If you’ve decided to replace your kitchen sink, the first thing to do is remove the old one. It is surprising how much effort it can take to remove a sink, especially if it has been glued down. The last thing you want to do is pull up the sink with force and damage the countertop.
If you need to know how to remove a glued kitchen sink carefully, it’s simple. First, turn off the power and water then disconnect all of the pipes and appliances. Secondly, use a heat gun to soften the glue so you can scrape it away. Then, gently lift the sink.
How To Remove a Kitchen Sink That’s Glued Down (14 Steps)
Removing a glued sink can be quite a messy job. Don’t worry though, with planning and the right equipment the sink will be removed and the kitchen will be clean again in no time.
Things You’ll Need
Removing a glued down kitchen sink can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the sink and how secure it is. You will need the following items:
- Old towel/ plastic tarp
- Adjustable Wrench
- Heat Gun (Or a quality hair dryer)
- Epoxy Remover
- Putty Knife
- Cleaning Solvent
1. Prepare the Sink and Surrounding Area
Firstly, clear the cupboard under the sink. You will be spending time under the sink disconnecting pipes and removing items so you don’t want anything in the way. Secondly, switch off the water to the sink and turn off the electricity. Disconnect the garbage disposal if you have one. You want the sink to and everything connected to it to be completely disconnected so you can begin dismantling it safely.
2. Protect the Floor
As we mentioned, a sink removal isn’t the cleanest of jobs to carry out. Position your bucket under the sink ready to catch any spills as you remove the pipes. You may also want to place a tarp or old towel onto the floor. This will help make tidying up after the sink is removed a lot easier.
3. Remove the Disposal
If you have a garbage disposal, it will be the first part you need to remove. Use the adjustable wrench to disconnect it and put the unit to one side. Disposals can be quite big and bulky so once this is removed you should find the area under the sink opens out considerably making it easier to access all of the pipes. If you don’t have a disposal plumbed in, skip this step.
4. Remove the Pipes
As you have already turned off the water, you can begin loosening the pipes. Make sure you do this over the bucket and prepare for water to drip from the pipes as you remove them. You should be able to unscrew the pipes with your hands but you can use the wrench too. With the drainage pipes now removed, put a cloth into the open drain line to stop smells from coming into your kitchen from the drains.
5. Take All the Fixtures Out
With the main plumbing pipes now disconnected and removed, you can disconnect and remove any fixtures such as the faucet. Do the same with other appliances such as the dishwasher. Remove each connected item carefully and place the pieces together with the appliances so nothing gets lost during the removal process. You may be replacing the faucet or other fixtures but keep the old items together in case you find you need any parts during the installation of the new ones.
6. Loosen Any Clamps Holding The Sink Down
With all the pipes, fixtures and appliances disconnected, you can begin to loosen the sink ready for removal. Many sinks have clips or clamps that are holding them in place. Unclip these so the sink is not held down anymore. Use a screwdriver to loosen them if they are tightly secured. When you do this, the sink may drop down slightly but don’t worry, that’s normal.
7. Create Space Between the Sink and Counter
The only thing holding the sink down is the glue. With the clamps removed you should be able to lift the sink slightly. If you can, position the utility knife in between the counter and the sink to create space. Don’t push or work this in any way. Simply slot the tool into position to give you some extra space to work.
8. Use the Heat Gun
Using the heat gun or the hairdryer, begin to heat the glue that is holding the sink down. As you heat the glue, use a putty knife to scrape it away as it softens. Wear gloves while you do this to prevent getting this glue on your hands. Throw away all the pieces of glue you remove as these are no longer of any use.
9. Use A Dissolver
Sometimes the heat gun isn’t enough to get all of the old glue removed. If you are struggling, you can use a chemical solution to dissolve the glue. To do this, apply the solution then wait for 60 seconds before scraping the glue with the putty knife. Always check the instructions on the specific product you have bought to see how long to wait between applying the solution and scraping the glue away.
10. Remove All the Glue
Continue using the heat gun or dissolver methods until there is no more glue to remove. Make your way around each edge of the sink removing all the glue you can see. As you are getting rid of the glue, the sink should be feeling a bit looser. You may need to move the utility knife to the other side of the sink once you get around to the other side. Don’t rush this process as removing the glue thoroughly is vital to be able to lift the sink up later.
11. Remove Any Epoxy Located Underneath the Sink
Look underneath the sink and see if the edges have epoxy on them. If they do, use a specialist epoxy remover to get rid of it. With the remover applied the epoxy should scrape away with the putty knife. The amount of time you need to wait after applying the epoxy will depend on the specific product you are using.
12. Lift the Sink
Now there is nothing left holding the sink down so you should be able to lift it up. It may take a little bit of coaxing to get the sink out of the countertop so just gently lift and wiggle it if needed. Get someone to help you lift the sink as they can be heavy. It is much easier to move the sink out of the kitchen if someone is there to help you.
13. Clean the Counter Ready for a New Sink
With the old sink now removed, you can get a good look at the counter. Clean the counter area with a strong cleaner, there may be mold and built up dirt around the previously inaccessible parts of the countertop so be thorough. Remove any remaining pieces of glue or epoxy and give the area a good clean. This is also a good time to clean all of the fixtures too so they are ready to go onto the new sink.
14. Remove the Bucket and Tarp
That’s it. You have removed the old sink and prepared the counter ready for the new sink. You can get rid of any water you collected in the bucket, clean up any spills and remove the protective tarp from the floor. Don’t worry, it is a lot less messy to install a sink than it is to remove one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we’ve answered common questions about removing sinks.
When should you replace a sink?
Sinks only need replacing when broken, in need of regular repair or when you want to update the style of your kitchen. A sink can last anywhere between 20 – 50 years (or even more depending on the material).
What glue can you use for undermount sink?
The most common product used for securing undermount sinks is silicone adhesive. These sinks also have clips that help to keep them in position.
Will a heat gun remove laminate countertops?
You can use a heat gun to soften the glue that is holding the laminate so it is easier to peel away. If you plan to use the laminate again be very careful not to apply so much heat that the laminate bubbles or burns.
In summary, it is a simple process to remove a kitchen sink. Removing a glued sink just adds a couple of steps to the method. If you have the right tools and enough time, this is easy to do yourself. It’s important not to rush the removal of a glued sink as you can damage the countertop if you remove the sink with force.