A kitchen is one of the most important parts of the house and must be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The sink being the focal point must also add beauty to the kitchen.
Farmhouse sink, also known as farm sink or apron front sink is designed specifically to make it easy for people to spend long hours in the kitchen without having the need to bend their backs to reach it.
To bring up something you can feel and admire, just a little change or maybe something bigger is enough. Whatever it is you want; this post is meant for you.
Can you install a farmhouse sink in existing countertops?
The beautiful thing about farm sinks is that they not only make your kitchen look good, they also ensure that you are not limited to the advantages of having a farm sink – the huge space to work especially when dealing with large pots and pans that you want to wash.
Before you decide to get a farmhouse sink, there are some things that need to be considered. The key part being your countertops as this can determine the size of the sink. It will be much easier installing the sink if you were starting afresh with your countertop as both the height and length of it and the sink can be measured accordingly by the sink installer.
What about installing a sink in an existing countertop? Well, in this case, there are also things to be considered by you and the installer. There are also questions to be asked which include:
- How do you remove the old sink for the countertop to be reusable without damaging it?
- Where are the seams in your countertop located? Is it prefab stone or granite?
- How wide is your sink going to be in a relationship with your seams?
- Do you have some countertop space at the back of the sink to install other things?
If all these questions do not pose a problem, then you can proceed.
Let’s look at the different types of countertop materials. Considering longevity and durability, choosing the right materials for your kitchen countertop is an important decision.
- Granite countertops: Granite is one of the hardest and strongest types of rock on earth. You can expect it to be very durable and long-lasting. As one of the most stylish and sophisticated countertops available, don’t expect it to be cheap.
- Quartz countertops: These are engineered to be different from natural stone countertops (e.g. granite) and predominantly made with a larger percentage of quartz crystals of about 93%.
- Laminate countertops: These offer a wide range of colors and patterns and are relatively cheap and easy to use. It remains a popular and widely used option for kitchens.
- Concrete countertops: One of the newest types of countertops made from concrete. The way it is designed and formulated means it is going to be relatively light.
- Recycled glass countertops: It comes with a beautiful texture and appearance and blends well with most home designs with different varieties. It is made from recycled glass.
- Butcher block countertops: These countertops are superb for food preparation and is also one of the most widely used countertops for kitchens as well as bathrooms. It is made from polished wood material. However, this material is susceptible to stains and scratches and because it is wood, it can be degraded by termites but not to worry, it can easily be replaced.
- Marble countertops: Marbles can be a beautiful addition to the kitchen countertop and are elegantly looking and not prone to stains. Though they can break easily when not handled with care. I am sure you won’t face such problems with a skilled installer.
- Solid surface countertops: As the name implies, these are made from synthetic materials and are a fairly new type of countertops used for both bathrooms and kitchens.
- Tile countertops: These can be porcelain tile, ceramic tile, or glass tile. It has an unlimited variety of styles and it is very versatile.
- Eco-friendly countertops: As the name suggests, they are much more friendly to the environment outside your house and they also do the same in your kitchen.
- Stainless steel countertops: Currently, most accessory appliances in the home now feature stainless steel materials, therefore stainless-steel countertops should be ideal because it matches these materials. Not only does this serve as an advantage, but it also adds outstanding and elegant beauty to your kitchen.
There are other types of countertops such as porcelain, resin, lava, and reclaimed wood countertops.
How do you install a farmhouse sink in existing countertops
When you are using your existing countertops, you are more likely to need a farmhouse sink of the same size. Knowing your countertop and understanding the dimensions of the cabinet beneath the sink is vital to know the size of the sink that you can install.
Check out this post – How to Disinfect Kitchen Countertop
Get the measurements of the existing sink and the cabinet from all sides before you begin browsing farmhouse sinks to install.
It is important to note the surface area of the sink as some farm sink can stick out of the cabinet for as little as 0.75 inches to as much as 2.0 inches. It is also important that you take a look at your drawers and ensure that you have enough clearance when the drawers are extended prior to ordering the sink. When extended, measure between the edges of the drawer’s face to the front of the sink cabinet’s face and ensure that there is a sufficient amount of space you have to allow your new sink to stick out past the edge of the sink cabinet.
When installing a new sink, you should keep your under-sink storage space in mind, you can also factor in the depth of the sink (shallow or deep), the drain pipe plumbing, and the waste or refuse disposal. To know how much space, you are going to need to install the sink, take the measurement of the drainpipes, and refuse disposal from the bottom of your current sink.
With these measurements, you can determine the depth of the new sink by adding 2 inches to the initial measurement and subtracting it from the vertical length of the cabinet.
Farmhouse sinks should be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, which is meant to give you that satisfactory look when you step into the kitchen, so its style is important. Most of the styles come from the material, color, and face of the sink which are available in stainless steel, porcelain, single or double sink configurations, multiple faucet ports, and deep or shallow sink configurations.
If you keep all the above tips in mind, you should get a farmhouse sink with the style and configuration that best suits both the taste and preference for your kitchen.
