How to Replace a Kitchen Sink and Faucet

How to Replace a Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Pick up key parts at the hardware store before you start

How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet Photo 1: Remove the drain lines from the faucet Disconnect the drain lines and P-traps if they block your access to the faucet and water supply pipes. (Place a bucket or coffee can under the P-trap to dump residual water after you pull it free.)

Chances are, you’ll need to make more than one trip to the hardware store for parts to learn how to replace a kitchen faucet, but to give yourself a fighting shot at completing the job with one-stop shopping, consult this list. We’ll show you how to remove a kitchen faucet with the steps in this article.

  • Shutoff valves Before you shop for your new faucet (see “Selecting a Faucet” at the end of this how to replace a kitchen faucet article), take a look under the sink and make sure that there are shutoff valves feeding the faucet. If you don’t have shutoff valves, add them. If you have them, confirm that they’re in working order by turning on the hot and cold water at the faucet and shutting off the valves. If the faucet still drips, install new ones. Most likely you have 1/2-in. copper supply pipes. If so, add easy-to-install solderless “compression fitting” valves (Photos 9 and 10) to your shopping list. But if not, buy whichever valve type is compatible with your pipes.
  • Supply tubes: Next, measure the existing supply tubes and buy new stainless steel–sleeved supply tubes (Photo 9). They’re designed to give rupture-free service for years and can be routed around obstacles without kinking.
  • Basin wrench: Also buy a basin wrench ($15; Photo 4). This weird little wrench is made specifically for removing and installing those hard-to-reach fasteners that clamp older faucet assemblies to the sink. (Newer faucets have plastic Wing-Nuts that can usually be loosened and tightened by hand.) A basin wrench’s spring-loaded jaws pivot so you can either loosen or tighten nuts in tight spaces.

If you need to remove drain lines to access the faucet, get a pipe wrench or slip-joint pliers (Photo 1). For cutting copper tubes, buy a conventional tubing cutter. But if your copper supply lines are within a few inches of the back of the cabinet, buy a special mini tube cutter (Photo 3). You’ll also need a set of open-end wrenches for disconnecting and hooking up the water lines.

Before disconnecting the drain lines, take a snapshot or make a sketch of the layout to help you put it all back together.

How to Remove a Kitchen Sink TIP: Plan on replacing your faucet during store hours. Chances are better than 50/50 you’ll need at least one more part for this how to replace a kitchen faucet project.

How to Remove a Kitchen Sink TIP: Prop up a scrap of plywood on some 1-qt. paint cans in front of the cabinet. You’ll be much more comfortable lying under the sink during this how to replace a kitchen faucet project. Otherwise, the edge of the cabinet would be digging into your back


Now install the new faucet

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Follow any manufacturer’s preassembly instructions and place the optional flange (see Photo 8) over the faucet opening. Finger-tighten the flange nuts underneath the sink and check the alignment of the flange, faucet and sink hole from above.

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Check the operation of the faucet and handle to confirm you’re not putting it in backward, and thread the feeder lines through the flange and sink holes. Then slip on the faucet washer, and thread on and tighten the faucet-mounting nut from below, gently spreading the faucet supply tubes if necessary to gain tool clearance (sometimes manufacturers provide a special tool for this).

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Hand-tighten, then snug up the flange nuts with an open-end wrench. You can only turn the wrench about a one-sixth revolution at a time.

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet suppl

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet supply tube

Thread the spray nozzle line through the faucet body, then thread the spray hose fitting onto the faucet supply tube and tighten it. Pull the nozzle out of the faucet to make sure the hose under the sink operates freely, then attach the counterweight following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to c

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to cut them

Tighten the new valves onto the supply tubes and mark the feeder lines just above the compression nuts on the valves for cut-off.

Photo 10: Connect the supply tube to the supply lines Clean the copper tubing with fine sandpaper, then slip the nut, compression ring and valve body over the pipe and tighten. Close the valve, turn on the main water valve and check for leaks. Place a bucket under the faucet and turn the faucet on to check for leaks. Reassemble the garbage disposer, P-traps and drain lines.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to mount the new faucet, then remount the sink (with the new faucet) and hook up the water lines as we show in this how to replace a kitchen faucet project.

