How to Fit a Kitchen Sink
Kitchen sinks come in all shapes and sizes, so whether you’re looking at new as part of a remodel or replacing an old basin, fitting it needn’t be so difficult.
There are, of course, aspects that you need to consider before buying a new sink, such as the shape, size, depth, or weight of any sink you choose. This is particularly important when replacing an old sink; will it fit into the same gap?
So, Plumbworld has made this guide for you to not only learn more about the types of kitchen sinks available, but also how to fit one yourself. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll assume that you’re replacing an old sink. Chances are that if it’s brand new and part of a complete remodel, an expert will install the sink for you.
Read on to learn more about kitchen sinks at Plumbworld, the various types, what you need to know when buying and how to fit one…
What are the types of kitchen sink?
You can use several types of kitchen sink, all of which use a variety of materials; however, the most commonly used are stainless steel, ceramic and composite. On top of this, there are the shapes and construction of these sinks, from single bowls to round-shaped.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
The most common material used in UK kitchens, stainless steel kitchen sinks are popular for their durability, ease of cleaning, and being less scratch-resistant than other construction materials. Stainless steel is easy to maintain, making the sink look as good as new after cleaning while being extremely versatile. These sinks are a universal style, matching a contemporary or traditional kitchen look. All of this at much lower prices than other materials.
Shop our collection of stainless steel kitchen sinks
Ceramic Kitchen Sink
If you’re after a traditional look or country style in your kitchen, ceramic kitchen sinks are best for a farmhouse feel. Ceramic sinks are smooth to touch as well as heat, scratch and stain-resistant yet, unlike stainless steel, they won’t dent should a heavy load be dropped into it. A delicate appearance masks a solid structure, with built-in resistance to ensure extreme longevity and withstanding the demands of a busy kitchen.
Shop our collection of ceramic kitchen sinks
Composite Kitchen Sink
Made up of a mixture of materials, often including some sort of resin, composite kitchen sinks will usually be designed to replicate granite or another stone. Moulded by mixing stone dust with acrylic resin, these sinks are extremely durable and a very affordable way of replicating an expensive look. Composite sinks are heat, stain, scratch and chip-resistant and come in various colours but can be prone to damage from harsh chemicals.
Shop our collection of granite composite kitchen sinks
Belfast Kitchen Sink
Very similar to the ceramic kitchen sink, Belfast sinks lean more to the traditional style decor. Deeper than most other kitchen sink types, Belfast sinks provide additional space for washing dishes and utensils or even clothing. Mostly offered as a single bowl, there are double-bowl options available. Like ceramic sinks, Belfast kitchen sinks are heat, scratch and stain-resistant but are prone to cracks and chips if not cared for properly.
Shop our collection of Belfast kitchen sinks
Undermount Kitchen Sink
As the name suggests, an undermount sink is mounted below the surface of the worktop, providing a minimalist design that is also versatile and easy to maintain. Without the rim, you can brush waste straight into the sink without being collected on the rim. This is an attractive choice that saves space while remaining resistant to scratches as the bowl will often be stainless steel. They can be more expensive and need weight-bearing materials.
Glass Kitchen Sink
A contemporary choice that adds a touch of glamour with the ergonomics of stainless steel, a glass kitchen sink is made from toughened safety glass that can withstand heavy items being dropped and extreme heat. The style is matched by the practicality of the stainless steel bowl that’s easy to maintain and scratch-resistant. These sinks are great for the black kitchen trend but be aware of potential chips and scratches to the glass.
Shop our collection of glass kitchen sinks
What to consider when buying a kitchen sink
When you have decided that you want a new kitchen sink, there are a number of matters that you need to consider.
These can include the basics, such as the measurements and colour, right up to the material and how it can affect the kitchen worktop stability. It can come down to whether you are simply replacing a sink or whether your new kitchen sink is part of a complete remodel.
If you are likely to use your sink often for washing dishes or even clothes - and you don’t have a dishwasher - then, it is worth buying a larger sink with a draining board and potentially a rinser bowl. This would be a 1.5 bowl. If you are less likely to use a sink, have a dishwasher and the main use is rinsing items, a smaller sink will do.
Size, Depth, Weight
Size is a key factor when looking for a new kitchen sink, however before jumping at a double bowl model, you need to measure the space available. If you’re replacing a sink, it helps to measure its size and compare it to potential replacements. It will also help to remember the material your kitchen worktop is made from as wood is much easier to cut and adjust.
The depth of the sink will impact the space underneath, especially if you use your kitchen sink unit for storage of pans. Weight is important, whether it’s a replacement sink or a new kitchen. Ceramic bowls are much heavier than steel models, so you will need to consider this when fitting a replacement yourself or how it will fit and sit within a kitchen sink unit.
Replacement or New Kitchen
Whether you’re simply replacing an old kitchen sink or buying a sink as part of wider kitchen overhaul, this will impact your decision. The orientation and type of fitting are important before you buy. Obviously, if it’s a completely new kitchen, you’ll have more choice and freedom when buying. For a replacement sink, matching the dimensions is important as well as how it fits into your current kitchen decor.
Shop our kitchen sink accessories to complete your kitchen design
Leading on from the above, you have much more choice when it comes to kitchen sinks now, from contemporary designs with glass or composite granite and simple stainless steel to traditional ceramics. Each one can be accessorised with various taps for different looks. For example, ceramic white kitchen sink units with copper or gold taps for a farmhouse feel and black kitchen sink from glass or composite with sleek taps.
Shop our kitchen taps for a wide range of styles
How to fit a kitchen sink
Remove the Old Sink
For this step-by-step guide, we’re going on the basis that you’re replacing an existing sink, and using a stainless steel model as the example.
To remove your old kitchen sink, you’ll need to start by turning off the hot and cold water supply and disconnecting the waste pipe. If your sink has been secured to the worktop with silicone sealant, you’ll need to cut it off with a knife.
Then, look underneath the sink and you’ll see clamps and fixing clips that keep the sink in place. To undo them, use a slot-headed screwdriver. You can then lift the old sink away.
Treat the Worktop
Once your old kitchen sink is out, clean the area and remove any old sealant. Apply a new waterproof sealant with a brush and leave it to dry.
While the sealant is drying, assemble your new sink, referring to the manufacturer’s instructions. This could include the tap and waste unit. You’ll also need to attach the fixing clips - these will hold the sink in place - with two on each side.
As you’re assembling the sink, upside down, you can apply the sealing putty which each sink is supplied with. This will come as either an edging strip that has an adhesive side or as a small tub.
Position the Sink
Position your new sink in the gap left by your old model and once it is placed, it should sit on the sealing putty all the way around. With the clips you’ve already attached, fix the sink’s rim to the worktop. Clamp it firmly in place and cut off any excess sealant.
Taps & Pipes
To attach new taps or put your new back on to water supply pipes, you’ll need to use connectors. Then, apply PTFE tape to the thread of the pipe - where it joins the tap - to create a watertight seal.
Read more: The Best Kitchen Sink Taps
Turn the water back on and position a bucket under the waste pipe. Do not reinstall the waste pipe yet as it is easier to fix any leaks first. If there aren’t any leaks, re-fit the waste piping. Then, open the taps, check for any leaks and apply the waste plugs.
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