In kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, sinks and countertops are built together. You might have a granite countertop that sees several decades and new sink installations. Or you might be installing the first sink in a new countertop. Sink installation is something anyone can do with the right hardware, tools, and the proper steps.
Here at Arch City Granite & Marble, we know the story doesn’t end with a beautiful countertop. That countertop will see one sink, for sure, and perhaps several in future renovations that keep the gleaming stone but change the fixtures. If you’re getting ready to install a new sink in a new countertop or an old glamorous slab, here’s the step-by-step process.
Drop-In vs Under-Mounted Sink Installation
First, decide if you’re installing a drop-in or an under-mounted sink. Under-mounted sinks can only be supported by a solid slab like granite, marble, or quartz countertops. Lighter stone and non-stone material like ceramic will likely need a drop-in sink. This controls the required size of your cutout and the final effect of your installed sink.
Match Your Sink and Countertop Size
Once you know your type of sink, it’s time to measure. For a new sink and a new countertop, you can ask your stone fabricator to make a hole of just the right size for your chosen sink. If you’re installing a new sink in an existing countertop, start by measuring your current sink. In fact, many homeowners will trace their sink onto a large piece of paper to go sink-shopping for exactly the right size. Write down your sink measurements or the size of your countertop aperture. You can use this to shop for sinks online or find one you like at a local home improvement store.
If you want a larger sink, you will need to work with a contractor or stone fabricator to carefully cut a larger hole in your countertop.
Fit the Sink with Mounting Hardware
The next step is to prep your sink to be installed. You can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by installing all the mounting hardware onto the sink itself before mounting the sink to the countertop.
- Install the Mounting Clips
- Install the Strainer Basket
- Install the Faucet
- Install the Garbage Disposal Mount
Start by fitting the mounting clips onto the sink where they will attach to the countertop and provide secure support around the circumference. Then fit, seal, and secure the strainer basket and gaskets. Install the faucet through the top, then secure the mount for the garbage disposal below. It is very important to do these steps carefully, as they will determine whether the sink leaks around these joints.
Set and Secure Your Sink into the Countertop
With the sink prepared, you are ready to install your sink into the countertop. For a drop-in sink. set the sink down over and into the countertop hole. For under-mounted sinks, naturally you will need to lift the sink into place. While holding the sink securely, turn and tighten the ring of mounting brackets to secure the sink to the underside of the countertop.
Connect the Water and Drain Lines
Now that your sink is in place, you can begin connecting the lines. You’ll want water going in and your drains and garbage disposal lines flowing out.
- Connect the Water Supply Lines
- Install the Garbage Disposal and Drain
- Connect the Dishwasher Drain Line
Connect the hot and cold water supply lines to your faucet and install the handles. To install the drain, start by securing your garbage disposal to the mount you prepared, and seal the connection. Then connect the drain line below the garbage disposal and the dishwasher drain line into the garbage disposal itself. Secure each connection with plumber’s tape or putty and tighten the gaskets.
Align Your Drainpipes
Not all sinks have the same drain alignment. If your drainpipe connections are not perfectly aligned or the right length, this is easily fixed. If your drainpipe is misaligned, you can adjust with a few elbow pieces and short pipe sections to realign with your current drains. If the drainline is too short or too long, you can cut the right length of PVC pipe from a kit to adjust the length. This will allow you to cleanly hook up your drains.
Seal the Sink Into Place
Grab your caulk gun, it’s time to seal in your sink. There are several approved materials for this from traditional sink caulk to modern silicone gel. The purpose is to create a water-tight and glue-like seal around the perimeter of your sink, sealing it to the countertop surface.
Pierce and/or clip the head of your sealant tube and load it into the caulk gun. Line up the plunger to the back of the tube and pull the trigger to determine your bead size and pressure speed. Then lay a steady bead of sealant around the perimeter of your sink and the base of each faucet and handle fixture.
Test Your New Sink
Once your sink is fully installed, wait 24 hours for the caulk and putty to fully dry before turning on the water lines. With the water lines on, you can test your ability to run hot and cold water and drain the sink without leaks. Stopper the sink and fill it halfway, then let it full run down the drain. To test the garbage disposal, run a few slices of lemon peel down the disposal to freshen and make sure the system works well.
Run the dishwasher once and make sure the drain line doesn’t leak on its way to the garbage disposal or t-joint. This will test your threads, putty, gaskets, and drain alignment. If you feel inclined, splash a little water around the top of your sink and make sure your caulking is in good form.
Congratulations, you have just installed a sink in your countertop. Or rather, you’ve finished an article about it and are ready to get started with your specific countertop, chosen sink, and hardware set. If you’re looking for a beautiful new countertop to combine with your new sink, Arch City Granite & Marble can help you find the perfect slab and design a custom cut for your ideal kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room design.