How To Remove And Replace A Kitchen Sink

Author: Stuart Hunt - Published: 18.09.20

If your Kitchen sink is looking old and tired or you just want to refresh your kitchen with a new sink let me guide you through how to remove and replace a kitchen sink without damaging the worktop

I have been a plumber for over 20 years and have installed a large number of kitchen sinks from fresh installation to simple replacements so I will show you all the steps you will need to take including the tools that you will need

How To Remove A Kitchen Sink

Firstly the tools you will need to remove the kitchen sink

  • Screwdrivers
  • Stanley knife
  • Stanley blade
  • Adjustable grips
  • Spanners
  • Pipe cutters
  • Small bucket
  • Old towel
  • Blue Electric tape

Before you start looking under the kitchen sink to have a look at the plumbing so that you know which pipe is hot and the cold, don't worry too much if you are unsure as you can test which pipe is which by turning on the tap and feeling the pipes, so you know which is hot and which is cold

Now you know which is which wrap a small amount of blue electrical tape around the cold pipe somewhere near the bottom so that when you remove the pipework, you do cut off the blue tap

Steps To Remove A Kitchen Sink

  1. Turn of the water supply to both hot and cold water
  2. Disconnect the waste trap
  3. Disconnect the tap
  4. Unscrew the retaining clips under the sink
  5. Cut around the sink with a Stanley knife
  6. Lift the sink out

Let's go through the steps in more details

Turn Of The Water Supply To Both Hot And Cold Water

The best way to turn of the water supply for both hot and cold water to any tap is to turn off the isolation valves on the pipework to your tap, and an isolation valve is a small chrome compression fitting that has a screwdriver slot in the middle of the valve

Using a flathead screwdriver place the screwdriver into the slot on the isolation valve and turn until the slot is across the pipework, then turn on the tap to make sure that the isolation valve is work ok

Turning off the cold water - You will need to turn off both hot and cold water you can do this by turning off the cold water mains from your internal or external mains stop valve

Turning off the hot water – Your hot water can be more tricky as there are different hot water systems and therefore different ways to turn it off, here I will go through the basics.

If you have a combi boiler or unvented hot water cylinder - turning off your hot water is as simple as turning off the cold water mains and opening the hot tap on the kitchen sink of downstairs bathroom whichever is lower

If you have a standard hot water cylinder – you might find you have a gate valve in your airing cupboard on t copper pipe that leads to the bottom of the hot water cylinder that you can turn if you don't or your cant turn that gate valve then you will need to drain down the hot water system

To drain down a hot water system simply turn off the water mains and open every tap in your home a wait until the water stops

You do not need to turn off your boiler power supply just make sure the hot water doesn't come on

Disconnect The Waste Trap On The Kitchen Sink

now you can undo the waste trap on the kitchen sink this is the large white plastic nut that is connected directly to the waste outlet on the sink

It is the best practice that you remove all of the trap so that when you install the new kitchen sink, you can see what you are doing

Remove the waste trap and drain into a bucket, you might wish to wear gloves when you do this as it can be a bit messy and even smelly.

Disconnect The Tap Under The Kitchen Sink

Now the water supply has stopped you can start to undo the pipework that feeds to the tap by using adjustable grips and a spanner undo the compression nut from the flexible tails on the tap to the copper pipework

If you don't have any compression fitting under your kitchen sink that feed to the tap, then you will need to cut both the hot and cold copper tubes.

Before cutting any pipework make sure to place a towel under the pipework as there will be some water still in the pipes – but don't worry there should be a lot, many be a cup full, from both hot and cold pipes.

When cutting the pipes, you will need to cut them as high as you can, this will make installing the pipes to the new tap easier.

Once you have cut the pipes, you are now ready to start unscrewing the retaining clip under the sink.

Unscrew The Retaining Clips Under The Sink

Under the sink, you will find small hooks that hold the sink in place. Using a screwdriver, you will need to undo the screws and then pull the clips out, removing them entirely from under the sink; this will now loosen the sink, so it is ready to remove.

Cut Around The Sink With A Stanley Knife

Before lifting the sink away from the worktop, you will most likely need to run a Stanley knife or blade around the lip on the sink so that you can remove any silicone seal

Please be careful not to damage the worktop, therefore, don't cut the laminate with the knife, lightly run the blade around the front lip so that the blade is on its side and cut is between the kitchen sink lip and the worktop

Lift The Sink Out

Once you have completed the above steps, you are ready to start to remove the old sink, but before you do make sure that the sink is loose and is moving freely.

