Replacing an existing sink while leaving the remainder of your kitchen unchanged is an excellent way to improve the look of a tired and well-used kitchen.
But, how much does this cost?
In the UK, the average cost of installing a sink to replace an old one varies with type, material size and several other factors. However, a ballpark figure ranges from £30-£1,700 for supply only or £100-£1,900 for supply and installation.
Unfortunately, the ranges are wide because of the number of variables present. But, asking a professional plumber or kitchen fitter for a quotation based on your particular preferences and circumstances will narrow the range considerably.
This guide explains how much replacing a sink costs and the factors affecting the price.
Also, we consider some of the most popular sink types and discuss ways to save money, which is always helpful. Finally, we look at ways to ensure the plumber you hire is reputable and professional.
How Much Do Kitchen Sink Installations Cost?*
Sinks can have one, 1.5 or two bowls, depending on your preference. They can also have or not have a draining board or be over-mount or under-mount. Furthermore, there are many materials used to make sinks.
The table below shows some of the most popular along with their prices.
|Supply Only||Supply & Install|
|Sink Type||Cost||Single Bowl||1.5 Bowl||Double Bowl|
|Plumbers Labour Rate||£40-£80/hr|
*Disclaimer: The sink installation price data in this guide are estimated average amounts, correct at the time of writing (September 2022). A qualified plumber can advise you on actual prices, which vary due to several factors. Therefore, use the form on this page to get accurate quotes from qualified professionals tailored to your unique situation.
New Sink Costs By Type
There are many kitchen sinks available to buy. However, each has different benefits and costs. Furthermore, some are harder to install than others, so the installation charges vary too.
This section will look at the most popular materials and see what they cost.
Cast iron sinks are beautiful, especially if they look and feel antique. They’re easy to maintain and will last a long time if maintained regularly.
However, they are expensive and, depending on the number of bowls, cost £350-£1,700 to buy. Also, they can cost from £450-£1,850 to supply and install.
Ceramics is the traditional material for a sink commonly used up to the 1970s.
Although kitchen designers neglected this material in the following decades, you can now buy updated ceramic sinks or search for originals in reclamation yards.
However, look out for chips and crazing in antiques as they easily damage. These heavy sinks can also be difficult for one person to install.
Typically, they cost £200-£750 to buy. Alternatively, to supply and install, they cost £300-£900, depending on the size and number of bowls.
These sinks, made from ground granite, acrylic and resin, are modern and stylish in various colours and designs.
Many manufacturers call them by different brand names, but they’re almost identical in specifications. The sinks are virtually stain-proof, heatproof, durable, and don’t need abrasive cleaners. Instead, use a soft sponge and kitchen detergent.
One person can easily install these sinks. Typically, they cost £120-£1,000 to buy. In comparison, to supply and install, they cost £150-£1,200.
Stainless steel sinks are the most popular choice, as well as the most affordable. They’re the most lightweight of all the sinks and are easy to maintain while providing a long-lasting, rust-proof, durable product.
Typically, stainless steel sinks cost £30-£700 to supply. In comparison, they cost £100-£900 to supply and install.
7 Installing Kitchen Sink Price Factors
1. Sink Size
The previous table shows that sinks come with a single, 1.5, and double bowl. Furthermore, the size affects the amount you buy the item for and the labour charges needed for installation.
Typically, average supply and installation prices for a single bowl stainless steel sink start at £100 and rises to around £900 for a double bowl. And there is a corresponding price range for other materials.
When replacing a sink, you should compare the new and existing sizes. Remember to use the same size sink, so it fits in the same cutout without any modification.
Alternatively, enlarge the hole in the worktop to accommodate a bigger sink. Don’t choose a smaller size, as you can’t fill the gaps from the original cutout.
However, if the new sink is smaller or won’t fit in the existing location, buy a replacement worktop, or invest in totally new worktops across the entire kitchen.
If you’re working to a budget, and it looks like you have to change worktops for your ideal sink, consider coming to a compromise to keep your existing worktops.
2. Overmount Or Undermount
Sinks can either be overmounted or undermounted.
- Overmount sinks have a 1-2cm lip around the edge, supporting the sink when dropped into a cutout. The lip also hides irregularities in the cutout and has tap holes already moulded at the correct position.
