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Things to Know about Buying & Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Style Sink

So this kitchen renovation has certainly come with its share of issues

First off, the windows were too small which meant we needed to reframe and order new ones.

Then our original countertop company went bankrupt. Thankfully, the fact that we had paid for our deposit with our MasterCard meant we were able to recover the cost of it.

And then I ordered a sink that was, in fact, slightly too large for the cabinet. So we had to do a little minor cabinet surgery prior to the sink and countertop installation.

All of these little issues have had a solution…but have definitely added time or money or stress to the project.

Thankfully, the love I am feeling for how the whole project is coming together is helping me develop low-grade amnesia about the difficulties. Kind of like that amnesia women develop that makes them forget how bad giving birth really is…

But still, I wouldn’t wish these issues on any future would-be kitchen renovators.

So today I am sharing some things to know about buying and installing a stainless farmhouse sink.

Things to know about buying and installing a stainless steel farmhouse style sink at thehappyhousie.com

Last week when I shared my roundup of beautiful kitchens with stainless steel farmhouse style sinks, I showed you the sink that we ordered for our kitchen from build.com. It is a 36″ double bowl stainless steel farmhouse style sink made by Vigo. It even came with the two sink grids (great for drying dishes on and protecting the bottom of the sink from scratches and dents) as well as the two basket strainers that you see below. I was thrilled.


Of course, knowing that we were going to be ordering a farmhouse style stainless steel sink, I ordered a farmhouse style sink cabinet when we ordered our kitchen cabinets.

Then the sink arrived and I was blown away by how pretty and shiny it was.

And then I discovered that it was, in fact, the exact width of our cabinet. Like, the cabinet was a 36″ wide cabinet. And the sink was 36″ wide. Which meant that the sides of the cabinet had to be cut out to the depth of the sink sides in order to allow it to slide in on the cabinet.

Tip #1: My first piece of advice is to verify the width of your sink before you order it. I, foolishly, assumed that a 36″ farmhouse style sink would be compatible with a 36″ cabinet. And, truth be told, some of them are. And some of them aren’t. And some cabinets are designed to accommodate a 36″ wide sink, while some are just 36″ wide. All in all, a very confusing situation.

In reality, I should have probably just ordered a sink somewhere around 33″ or 34″ wide in order to give me a little leeway in my 36″ cabinet.

But since I didn’t cabinet surgery was the only solution. Here is what we did:

First, to get at the sides of the sink we had to remove the cabinets on either side of it.

Darn. They had just been installed and levelled… so we were working backwards here. Oh well… {I have to thank my Dad for stepping in and helping out with this whole project… he came and did this whole thing with me while the hubs was working!}.

We removed the side cabinets and marked the sink depth with a line across the sides and front of the sink cabinet. See that white face piece? That is meant to be cut-through to accommodate the face piece of your farmhouse sink.

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-1

Tip #2: To keep our cut lines straight, we screwed a piece of wood along the sides of the cabinet as a guide for the saw.

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-6

Here it is with our guide boards attached- we used a jigsaw to cut the cabinet to the correct size for accommodating the exact dimensions of the sink.

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-2

After we cut the sides of the cabinet, we were able to reinstall the side cabinets. You can see that the guides worked well on the side pieces and we have fairly straight lines – but the front piece went a little wonky where the saw suddenly developed a mind of it’s own. To fix this, we unscrewed the face piece completely and ran it through a table saw to clean up the lines of it. Later, after the sink had been installed, we screwed the face piece back on directly  underneath the sink.

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-3

Here is how the sides looked… (you can see we had a little saw cutting issue here too).

Tip #3: in retrospect it might have been easier to use a skill saw rather then our jigsaw but the jigsaw blade was rather jumpy). Now that everything is back in place and installed you will never know about that little error, though:)

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-4

Once the surgery was over, we moved the cabinets into the recovery room for a while we were able to have our countertop installers come and do the actual sink installation and countertop installation. Because we chose to use stone, this part of the process was not DIY.

Tip #4: We were able to use the sides of the cabinet as support for the sides of the sink (basically, the sink rests on the 3/4″ plywood that our cabinets are made of). In other installations, you may need to attach wooden bracing strips to the interior sides of your cabinet in order to support the weight of the sink.

The sink was then glued to the underside of the countertops, siliconed, and made ready for plumbing and the faucet installation.

Tip #5: If you are planning to install a sink like this, be aware that they are much deeper then your typical kitchen sink. Your plumber should be made aware of this so that they set the plumbing and drain heights appropriately before your cabinets are installed.

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-8

Tip #6: Also think about the distance you want your sink to extend beyond the cabinets. We decided to have our sink extend a little further out then the countertop rather then sit flush, as I wanted a deeper bridge of countertop behind it in order to accommodate our faucet. I really didn’t want my faucet handle banging constantly on my window trim and denting it up, so it had to sit forward enough to allow clearance for the faucet handle. In order to sit forward enough, it needed a deeper bridge.

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Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-14

Done! We made it! {thanks Dad!}

Though, as you can see, the backsplash isn’t done yet. But, hey, after being out of our kitchen since August, having a functional kitchen again is awesome. A backsplash will just be icing at this point.

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I am really thrilled with our choice in this sink.

