Favorite Thing in Our Kitchen
In partnership with The Home Depot
We are back with another DIY breakdown! This is a long one, but SO worth it. When we decided to do a farmhouse sink we really struggled to find good tutorials that would help us figure out all of the logistics replacing our kitchen sink. So hopefully this post does just that!
This post walks through the DIY farmhouse sink installation step by step. The only things missing are the final photos (we don’t have our countertops in or cabinets painted yet!)…But we will update with those the minute we have them! Regardless, this has already made a huge difference in our kitchen and we LOVE the sink we chose.
If you’re nervous about doing this yourself, let me reassure you. To me it also seemed daunting at first (I mean yes, it does require extra work), but it actually turned out to be one of the more manageable projects throughout our kitchen renovation. It’s completely doable for the average person, like you and me!
Let’s get started!
Installing Our Farmhouse Sink: Our Apron Farmhouse Sink
We think we might have found the perfect farmhouse sink. It’s absolutely beautiful, spacious, and functional. We decided to go with a double bowl, extra deep, apron front, fireclay, farmhouse sink made by Sinkology. We went back and forth on whether to go with a single or double bowl. We loving having the double bowl for our “dishwashing” workflow, but I know there are lots of opinions out there on what is best!
After using the double bowl sink for over a month now, we have no complaints and would buy it again in a heartbeat!
- THE SINK! (We picked this one from Sinkology)
- 2 People (to lift the sink into place)
- Multi-tool (or hand saw)
- Jigsaw *optional if using plywood top
- Phillips Head Screw Driver
- Square head drill bit (if removing & replacing pocket screws)
- Pocket hole jig *optional/if needed (but possibly the most useful thing you can own!)
- 2×4 lumber
- 3/4″ plywood *optional – see below
- Pencil & Compass
- Wood Glue
- Sand Paper/Sander
- Regular Wrench
- Plumber’s Wrench
- Spare Towels & Bucket (to catch water from disconnected plumbing)
Rent or Buy?
If you don’t have any of the power tools above, you can always rent them at The Home Depot. We have rented a few things over the course of this renovation, so keep that option in mind!
P.S. Curbside pickup for the win!
I did not have all of these things on hand when I started…and I really hate being in the middle of a project without all the right stuff. When it happens, I love being able to place orders from my phone on the Home Depot app (also the app is the SINGLE fastest way to locate an item in store). I usually select curbside pickup or pickup lockers, and have what I need in hours, if not minutes. It’s easy and FAST. Not to mention it keeps me from going into the store and getting distracted in the power tools aisle… ; )
Prepare the Work Area
Remove every single thing from under your kitchen cabinets. You’ll need all the space you can get and more. Lay down a blanket or canvas on the ground where you will set the sink for measurements and before lifting into place. Set aside towels and bucket to soak up/catch water as you disconnect the plumbing. Turn off power at the breaker if removing a disposal–make sure you double check this!
We had just had our old tile floors removed and were living on the bare cement subfloor, so I wasn’t too worried about scratching wood floors or anything, but definitely make sure your flooring AND your sink are protected.
Disconnect Plumbing & Remove Old Sink
This is a tedious process that I don’t cover in detail here, but you’ll have to disconnect everything – hot & cold water lines, dishwasher feed line, disposal (turn power off at the breaker first!), and drain plumbing.
As for the sink, it’s an easy removal process if yours is similar to ours. There’s a mounting bracket and clasp system under the sink and inside the cabinet – there are probably 8-12 clasps you must unscrew before lifting out the sink. Once done, it’s a pretty simple removal.
Cut Out Frame
After removing the doors and hinges, look on the inside of the cabinet and frame to see how the inner T-frame is attached. Mine was attached with woodglue and pocket screws. Remove the pocket screws, then use a multitool to cut perpendicular to the main cabinet frame. Be careful not to damage the T-frame as you will be re-using it (after resizing). You can always build a new one, but it will definitely save time and materials if you can re-use. Our cabinets had the faux drawer panels, so I removed the bottom part of the frame and did not re-use those pieces.
Build Mount For Sink
This was pretty simple. Follow the directions from your sink manufacturer for this part, looking for how much support your particular sink requires. Before you start building, determine:
- How tall is my sink?
- How tall must my support mount be, so that when combined with my sink height, leaves 1/8″ clearance from the top of the sink to the cabinet top? If installing an undermount sink as we did, this gap will be filled with caulking when the countertops are installed.
