Farmhouse Sink Installation 101…

23 Apr

Lessons learned from our kitchen sink.  If you remember several posts back I asked you to vote on the kitchen sink.  I wanted to get a copper farmhouse sink and I don’t regret the decision.  The sink is beautiful and I think it will really be a unique accent in the kitchen.  An added plus is that copper sinks have an inherent aversion to growth of many kinds of bacteria.  Its’ antibacterial properties kill certain dangerous bacteria.  You don’t have to use any strong cleansers at all – just soap and water.  Here’s the lesson though.  If you are using any kind of ‘farmhouse’ or ‘apron’ sink, not just a copper one, the installation process is different from any other kind of sink.   Typically you select your countertop material and the installers will measure and template your space.  You then choose your sink, usually an undermount or a drop in, and they cut a hole in the counter to mount your sink AFTER the countertops are installed.  NOT the case with a farmhouse.  I set up the template appointment with the counter contractors and they told me that the sink had to be installed prior to the template.  I was a little perplexed but I had scheduled the plumber to be here with the counter people so between the three of us figured we’d solve the problem.  Sure enough the counter people complained immediately that the sink was just sitting loosely in place, not installed.  He began to explain that the sink had to be installed to a frame to support it, the idea being that the frame supports all sides and the bottom and the sink simply slides into place.  It should not move any more than a 16th of an inch in order to do the template.  When the counter contractor explained this the plumber quickly washed his hands of the task and said it sounded like a job for the cabinet guy to him.  The counter guy offered no assistance or anyone to come in and mount it so I called our cabinet-maker.  He thought it sounded like a job for the plumber and then I explained the framing needed for installation, not plumbing line hook ups.  He was going to give it a try but had never done it before and didn’t seem too excited about it.  So needless to say I was frustrated and hate being unprepared for anything so we had to reschedule the rest of the template.  That night my husband and I built a frame and mounted the sink – yeah, what do they say…if you want something done right do it yourself…..just sayin’.  It took us a few minutes to think about the frame.  To add a little more complexity we are doing a laminate piece on our counter too.  That is the piece around the edge of the counter that gives the look of two slabs of granite stacked on top of each other.  It’s a very heavy and thick look and we wanted that for our island, not the whole kitchen, just the island.  So if you are doing a laminate edge, the sink must be mounted 1 1/4 inches higher than the base of your cabinets.  That way the top piece of granite sits flush against the top of the sink.  Otherwise your sink will be at the lower level of the first piece of granite and won’t look right.  So we fashioned three sections of board and affixed a 2 x 4 to the top of these legs with the height measuring exactly 1 1/4 inches above our cabinet base.  Then we slid in pieces of wood under the bowl of the sink to support that as well.  To ensure the sink would not move at all we cut small pieces and inserted them at the front along the edge of our first leg piece.  That way the apron has to stop there and it has no play.  Once you do this the sink will slide in and stop at the exact location for the granite to go on.  Then you use clear silicone caulk to seal it to the board frame.  Pretty easy once you understand the premise behind it.  So hopefully this will save you some time if you know this now!  Here are the pictures of the frame and then the sink mounted to the frame.

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