If the old kitchen sink is not moving freely double-check under the sink that you have removed all the old clips

Slowly start to life the sink by that top first checking that all the silicone or double side tape is not holding the sink down

How Do You Remove A Kitchen Sink Without Damaging The Worktop

When lifting a kitchen sink, if you find that the sink just will not lifting this is how you remove a kitchen sink without damaging the worktop

You will need to place a screwdriver between the kitchen sink and the worktop and using a blade cut the tape or silicone away between the kitchen sink lip and the worktop never force the kitchen sink up, or you will strip the laminate from the worktop damaging it

What Size Kitchen Sink Do I Need To Replace My Old One

When replacing a kitchen sink, you will need to measure the sink so that you have the right sink I know this might seem simple task however you will be surprised the number of people that get this wrong

The way to measure a kitchen sink is to measure from the top of the sink simply measure the width, and the length doesn't try to measure from under the sink or try to measure the cut out of the worktop as this will be wrong, and you could end up with the wrong size sink

When measuring an old sink, you will also need to measure and look out for

  • Does the old kitchen sink have large rounded corners
  • Does the new kitchen sink have a bigger bowl
  • How many bowls does the new and old kitchen sink have
  • How wide is the cupboard under the sink

Always make sure that when buying a new kitchen sink you don't go smaller it's ok to go longer and even in some cases a bit wider but if you do go wider make sure that you can with the width of your worktop

When buying a new kitchen sink, the website usually has a useful specifications guide that will help you with the size of the new kitchen sink

Specifications guides will usually show the bowl width, length and depth but also the total length and width of the sink this is all you need as the cut-outs will vary however in most cases the cut-out would be 10mm smaller than the total size of the sink.

How To Install A New Kitchen Sink Into A Worktop

Now you are ready to start installing a new kitchen sink into the worktop and so the steps to so this will be

  1. Make sure the new kitchen sink is going to fit
  2. Cut the worktop, so the new sink fits
  3. Prepare the new kitchen sink
  4. Connecting the new tap
  5. Tighten the kitchen sink to the worktop
  6. Connect the hot and cold water to the tap
  7. Connect the waste pipe and trap to the sink bowl

Before we start installing the kitchen sink will we take a look at the tools and materials you will need

let's take a look at the tools you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Adjustable grips
  • Adjustable spanners
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pipe cutters

Let's take a look at the materials you will need

  • Kitchen sink
  • Tap
  • Silicone
  • LSX
  • 2 isolation valves
  • Waste trap

Some words of caution when handling a kitchen sink– kitchen sinks can be very sharp on the edges and from the waste hole so please be care full and never hold a kitchen sink from the predrilled waste hole of the tap holes, where possible always wear gloves.

Make Sure The New Kitchen Sink Is Going To Fit

Before you start to install a new kitchen sink always measure the width and length of the sink from the back of the sink when the upstand is as this is the size of the cut-out

Now measure the worktop cut out to see if you need to cut any more of the worktop, if you have purchased a like for like kitchen sink you should not need to cut any of the worktops out however if you have gone a little bigger then you will need to cut the worktop

How Do I Cut The Worktop So The New Sink Fits

If your kitchen sink is a little bigger and therefore you need to cut the work worktop, you will need the following tools and equipment

  • Jigsaw
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil or marker pen
  • Level or straight edge
  • Paper towel

To mark out where you need to cut the worktop first look a the cupboard to make sure you have space so that when you have cut the worktop, you can clip the sink onto the underneath of the worktop.

Measure the kitchen sink form the back of the sink to the small upstands for example if the kitchen sink is 1000mm in length then the size of the cut out will most likely be 970mm to 980mm

Once you have double-checked your sizes, you will need to transfer the dimensions to the worktop

To mark the worktop first measure the original cut out and then go past the cut out to draw a small line where you need to cut the sink, repeat this until you have two little lines on the worktop now using masking tape cover the full length of the cut including covering over the two short lines then using a level or straight edge to draw a line, meeting up with both the short lines you have already drawn

Now you are ready to start cutting the worktop

Using a jigsaw slowly stat to cut the worktop on the line you have drawn be care full not to cross and go slow so that you don't damage the worktop when cutting

Prepare The New Kitchen Sink

Preparing your kitchen sink for installation, you will need to turn the sink upside down and lay the sink onto the worktop ready to start installing the new tap and waste kit.

Remove the waste kit from the packaging, and disconnect it form each other if you have a basket waste kit you will have a screw in the middle of the waste kit just remove it.

You will have two washers one will be thick the other thin (throw the thin one way as they are pointless) now you want to run a seal around the top half of waste where it goes into the top of the sink then seal the bottom half of the waste kit, then push the large washer into the bottom half of the waste kit and then seal the washer as well using LSX

If you have a plug and chain waste kit, the process is the same.

When installing the waste kit into the kitchen sink, you will need to wipe off the LSX quickly after with paper towel DON'TDON'T USE water with LSX as LSX is a leak sealer and goes off when water touches it just use the paper towel

Now insert the waste kit into the sink and tighten the screw up making sure that the waste kit is in the centre of the waste hole then clean and tide any LSX of the front of the sink

Connecting The New Tap

You will now need to set up the tap screw the flexible hose tap tails into the threads in the bottom of the tap and insert the threaded screw.

Push the tap into the tap hole on the kitchen sink

place the washer on the back of the sink over the threaded screw now do the same with the horseshoe metal retainer the tighten the nut

Using adjustable spanners until tight, be careful not to overtighten, or you could damage the sink or just bend the horseshoe.

