’s also a good idea to snap a photo of your pipe and valve configuration before disconnecting your water lines. This will help you reconnect your water lines after your new sink installation.
  • Turn On Your Faucet: Turn on your sink faucet to relieve the existing water pressure and drain the main line.
  • Disconnect Your Supply Lines and Disposal: Use an adjustable wrench to remove your supply line connections. Have a bucket nearby to catch any drips. Next, turn off your disposal’s circuit and unplug it. Disconnect the P-trap and let it drain. Use the same bucket to catch drainage from your disposal. Remove your disposal motor according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Loosen Your Sink: Locate the clips that hold your sink from underneath. Use a screwdriver to turn the clips toward the sink bowl. Next, use a razor blade to cut the caulk around the top of your sink.
  • Remove the Sink: Push the sink from below to separate it from your countertops. If the sink doesn’t move, revisit the caulking with your razor and double check that all the clips are facing toward the sink’s bowl. Scrape away any grime or leftover buildup on your countertops with a putty knife. 

Install Your New Sink

Adding your new sink isn’t difficult. Here’s how:

  • Double Check the Fit: Place your sink over the hole to ensure it fits. Call a pro if your sink is under or oversized. Kitchen specialist​s are able to shim and adjust your countertops to fit your new sink.
  • Attach the Clips: Flip your new countertop over and attach the clips. Ensure they’re facing toward your sink’s bowl.
  • Attach the Strainer: Roll plumbers’ putty into a thin strip and apply it around the edges of your strainer and drain. Press your strainer into the drain putty first.
  • Add the Gaskets: Place your sink on its side, apply the rubber drain gaskets and thread your flange. Repeat these steps for any other drains that don’t have a disposal. Remove any putty pushed through the drain and into the sink bowl.
  • Install Your Sink: Screw on your disposal mounting bracket and apply a bead of silicone caulk around the underside of your sink. Lower your sink onto your countertops, making sure to position it squarely. Rotate the metal clips toward your sink bowl to secure it in place.  
  • Seal the Outside of Your Sink: Apply a bead of silicone caulk around the outside of your sink. Wipe away any excess with a wet rag.
  • Attach Your Components: Reattach your water supply lines and garbage disposal. Attach any additional fixtures, like soap dispensers or hot water faucets, as well. Call a pro if you’re unsure how to tackle this task. Fixture installation mistakes can result in leaks, malfunctions and reduced utility efficiency.
  • Reconnect Your P-trap: Screw your P-trap back into place and turn on your sink’s water and electrical lines.