Tips before installing a farmhouse sink
Your new farmhouse sink can easily replace your old sink if they have similar size and dimensions, but care must be taken if you are installing a larger size sink. Here are some tips you should follow:
- Order your sink on time: You will not have to be faced with the problem of not having a sink to work with when your sink installer arrives. You also get enough time to inspect your sink for any defects.
- Unpack and inspect: When receiving the sink, you can also unpack and check for defects, if there is none you can repackage it and keep. But if there is, you can send it back for replacement.
- Check the weight of the sink: Some of the sinks can be very heavily based on the material they are made from (stone, concrete, or porcelain) and when water is added to them, they can become much heavier. You should do this to determine if your cabinet or countertops can support the weight of the sink.
- Check the manufacturer’s guide: I am sure nobody knows how to use a product better than its manufacturer. You should check the manufacturer’s booklet for instructions and safety precautions on installing and using the farmhouse sink.
- Check the size of the farmhouse sink: All farmhouse sink is not made equal, there should be some disparity in sizes. Make sure your new sink can fit in the existing space but if it does not, then it is going to need extra work.
There are two situations someone considers before installing a farm sink. Firstly, you need to consider if you are starting from scratch with a new kitchen and secondly if there is already an existing cabinet and countertop in your kitchen.
The most challenging part about a farmhouse sink after choosing one is how to get it installed. For the whole installation process, there are two options stated below to decide. Whichever situation you choose, you are going to need the help of a professional.
But if getting a professional installer (option one) might be a little bit expensive knowing fully that you have spent money buying the sink, you can decide to do it yourself (option two).
At the first moment, this might seem a bit difficult, but it shouldn’t be a problem for you if you know how to get it done by yourself. This can give you a confidence boost and you can save a lot of money which is very important.
First step: Take out the old sink and countertop
Out with the old and in with the new!
You obviously have to make room for the new sink by removing the old sink carefully. This should be done by carefully removing the countertop and disconnecting the plumbing pipers while avoiding any kind of mistakes that will damage your countertop and render it unusable.
While doing this, make sure you are not alone and there is someone nearby that can hand you the disconnecting tools. Removing the countertop is what has to be done first to remove the old sink, this can be really tricky. But in the case of laminated countertops, it can be easy to remove the whole countertop, so that it can be taken to where it can be reshaped or stored so you can have enough space while working.
However, in some cases, the sink might be big in size such that it would be impossible to leave the countertops in one piece. You have to cut it into smaller pieces for you to remove the countertop and detach the sink for restructuring your cabinet.
Second step: Cut the supporting frames
As stated in the tip above, some farmhouse sinks are quite heavy, unlike regular sinks. Your cabinet should have the strength and integrity to withstand the weight of the sink. Now, for ensuring that it has the strength, you will have to check the structure and integrity of your existing cabinet as it is going to need some modification to hold your new sink.
If your cabinet doesn’t have enough support, then get some support frames ready for that.
To do that you will need your innate carpentry skill and a bit of wooden bars. Cut the wooden bars according to your measured sizes and make a marked point on the bottom with a pencil so that you can place those supporting bars in the right position by putting them in holes made for them with an oscillating saw.
You are going to attach some wooden braces as additional support, as you would want the bars to hold the weight easier and better. Keep their size 2 by 4 inches and get a cross piece as well, because a little additional support can strengthen the whole structure.
Third step; Notch out the cabinet front
For installing the farm sinks, the front of the cabinet also needs to be adjusted. With your existing measurements of the cabinets, you can accurately adjust the front of the cabinet. In case you get confused about getting the accurate size of the front portion that needs to be adjusted or cut, the templates in the manufacturer’s guide that will come with the sink can be really helpful.
With the manufacturer’s guide and template, it will become easy for you to understand the measurement that you will require to fit the sink. Get some tools like a handsaw and jigsaw to get that job done.
Getting the smooth shape on it may be a little difficult but that shouldn’t bother you too much because you aren’t a professional and you may end up with a finishing that is not as smooth as the professional would have done.
Nevertheless, it should not be much of a problem because the non-smooth portion will stay under the sink. The best space for the bearing surface is below 5 to 8 inches from the countertop level. Posts with the size of 4”X4 can help you secure that.
Fourth step: Testing the fit
It is time to get your sink and check if it is fitting according to the size or not. While checking the fit and picking up the sink, let someone assist and do not think about picking it up all by yourself to avoid accidents or mishaps.
You might be strong, but you may also get yourself injured in the attempt. So, when you are to check the fitting of the sink, ask for help to pick it up. If you have done the cutting and adjusting part properly, it is supposed to be a perfect fit.
Fifth step: Get the countertop back in position
On confirmation that the sink is a perfect fit, get the countertop reinstalled. If you want to have another countertop with a different material, you can do that as well.
There are different types of countertops listed above based on their materials. Your best choice should be materials that are water or stain proof and can easily be cleaned.
I know you would want your kitchen to be looking impressive and new. So, yes, you can install a farmhouse sink in an existing countertop and you don’t really need a professional to do it. Besides, you can boldly step into your kitchen and be reminded of your efforts.