- Undermount sinks are pushed up to the underside of the worktop and supported from below. The worktop cutout is slightly smaller than the sink, making the cutout edge completely visible. Therefore, take more care to cut a neat opening and tap holes in the worktop before sealing the cut edges with a waterproofer.
Generally, an undermounted sink takes longer, needs more skill and costs more to install than an overmount sink.
However, overmount sinks can accumulate dirt, water and food debris under the lip if not sealed correctly, resulting in mould and unpleasant odours.
The sink’s material affects the purchase and installation prices. Overmounted stainless steel sinks are the most affordable to buy and are one of the easiest and cheapest to install.
On the other hand, undermounted cast iron and ceramic sinks are more expensive to install, mainly because they are heavier than the others, harder to lift and need more skill.
Other attachments affect the price.
- Taps – Expensive or unusual sinks need expensive taps too. Remember that undermounted sinks need taps with a thread long enough to fit through the worktop. In contrast, overmounted sinks usually have short threaded taps, which fit ready made holes. Long shafted fixtures are generally more expensive than shorter models.
- Draining boards – Some sinks don’t have built-in draining boards. Generally, those without draining areas are undermounted. In this case, you need another way for wet crockery to drain without damaging the worktop. Usually, this adds to the overall price.
- Waste fittings – Each sink needs a waste fitting and pipework to divert the waste to the drain. Therefore, sinks with more than one bowl need more drain fittings and pipework, increasing the purchase and installation cost.
5. Extra Pipework
If you change the sink type or decide to move it, you will probably need additional copper pipework for hot and cold supplies and plastic pipes for waste removal.
However, if the new sink has the same configuration and is in the same position, you probably won’t need to buy additional pipe.
There are two factors here.
If the existing sink is in an inaccessible location without any manoeuvring room, it won’t be easy to replace, especially if it’s a different size.
Also, when moving the sink to a new location, you need a new worktop, additional pipes and more labour.
Both these situations take longer than usual and cost more than an accessible sink, so your estimates will be higher.
The cost of living in the UK varies by region.
Large urban areas like London and the Southeast have labour costs £4-£8/hr more than other regions. Therefore, adjust your estimated budget accordingly.
However, the best way to determine the local labour costs is to ask for a few quotations using the form on this page.
How To Save Money On Your Sink
It’s almost universal that home improvements usually cost more than initially budgeted. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a few tips up your sleeve to help save money on the overall price.
All the following information will help save money by purchasing when prices are low and relieving the plumber of non-skilled work.
Saving money is easy if you plan your new sink installation.
Look out for cut-price sales in large DIY warehouses. Stores such as these often hold sales promotions at slow times of the year. And you can usually find significant discounts on sinks and taps at these times.
However, be prepared to compromise on the sink you want, as your ideal choice might not be available.
Empty Sink Cupboard
Many use the sink cupboard to store toilet paper, soap, and cleaning products. If you don’t empty this space, you’ll waste their time and have to compensate them for doing something you could have done beforehand.
So, ensure the plumber has clear access to the underside of the sink.
Where’s The Stop-Cock?
The plumber must turn off the water supply before disconnecting the taps. Therefore, ensure you know the main stopcock’s location.
Furthermore, old-style hot water systems have a hot water tank and isolation valves in an airing cupboard. The plumber needs access to these. So, ensure the airing cupboard is empty too.
Use A Simple Kitchen Design
Depending on your budget, select cheaper sinks by narrowing the number of ranges you choose from.
For example, a stainless steel over-mount sink will cost much less than a ceramic under-mount sink. Also, a single or 1.5 bowl sink will cost less than a double bowl sink.
Sink Replacement Process
With good DIY skills, it’s possible to replace a sink yourself. However, it probably takes twice as long as a professional, and you might not have the correct tools. So, it’s best to leave the work to a competent plumber.
However, it’s useful for the customer to know what’s involved in replacing a sink. The precise method to replace a sink varies with its type and whether it’s an under-mount or over-mount.
However, in most cases, the following steps will suffice. We’ll assume we’re replacing a stainless steel over-mount sink with separate hot and cold taps.
Before fitting the new sink, connect the new taps, waste outlet and overflow, and install all waterproof seals and fixing clips.
This saves time and effort later on.
Turn Off The Water
There are several ways to turn off the water. Choose the best one for your situation.
