The Basement Countertop, Sink and Faucet Install!

February 14, 2023

Installing my {FIRST} countertops, sink, faucet and disposal!

Our basement kitchenette progress has been chugging right along! I've worked on this room nonstop since late last fall, and I'm thrilled with how it has come together!

I've shared our assembled and installed kitchen cabinets and the new LVP flooring I installed, and the next step was to get the sink functioning. For that to happen, I needed to get the counters installed. 

For months I went through all the countertop options, and we waffled between hard surface counters and something less expensive like laminate. 

Granite or quartz would have been lovely, but sheesh...I had forgotten how expensive they are. Plus I was feeling impatient, and knew it would take a few weeks to make that happen.  

Laminate comes in so many great color options now, but I prefer not to have the short, rounded backsplash that most of them come with. (There are options without that now though!)

But when I thought about the moody, cozy feeling I wanted for this space, I knew my good ole go-to wood butcher block was what I wanted:

birch butcher block wood counters
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Contrary to popular belief, wood countertops will hold up just fine around a sink, as long as you finish them properly. 

Installing the butcher block countertops.

We purchased these birch butcher block counters and had them delivered to our house. I texted the contractor guys we use for some larger projects to see about help with the installation, but they were booked up for weeks. 

I was dying to get this little kitchen functioning with a sink, so I decided to tackle them on my own. I used my circular saw to cut each piece down to size, and then we carried them down so I could set them in place.

Once I knew the fit was right, I conditioned the wood with this helpful pre stain wood conditioner, stained them with my favorite Provincial stain (also Minwax) and then applied one coat of Tung oil. 

I find Tung oil is the best protective coating for wood counters, as it preserves the beauty of the wood and repels water. Pure Tung oil is food safe, but we don't prep or cut on our wood counters. 

I did a light sanding and cleaned that up with a tack cloth before one more final coat: 
cleaning sanding with tack cloth

The wood counters turned out so beautiful! We LOVE the warmth of the butcher block in combination with the light gray cabinets:
Provincial stain on counters

When I was sure they were ready and in place, I attached the countertops from underneath with screws. The top brackets on the cabinets have a hole for the screws, so it makes everything super secure. 

Make sure your screws are long enough to go into your counter, but not too long they'll come through the top!

I've cut down and installed smaller sections of countertop many times, but never this many and at this size. This was a HUGE job, but it went quicker than I thought it would. 

Installing the sink and faucet.

YAY! The countertops were cut, treated and installed. It was finally time to get the sink and faucet in!

Yet again, my impatience fuels my determination. I did a TON of research on how to cut counters and install a sink, as well as installing a faucet and disposal...none of which I have ever attempted. 

We've had black quartz kitchen sinks for the nearly ten years now, and I absolutely love them. I love the touch of black and that they are so easy to keep clean. 

I went with a single basin black quartz sink this time: 
black quartz single basin sink

I laid the sink face down on the counters and made sure there was two inches of space across the front: 
drop in sink spacing

Then traced the sink onto the butcher block. 

But I had to retrace when I remembered that I wanted to use painter's tape to cut down on any splintering as I was cutting. :)

After laying down the tape, I used a larger bit at the corners and then my jigsaw to cut the sink shape out:
cutting out sink in wood counter

This is important -- make sure to secure a couple scrap pieces of wood across the part you're removing so it doesn't crash down to the floor as you cut. It's heavy!:
bracket over sink cut out

After cleaning up, we checked to make sure the sink fit, then applied a bead of silicon around the lip of the sink and dropped it into the countertop. 

If at all possible, cut the hole for your sink outside or in a garage! It's MESSY!

I was on a roll! It was time to attempt another first...installing a faucet from scratch. 

I say from scratch because this spot was only roughed in when we built our home, so the hot and cold shut off valves and plumbing pipes weren't installed: 
plumbed hot and cold pex pipes

I followed this awesome video on how to install a faucet and under the sink plumbing, and borrowed a crimping tool so I could attach the shut off valves at the end of those pex pipes. 

Make sure you turn off the water in your home before cutting the ends off of those tubes or doing any plumbing! 

We wanted a garbage disposal down here as well, so went through the same process of researching the how-to.  

There was a lot of pausing and playing on these videos as I went through both processes. But they worked and NOTHING leaked! 

Over a couple weeks I installed the countertops, sink, plumbing, faucet and disposal all by myself! There aren't many DIY projects I haven't attempted, but the plumbing was intimidating. Now that I've done all of this, changing out a faucet will be easy. :) 

Finally, the kitchenette was starting to come together. I've been dreaming of having this space for years! 

Here's how it looked before I started on the backsplash: 
wood countertops gray cabinets
These roll up drying racks for the sink are AWESOME!

I only painted the wall down to where the tile was going. (The color is Westchester Gray, same as the rest of the basement.)

Next up, time to start the fun stuff! I can't wait to show you how this space looks now.

My goal is to make the TV blend into the wall a little bit. (I wouldn't have picked one in here, but my family insisted and now I really do like it.) And also even out the weight of the room: 
gray basement kitchen cabinets

When I planned the cabinet layout for this space, I knew the left side would need something to balance the room visually. I'll share my solution and more updates soon! 

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  1. Sarah this looks fantastic! Way to go conquering all these firsts!! Inspiring!

  2. Looks great! Everything that you have done blends so well. Love the cubbies with the baskets. I also have the roll up drying rack for the sink from Amazon and I can’t get over how versatile it is. Best purchase.

  3. Where did you get your counters and what was cost? Thank you!

  4. Sarah, your choice of butcher block counter tops and grey cabinets have inspired me to replicate many of your steps. Thanks for your tenatiousness ! I was wondering is you would share the color of your cabinets as mine are unfinished now. You're great! H.G.


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