Monday, September 9, 2013

everything and the kitchen sink

We moved into this house in 2008, and from the first walk through, I thoroughly despised the kitchen sink.  It looked as cheap as it probably was for our builder to install it.  I hated the flimsy weight of its steel that let the faucet rock back and forth, rolled my eyes at the inevitable scratches on the bottom.

But nice sinks easily clear $350, not in this Mama's budget.  Fed up with waiting to win the Lottery, I turned to scouring a lovely website called (perhaps you've heard of it?).  I managed to score my perfect Kohler cast iron/off white porcelain sink for $50.

Of course, the easiest time to replace a faucet is with the sink not yet installed, and we wanted to switch from shiny nickel to a brushed finish anyway, we replaced that, too (with big thanks to my generous parents, who bought it for us).

Things you will need:
Adjustable Wrenches
Towels (not your nicest)
Plumbers Putty
Upper Body Strength
At least one Helper
Maybe some PVC Pipe, Primer and Cement

Step 1 - Prep your new sink.  Since ours had been installed in someone else's kitchen, it still had some silicone around the edges and other dirt to clean up.

Also, rust.  Shit.

But, my very handy Dad had the solution - a spray paint that somehow interacts with the iron and stops the rust.  Science - it's like magic, but real.

Just like new, ready to install.

Now is a great time to hook up your new faucet, drain kits, etc., following the directions specific to your faucet/brand.  If you'll be using your old faucet/accessories, make life easy on yourself and switch it after you remove the existing sink.  Sadly, some things, like dishwasher air gaps and filtered water dispensers have to wait to be installed until after you've installed the sink.

For the drain kits, you'll want to use a generous amount of Plumbers Putty.  When you tighten the screws, you'll feel more confident about the seal if you see some squish out.

Step 2 - Turn off the water.  Just at the handles right under the sink is fine for this project - no need to cut off the whole house (unless you don't have specific water shut off valves at your sink, I guess).  Disconnect your supply and drain hoses.

Step 3 - Remove your old sink.  Depending on how your sink is installed, this might be really easy.  We caught a pretty good break here, just having to unscrew some clips, then pushing the sink up from the underside, which easily broke the existing silicone seal.

Then, run a scraper over the counter to remove any lingering silicone and make room for your new sink.

Step 4 - Speaking of silicone, now's the time to lay down a new bead.

Step 5 - Set the sink.  Gather your helper and upper body strength, lift the sink and set it in the hole.  Try to wiggle it as little as possible, but make sure it's centered in the counter hole.

Step 6 - Re-attach everything; water hoses, drains, garbage disposals, water filters, dishwasher air gaps, and whatever else lives under your kitchen sink.

Step 7 - Realize the new placement of your sink drain holes means the PVC pipes don't match up anymore.  Pout.  Then, keeping the same basic configuration, grab some new PVC, and a hack saw to make your puzzle match up.  Use the primer and cement to make sure you don't drain into your cabinet.

Step 8 - Check for leaks and troubleshoot.  Run all the water, the sprayer, the disposal, etc.  In our installation, we had a few leaks that were cured with a dab of silicone or a new hose.  Try to keep an eye on it for the rest of the day, if you can.

And that's it, you're done!  Enjoy your brighter new kitchen! (and maybe do the dishes once in a while...)

*No products were sponsored in the making of this blog post.  Everything mentioned here is in the post because we actually used it, and were paid for with our own personal dollars.  

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