How to Install a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink


Fireclay farmhouse sinks are the best addition to your kitchen and will transform your design instantly. They make your kitchen stand out and leave your guests in awe, thanks to their beauty and the rustic character they bring.

The sinks are made of dense material, which keeps them from chipping and ensures they last longer.

Read more: How to Repair a Scratched Fireclay Sink.

However, installing the fireclay farmhouse sink differs greatly from other sinks. This is particularly because their apron is left exposed after assembly. Additionally, they require extra support due to their heavy-duty nature.

In this article, I’ll explore how to install a fireclay farmhouse sink in the kitchen.

How to Install a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

How to Install a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Requirements:

  • Fireclay farmhouse sink
  • Silicone sealant
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Support frames
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Cardboard/piece of craft paper

Step 1: Build a Support Frame

As mentioned before, the fireclay sinks are heavy compared to other sinks. Having a support frame is, therefore, necessary to hold the sink up. For the support frame, you will need plywood and 2x4s. 

Make markings on the inner walls of your cabinet to indicate where the sink’s base will sit. Typically the frame should be 2x4s.

Cut them to size and place them on both sides of the cabinet and at the back. Use construction adhesive on the 2x4s, and screw them in using wood screws.

Make sure the 2x4s are placed ½ inch lower than the actual mark, or whatever your plywood’s thickness is. 

Take measurements of the inside of the cabinet and cut the plywood to size. Also, make the holes perfect for the drain and plumbing connections.

Step 2: Prepare Countertop Template

First, you need to create your own cut-out template. This is because a fireclay farmhouse sink doesn’t come with a template due to the custom nature of the installation process.

The template is recommended as it ensures the sink and the cabinet are cut at similar angles.

Using a pencil and cardboard or piece of craft paper, trace the rim of your sink. Afterward, measure the length between the basin’s edge and the inside lip’s edge.

Include another line inside the first according to the measurement. Make a cutting on the second line, and you will have your template sheet. 

Step 3: Measure, Mark, and Cut the Cabinet Front

Next, you should measure the front apron of your sink. As in the previous step, you will need to make your own template in order to cut your cabinet’s face. 

Trace the template sheet on the cabinet’s face, and ensure you are precise. You should then make cuttings along those lines. This should allow the sink to slide in with ease.

Step 4: Install Countertop and Cabinet Doors and Frame

Using your countertop template, cut out the countertop and install it. You should use silicon sealant between the countertop and the sink’s rim for a watertight seal.

The opening of your cabinet below the sink may differ from the original cabinet. Therefore, you may need to build new doors that fit the opening and install them.

Alternatively, you may use curtains in place of doors. Not only do they take a short time to install a fireclay farmhouse sink, but they are also cheap and give a chic look.

Step 5: Installing the Sink

The farmhouse sink should be placed 1/8 inch below your cabinet top. This will ensure there is enough clearance when installing the countertop. Also, considering the sink is heavy, you will need someone else around to help you lift it.

Carefully place your sink on the frame. Straighten the sink to ensure it’s leveled at the top and bottom.

For water to drain properly, all sides of the sink should be made even. Hook up the disposal flange and or basket strainer as per drain instructions. 

Be careful not to tighten the disposal drain as this could damage the sink.

Instead, use plumbers putty to create a watertight seal between the sink and drain. Lastly, connect the p-trap to drain pipes.

How to Cut Cabinet For a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Since farmhouse sinks are purpose-made for existing kitchens, there is a need to modify the existing kitchen cabinet. Here’s a simple guide to making precise cuts.

Step One: Get the Items Required

First off, get the following items.

  • Saw
  • Screw/Drill
  • 2×4 wood
  • Measuring tape
  • Steel square
  • Utility knife
  • Wrench

Step Two: Make Necessary Disconnections

Now that you have the tools, prepare the space for the new work. You can’t cut the cabinet with all existing plumbing installations. So, turn off the water supply, and disconnect the waterline, the trap, drain pipe, and other plumbing fittings.

Step Three: Remove the Front Drawer

Next, remove the existing cabinet’s front panels, and unscrew the countertops. You may need the utility knife to sever the silicone beads holding the countertops.

Step Four: Take Your Measurements

Measure the drain height of your to-be-installed fireclay sink and the cabinet area. Subtract your sink’s height from the overall height of the cabinet and add a clearance of ⅛”. That gives the height of the sink’s support frame.

Step Five: Install a Support Frame

It is time to build the support frame that will carry your farmhouse sink’s weight. Using the measured height, cut 2×4 wood and drill to the sides of the base cabinet.

Step Six: Measure and Mark the Front Cabinet

Measure and mark the front protrusion of the sink and leave a wiggle room of ¼” on both sides. Using the steel angle will help you make precise cuts.

Step Seven: Install the Front Cabinet

Finally, drill the front cabinet to the support frame installed earlier.

How to Measure a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Basically, what you need is the length, width, and depth. So, pick up your measuring tape and follow these instructions.

Length Measurement

Set your measuring tape at the back of the countertop and measure to the nearest edge to where you’re standing.

That’s the farthest your sink can go to align with the cabinet. To install a fireclay sink longer than this span may require additional pipework to connect to the existing pipes.

Width Measurement

Even though there’s enough space sideways, you need to centralize your sink between the drawers on either side.

Measure between the right edges of the drawers and subtract 2″ from the figure. Whatever figure you get is the widest your sink can be.

Depth Measurement

Put your tape on the countertop and measure downwards. Subtract an inch to serve as buffer space between the sink and the cabinet. The final value is the deepest your sink can go.

Assembling the Faucet for Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Before you start assembling the faucet, make sure your water supply has been shut off. After this, identify all the threaded connections and wrap them up with plumbers tape.

For effectiveness, wrap the connections in a clockwise direction. Lastly, to ensure you don’t lose parts during the installation process, cover up the drain.

  • Set deck plates

If your previous connection required several holes, you should use deck plates. They help with covering the faucet holes. Start by placing trim rings or rubber gaskets over the holes, followed by the deck plate. 

This creates a seal between the sink and the faucet, which prevents water from getting under the faucet. Such exposure to water may corrode your faucet or, worst-case scenario, destroy your countertop. 

  • Feed-in the lines

Let the lines pass through the opening on the deck plate.

  • Mount the faucet

Using the mounting hardware available in your kit, secure the faucet from underneath the sink. These include nuts and washers.

Consider adding silicone caulk to the bottom of the gasket and the faucet. This will ensure you have a watertight seal. Also, the silicone will act as an adhesive. It will hold your faucet together and keep it from moving around when the nuts loosen. 

  • Assemble the lines

Connect the water supply lines. Use a wrench to hold the inlet adapters of the faucet when you tighten the supply line nuts.

  • Turn on faucet

Once you’re done installing the faucet, turn on the water. This will allow you to check for leakages. Leave the water on for a few minutes.

Also, check underneath the sink using a tissue for drips. If you find a leak around a joint, tighten the connections nearby. 

Conclusion

Farmhouse sinks made from Fireclay material are unique for their apron front design. This means when they are installed, their front side is left exposed.

Therefore, there needs to be a particular cut-out space where you install the fireclay farmhouse sink.

By following my instructions to install a fireclay farmhouse sink, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of this sink without the worry of damaging it.

Lisa Burks

Hi, I'm Lisa Burks, founder of the Sink Formula blog, and plumber of 5 years experience.

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