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Where Should a Sink Be Placed on a Countertop? Full Guide

Where Should a Sink Be Placed on a Countertop

If you are in the middle of remodeling your kitchen, you will probably run into issues you have never had to deal with or think about before.

Countertops, for instance, come as whole pieces.

Space for a sink has to be cut out.

Where should a sink be placed on a countertop? 

The sink will need to be placed in the portion of the countertop that is above the drain, as your sink will not work otherwise. Most sinks come with a template to help you mark where to cut on the countertop. Your sink should always be at least one and half inches away from the countertop’s edge. 

Keep reading to learn more useful information about where to place a sink on a countertop, as well as how to install the sink in the countertop.

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Where to Place a Sink on a Countertop 

While there may be some preference involved in placing your sink as you remodel, the best  placement for your sink tends to come down to necessity.

Consider the following information as you are deciding where to place your sink on the countertop:

Above the Sink Drain 

The first thing you should do is locate the sink drain.

If a contractor is installing your sink, they will probably use a bunch of paper templates to make sure that your sink will fit into the countertop properly above this drain before the countertop is even installed. 

You may want or need to move the plumbing in your kitchen for the entire remodel, in which case you will have a bit more choice in where the sink needs to go.

At any rate, the sink will need to be placed above the sink drain whether you move the plumbing or not. 

Away from the Countertop Edge 

The next most important factor is making sure that the sink is placed far away enough from the edge of the countertop. 

If the sink is not set deeply enough into the countertop, this will put a lot of stress on the countertop and may cause it to crack.

You could also accidentally remove part of the edge itself and ruin the look of the countertop.

For most countertops, the sink should be placed at least one and a half inches away from the countertop’s edge.

However, if your countertop is wider than twenty-four inches, you should place the sink even farther back, closer to three inches and no more than four. 

Near Appliances if Possible

Placing the sink near your kitchen appliances is not as much of a necessity as the previous factors, but most homeowners prefer to place the sink next to the dishwasher, at least, if they can.

Doing so will make it easier to rinse or scrub dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. 

Placing your sink near other appliances too, if possible, such as the fridge, will also make the entire process of preparing food and cleaning up the kitchen easier once you can use it, resulting in your remodel being both visually pleasing and efficient. 

How to Install a Sink in a Countertop 

Once you know where you need to place the kitchen sink, installing your sink is a fairly simple task.

To install a sink in a countertop, follow these steps:

Mark and Cut Location

Double check the location of the sink drain before you mark where the sink should go, and remember to leave at least an inch and a half of extra space at the edge of the countertop.

Most sinks come with a template that you can trace to mark the sink’s location. 

After you have traced the sink template, you can cut the extra countertop material out.

Before you start cutting, drill a hole into each corner.

These holes should be three eighths of an inch in diameter.

You should also screw a piece of scrap wood across the extra countertop so it does not cave in after you cut it out.

Starting at one of the holes you have drilled, use a saber-saw blade to cut along the inside of the traced area.

After you have cut it all, you should be able to lift it out of the countertop. 

Install Faucet into Sink

Install the faucet into the sink before you install the sink into the countertop, as it is easier to do things in this order.

The sink should come with specific instructions for installing the faucet. 

While the sink is flipped over so you can still see the bottom, go ahead and seal the underside of the lip of the sink with plumber’s putty or caulk.

This will make the countertop and the sink watertight.

Install Sink into Countertop

Flip the sink carefully and set it in the opening in the countertop.

Use mounting clips to fasten the sink into the countertop.

The spacing for these clips should be specified in the directions that come with the sink.

Lastly, you will need to connect the sink to the plumbing. 


Figuring out where to place a sink in a countertop is the hardest part of installing a new sink.

Once you have determined where the sink should go, installing the sink is fairly easy.

Remember to place the sink above the sink drain, and be sure to leave extra space between the sink and the edge of the countertop.