Fireclay sinks are special ceramic sinks molded at very high temperatures. They are characterized by their unmatched durability and apron front design.
These sinks are also non-porous and resistant to acid and scratches. They are also more resistant to higher levels of heat when compared to other sinks. They are also easy to clean and maintain.
Installing a fireclay farmhouse sink properly will ensure that your sink remains functional for years to come. And because of its drop-in front design, you’ll have to install it in a cutout space in your kitchen.
Although installing this type isn’t an easy task, you don’t have to get a professional to help you. We’ve provided enough information in this guide to enable you put one up with ease.
But before you start the installation process, you need to get the best fireclay sink.
How to Find the Right Fireclay Sink
Consider the following factors when looking for the best fireclay sink for your home.
- Sink Size
Fireclay kitchen sinks come in different sizes, large and small. Ensure that you get the right size to fit your kitchen space. While choosing the size, remember that the kitchen cabinet below your sink must be 3 inches wider than the sink.
If your sink is wider than the base cabinet, you might require professional help to install it.
Fireclay sinks can be heavy. When filled with water, they weigh up to 300 pounds. You, therefore, need to ensure that you build cabinets that are strong enough to support this weight.
Getting the sink’s weight will help you know whether you need to seek help from a friend or you can handle everything on your own. If it’s too heavy, you might need additional assistance to lift it during the installation process.
To install your sink successfully and with ease, you’ll require the following tools.
- Power saw or hand saw
- Power drill
- Leveling tool
- Silicone sealant
- Plumber’s tape
- Wood glue
- Plumber’s putty
- Several 2 x 4 planks
- Caulk gun
- Pencil and measuring tape
The Installation Process
- Step 1 – Prep the Area
To get your old sink ready for removal, turn all the water lines off. Then, disconnect the fittings and remove these water lines.
Next, remove the drain pipe from under the sink and use the bucket to catch the water in the P-trap as you remove it.
- Step 2 – Remove the Countertop
Your sink will be installed into the countertop hence the need to clear the way. To do so, you need to remove all the lower cabinets, drawers, and doors.
After that, remove all screws holding the countertops- these are screws in the base cabinet. Using the putty knife and cut into the silicone beads and free up the countertops.
- Step 3 – Prepare the Plywood for the Support Frame
AS aforementioned, fireclay farmhouse sinks are extremely heavy. They need extra support to hold them in place. You, therefore, need to construct a support frame for this purpose.
For a sink that weighs less than 100 pounds, use ½ inch thick plywood to build the flame. If your sink weighs 100-150 pounds, use 5/8” thick plywood. If it is heavier than 150 pounds, ensure that you use a ¾’’ thick plywood.
- Step 4 – Mark the Cabinet Interiors
Figure out where the base of the sink will be positioned and mark it. Carefully measure and mark the front area of your cabinet where the sink will protrude through the front.
Measure the vertical dimensions of the sink and add about 1/8 inch to these dimensions. This is because your sink needs to sit approximately 1/8 inch below the countertop.
Transfer this measurement to the sink cabinet and make a mark. This mark is where you’ll install the top of the support frame where the sink will sit.
You also need to remember that the top of your sink has to sit flush with the cabinet’s top. Double-check your markings and ensure that they level up.
- Step 5 – Build the Support Frame
After taking the required measurements, cut four 2” x 4” planks to fit your sink’s cabinet sides, front, and back. Install them a half-inch lower than where you marked in the cabinet interior. This will allow you to install the plywood shelf.
- Step 6 – Install the Plywood Shelf
Measure your cabinet interior and then cut your plywood shelf. You also have to measure the sink’s drain hole circumference and cut a hole of the same size on the middle of your plywood sheet. This will make room for your plumbing.
Take your power drill and wood screws and attach the four 2×4 planks to your cabinet’s walls. Ensure that they are even. Take the plywood sheet and rest it on these supports like a shelf.
- Step 7 – Add More Planks for Extra Support
Measure from the bottom of the supports to the floor of your sink cabinet. Cut two 2’ x 4” planks to this height and then screw them under the support frame-like legs. Ensure that one goes to the front and the other against the back of your cabinet wall.
For more support, you can screw another 2×4 plank between the front and back planks. When finished, you should have a frame that looks like a small table within the sink cabinet.
- Step 8 – Test the Sink’s Placement
Before installing the sink, you have to check whether the plywood shelf is strong enough to hold it in position. So, place the sink inside carefully and check whether it’s sitting flush with the counter.
If it doesn’t sag, it means you’re on the clear. If it does, you’ll have remove the sink and redo the shelf with thicker plywood.
- Step 9 – Insert the Sink
Now that you have the frame in place, it’s time to slide the sink in. Lift the sink onto the frame and center it on the plywood sheet. Ensure that the sink’s drain hole matches up with the hole you made in the plywood. If not, you have to make adjustments to the plywood first.
Push the sink into place and ensure that it fits snugly in the cabinet. It should take the assigned space without leaving big gaps on the sides or at the back.
- Step 10 – Re-install the Countertop and Cabinetry
Now that you removed the countertop, you’ll have to install it back, right? All you need is the silicone sealant to seal the seam between your countertop’s underside and the top of the sink. After the silicone dries, it will hold the sink firmly in place.
You also need to install the cabinet face on the front as well as the doors.
- Step 11 – Seal and Caulk
With the silicone sealant, caulk the gaps between your sink and the countertop. Apply a generous amount to create a watertight seal.
Since you don’t want a messy countertop, remove any excess that might have accumulated around the edges after the sealant dries.
- Step 12 – Install the Drain and Garbage Disposal
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the drain and garbage disposal. However, you should avoid tightening the garbage disposal too much as this can create a vacuum that could damage your sink and plumbing.
Caulk all the edges of the drain with putty to prevent leaks or condensation from occurring in the future.
And now, that’s it! Your fireclay farmhouse sink is successfully installed!