How to Install a Kitchen Sink

From cost to tools and plumbing, here are the steps to install a new kitchen sink.

A shiny new sink, along with a new faucet and countertop, will jazz up a kitchen as much as new flooring and appliances, and for considerably less money. These days, it isn’t that difficult to install a new sink and faucet, thanks to fittings that simply screw or glue together—often without solder or torches.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Kitchen Sink?

Between $150 to $370 depending on the size and type of the sink.

Project details

Careful layout of the sink is crucial, but the plumbing hookup is rather straightforward. $150 to $370, depending on the size and type of sink.
For specific prices, please refer to leafloat.
4 to 6 hours

How Easy Is It to Install a Kitchen Sink?

The trickiest part of how to install a kitchen sink and faucet is connecting the sink’s drain—the pieces between the sink’s tailpiece and the waste line. Always start at the sink tailpiece and work down. This is where a swivel P-trap with a trap adapter earns its keep. It can swing side to side on two different axes and adjust up or down.

Before you head off to the store, Leafloat recommends drawing a “map” like the illustration here and checking the inside diameters of the tailpiece and waste line, usually 1 ½ inches. Then, instead of buying a kit, get only the pieces you need, including Schedule 40 PVC pipe to cut and fit as needed.

Parts of a kitchen sink on a labelled diagram.

Kitchen Sink Installation in 8 Steps

Step 1

Measure and Mark the Kitchen Sink’s Layout

Person marking a counter with a sharpie to prepare for new kitchen sink installation.

Mark the counter’s back edge to center the sink within its cabinet.

If sink has a template, align it with the mark on the counter. Place its back edge 1½ inches from and parallel to the counter.

Trace around it; proceed to the next step. If there’s no template, use 2-inch tape to outline the sink location.

Mark the center of the sink on its back lip.

Lay the sink upside down on the counter. Align the mark on the sink with the one on the counter.

Adjust the sink to leave 1½ inches between its back edge and the backsplash. Be sure sink is parallel with the counter’s edge.

Trace around the sink, then remove it.

Measure the width of the sink lip, subtract 1/8 inch, and mark inside the sink outline by that much.

To make the cut-out lines, connect all the marks with a straightedge.

Step 2

Mark the Cut Lines onto the Counter

Ruler and marked edges on a kitchen counter.

After using a straightedge to connect the marks, you’ll end up with a rectangular outline of the sink’s hole on the counter.

Round off the corners by hand to approximate the radius of the sink’s corners.

Next, use a spade bit that’s slightly wider than the jigsaw blade (½-inch bit is usually sufficient) and drill a hole inside the radius at each corner of the cut-out lines.

Step 3

Cut a Sink Opening with a Jigsaw

Person using a jigsaw to cut a hole into a kitchen counter.

Lower a jigsaw blade into a front hole and saw along the cut line to back hole. Repeat on the other side.

Lay a scrap of wood a few inches longer than the cutout across the sink area. Screw through the scrap and into the cutout waste to prevent it from falling or binding the saw blade.

Cut along the front and back cut lines. Remove the cut-out piece.

Check the fit of the sink in countertop; trim the hole with the jigsaw, if necessary.

Step 4

Install Kitchen Faucet

Person screwing in a new faucet.

Set the sink upside down on a padded sawhorse or counter.

Feed the faucet’s supply tubing and tailpiece through the gasket that seals the faucet to the sink and then up through the hole (or holes) in sink.

Screw the mounting nuts and washers to the underside of the sink deck.

Make sure the faucet can swing in a full arc across the sink before tightening mounting nuts.

Step 5

Attach Strainer Over Plumber’s Putty

Person pressing down on a sink strainer over plumber’s putty.

With the sink still upside down, pack a thick roll of plumber’s putty under the strainer’s lip and push it up through the sink’s drain hole.

Slip the gasket, washer, and housing (if your strainer has one) onto the strainer and against the underside of sink. Dab pipe-joint compound onto its exposed threads.

Thread the locknut onto the strainer by hand, then tighten it with pliers while holding the strainer in place.

Fit the gasket onto the sink-drain tailpiece and attach it to the strainer with its slip nut. Tighten the nut by hand while holding strainer.

Step 6

Set The Sink and Connect Water Supply

Person using a measuring tape to measure edge of a sink to the edge of the kitchen counter.

Remove the tape, pulling toward center of hole.

With sink still upside down, squeeze a bead of silicone caulk around the underside of the sink’s lip.

Turn the sink upright and set it into the countertop hole.

Check that the front of the sink is parallel with the front edge of countertop. Adjust it, if necessary.

Connect the faucet to shut-off valves using acorn-head supply tubes or braided stainless steel hoses.

Attach the sprayer hose to the faucet’s threaded tailpiece.

Step 7

Connect the Drain Pipes

Person fitting a PVC pipe onto a drain under the sink.

Assemble the trap adapter onto the sink-drain tailpiece.

Cut and dry-fit lengths of PVC pipe to connect the trap adapter to the trap and the drain elbow to the waste line. Swivel the trap or slide it on the tailpiece to fine-tune the pipes’ lengths and alignment. Take the drain pieces apart.

Clean off the cut ends with a utility knife. Coat them and their mating pieces with PVC primer. Let dry.

Swab PVC cement on both ends being joined. Immediately push pieces together. Hold for 30 seconds.

Reassemble and hand-tighten all threaded connections.

Step 8

Attach Dishwasher Drain and Tidy up

Person attaching dish washer drain line under sink.

The last step of how to install a kitchen sink is attach the dishwasher drain line to the waste nib of the tailpiece. Tighten the hose clamp with a screwdriver.

Remove excess putty from lip of strainer.

Remove the aerator from the faucet and run the water full blast. Look for leaks at all connections along the supply and drain lines. In case of leaks, carefully tighten the nuts by one-eighth turns until the leak stops.

Make sure the sink’s front edge is parallel to counter’s edge. Fill the sink with water to weigh it down and hold it tight overnight as the caulk sets.

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