Farmhouse sinks are generally larger and feel heavier than standard sinks. They get even heavier—as heavy as 300lbs—when filled with water!
Thus, installing them on cabinets not initially to support their extra weight and size can cause a lot of problems.
That said, you can still install these types of sinks in your existing cabinets. But you’ll need to make a few modifications to the cabinet so that they can comfortably and safely accommodate your new apron sink.
Discover the full guide below on how to install a farmhouse sink in existing cabinets.
Things you’ll need for this project:
- Jigsaw/oscillating saw
- Construction adhesive
- 2 x 4 wood blocks
- Screw gun
- Power drill
- Measuring tool
How to install a farmhouse sink in existing cabinets:
Step 1: Measure your existing cabinet
The first step is to take measurements of your existing kitchen cabinet. This is a crucial step that will help you determine if the cabinet has sufficient space to accommodate your new farmhouse sink.
What measurements to take?
Start by getting the cabinet width.
Next, measure the distance from the top of the cabinet to the bottom of the drawer opening or screw holes.
Lastly, get the distance from top of the cabinet to the doors. This is necessary to ensure the new sink won’t interfere with your doors.
Get the length, width, and depth of your new apron sink and compare them with the measurements of your cabinet to see if they match.
Step 2: Take off the old sink
Assuming you haven’t removed the old sink already, this is where you need to get it out.
The drill for taking out a sink is usually the same for this case…you turn off the water and disconnect the plumbing underneath the sink.
Remove the disposal and sink clips holding the sink as well. Cut the old sealant and pull the old sink out.
Step 3: Get the countertop off
Part of modifying your existing cabinets including taking off the existing countertop. If your top is held in place by screws, use a screw gun to get out the fastenings.
If it has old glue holding it in place, an oscillator saw will easily get between the top and your cabinet to loosen it.
Try as much as possible to get the countertop out in one single piece.
Step 4: Cut out the cabinet front, back, and top faces
For your new apron sink to go in, you’ll need to cut some of your existing cabinet’s faces namely the front top, front, and back faces. of course, you’ll cut these faces according to the amount of space you need.
Most farmhouse sinks usually come with a template to help you easily cut them according to the amount of space you need. You just trace out the precisely and then cut the outline with a jigsaw or oscillating saw.
If you want to be as much accurate as possible, consider sawing inside the lines and sanding the excess to avoid overcutting.
Step 5: Reinforce existing cabinet support
As we mentioned earlier, farmhouse sinks are quite heavy and can get even heavier when loaded with water or cooking appliances.
For this reason, part of modifying the existing cabinets involves adding extra supports for this sink.
You’ll need to use the 2 x 4 wood blocks to create this extra support. Apply the construction adhesive to glue the horizontal support and then use a power drill to screw them in place. Add the vertical supports as well so they run to the base of the sink.
Before you set up these wood blocks, remember to account for the sink measurements to avoid frustrations later on when the sink fails to sit well on the counter.
The key measurements to consider here is the sink thickness which you should transfer to the cabinet walls.
Step 6: Set the new sink in place
Now is time to put your apron sink in the opening you just made in the previous steps above. Since sinks are quite heavy, you’d want to get an extra pair of hands to help you put it in its place.
Slide the sink carefully in place and make sure it doesn’t sit too low. If you think it’s too low, you can employ shims to bring it up a bit.
Confirm that everything looks straight and level so you won’t be having problems later when using your new sink.
NOTE: The reason we placed the farmhouse sink before the countertop is because we’re assuming you’re installing an undermount style farmhouse sink. BUT if you’re installing a flush mount or top mount farmhouse sink, you should carry out Step 7 before Step 6.
Step 7: Reinstall the countertop
With the sink in place, the last part is to reinstall the countertop. If you removed the countertop in a single piece, you can simply reuse it. Otherwise, if it came out in pieces, you might have to get a new one.
If you have plans to change the counter as well, you might want to carefully choose which material to go with your new apron sink. If possible, get sturdier materials like granite, marble, quartz, etc. (but keep in mind they come at a higher price).
You should avoid options like wood and laminate as they tend to get easily destroyed by water.
If you’re not familiar with the countertop installation, you might consider hiring a professional to do this part for you. In most cases, they’ll apply a sealant to the sink top and cabinet tops and then set the countertop in place.
You should give the sealant time to dry and cure completely before you can connect the plumbing. The curing time varies depending on the sealant you use.
Can you put a farmhouse sink in existing cabinets?
Answer: Yes, it’s possible to put a farmhouse in the existing cabinets. But you’ll have to retrofit the existing cabinets since they were not initially designed with the unique design of farmhouse sink in mind.
You’ll need to reinforce your existing kitchen cabinet support to enable it to carry the heavy sink. You’ll also need to remove some of the cabinet faces to suit the unique design of the farmhouse’s unique design.
Farmhouse sinks are unlike standard sinks in that they feature larger capacity and are heavier. Before you install it to your existing cabinet, you’ll need to modify the cabinet to accommodate both their size and extra weight. This will ensure the sink will sit comfortably and safely in place for long. Having gone through our installation guide, we hope you now have a clue how to get the apron sink in your existing cabinet.