Time to 'Replace Sink'

The next project on your list is, 'Replace Sink'?

Have you been staring at that same sink for months and even years? Maybe you are thinking about upgrading (aka. updating) your current sink. Or you were at the latest home show (or in your neighbors really nice house) and you the bells of heaven started to go off and right there, as the crowd parted, you saw it, your perfect sink.

No matter what it is (your children dropping a bowling ball in the sink to see if it would float) you need a new sink.

Of course, you need to find the perfect sink. So, you shop around at the different home improvement stores and find one or order one. No matter what, you now have a new shiny sink that would go GREAT in your bathroom or kitchen.

Now that you have the new sink, what do you do? How do you go about installing it? How do you get the current one out? How do you 'REPLACE SINK'?

You have two options:
1) Call a professional? (Only if you want to spend an arm and a leg in labor.)

2) Put 'replace sink' on your honey do list and do it yourself (and save yourself a pocket full of cash in the process).

You've selected option 2. Congratulations!

So, now what? The 'replace sink' or 'fix sink' honey do task can seem pretty challenging; however, on the band-aid scale of 1-10, this one ranks in at about a 3.

Band-Aid Scale of Home Improvement

By reading the steps that I've outlined below, even you can do a 'professional' job of replacing your sink.

Below, are the easy steps to do it yourself. (FYI, the process is virtually the same for a bathroom sink and for the kitchen sink.)

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Let's get started.

Step 1: Take things apart
Just like in a lot of projects, you will first need to take things apart. With this project, you'll want to first turn off your water and then 'unhook' the hot and cold hoses from your faucet.

You will need to get under the sink to do this and you will also need the assistance of a flashlight - it's dark under the sink.

Turn the plastic nut in a counter clockwise fashion (lefty loosy).

Also, don't forget to unhook the drain from your sink. Under your sink you'll find your drain pipe is attached to your drain by a large nut that goes around the faucet. Simply get your adjustable wrench, grab a hold of the large nut and rotate counter clockwise (loosy lefty).

Depending on the style of sink, you might also need to take apart the drain stopper assembly. This is the long metal stick that you pull up on and push down on to control the stopper in your drain. Taking it apart is as simple as unscrewing the nut on the back of the sink where it connects in and pulling it out.

**I'll encourage you to put a bucket under the pipes or several rags - there could be some water that comes from your pipes.

Have you ever seen that dog on the leash? The dog is running after the cat and finally runs out of rope and gets yanked back. If you don't unhook everything first, you could very well be in the process of pulling out your sink and get 'yanked' back.

Step 2: Break the seal
Most sinks are caulked to the counter top. This prevents water from seeping under the sink and rotting out the counter top. You will need to take a sharp utility knife and gently cut around the sink. Be patient - you don't want to scratch your counter top (unless you are replacing your counter top as well - then have fun).

I like to use the faucet as a handle and start to 'rock' the sink back and forth. This helps me to see if I have successfully broken the seal.

**Jeff's helpful 'replace sink' planning question: Are you going to keep your faucet or get a new faucet? If you are planning on keeping your faucet you can remove it first before you take out the sink. This can make removing the sink a little more difficult. If you are going to get a new faucet, then use the existing faucet as a 'handle' to help you pull out the old sink.**

Step 3: Pull out the sink
Simply pull the sink upward and toward you. If you can use the faucet as a handle, this will become a little easier. You might also notice that you need to remove a little more caulk. Use your utility knife and cut the caulk.

WHEW! The hard part is over! Congratulations!

Step 4: Clean the area
You will want to clean any existing caulk from around the sink hole. Use your utility knife again and put your blade at about a 45 degree angle. Gently scrape around the caulked edges to remove the existing caulk. You can also use a butter knife or a putty knife for this process.

Congratulations! You've effectively removed the old sink.

Now, you'll do the same steps in reverse to put in a new sink.

Step 1: Dry fit your sink
All sinks tend to be made slightly different. Before you caulk away, you will want to 'dry fit' your sink. Simply place your new sink into the existing hole. Make sure that there aren't any areas that need to be cut larger. If so, use a hack saw and carve out those niches. You want a nice tight seal.

Step 2: Put in your new sink
I like to make sure that the sink is very water tight. So, I'll put a bead of caulk on the underside of the sink before I set it in place. This bead of caulk will spread when I set the sink down and will help to insure a very tight seal.

Step 3: Seal it up
Run a bead of caulk around the entire edge of the sink. Use just a very light bead. A little goes a long way. I'll then go back with my finger and wipe off the extra. That usually helps to leave a really nice looking seal on the outside.

**Jeff's Helpful Tips for the 'replace sink' project: make sure you allow the caulk plenty of time to DRY. This will insure a good seal and the most amount of protection against mold.

Step 4: Install your faucet
Put in your new faucet.

Congratulations! You have easily replaced your entire sink.

**Jeff's special notes on kitchen sinks. If you have 'replace sink - kitchen sink' on your honey do list, you will follow the same steps as listed above, however, you will also have some clips you need to work with as well. These clips will drop down inside of the sink hole cut out. Once the sink is in place, flip the clips to the outside and tighten them against the counter top. This helps to provide an extra tight seal.**

Good Job on your 'replace sink' project.

What is your next project? Let me know and maybe I'll feature it in next months issue of the www.fix-home-projects-yourself.com newsletter.

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