Next, to build the farmhouse sink mount:
- Using 2×4 lumber, I built our frame with two base/horizontal pieces across the bottom of the cabinet, then placed 4 vertical legs which were secured to the base pieces and to the sides of the cabinet. I placed a crossbar 2×4 across the back, set in about 3/4″ to make enough room to get to the dishwasher line valve behind it. It’s a relatively simple build, just measure twice, cut once!
- Check for level continuously. I checked each column support before screwing into place, and before screwing down the plywood top.
- Here comes the optional plywood top. This was something that sounded like a good idea, and for the most part was, but is not totally necessary. I might have done it for the cool picture of me standing on it, just to prove how sturdy and strong it is! ; ) You can just as easily use 2×4’s to complete the perimeter of your frame, so long as there is enough edge (1/2-3/4″ at least) for the sink to rest on. If you decide to follow my plywood top footsteps, one caveat is that the 8″ holes I cut made it difficult for the average plumber’s wrench to tighten the drains later on. We made it work, but it was a little more challenging. Consider making 10″ holes.
- Trace and Cut Holes in the plywood. I used a big piece of carboard underneath the sink to trace the dimensions and location of the drain holes. I used this cutout on top of the plywood to tell me where the center of the holes were, then used a compass, pencil and jig saw to get to 8″ diameter cutouts.
Lift Sink Into Place
This is really where you need a second person. It was probably 150-200 lbs, and not easy to grip/lift for one person. Ashley helped with this, and we did it pretty easily. Pictured here–she’s a boss!
Properly Space and Level
The countertop installers can really make sure this is level for the end installation, but we knew we were a good 4-6 weeks away from that and I wanted to hook up the plumbing to give us a functioning sink. So I used a shim under one corner to make it level.
How Far Past the Countertop?
The most common countertop overhang is 1.5″. We wanted our sink to go about 1/2″ past the countertop, so we positioned our sink so that it would go 2″ past the cabinet face frame/front of the cabinet.
By the way – the cardboard cutout was really helpful here since we had to cut the sink holes before lifting it into place. It let us play around with the overhang, get comfortable, then mark the holes, taking into consideration the cabinet walls, edges of the sink, base cabinet and top of the cabinet.
Replace Modified Frame and Doors
Measure your new cabinet height. Find the T-frame you removed and saved earlier. In my case, I just had to cut the end of the middle frame/column to accommodate the new height of the sink and where the sink will sink. I drilled two new pocket holes since I had cut the old ones off. The right and left sides on each end (top of the T) kept the same width and did not need to be cut. I used wood glue at all the joints and pocket holes + screws to secure into place.
How To Resize Kitchen Cabinet Doors
I followed some expert advise I received from a friend and cabinet maker and the result was flawless! Keep in mind we are having our cabinets PAINTED, so that’s why this process works. If you have fine hardwood doors and won’t be painting them, you may want to connect with an expert on how to handle. I documented as much of it as possible through photos below. Do the following for EACH door:
- Measure how large the new door size needs to be. Write it down.
- Crosscut a piece off the end of each door, making sure the cutoff is not just the frame, but a small sliver of the door panel. It doesn’t and shouldn’t have much of the panel, but some panel lip is needed. So you’ll have 1 piece consisting of most of the door, and 1 small piece of just the end (top).
- Take a measurement of the new door size.
- Do some math to figure out how much you need to cut from the larger door piece that, when combined with the smaller piece, is the same as the new door size. Make the cut to the larger piece, removing the excess height.
- Wood glue the two pieces together (big piece and end) and secure with clamps. Make sure the frame and panel pieces are aligned as much as possible for a true flush mount. Let sit for 24 hours.
- If you’re worried about how this will look, don’t. 1) If you left just a small lip on the smaller piece it will not be noticeable on the finished cabinet door 1) because of the shadow cast for the door frame over the cut edge, you’ll probably never notice it. 2) because you can touch up small inconsistences with sanding & wood filler as needed. 3) After priming and painting it will look brand new!
Some of this could be done before reinstalling the face frame, but either way is fine. I installed the new sink drains, reconnected pies & waterlines, and reinstalled the disposal. We bought a cheap plastic faucet to use while we wait for countertops and the new fancy faucet to arrive. Run some water and test for leaks. Once it all checks out, and your sink isn’t filled with water (meaning everything is draining correctly!), you’ve officially installed your new farmhouse sink!
Let me know if you have any questions on the installation below. Thanks as always for reading and stay tuned for more updates and FINISHED kitchen photos soon!
P.S. We are apart of a group of DIY Bloggers/YouTubers that are all working on projects throughout the year, so you’ll have to pop over to the #THDDoerProject to see everyone’s progress! Also, if you are working on a DIY use the hashtag #DoersChallenge so we can follow along!
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