How to Install a Drop-In Kitchen Sink

Save money and update your home by DIYing this home improvement project.

kitchen bamboo countertops colored cabinets sink
Photo: Adam Albright
Project Overview
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

If you think installing a kitchen sink is better left to the pros, think again. Any DIYer can easily install a drop-in kitchen sink, yielding professional results even on a budget. Drop-in sinks feature an easy-to-assemble design that makes them nearly impossible to mess up, though there are a few tips and tricks to ensuring installation goes off without a hitch. Whether you're replacing an existing sink or cutting a new hole in your brand-new countertop, we've got the info you need to make your drop-in kitchen sink installation a breeze.

How to Determine the Size of a New Drop-In Sink

It's crucial to purchase the correct drop-in sink. If you're replacing an existing sink, this is easy. Simply purchase a sink that matches the width of your existing sink. However, if you're installing a drop-in sink in new countertops, it can be hard to determine which size you need. The measurement you should pay attention to is your cabinet width, as this will limit the width of your sink. We recommend going with the maximum sink width for your base cabinet.

When to Call a Professional

Installing the plumbing beneath your sink is a simple process. If replacing an existing sink, simply reinstall the existing plumbing. In some scenarios, you may be required to cut the drainpipes to fit the position of the new basket strainer, though the adjustments on the P-trap will often prevent this extra step.

For new installs, follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing the basket strainer, drainpipes, faucet, sprayer, and garbage disposal. If you aren't confident in your plumbing abilities, consult with a professional before moving forward.

farmhouse shutters on kitchen window above sink
Carson Downing

How to Remove an Existing Sink

If you're replacing an existing drop-in sink, get that out of the way before continuing the installation process. Turn off all power for circuits around the sink and turn the water off below the faucet. Open the faucet to relieve the pressure, then disconnect the supply lines, drain lines, and garbage disposal. Remove the garbage disposal by loosening the mounting hardware and twisting the disposal off.

Once everything is removed, loosen and slide out the mounting clips beneath the sink. Gently push upward to lift the sink out of the hole. If the sink resists, use a utility knife to carefully cut the sealant around the perimeter until it lifts out of the hole.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Jigsaw
  • Jigsaw blades
  • Caulk gun
  • Stiff scraper


  • Drop-in sink
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Rag
  • Silicone sealant
  • Straightedge
  • Basket strainer
  • Plumber's putty


How to Install a Drop-In Kitchen Sink

Follow the steps below to install a drop-in kitchen sink.

  1. Trace the Sink

    Place the sink upside-down on the countertop and adjust it until it's perfectly centered above the base cabinet. Check the alignment to ensure the sink will have plenty of room to sit within the base cabinet. After the final adjustment, trace the sink outline with a pencil and remove the sink.

  2. Draw a Cut Line

    Draw a cut line on the inside of your sink outline. To do this, reference the manufacturer's instructions and use their specified measurement. If you don't have these instructions, simply measure the distance between the mounting channel or rail and draw a line this far from the inside of the outline. Most channels require 1/4 inch, while mounting rails will often require 3/8 inch. Use a straightedge and a pencil to draw the lines.

  3. Drill and Cut Hole

    If you're satisfied with your measurements, drill a hole in each corner on the inside of the cut line. Use a jigsaw to cut the lines between each hole. Remove the discarded section and place the sink inside the hole to check fitment.


    Always check for electrical wires and plumbing beneath and behind surfaces before drilling or cutting through them.

  4. Install Sink Accessories

    Install the basket strainer and faucet while the sink is uninstalled. If using a sprayer or garbage disposal, also install any included hardware at this point.

  5. Apply Sealant

    Clean the area around the hole to remove any dust and debris. Apply a tight bead of silicone sealant around the perimeter.

  6. Lower Sink Into Place

    Carefully lower the sink into place, being sure to not disturb the bead of sealant, evenly pressing the sink into the sealant around the perimeter. Quickly wipe away any excess sealant. If the sealant has already cured, use a stiff scraper to carefully remove it from the countertop.

  7. Install Mounting Clips

    Slide the mounting clips into the channel, evenly distributing them around the perimeter. Evenly tighten the clips around the perimeter until the sink pulls firmly into place. Refrain from overtightening the screws. If your sink has specifications regarding the order for tightening the screws, follow those instructions.

  8. Attach Accessories

    Attach all plumbing lines and install the sprayer and garbage disposal if used. Turn the water on and check for leaks.

  9. Apply Perimeter Sealant (optional)

    Apply a small bead of sealant around the perimeter of the sink on the countertop if your manufacturer specifies it or if you prefer the extra protection.

Tips for Installing a Drop-In Kitchen Sink

While the steps above cover the process of installing a kitchen sink, always check with both the sink and countertop manufacturer's instructions for specific installation guidelines. Each brand has specific steps for installation. Failing to heed these instructions may compromise the life of your countertop or damage your sink.

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