How to Install a Farmhouse Sink
Installing a farmhouse sink isn’t difficult, but it does require care and a little more work than other types of kitchen sinks. In particular, the cabinetry below the sink needs to be modified to expose the front apron of the sink and to add the extra support to handle its weight when filled with water. Here are the basic steps to installing a new farmhouse sink from Kingston Brass.
Build or Cut the Cabinetry
In a new kitchen or a complete remodel, it’s easy enough to build new cabinetry to support the farmhouse sink and reveal its beautiful front. For a renovation where the kitchen cabinets stay in place, it’s necessary to cut into the cabinets instead. Check the manufacturer’s diagrams or use the sink’s specifications to see how far down to cut. Most sinks come with a template to follow for a nearly perfect cut. Farmhouse sinks come in top-mount, flush-mount, and undermount styles, so consider the final placement of the lip of the sink when cutting.
Cut the Countertop
It’s best to wait to trim the countertop to fit around the edges of a farmhouse sink until it has arrived. Fireclay and ceramic sinks in particular can vary up to 2% in any direction from their specified size. Cutting the countertop too early can result in a poor fit and the need for a new countertop. It’s far easier to compensate when cutting the cabinetry by adding shims or padding, but it’s harder to fill in gaps around the edge of a sink.
Farmhouse sinks are larger and heavier than most other kitchen sinks, especially stainless steel models. Cabinetry under the sink will need reinforcement to keep it from sagging or dropping the sink when it’s heavy and full of water. Most sinks call for the installation of horizontal 2x4s to create a lip under the edge of the cabinet where the sink can rest. Check the installation instructions for the specific amount of gap between the sink and its supports. This varies based on mounting style and the thickness of the sink’s material. The cabinetry may also need vertical supports, so consider bringing in a professional for this step. Add a plywood shelf if the installation instructions call for one, and any recommended padding to protect the bottom of the sink from cracking.
Caulk and Seal the Edges
Once the sink is in place and supported, it’s time to seal the edges and install the faucet and plumbing. Kitchen caulk, in general, will work for all farmhouse sinks, but the manufacturer may recommend a particular product that matches the finish.