Installation of new stainless steel sink.  Kitchen Remodel:

Installing A Stainless Steel
Kitchen Sink

In This Article:

The special sink mounting clamps are slid into the grooves beneath the sink, silicone is applied around the underside of the sink rim, the sink is set in place and the clamp screws are tightened

Related Articles:

Skill Level: 3 (Moderate)

Time Taken: 1 Hour

By , Editor

The custom-made counter had been set in place but not attached to the cabinets, and the sink hole had been cut. The sink came with a template that could be traced to make a precise mark for cutting.

See Installing A Counter Top for the procedure for cutting the hole for a sink.

The stainless steel sink was a basic economy model.


These are standard steel sink hold-down fasteners. The T-shaped head slides in a groove and the metal clip grabs the underside of the countertop.

There is a screwdriver slot in the lower end so the fastener can be tightened.


Sink hold-down clamps.

This photo portrays how the clamps are supposed to work. This device will work with a fairly wide range of counter thicknesses, from about 1" to almost 2".


The metal clip bears against the underside of the counter like this.


But... at the back of this sink, the counter had no over-hanging lip. This posed a serious problem for which I initially had no solution.


Then I decided to try cutting a groove in the back board of the cabinet. I made two passes to create a slot about 3/16" wide, enough for the sink clamp to fit into.

Another tool that would work for this is a Roto-Zip or possibly a Dremel moto-tool.  All you need is to cut out a little pocket for the "claw" part of the clamp to grab onto. 

The groove was about 1/2" below the top of the cabinet. The clamp devices fit into the groove so I decided to go ahead and give it a try.


Around the edge of the sink I used clear silicone (100% silicone, not silicone/acrylic latex blend) for a sealant and adhesive.

Laying a bead of silicone around edge of sink to seal it.


I made a fairly thick bead of silicone.

Many plumbers use "plumber's putty" for this job. There is some debate over the merits of putty and silicone.  I have a few thoughts about plumber's putty...

In the past few years I have done numerous plumbing repairs that were made possible by the old stand-by, Plumber's Putty. It is a vegetable-oil-based soft material that can be easily rolled into long rope-like strands. (Do you remember using Play-doh as a kid? Well its sole purpose is to prepare future plumbers and handymen for the wonders of plumber's putty.) These strands can be wrapped around many mating parts to form a gasket. And it seals great... until a year or two has gone by and the putty dries out and turns brittle.

I believe plumber's putty is an old fashioned product that has a few purposes (see my article on installing a bathroom faucet and drain) but silicone is a new and very well proven material that often performs much better than putty ever could.

The drawback of silicone caulk is squeeze-out. It's difficult to get the exact amount of silicone under the rim and have nothing ooze out after the basin is clamped down. When excess silicone oozes out, the natural temptation is to wipe if off. Resist that temptation! Let the silicone harden and then cut it and scrape it away with a razor blade.

With the bead of silicone around the perimeter of the sink, I set the basin in place.

Looking Up...

Under the sink, I carefully tightened the hold-down screws, adjusting each a little at a time.


The clamps at the back tended to lean at an angle. As long as they hold for 24 hours, until the silicone has fully cured, everything will be fine.


There was some silicone ooze-out all around the edge of the sink. In a way, ooze-out is desirable... it indicates that the silicone is being packed in tightly, which creates a good seal.

After the silicone had fully cured, I used a sharp knife and a razor scraper to trim off this excess. That procedure was a little time consuming because the silicone stuck to the counter so well.

DO NOT be impatient and try to wipe off the excess silicone before it cures. Wiping off uncured silicone is just about impossible. Wait at least an hour, and then cut off the excess.

The completed sink installation, after the faucet had been installed.


At this point there was still a large hole in the bottom of each basin. This hole can be used for attaching a strainer basket or a garbage disposal.


Continue to the next step: Installing A Sink Basket.



Tools Used:

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Caulk Gun
  • Circular Saw


Materials Used:

  • Stainless Steel Sink
  • Sink Fastening Clips
  • Clear Silicone
  • Duct Tape


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Copyright © 2000, 2005

Written November 9, 2000
Revised January 5, 2005