Create a warm country ambience in your home by installing a farmhouse apron front sink in your kitchen. Known as a Belfast or Butler sink in some countries, this sink evokes the charm and simplicity of farmhouse kitchens of the late 19th and early 20th century, yet is at home in today's most sophisticated, modern kitchens.
The farmhouse apron front sink is known for its cabinet-protecting apron front and the depth of its basin. Basins are available in single, double or triple in porcelain, fireclay, vitreous china, cast iron, stainless steel and copper.
Though installation is relatively easy, depending on how handy you are with household projects, it will require help from a second person, as most apron front sinks weigh more than 45.4 Kilogram.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sink base
- Painter's tape
- Tape measure
- Damp rags
- Jigsaw or hacksaw
- Circular saw with a laser beam (optional)
- Drill bit sand drum, orbital sander or sandpaper and block
- 3 pieces of 2-by-4-inch bracing
- ½-inch, ¾-inch, or 1-inch plywood platform
- Wood screws
- Screwdriver, electric screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit
- Silicone sealant
- Denatured alcohol
- Safety glasses
- Ear protection
Carefully measure the width of the sink and, if necessary, cut the counter top with a jigsaw or hacksaw to match your measurements. Alternatively, take the counter to a home improvement store to have it cut to your measurements, or hire a professional installer.
Draw a template by placing the flat apron front of the sink onto a piece of cardboard and tracing the outline. Form and tape a piece of heavy, flexible card stock around the sink's corners, then trace with a pencil (not a pen) onto the cardboard template. Apply painter's tape to the straight edges for a clean line.
Place the template onto the sink like a stencil to assure the accuracy of your trace lines before proceeding. Tape the template onto the front of the cabinet and cut the cabinet along the template outline with a laser beam circular saw (or jigsaw) for the straight edges and a jigsaw for the curves.
Sand the edges of the cut-out section to remove any saw marks. Laminate or laminate-type counter tops require extra care; seal the exposed surfaces to prevent water absorption.
Measure each of the two sides and the back of the cabinet opening. Cut wood (two-by-four) to fit inside the cabinet opening. Set the pieces in and secure with wood screws.
Measure the inside of the cabinet opening, allowing a space at the back of the cabinet to accommodate the faucets and required plumbing. Build a plywood platform based on these measurements; cut 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, or 1-inch plywood to match your measurements and make the platform for the sink to rest upon. The weight of the sink will determine the plywood's thickness. Cut holes in the plywood platform for drain lines, and screw the plywood platform into the bracing.
Install the faucets according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Position the sink over the centre of the cabinet and lower it into the opening. If the opening is too small to accommodate the sink, sand the cabinet edges to allow the sink to slip in perfectly. If the opening is too large, shim with wood filler strips.
Clean the bottom of the counter top and the top flange of the sink with denatured alcohol. Apply a thin layer of silicone sealant around the rim of the sink where it will meet the underside of the counter top, or at each corner. Place the counter top over the sink. Remove any sealant that has oozed from the join with a damp cloth.
Tips and warnings
- The cabinet and support frame must be able to support more than 136 Kilogram securely.
- Farmhouse apron front sinks may be flush-mounted, undermounted, or raised slightly above the counter top. The method you choose determines the height of the cutout on the front of the base.
- Whenever possible, consult with professional installers. Buy your sink from a store with in-house home-improvement consultants or on the Internet from reputable dealers with expert advisers available to answer your questions.
- Due to the handmade nature of many farmhouse apron front sinks, actual sink dimensions may vary from those listed on the product label. Wait until you have the sink on hand and measured properly before cutting the base cabinet.
- Stone counter tops will require specific cutting tools, and you may need the services of a professional installer.
- Use extra safety precautions when working with saws.
- Wear safety glasses when cutting the counter top and sink base.
- Wear ear protection when working with electric saws and sanders.
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