Replacing a Drop-In, Surface-Mounted Sink

  • 01 of 08

    Introduction

    Self Rimming or Drop-In Sinks Set on the Top Surface of the Counter.

    You can easily replace that grungy looking old sink in your kitchen with a nice new sink and do it yourself! There are two basic styles of sinks, self-rimming (or surface mounted or drop-in) and under-mount sinks. If you have a plastic laminate, tile or other countertop material that is not solid throughout, then your sink is a "self-rimming" or "drop-in" style of sink and sets on top of the countertop surface. The most typical of these installations is a stainless steel sink...MORE setting on a plastic laminate countertop.

    Difficulty Level

    • Easy-to-Medium

    Tools and Materials YouWill  Need

    • New sink of same opening size
    • Plumber's putty or silicone caulk
    • Adjustable wrench
    • Channel-type pliers
    • Putty knife
    • Phillips-head screwdriver
    • Standard slot screwdriver
    • Plumber's tape for threaded plumbing connections
    • New plumbing/ drain parts as required
    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Purchase a Replacement Sink

    Confirm Required Sink Dimensions.

    The easiest way to replace an old sink is to buy a one of the exactly the same size. Assuming the old sink worked for you and its size was adequate, measure the old sink's inside dimensions—its length, width,​ and depth. You'll also need to measure the center to center dimension of any holes you have in the sink for faucets and sprayers, if you want to replace them.

    When you buy the new sink, all that really matters is that the drop-in dimension is the same and that you have the number of...MORE appropriate sink holes for the faucet and sprayer. Your home building supply or plumbing store can help you pick the right sink—it's really easy.

    But if you wish, now is the time to upgrade from a faucet having separate hot and cold faucet handles to a single-handle washerless faucet. If so, you'll want to make sure the hold configuration on the new sink matches the new faucet.

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Disconnect the Plumbing and Electrical Connections and Remove the Sink

    Sink is Fastened by Small Clips.
    1. Before you start disconnecting anything, please make sure to turn off the water supply. There should be a water shut-off valve for the hot and cold water located under the sink. If not, then turn the water supply off at the main valve.
    2. If you have a garbage disposal, then unplug it from the power outlet.
    3. Once the water is turned off and the disposal (if you have one) is unplugged, disconnect the hot and cold water connections attached to the tailpieces on the old faucet, using an adjustable...MORE wrench.  
    4. Disconnect the drain trap from the sink waste drain or garbage disposal, using channel-type pliers. 
    5. The sink will be fastened to the counter top with a series of small clips that may be a variation of the photo above. Simply unscrew the clips to loosen and remove them. Then carefully lift out the sink with the faucet attached.
    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Prepare the Sink Opening in the Countertop

    Sink Removed From Counter Top.


    Once the sink and faucet are lifted out, it will pretty much look like this--a gaping hole. Don't worry, now is the time to ready the new sink for installation.

    Make sure to clean the edges of the old sink opening of all old plumbers putty or caulk. Carefully scrape the residual putty or caulk with a putty knife, if necessary. Clean the area with a household surface cleaner.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Install the Faucet and Hose Spray (if used) in the New Sink

    Fastening the Faucet to the Sink While Removed is Easily Done When the Sink is Upside Down.

    There is no easier time to install the faucet than before the new sink is installed into the countertop. With the sink is removed, you can easily reach the back of the sink, thread the faucet plumbing lines through the sink holes and tighten the faucet to the sink. This is something a lot more difficult to do on your back and in cramped quarters after the sink is already installed.

    Follow the manufacturer's installation instructions for installing the faucet. Some manufacturers require you to...MORE assemble part of the faucet before installing it on the sink. The manufacturer will usually provide you a rubber seal to place under the base plate of the faucet and the sink.

    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Place the New Sink Into the Countertop


    Once the faucet assembly is attached to the sink, we turn our attention to preparing the sink itself.

    1. With the sink still in an upside down position, place a bead of plumber's putty or silicone caulk around the complete edge of the sink. Make sure to locate the putty or caulk near the outer edge of the sink so that it will make full contact with the countertop when installed.
    2. Next, flip the sink and attached faucet assembly upright. Be careful doing this as the sink may be heavy. Also, make...MORE sure you don't ruin the nice putty or caulk job you just completed at the sink's edge.
    3. Now carefully drop the sink into position. 
    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Final Sink Attachment to the Countertop


    Once the sink is set in place, it will need to be tightened against the countertop. The sink is pulled tight against the countertop with special mounting clips described in Step #3. The spacing of these clips will vary by manufacturer so follow the manufacturer instructions. The clips are generally tightened with a screwdriver or socket. Tighten the clips a little at a time going around the sink perimeter a few times.

    As the clips are tightened down they draw the sink tight against the countertop...MORE creating a self-rimming seal. ("Self-rimming" is another name for a "drop-in" sink.)

    Clean up any putty or caulk that squeezed out from the bottom of the sink edge as it was tightened down.

    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Final Plumbing and Electrical Connections

    Garbage Disposal Mounting Assembly.


    Once the sink is firmly fastened down, install the sink strainer or if you have a garbage disposal, install the garbage disposal sink flange and mounting ring. The sink strainer/ basket assembly and the disposal sink flange will mount in a similar manner.

    1. Seal the sink opening with a 1/2" bead of plumber's putty around the opening.
    2. Place the new disposal sink flange or sink strainer assembly into the sink opening and press it into the plumber's putty. Tighten from below until the putty...MORE squeezes out and the flange is tight against the sink.
    3. Now hook up the waste drain lines and water supply lines. Make sure the threaded connections are tight and be sure to use plumber's tape on all threaded connections to prevent leakage.
    4. Turn on the water supply and check for and correct any leaks.
    5. Once the plumbing connections are made, plug the garbage disposal into the electrical outlet and test for proper operation.

    That's it, you're all done. Now enjoy that beautiful new sink and faucet!