- Find the cold water stopcock and close the valve. The stopcock will be where the mains water enters the house and is usually situated under the sink or in the bathroom.
- If you can’t find the stopcock, there will also be an outside underground valve, with the water meter, under a metal flap on the footpath or road outside your property.
- If your home is less than 20 years old, the hot and cold supplies under the sink have small isolation valves fitted onto the pipework. These allow tap isolation without affecting the remainder of the house. Usually, you turn these on and off with a small flat-bladed screwdriver. For your information, you’ll also find isolation valves on the supplies leading to the toilet, bath, shower, washbasins, washing machine and dishwasher.
- If you don’t have a hot water tank, turning off the cold water will also stop hot water production. However, if you have a hot water storage tank, close the valve coming from the tank. Note: this valve will be in the airing cupboard and labelled. However, if your plumbing has isolation valves, it’s easier to use those.
When you’ve closed the valves, check the taps are dry by opening them fully. Then, disconnect the taps from the water supply.
This connection will be under the sink and varies depending on the tap style.
Disconnect The Waste Pipe
Remove the plastic waste pipe from the bottom of the sink using a simple screw fitting.
Also, disconnect the 15-20mm flexible plastic overflow pipe connecting the drain pipe to the sink’s overflow outlet.
Removing The Old Sink
The sink has clamps holding it to the worktop. Loosen these using an appropriate screwdriver. Then, break the watertight seal between the sink and worktop using a sharp blade, and lift the sink away from the worktop.
Depending on the type of watertight seal, rubber might adhere to the worktop. If so, remove this with a blunt blade and wipe clean with white spirit.
Note: As long as the taps are disconnected from the water pipes, it’s not necessary to remove them from the sink.
Making The Cutout
If the new sink is too large for the existing worktop cutout, enlarge the hole until it’s the correct size.
Then, seal all cut edges using waterproof varnish or oil-based primer and allow to dry.
Replacement Sink Installation
Place the new sink into the cutout and check the various pipes line up. If they don’t, move the existing pipework or add additional pipes until they do.
Then, attach the cold and hot water pipes to the taps, the plastic waste pipe to the sink’s waste outlet and connect the overflow pipe to the sink.
Finally, following the manufacturer’s instructions, tighten each clamp, ensuring to compress the waterproof seal.
Turn on the water, and check for leaks at all supply pipe connections. Then, check the sink empties without leaking.
If there are any leaks, turn the water off and tighten the fittings before repeating the test.
Contacting Qualified Plumbers
A personally recommended plumber is worth their weight in gold.
Plumber Hiring Tips
- Ask your family and friends for any recommendations. These are excellent places to start, and you’ll avoid cowboy traders.
- When you’ve found a reputable plumber, ask them about their experience.
- Ask for references and customer details so you can personally check them out.
- Are they a member of the UK government’s Competent Person Register? Registration proves their work standard satisfies the local authority and allows them to sign off their work as complying with the building regulations.
- Check out for trade association membership. Names to look out for include
- Ensure the contractor has adequate insurance. At least, they should hold General Liability Insurance to cover damage to your property and third-party injury or death.
- Ask for a quotation on headed company paper describing the job, who is responsible for what, and the itemised price of the work. Also, determine who will purchase the sink, taps and other materials.
Use The Form On This Page
Alternatively, and we recommend this method, use the form on this page, and we’ll put you in touch with fully qualified, competent and reputable plumbing contractors in your area.
You can then compare their quotes in the comfort of your home before deciding on the right one.
Using our facility is far less hassle than doing it yourself.
How long does it take to replace a kitchen sink?
Depending on the type of sink and whether you need to replace the worktop or enlarge an existing sink cutout, the job can take at least 4 to 8 hours.
Can I replace my kitchen sink without replacing the worktop?
If the new sink is the same size as the existing one, then remove the old one and drop in the new one. If it’s larger than the old one, you only have to enlarge the cutout to make the new one fit.
In contrast, the only time you replace the worktop is if the new sink is smaller than the existing one. In this case, you’ll have unsightly gaps that you can’t hide.
Replacing an old sink that’s scratched, chipped or just out of date is a way to make your kitchen look almost new. But finding a suitable plumber or kitchen fitter can be difficult.
Complete the form on this page, and you’ll receive up to four quotations for replacing a kitchen sink. You can then compare them at home to choose the best one to suit your circumstances.