A kitchen sink is one of the hardest working fixtures in your home. It sees a lot of daily use, so it’s no surprise that it will need to be replaced eventually.
Fortunately, the process for how to install a kitchen sink is not as daunting as you might think. You can easily do it yourself with a little time, patience, and the right tools.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace your kitchen sink.
Intermediate to Advanced
How to Replace Your Kitchen Sink In 15 Steps
At some point, every homeowner will need to replace their kitchen sink. While this project might not be for everyone, it is easily achievable for those with intermediate to advanced plumbing skills.
That being said, if you are unsure that you can handle this project after reading through this installation guide, we recommend you contact a professional plumber for help.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you replace your kitchen sink, including the variations in the process for drop-in vs undermount sinks.
- Silicone caulk
- Plumber’s putty
- New sink
- Tape measure
- Basin wrench
- Adjustable wrench
- Shallow pan or bucket
- Caulk gun
- Putty knife
- Teflon tape
- Safety glasses
1. Remove The Old Kitchen Sink
Before you learn how to replace your kitchen sink, you’ll, of course, need to first remove the old kitchen sink.
- First, disconnect the supply and drain lines. Don’t forget to shut off the water supply, either. Do this by turning the shutoff valves in your sink cabinet clockwise or by turning off your home’s main water shutoff valve
- Next, use an adjustable wrench to carefully loosen the nuts that connect each supply line to the water valves. Have a shallow pan or bucket handy to catch any water that may drip from the lines
- Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and unscrew the P-trap from the sink drain. If you have a garbage disposal or dishwasher line attached, you’ll also need to disconnect them. For hard-to-reach P-traps, try using a basin wrench–a specialty tool used to tighten fasteners in confined spaces
- Once these are disconnected, use a screwdriver to remove the clips holding the sink in place. If your existing sink is glued down, you may need to use a putty knife to loosen the glue before removing the sink
- The last step is to lift the old sink bowl out of the countertop opening (or pull it down if removing an undermount sink). Most kitchen sinks are made of either stainless steel or porcelain, and both can be heavy, so it’s important to take care when removing them
2. Check Your Countertop Opening Size
Now that the old sink has been removed, it’s time to recheck the size of your countertop opening. When it comes to learning how to replace your kitchen sink, this is a crucial but often overlooked step.
3. Install The Sink Faucet
Once you have acquired the correct-sized sink, it’s time to install the fixtures. This includes attaching the faucet, handles, and any other attachments that came with your new sink. Make sure that all connections are tight so there are no leaks.
You can find out how to replace your kitchen faucet if you want to upgrade it now or later.
4. Install The Drain Strainer
A kitchen sink strainer is a small but important component in your kitchen sink installation. The strainer helps to catch food and other debris that can clog your drain, and it also keeps smaller objects from falling through the drain.
Many sinks come with a drain strainer that needs to be installed before connecting the drainage line. If this is the case, apply some plumber’s putty around the drain strainer and install it by pressing it firmly into the sink drain hole. Wipe away the excess putty with a rag.
Otherwise, follow the instructions that came with your particular strainer to install it successfully.
5. Install The Garbage Disposal Mount (optional)
If you have a garbage disposal, you’ll need to attach a mounting bracket to the bottom of the sink. Disposal mounting brackets vary by maker, so it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.
If you don’t have a garbage disposal, you can skip to step 6 of this “how to replace your kitchen sink” guide.
6. Apply Silicone Caulk Around The Edge Of The Countertop Opening (Drop-In) Or Lip Of The Sink (Undermount)
The method for sealing around the edges of your new sink will vary depending on which one of the types of sinks you are installing.
Drop-in sink: For drop-in sinks, you’ll want to apply a bead of silicone caulk around the edge of the countertop opening.
Undermount sink: For undermount sinks, you’ll want to apply a bead of silicone around the outer edge of the new sink itself, where it will contact the surface underneath the countertop.
7. Drop Or Raise The New Sink Into Place
Drop-in sink: For drop-in sinks, you will need to lower it down into the countertop opening, making sure that it is centered and level.
Undermount sink: For undermount sinks, you will need to raise it up into position, making sure that it is seated properly on the lip of the countertop. You’ll need someone to hold it in place before step 8 of the “how to replace your kitchen sink” process.
8. Attach The Clips
The next step is to attach any clips or screws that came with your new sink in order to secure it in place. Go around the perimeter of the sink and tighten the nuts or screws that attach the clips to the countertop.
If possible, use the pilot holes from the old sink to insert the new hardware. Be careful not to overtighten these as you could crack your sink or damage your countertop.
9. Reconnect Water Supply Lines
Once your new sink is secure, you can now reconnect both hot and cold water supply lines. Apply Teflon tape to the threaded connections to ensure a tight seal. Make sure to use new washers and nuts when doing this.
You’ll want to hand-tighten the lines first before using any tools so you don’t over-tighten and crack any components. Once they are hand-tight, finish tightening them with your wrench until snug. Don’t open the water supply valves yet, though!
10. Install Garbage Disposal (optional)
If you don’t have a garbage disposal, go ahead and skip to step 11 of the “how to replace your kitchen sink” process.
If you have a garbage disposal, now is the time to install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just remember to shut off the power to the garbage disposal circuit before attempting any installation work (especially if your disposal is going to be hardwired to the power source).
11. Attach Dishwasher Line (optional)
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can jump ahead to step 12 of the “how to replace your kitchen sink” tutorial.
If you have a dishwasher, now is the time to install the drain line for it. This line will typically run into the disposal unit if you have a garbage disposal. Otherwise, it will attach directly to the sink drainpipe.
12. Reconnect The P-Trap
Reattach the P-trap and connect the garbage disposal discharge pipe to the sink drain (if you have a disposal).
13. Seal Around The Top Of The Sink Edge (Drop-In Sinks Only)
If you are installing an undermount sink, you can skip to step 14 in the “how to replace your kitchen sink” process.
If you are installing a drop-in sink, you’ll want to apply a bead of silicone caulk around the perimeter of the sink where it rests on the countertop. This will ensure that any water on the countertop will not be able to leak under the edge of the sink. Wipe away any excess caulk with a rag.
14. Turn On Water Supply
Turn on the hot and cold water valves beneath the sink by turning them counterclockwise. Or, if you don’t have shutoff valves beneath your sink, turn on your main water supply.
15. Check For Leaks And Flush Lines
Turn on your faucet and observe all your connections to see if there are any leaks. If you see a leak, retighten the connection until the leak stops. Just be careful not to overtighten.
After you have tested for leaks, it’s time to flush the lines to remove any debris. Unscrew the aerator from your faucet and turn the water on for a few minutes. This should flush out any debris that may have gotten into your water supply lines. Finally, reattach your aerator to the faucet.
For sinks with garbage disposals and dishwashers, you should also test those components to ensure they are working correctly and that there are no leaks.
If everything is working correctly and there are no leaks, congratulations! You have successfully learned how to replace your kitchen sink. If there are leaks or any other issues you are unable to resolve yourself, it may be time to contact a professional plumber for help.
Home Pride Construction Can Bring Your Dream Kitchen To Life
Replacing a kitchen sink may seem daunting, but with careful planning and execution, it can be a relatively easy weekend project.
Now that you’ve successfully replaced your kitchen sink, you may be thinking about making more significant upgrades to your kitchen. Our team here at Home Pride is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about kitchen remodeling–just fill out our contact form today!