Tighten The Kitchen Sink To The Worktop

Before you insert the kitchen sink to the worktop apply and think consistent bead of silicon around the worktop so that when the sink in push down onto the worktop the silicon seal will seal the edges of the sink

There are many different styles of clips for kitchen sinks however the most common is the standard style of the clip this is where you push one half of the clip onto the kitchen sink and when you lay the sink into the cut-out hole on the worktop you have two hooks that bite into the underneath of the worktop.

Lay the kitchen sink into the cut-out push each clip so that they hook onto the worktop and tighten one at a time.

Once the sink has been tightened onto the worktop and before you start to connect the plumber use a paper towel and your finger to clean away any excess silicone from the edge of the kitchen sink and worktop.

Connect The Hot And Cold Water To The Tap

Now the kitchen sink has been tightened onto the worktop it's time to connect the water.

You can now look at the flexible hose that is connected to the tap to see the length of them against the copper pipes, cut the copper pipes with a pipe cutter just above where the flexible hose meets the copper pipes.

If you didn't have isolation valves on the pipework before now it the perfect time to add them so that you can change the tap once it gets old

Push the isolation valve onto the copper pipe and using an adjustable grip and a small adjustable spanner tighten the isolation valve onto the copper pipes then turn using a screwdriver into the slots in the middle of the isolation valves and turn them so that they are across the pipework this will turn off so you can turn the water back on

Using a pair of adjustable spanner, you can now connect the two female nut from the flexible hose straight onto the top of the isolations valve by removing the back nut and olive from the isolation valves and tighten by hand then pinch tight with a spanner only

Connect The Waste Pipe And Trap To The Sink Bowl

If possible just connect the old waste pipe and trap to the kitchen sink however if this is not possible then you will need to purchase a new waste trap and therefore you may have to replace a section of the waste pipe as well

If you have changed the kitchen sink from and single bowl to a bowl and a half, then you will need to buy a bowl and a half waste kit

Once you have connected the waste pipe or waste trap to the kitchen sink, just turn on the isolation valves one at a time until they are fully open.

You should now have running water coming out of your tap and to make sure you have the hot and cold water around the right way with hot of the left and cold on the right.

That's it you're all done

If you have read this article and though its to hard to carry out this work yourself then I have also a guide on how much it will cost to have a plumber install your kitchen sink just below so keep reading, and you will find the answer below

Can An Under-mount Kitchen Sink Be Replaced

Although under-mount kitchen sinks seem almost impossible to replace this is simply not the case; however, they are much harder to replace than a standard drop-inn or lay on the sink due to the way they are fitted

Under-mounted sink with for the best part be glued into the place with some also having supports, these supports can be metal clips or even timber

If you have a granite or quartz worktop, then the under-mount sink with most likely be glued into place with durable epoxy;

Can A Under-mount Kitchen Sink Be Replaced Without Damaging The Granite Worktop?

You can replace an under-mounted kitchen sink with damaging the granite worktop although as the under-mount sink will need to be glued back in to place you will be without a kitchen skin for a few days

Can You Change A Sink In A Granite Worktop

Changing a drop-in sink on a granite worktop can be done

however, you will have to make sure that the sink you are purchasing fits the cut-out that is already there or you will need a granite company to cut the hole bigger and then polish the worktop again.

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Kitchen Sink

A qualified and experienced plumber would be able to change most kitchen sinks within 2 to 3 hours however this would change a bit if the plumber needs to cut the worktop to make the hole bigger or if a plumber has trouble turning off the water supply to the kitchen sink then it would take an additional 1 hour

If you ware to change a standard drop-in or lay on sink yourself, then you will need to allow 3 to 4 hours again if you have to cut out or replace sections of water pipework or waste pipework then I would allow an additional 1 hour

The times can still vary dramatically if there is a problem such as the positions of the water pipework or the waste is too high, and therefore a new core hole needs to be made to the outside, and a new waste pipe run to a drain then this will keep adding to the time

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Kitchen Sink

How much does it cost to get a professional plumber to install a standard drop-in or lay on the kitchen sink is between £150 and £180 but doesn't include the cost of the sink or tap the price can change if extra material is required such as copper or waste pipework with the highest price being in London

The cost to buy a kitchen sink will vary dramatically as it depends on the style and manufacturer of the kitchen sink with the best kitchen sink being Franke however a sink is a sink, and therefore it doesn't matter on the brand, but I would recommend you purchase a kitchen sink that is not flimsy and therefore robust

If you wanted a plumber to supply and install a standard kitchen sink, then you will be looking to pay between £350 and £500 however this depends on the style of kitchen, whether the sink is stainless steel granite or ceramic

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Under-mount Kitchen Sink

How much does it cost to get a professional plumber to install an under-mount kitchen sink is between £150 and £200 this price is dependant on whether extra materials and time are required such as replacement copper or waste pipework and does not include the cost of the sink or tap

If you want a plumber to supply and install an under-mount kitchen sink, then the price will be between £350 and £500 however this doe depend on the brand of the sink and the materials the kitchen sink made from such as metal, on composite

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