Installing Rimmed Sinks

Setting a new sink in place is one of the truly satisfying plumbing tasks. It signals completion of a fairly easy job that gets noticed by your family. When shopping for a new deck-mounted fixture, you’ll find plenty of options—stainless steel, cast-iron, plastic composite, vitreous china, and more. Nowadays most sinks—for the kitchen and bathroom—are self-rimming, which means you just put some putty on the rim and clamp the sink down on the countertop. To remove an old sink, first turn off the supply stops or shut off the water to your house and drain the lines. Disconnect the supply lines and the trap joining the sink to the drainpipe. Remove any mounting clips from underneath, and pry the sink up. Add stop valve.

1 .To install a bathroom sink, first cut an opening. If you need to cut a hole for the sink, trace the template provided with the sink. Drill an entry hole and cut with a sabersaw and fine-toothed blade.

2. Attach faucet and drain. Before lowering the sink into the opening, hook up the faucet  and drain assembly. With bathroom sinks, the drain assembly consists of a basin outlet flange, a drain body, a gasket, a locknut, and a tailpiece that slides into the P-trap. (Installing these after you install the sink is not only difficult, but you also run a greater risk of damaging the parts.) Lay a bead of plumber’s putty around the basin outlet, insert the flange, and screw together the other parts of the drain assembly.

3. Set the sink. Apply a thick bead of silicone adhesive around the underside of the fixture’s flange, about 1/4 inch from the edge. Turn the sink right side up and lower it carefully into the opening. Press down on the sink; some of the caulk will ooze out. Wipe away the excess with a damp cloth. After the silicone adhesive has set (about two hours), apply latex caulk around the sink.

1. For a stainless-steel sink, mark and cut opening. Turn your sink upside down on the countertop. Make sure it is in the correct position, safely set back from the cabinet beneath. Trace the outline of the sink, then draw a line that is an inch or so to the inside of that outline. Erase the first line to make sure you do not cut it. Test to make sure the sink fits. Cut the opening using a circular saw with a fine-toothed blade for the straight cuts and a sabersaw for curves. Take your time to avoid splintering the laminate.

2. Attach the faucet and strainers. Attach a basket strainer to each bowl. Lay a bead of putty around the outlet, set the gasket in place, and lower the strainer body into the hole. With your other hand, from underneath, slip the friction ring in place, and screw on the locknut. Tighten, and clean away the putty that oozes out. You also can attach the tailpiece and trap assembly at this point.

3. Set and secure the sink. To set the sink, place a rope of plumber’s putty all around the rim so it will seal everywhere. Turn the sink right side up and lower it into the opening. Secure the sink to the countertop with sink clips every 6 to 8 inches. Working from underneath the sink, tighten the clips with a screwdriver. Remove excess putty with a putty knife and a rag dipped in paint thinner.

Install a cast-iron sink. To set a cast-iron kitchen sink, use the same technique as for the rimmed sink. Run a bead of silicone sealant under the rim, turn the sink right side up, set it in place, and wipe away the excess sealant. Run caulk along the edge, and smooth it with a wet finger.

Installing Wall-Hung Sinks

Wall-hung bathroom sinks are not as popular as they once were but remain useful where space is limited or a retro style is called for. Installing the bracket support is the most time-consuming part of this job.

Caution! Watch Your Weight! Bracket-supported sinks stand up well to normal everyday use, but warn members of the household not to sit on them. They could crack or pull away from the wall.

1. Rough-in, provide bracing. Note: Be sure to shut off the water and drain the line. To remove an old fixture, disconnect the drain and supply lines and look underneath to see if it is held in by bolts. If so, loosen or cut the bolts. Pull straight up on the sink to dislodge it. For a new installation, run new supply lines, and provide solid framing for the hanger bracket.

2. Finish wall, anchor bracket. Install the drywall. You may even want to tape and paint it—it will be easier to do now than after the sink is in place. Secure the hanger bracket to the 2x10 blocking. Use plenty of screws and make sure the bracket is level. If they are not already in place, equip each supply line with a stop valve.

3. Set sink in place. Turn the sink on its side, and install the faucet and the drain assembly. Attach flexible supply lines to the sink. Place the sink above the bracket, press it flat against the wall, and lower it onto the bracket. A flange fits into a corresponding slot in the sink.

4. Attach legs. If your sink comes with support legs, insert them into the holes in the bottom of the sink, plumb them, and adjust them so they firmly support the sink. To do this, twist the top portion of each leg. Check to see that the sink is level.

5. Hook up supplies, drain. Connect the flexible supply lines to the stop valves. Connect the trap to the sink drain and to the drainpipe. Restore water pressure and check supply lines for leaks. To test the drain for leaks, pull the stopper lever up, fill the bowl, and open the stopper.

Installing Pedestal Sinks

Pedestal sinks are popular because of their sleek good looks. They hide the plumbing without a cabinet. However installation is more difficult than for a regular wall-hung sink or a vanity. You have to get all the plumbing to fit inside the pedestal, and you must attach the sink at the right height so the pedestal fits just beneath it. Watch out for less expensive units that have narrower than usual pedestals.

1. Install plumbing, framing. Note: Shut off the water. Open the wall, and install a 2x10. Measure the width of the pedestal and install the drain and supply lines so they will fit inside it. Finish the walls and install stop valves. Position the sink and pedestal against the wall to mark the bracket’s location. Attach the bracket to the wall.

2. Assemble, install the sink. Carefully set the sink into the bracket and fasten with the nuts and bolts or toggle bolts provided. Slide the pedestal in and caulk around the bottom with bathtub caulk. Restore water pressure and check for leaks.

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