Aside from the issue with the cabinet surgery, I love everything about it. It is so deep that I can easily hide dirty dishes in it, and the smaller side is perfect for drying the dishes in (on top of the sink grid). Because the larger side has so much space you can easily wash and rinse on that side and then dry on the small side. I have completely gotten rid of my dish drainer – it never needs to live on my countertop again, and that thrills me to no end. It is also really easy to keep clean… and just shiny and pretty.

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Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-24

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-21

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What do you think?

At first I wasn’t 100% sure about going stainless steel because I have loved white farmhouse style sinks for so long… but now that I see it all in place I love the contrast. I can’t imagine a white sink in it’s place. And my husband loves it so much more – the white farmhouse sinks are very traditional and cottagey and he appreciates the slightly more modern aesthetic of this option.

Now to move onto finishing off those toe kicks…

Oh, and the wooden hood fan. The open shelves. The backsplash. The panelled ceiling. The light fixtures.

Ya, okay, we have a long way to go. Dad, are you busy??

Tips for Installing a Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink at thehappyhousie.com-16

Think you might give it a go one day??

pin it to remember it6 tips for buying and installing a farmhouse style stainless steel sink at thehappyhousie.com

Some more kitchen projects you may be interested in…


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    1. Hi Mark – I’m not sure, I haven’t personally installed one of those Ikea farmhouse sinks. Perhaps you can search for posts relating to that exact product:)

  1. Hi, building a house, considering the stainless steel farmhouse sink, worried about the apron getting scratched. What has your experience been with that aspect since you’ve had it installed for a while now? Thank you!

    1. Hi Alexandrie,
      We have not found there to be any significant issues with scratching. It still looks beautiful after five years! Hope that helps:)

  2. How was the support piece under the sink but above the doors installed? At one point it’s there and at another it’s a not.

    1. Hi Breia – if you read Tip #2 and Tip#3 again it might make more sense – that piece is actually part of the cabinet. It’s like a flat face piece that came with the cabinet that we had to cut to accommodate the sink. We removed it to install the sink and then put it back in place after we had cleaned up the cut line with a table saw (it’s explained a bit more clearly in tips 2 and 3). It doesn’t support the weight of the sink – the sides of the cabinets do. Hope that helps!

  3. I’m glad you talked about making sure you know the exact measurement of your sink before choosing a faucet. My brother is looking to hire a plumber to get a faucet installation done in his downstairs kitchen. I think I will talk to him about making sure he gets the measurement right so there won’t be any problems.

  4. I thought it was really clever how you mentioned in tip #4 to use wood bracing strips to support the weight of the sink. I think it would be really important to know that sometimes you’re going to need extra support on some of the countertops depending on what kind of material they’re made out of. My husband and I were talking about getting metal countertops just the other day so knowing that extra support may be necessary to hold up the metal is good to know. Maybe we could just get a professional to come in and install it for us!

  5. Thanks for your comment about stainless steel sinks being really easy to keep clean! I would imagine that steel is a great material for all sorts of projects since it is so durable and easy to clean. I would think it could be cheaper (and more exciting) to buy steel straight from the supplier and use it to craft some of your own furniture!

  6. Great post! We just installed the same thing, but wish I would have seen your countertops, allowing the sink to fit completely under them without leaving a lip around the edges. Less than a half inch is exposed but it’s enough to make a trough-like slough to the apron-front. Water it drips down the front of the cabinets on both sides if we don’t dry it every time we use the sink. Thanks, again, for posting these great pics and good luck to all who are remodeling! We love the stainless look, too, with it’s contrast! 🙂

    1. Aren’t they tricky to install?? I can understand how that happened – frustrating when it isn’t all perfect at the end. I know that we had some problems with out countertop install as well (we still don’t have the bridge piece behind our slide-in range and it’s an open area between the range and the wall). It was quite a job getting this sink in and fitting it properly, but we love it now!

  7. Wow, that sink looks fantastic! My husband and I are planning on installing a stainless steel sink in our home when we renovate our kitchen. In your post you mentioned that we should verify the width of our sink before we buy it, to make sure it’s compatible with our cabinets. I’ll make sure we do that so we don’t have any problems during the installation process! Thanks for the great tips!

  8. Thank you so much for this post. We are remodeling our kitchen, and we bought a sink that was a little large for our cabinet. We have been frantically googling and came across your blog. Just finished our cabinet surgery and are making progress now! It’s great to hear that others have beautiful kitchens despite the cabinet surgery.

  9. Ok, the sink is stunning… but I canNOT get over your view out that window!! I think I could actually ENJOY washing dishes if I could look at that!!! You’ve done a beautiful job, Krista. xx

  10. Your new sink is GORGEOUS!! This post is actually super handy as we are in the process of picking out a new sink for our kitchen and I’m pretty sure we’re going to run into the same issue. Great job!

  11. Don’t you just love that nothing ever goes as planned? Just when I think things are going smoothly, an issue arrises. The sink is beautiful and looks great with your white shaker style cabinets.

  12. With a view like that, I’d LOVE doing dishes all day… well, maybe not all day! 😉 Love your sink Krista! Beautiful job so far!

  13. Goodness, it’s just so so stunning! I love the SS choice, too. I’m so glad despite all the problems along the way that it’s starting to work out.

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