Early in my cabin kitchen reno planning, I decided that I desperately needed a farmhouse sink in this cabin. A farmhouse sink is not only a stunning focal point, but it manages to say "vintage" and "modern" in the same breath. What they don't say, I learned, is "affordable."
After a pretty exhaustive search, I decided that the Ikea Domsjo sink was the only way to go. At $299 it was half the cost of the next least expensive sink I found, but more than that- it was beautiful. I love how big it is, and the soap dish style lines across the top. Paired with the Glittran faucet in rubbed bronze finish, it's the brand new piece that looks like it's always been there.
This choice did require a bit more ingenuity however, as I had to retro fit my existing 36" sink base to fit it. While I found tons of articles on the web telling me that this sink can be installed in most 36" sink base cabinets, and this helpful video, I didn't find a lot of step-by-step articles on how to install it. So here is my attempt to fill the internet void and and provide those of you that want to bring this gorgeous sink to a reno near you, some instructions on how to do so.
Step 1-Install the faucet.
I always like to install the faucet way before the sink goes into position. This gives you much more room to maneuver, and avoids cramming your body into tiny spaces and trying to turn a wrench while holding a flashlight with your teeth. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Step 2- Get the old stuff out of there.
Do your last load of dishes and prepare to wash in the bathtub, because you'll have to go sink-less for awhile. The inside width of your base cabinet needs to be a minimum of 34".
Step 3- Trace a template of the back of your sink.I tipped our sink onto it's back, and used the cardboard packaging it came in to trace the very unique shape of the back of the sink. I then cut it out, giving myself 1/4" outside my lines to make sure everything fit.
Step 4- Attach your template to the back of your sink base cabinet and trace.The edge of your sink (as shown in the skinny edges to the right and left of my template) will sit on top of your countertop. So it's important here to know the exact height of your countertop, and figure this into your calculations. In my case, I contacted my installer and confirmed that the final height of my countertops above the base cabinets would be 1 5/8". So I lined up my template so that the bottom edge of the sink lip was 1 5/8' above the sink base cabinet.
Step 5- Cut out the back of the cabinet.
The back of the cabinet is usually made of a thin plywood or masonite, so I found it pretty easy to follow my template and cut out the back with a Dremel Multimax.
If you don't mind what the wall looks like inside the cabinet, you can just cut a big rectangle and save yourself the trouble. I felt like it wasn't much work to do it the more exact way.
Step 6- Measure for where you'll need to cut out the front of your sink base cabinet.In order for the Domsjo sink to fit, the front of your sink base cabinet must be cut down 7 1/4" from the top of your counter top. As you remember, my counter tops are 1 5/8" thick. As you can see in the photo below, I started my measuring tape 1 5/8" above the top of my cabinet to account for the counter top, and made a mark 7 1/4" down. I did this on both sides.
Step 7- Remove any screws or staples in the way of your cut.Often sink base cabinets have a series of staples or pocket screws that are holding the face frames together, or the fake drawer front on. Make sure you take out any that may be in the way of your cut, before you cut.
Step 8- Cut the front of your sink cabinet base.You'll want to cut flush with the inside of your cabinet base for the maximum width in which to fit your sink, (which must be a minimum of 34".) We could have used a jig saw or Dremel tool here, but we found using a hand saw and some elbow grease (you know, just like the Amish) allowed us the best control and ability to stay flush with the inside of the cabinet base. We cut down from the top to our 7 1/4" (from the top of the counter) mark, and then over to remove that notch on both sides.
This photo might help explain it a little better.
Or perhaps this one. The space at the top will accommodate the apron to the sink. The space at the bottom was left over from the false drawer front of this cabinet. We'll deal with that space in a bit.
Step 9- Test your fit.You don't want to wait until your counter top installers get there to realize you cut your cabinet wrong, so it's important to test the fit. Make sure to accommodate for the height of the counters when you test though. We did so by cutting a couple of 2x4s (1 1/2" height) and laying them on the edges of the sink base cabinet to simulate the height of the new counter. It's not exact, as the counter will be 1/8" higher, but it was close enough.
It fits! And I'm in love already.
Step 10- Cut your counters to accommodate the apron.You'll need to cut your counters on either side of the sink for it to fit. If you are using butcher block or laminate you can likely do this on your own. Since we were having quartz installed, we told the installer about it in advance and they agreed to make these cuts during the install.
Ikea's instructions give you the exact specs of your cut. They also show you to put a line of caulk on the inside edge of the counter before install.
The dust was flying outside while making these cuts.
Step 11- Trim under your sink.
When retro fitting this sink for a standard cabinet, you may find that there is a gap below the sink where the false drawer used to be.
We just saved the false drawer and cut it down and used it as a trim piece. You literally don't notice it unless you're laying on the floor. And even then I'd have to tell you it's there.
And with that my friends, you finally have an installed Domsjo sink. And it is beautiful.
Definitely an upgrade from where we started- no?