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by Glyn Sheridan
Updating the countertop with a new kitchen sink in your kitchen can give the room some new life. Installing a new kitchen sink requires cutting a hole in the countertop and fitting the sink into position. A jigsaw is sufficient for cutting a laminate countertop, but if you own a solid-surface countertop, you will use a router to make the cuts. With a little attention to detail and safety, you can cut the hole yourself by following a few simple steps.
Decide on a location. Choose the location for your kitchen sink and make sure the cabinet beneath is a sink base. Other base cabinets do not provide sufficient space for the kitchen sink drain and the necessary plumbing. Measure the space where you wish to place your sink and make sure you will have 1 to 1.5 inches of empty space on all sides between the edge of the sink and the edge of the countertop, wall or any cabinets. You may want to leave a lot of room on either side of the sink for dishes, dish racks and food preparation.
Mark the outline of the hole for the kitchen sink on the countertop. Turn the sink upside down and position it exactly where you want it. This only works if your kitchen sink outline is symmetrical. Alternately, you can use cardboard or cardstock to make a stencil of the kitchen sink. Trace around the perimeter of the sink or stencil with a pencil to transfer the shape to your countertop.
Draw your cutting guideline. Measure in from the perimeter line you just drew and make another line, parallel to the outline and 0.25 inches inside of it. This is the line you will be cutting along. This quarter-inch lip will hold the edge of the kitchen sink.
Use a drill to cut rounded corners. Fit a power drill with a 2-inch hole bit and line up the outside edge of the bit with the outer-edge lines on each corner of the sink template. Most kitchen sinks have rounded corners and it may be difficult to cut them evenly with a jigsaw. By using the hole bit to cut the corners, you will have a smooth and rounded edge.
Cut the straight lines with a jigsaw. Since the corner holes are already in place, all you need to do is insert the jigsaw blade through one hole and cut along the guideline to the next hole. Cut each line in the countertop from corner to corner of your guideline. You may want to recruit an assistant to hold the center piece of the countertop. Allowing it to hang can bend and split the countertop.
Follow the same technique if you own a solid-surface countertop, but use a 2-inch bit designed to cut through granite for the corners and use a router with a precision tip to cut out the lines. A jigsaw may chip some solid-surface countertops. Make smooth, continuous passes to remove the countertop material.
Test the new hole in the countertop. Lower the sink down into the hole to see if it fits properly. If you've cut the hole precisely, it should fit snugly into the countertop. Then you can start connecting plumbing lines to the kitchen sink and sealing it to the countertop.
Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from airborne debris while cutting the countertop.
Use gloves that are flexible and allow you to grip tool handles securely.
Do not use any power tool until you are familiar with all of its features and you can operate it safely. Follow all of the manufacturer's safety precautions and do not remove the safety guides from your power tools.
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