June 8, 2013

DIY Shaw's Farmhouse Sink Installation

DIY Shaw farm sink installation with Graff bridge faucet via

We completed our kitchen reno about 4 years ago.  The main element on my wish list for our kitchen was a farmhouse sink.  However, since we planned on DIYing the entire kitchen, we were VERY worried that this would be a project that was over our heads.  I had my heart set on a Rohl Shaw's Original fireclay sink to be exact and those are handmade which means the sides of the sink can be "wonky".  We decided to take the rather pricey leap and order the sink.  It worked out in the end (and is still my favorite part of the kitchen 4 years later!), but the installation was rather stressful.  We spent many hours researching how to go about installing it on the internet.  This is definitely not a beginner's DIY project, but we are certainly not professionals and we are happy with our results...

Note: Please excuse the quality of some of these photos.  My photography skills and equipment have grown a lot these past 4 years!

The sink area looked like this when we started.  I had a vision of a farm sink under 3 windows, so that big window had to go.

So here we are with our new windows and most of the cabinets installed.  On to the sink!  First, we  needed to build a brace within the cabinet to hold the weight of the sink.  We used 2x6's to build ours, which was probably overkill, but this sink is HEAVY and we figured it was better to be safe than sorry.  

When you order a country sink base cabinet (our cabinets are by Thomasville from Home Depot), it comes with a solid panel of wood across the top front (apron) which you need to cut to fit the sink into.  We used the stand that was made to fit inside the cabinet to hold the sink in front of the cabinet and scribed the shape of the front of the sink with a pencil.   If this wasn't a Shaw's sink, it would have come with a template for this step.  But since every Shaw sink is unique, we had to use the scribe method.  Next, we used a jigsaw and then a coping saw to make the cut for the sink.  We lifted the very heavy sink onto the stand many times to get this step right.  We worked slowly and carefully and in the end we were so proud of how it turned out.  Then, we sanded the opening so it was smooth.

The last step is to decide how much of a reveal you would like your sink to have.  Ours has about an inch reveal.  The reveal is how far it sticks out from the cabinet.  At this point, we were ready for the countertop to be templated around the sink.  

Shaw's farm sink and Graff bridge faucet via

After the granite was installed, we added a bead of white silicone all around the base of the sink where the sink meets the cabinet.

Shaw's farm sink with Graff bridge faucet with wreath on window via

My only other concern with a fireclay sink was how it would hold up.  We have had this sink for 4 years now and it still looks great.  There are a few small chips on the bottom, but nothing very noticeable.  We use Bar Keeper's friend to clean it and it shines up as beautifully as it did when new.

Overall, I am so glad we took a chance on this project.  The most challenging projects certainly do give you the greatest satisfaction when they work out well.


More posts about our DIY Kitchen:

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  1. My husband and I have renovated four houses so far. I really enjoy seeing what y'all have done. I also nominated you for a Liebster award. I'm looking forward to what else you come up with.

  2. Thanks for the step by step explanation on how you installed this sink. We are doing a complete makeover of our kitchen and this is the sink I have my eye on but the installation process has us nervous.

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