How to Replace a Kitchen Sink and Faucet


Replacing a kitchen sink and faucet can seem like a daunting task, but with the right planning and tools it can be accomplished by most DIYers. A new sink and faucet can completely transform the look and functionality of your kitchen. This guide will walk you through all the steps needed to safely and successfully replace a kitchen sink and faucet. We’ll cover choosing the right products, preparing for the install, removing the old sink and faucet, installing the new ones, and finishing up the job. With a bit of time and some basic skills, you can upgrade your kitchen with a fresh sink and faucet.

Assessing Your Existing Sink and Faucet

Before picking out a new sink and faucet, take some time to assess your current setup. This will help you choose suitable replacement products and plan for the installation.

Inspect for Damage and Leaks

Carefully inspect the sink and faucet for any cracks, chips, dents, or other damage. Check for leaks underneath and around the perimeter of the sink. Damage or leaks indicate it’s definitely time for a new sink.

Measure the Size

Use a tape measure to measure the length, width, and depth of the sink basin and the overall sink width including any countertop overhang. This will tell you what size new sink will fit the existing space.

Determine the Number of Holes

Count the number of holes in the countertop around the existing faucet and sink. There may be 1, 3, or 4 holes. The new faucet you choose will need to accommodate the same number of holes.

Identify the Faucet Type

Determine if you have a centerset, widespread, or wall-mount faucet. This refers to the number of handles and configuration. Make note of any special features like pull-out sprayers as well.

Check for Access Below

Look underneath the sink cabinet. Make sure you have adequate access to work comfortably. If not, the cabinet may need to be removed.

Consider Your Budget

Decide how much you’d like to spend on the new sink and faucet. Prices range from $100 on up to $1,000 or more. Setting a budget will help narrow down your options.

Choosing New Sink and Faucet Styles

With your existing sink and faucet details in mind, you can start exploring replacement options. Consider the style, materials, features, and accessories you’d like to incorporate.

Sink Materials

Kitchen sinks come in stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, composite, fireclay, copper, and more. Stainless and enamel are the most common. Each material has pros and cons regarding durability, maintenance, sound insulation, heat resistance, and cost.

Sink Styles

Look at top mount, undermount, apron-front, and farmhouse/apron-front styles. Top mount sinks sit on top of the counter, while undermount sinks are installed below the countertop surface for a sleek look. Apron-front sinks have an exposed front panel.

Faucet Finishes

Faucets come in chrome, stainless steel, bronze, nickel, black, white, and more. Finish should coordinate with sink and overall kitchen decor.

Faucet Styles

Choose from widespread or centerset configurations and consider specialized faucets like pull-down, pot filler, or touch-activation.

Added Features

Look for sink accessories like cutting boards or colanders and faucet features like filtration or a motion-activated spout.

Matching Accessories

Consider coordinating drain strainers, soaps dispensers, rugs, and light fixtures for a cohesive look.

Preparing for Installation

Replacing a sink and faucet requires careful preparation. Following these steps will help the project go smoothly.

Turn Off Water Supply Lines

Locate the shutoff valves for the hot and cold water lines under or behind the sink and turn them off. This prevents water from spraying out of the pipes when the faucet is detached.

Disconnect Drain Pipes

Unscrew the metal nut connecting the curved trap pipe to the drain tailpiece. Remove the nut and the trap and set aside. Place a bucket under the open tailpiece to catch water.

Remove Existing Faucet

Refer to the manufacturer’s guide for detailed steps, as the process varies. In general, remove any brackets securing the faucet, detach the supply lines and sprayer hose, and lift the faucet away.

Take Out Existing Sink

Unscrew any clips, fasteners, or silicone securing the old sink. Carefully lift it out and set it aside. Scrape off old caulk or putty from the countertop.

Turn Off Power and Remove Lighting

Turn off power to any existing hardwired under-cabinet lighting and disconnect it. New LED strips can be added during reinstallation.

Clear Under Sink Area

Remove everything from under the sink and clean the area well. Store any cleaners or toxic chemicals away from the workspace when not in use.

Cover Counter and Floor

Lay down drop cloths to protect surrounding countertops, cabinets, and flooring from spills, drips, and debris during the installation process.

Assemble Tools and Hardware

Gather necessary tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, silicone, emery cloth, basin wrench, and anything needed for your specific faucet model. Organize hardware like screws and supply lines.

Installing the New Kitchen Sink

Once fully prepped, it’s time to install the shiny new sink in place. Work slowly and carefully during each step.

Position Sink in Cabinet Opening

Have a helper hold the sink in place tilted on its side. Slide it into the cabinet opening and center it. Don’t lift by the sink rim – grasp it from underneath instead.

Secure Sink to Countertop

Following manufacturer instructions, use clips, brackets, silicone, epoxy, or other included hardware to secure the sink. Tighten from below the sink if needed with a basin wrench.

Re-install Drain Components

Reattach the drain tailpiece, trap, and p-trap extension in the proper order using slip nuts and washers. Hand tighten only at this point.

Make Plumbing Connections

Hook up supply lines, angle stops, and risers to the sink faucet following manufacturer instructions. Don’t fully tighten yet.