TIP With most faucets, only three of the four holes are covered, so you’ll either need to get a blank insert or use the extra hole for a liquid soap or instant hot water dispenser. Plan to do the installation while you’re under the sink with everything torn apart. If you have a leaking faucet, consult this article on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Selecting a faucet When you’re buying a faucet (as with most other things), you get what you pay for. Faucets that cost less than $100 may be made of chrome-plated plastic arts with seals and valves that wear. They’re OK for light-duty use but won’t stand up long in a frequently used kitchen sink. Faucets that cost more than $100 generally have solid brass bodies with durable plating and washerless controls that’ll give leak-free service for many, many years. Some even come with a lifetime warranty. Quality continues to improve up to about $200. Spend more than $200 and you’re mostly paying for style and finish. Stick with brand name projects so replacement parts will be easier to find—in the unlikely event you’ll ever need them.

STEP 2: Position the faucet in the holes

Attaching the faucet to the sink is pretty easy. After the gasket or putty is in place, set the faucet into the proper holes. Position yourself under the sink, and screw on the plastic nut. If you’ve used plumber’s putty you can clear away the excess with a putty knife or use a finger.

Tools Materials

  • Adjustable wrench

    Adjustable wrench

  • Pliers


  • Screwdriver


  • Putty knife

    Putty knife

  • PVC pipe saw

    PVC pipe saw

  • Nut driver

    Nut driver

  • PVC pipe cutter

    PVC pipe cutter

Measure for New Faucet

  1. Take measurements of the old sink to determine what style of new faucet will fit. For example, some have three holes in a row. Others only have two for separate hot/cold valves. The spacing between the holes may differ, so be sure the new faucet has the correct spacing. Also, consider a faucet with a longer or shorter neck than the current one. This may add to the utility and overall look of the finished bathroom.

Final Thoughts

Replacing a faucet is a fairly easy DIY project that can take about an hour to complete. In order to make sure it doesn’t end up taking a lot longer, it’s important to make sure the new faucet requires the same number of mounting holes and that all the supplies that aren’t included with the new faucet are on hand when beginning the installation.


In with the new

There are a variety of configurations for faucets. Between the number of handles, spray nozzle types and even spacing of required holes, there are a lot of ways to customize. Before you buy a new faucet, consider your arrangement, specifically the current number and location of holes in your counter or sink. Sinks and countertops can be modified accordingly, but you’ll need to do a little research prior to purchasing your new faucet. 

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You might need a basin wrench or a specific socket wrench that came with your faucet in order to turn the retaining nuts.

Chance Lane/CNET

Start by putting the bracket that fits between the counter/sink and faucet in place. These will often have a foam underlay that will form a seal to help prevent water from seeping underneath the faucet assembly. Some faucets may differ, but the faucet I installed required minimal assembly prior to installation. 

Run the supply lines of the faucet assembly, followed by the threaded rods of the faucet, through the holes in your countertop or sink. Working underneath in the most comfortable position you can find (good luck), tighten the retaining nut with a wrench. 

If no socket wrench was provided with the faucet, and the space is tight enough to require a basin wrench, be extra-careful not to damage the faucet’s water supply lines. It depends on the configuration of your particular faucet, but if the water lines are in the way of the retaining nut It could be beneficial to wrap them with nylon tape or some other protective material before doing this. Damaging water lines could cause a leak, and all of the mayhem that comes with that. You don’t want that.

Be sure to take care when connecting your faucet

Be sure to take care when connecting your faucet to the water supply lines — doing the job right can help you prevent leaks later on.

Chance Lane/CNET

How to Install a New Faucet

1. Follow Your New Faucet's Instruction Manual


1. Follow Your New Faucet’s Instruction Manual Your new faucet should come with step-by-step directions from the manufacturer, but you should begin by adding the faucet gasket to the bottom of the faucet. Read your new faucet’s instruction manual to see if plumber’s putty is required in addition to or in place of the gasket.

2. Put Your New Faucet in Place

Next, put the faucet through the mounting holes in the sink and tighten the mounting nuts under the sink to make the faucet stay in place.

3. How to Install a Matching Drain

If you’re looking to update your sink drain and plumbing below the sink surface, we’ve compiled detailed directions How to Install a New Drain. These tips and tricks will help you alleviate any current leaks, or simply help to update your sink’s plumbing as a way to avoid any future issues that may arise.

Replacing an old faucet can get complicated, and you may need some help to get the job done. Following our step-by-step directions to remove the faucet and reading your instruction manual for your new faucet will go a long way to help you get this project finished all by yourself. Your new faucet will definitely help to update your bathroom and give it a new look, as well as ensure your bathroom is working well with no leaks or issues to cause problems for you. For even more help, view this video that will give you detailed directions for the entire process of removing and installing a new faucet. For more tips, visit How to Install a Drain.

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.


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