Connect Drain to Wall

Connect the p-trap extension tailpiece to the drain pipe stub-out in the wall using a slip nut. Hand tighten only for now.

Turn on Water and Leak Check

Turn on hot and cold shutoff valves. Check all connections for drips and tighten as needed. Plug the sink and fill with water to check for leaks around the perimeter.

Anchor Sink to Countertop

Apply a thin bead of silicone around the sink rim where it meets the counter. Use masking tape for crisp edges. Let the caulk cure per the manufacturer’s directions.

Install New Faucet

Install the faucet on the sink or wall following the specific instructions included. Attach handles, sprayer, fittings, gaskets, and any accessories.

Reinstalling Under Sink Components

With the hard work done, put the finishing touches on the job by reinstalling all removed under sink items.

Reinstall Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Reattach any doors, shelves, and drawers under the sink that were removed during installation. Test for full clearance around the new sink.

Replace Garbage Disposal if Needed

If the new sink is smaller, the existing garbage disposal may no longer align. A smaller unit or repositioning the current one may be required.

Connect New Drain Components

Attach any new drain baskets, strainers, or stoppers that came with the new sink using included hardware.

Reinstall Cleaning Supplies

Place cleaning supplies, soaps, sponges, and scrub brushes into cabinets or containers. Toss out any old or expired products.

Add New Lighting Under Cabinet

Install new battery-powered or hardwired under-cabinet lighting for task lighting. Choose LED for brightness and efficiency.

Caulk Edges and Touch Up

Apply caulk along countertop seams or anywhere gaps are visible. Wipe away excess. Touch up any scratches or blemishes from the installation process.

Seal Around Faucet and Backsplash

Seal around the faucet and any surrounding backsplashes using waterproof silicone caulk. Smooth with a wet finger for a neat finish.

Completing the Kitchen Sink and Faucet Installation

Once all plumbing and components are successfully installed, take a few more steps to wrap up the project.

Run Water and Check for Leaks

After caulk has cured, run water through the new faucet, check below for drips, and verify proper drainage. Tighten joints or apply sealant if needed.

Flush Supply Lines

To purge any sediment or debris and freshen the water, remove the faucet aerator and run both hot and cold water on full for a few minutes.

Clean Up the Work Area

Remove any tools and materials from the work area. Wipe down the sink, counters, cabinet exteriors, and floor. Properly dispose of debris.

Remove Protective Coverings

Carefully remove all drop cloths, plastic sheeting, or other materials used to protect surrounding surfaces during the installation process.

Test Out New Features

Try out your new sink and faucet! Adjust water temperature and pressure. Experiment with any special features like pull-out spray heads or soap dispensers.

Use Plumber’s Putty if Needed

If any minor leaks persist, you can seal around strainers or small gaps with plumber’s putty. Let it fully harden before running water.

Replacing an outdated or damaged kitchen sink and faucet brings a fresh, functional focal point to your culinary space. With some attentive planning, care, and patience, you can successfully tackle this DIY home improvement project and enjoy enhanced style and convenience for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Replacing a Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Do I Need to Replace Supply Lines When Installing a New Faucet?

It’s recommended to install new supply lines when replacing a kitchen faucet. This ensures you have lines that are the correct length and fit the new faucet properly.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Kitchen Sink?

For an experienced DIYer, it typically takes 4-6 hours to fully remove the old sink, install a new one, install a new faucet, and complete all related tasks. However, it can take longer if modifications to plumbing are needed.

Can I Install an Undermount Sink Myself?

Installing an undermount sink is definitely doable as a DIY project but requires some plumbing and countertop modification. You’ll need to cut the counter opening correctly for a flush fit and hook up the below-counter sink plumbing.

What Tools Do I Need to Replace a Kitchen Faucet?

Basic tools like adjustable wrenches, channel locks, Philips and flathead screwdrivers, Teflon tape, basin wrench, and plumber’s putty or silicone. Other specialty tools may be needed for specific faucet models.

Should I Hire a Professional?

For a straightforward sink and faucet replacement, an experienced DIYer can usually handle it. But for complex plumbing modifications, custom countertops, or unfamiliar sinks/faucets, hiring a pro makes sense.

How Do I Dispose of an Old Sink?

Check with your local waste management company. Some may allow you to dispose of a sink with regular trash pickup if broken down into pieces and placed curbside. Otherwise, you may need to take it to the dump.

What’s Better: Stainless Steel or Porcelain Sink?

Both have pros and cons. Stainless resists stains/scratches but can be noisier. Porcelain is muted but may chip over time. Consider your own kitchen needs and preferences when deciding.

Should I Go for an Apron Sink?

Apron front sinks are a popular choice for a farmhouse aesthetic. The exposed front adds style but also less cabinet storage space. Make sure it fits your kitchen layout.

Replacing a kitchen sink and faucet brings a fresh new look and feel to one of the hardest working zones of your home. With some careful prep work, patience, and DIY spirit, you can take on this project yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying renewed convenience and style every time you enter your upgraded kitchen.