Alternate title: how I finally got my kitchen groove back.
On one of the many trips we made to our house before purchasing it, I jokingly said to R that what our hypothetical kitchen remodel really needed was a farm sink. I say “jokingly” because, at the time, I didn’t think it was actually possible to find one of these beautiful Belfast sinks without a comma in the price tag.
Then I stumbled on Ikea’s Dömsjo sink, and everything changed.
It was beautiful, absolutely ginormous, and so amazingly affordable! We hadn’t even closed on the house, but I was so adamant that this sink was happening that I bought it on the spot, crammed it into the backseat of our little sedan, and that was that.
We were worried about how the Dömsjo would work with a non-Ikea kitchen, but luckily the guys who installed our cabinets had worked with this sink before and knew what they were doing!
Still reeling from the hassle of our countertop installation, we were so ready to just get this shit done that we decided to DIY our sink installation… and after a stressful two days (…and a couple of emotional breakdowns in the PVC pipe section of Lowes, and an emergency phone call to my dad…) this is what we ended up with:
Let’s start from the beginning. (Disclaimer: take this with a grain of salt; this is just our experience installing this sink and configuring the plumbing, and it certainly isn’t meant to be read as a tutorial or ‘how-to’ guide! I can’t guarantee that anything we did was correct or ‘to code,’ this is just what worked for us!)
The first order of business: our faucet.
R picked this faucet out on Amazon. To be perfectly honest, I was kind of skeptical when I saw a) how cheap it was, and b) the lack of reviews. When it arrived, I couldn’t deny that the quality felt great and the style was exactly what we were going for (little bit retro, little bit modern).
Mounting the faucet was super straightforward. There are two color-coded supply lines for hot and cold, and a black line that connects to the detachable nozzle. Once everything is connected up, you screw a weight onto the black hose… this keeps everything taught so the nozzle head isn’t hanging down.
Next up: the drains and garbage disposal.
On the left side of the sink we installed Ikea’s Lillviken sink strainer (super easy, took all of 30 seconds).
Since the garbage disposal would need to hook up with the dishwasher, we decided to put it on the right side of our sink (so it could be closer).
This was another big Amazon purchase for R, and he chose the Waste King L-800. Now the faucet made me a little uneasy, but this disposal absolutely horrified me. It has a 1 horsepower motor?! Umm… I don’t know much about horsepower, but I know my car has 250 hp, and the notion that our sink would need even 1/250th of that power to grind up my leftover pasta bake was terrifying.
Not to mention getting a hand stuck in the disposal is literally on my list of Top 100 Greatest Fears. But I digress.
The Waste King came with a drain and rubber splash guard, so we installed that on the right side. We sealed the drain with plumbers putty, then secured the gaskets from under the sink.
Before installing the disposal itself, we had to take care of the power supply. The former disposal unit had been hardwired to the house. Waste King came with a powder chord. We could have removed the chord and hardwired it, but we decided to just install a new outlet under the sink instead.
Since I was already kind of sketched out by how the power came in through the wall with the waste pipe, I thought the least we could do was chose a heavy duty outlet box. This was all we could find at Walmart at midnight:
God, that looks ridiculous.
Now that we had power, we were able to plug in the disposal and connect it to the drain gasket:
Since the plumbing configuration was so awkward, we initially thought flexipipe was the best solution and rigged this ridiculous, twisted contraption that connected the sink drain and the disposal to a single p-trap that then went into the waste pipe.
We later nixed it when my dad intervened.
Next up was uncapping our hot water supply line. Habitat for Humanity had capped this when they removed our sink and cabinets. We struggled for an embarrassing length of time as we tried to figure out how to remove it, and as soon as we finally managed to pop it off… we had to stick it right back on to stop the geyser of water that was coming out.
Despite turning off the main water line and letting all the downstairs faucets empty out (to ‘take pressure off the line’), there was still enough water in the pipes to recreate Ol Faithful in our sink cabinet.
Once all the leftover water in the pipe had sprayed (then poured, then trickled) out, we had to attach a new dual outlet compression shut off valve that could accommodate both our hot water supply hose for the sink, as well as a separate line for the dishwasher. SeeJaneDrill has a great video that walked us through the installation.
In order for our dishwasher supply line to reach the new valve, we had to drill a hole in the side of the cabinet and feed the hose through. We drilled a second hole directly above it for the dishwasher waste line (which connects to the garbage disposal):
With the dishwasher hoses fed through the side of the cabinet and the new shut-off valve in place, we were able to get everything connected:
(Side note: the new valve we installed has a 1/4 turn shut off, and it’s seriously the coolest thing in the world. Why can’t everything be this easy?!)
With my dad’s help, we were able to configure the drain and disposal into a shared p-trap, then up into the waste pipe. Then we connected the dishwasher waste line into the disposal, and… that was a wrap.
Here’s what we ended up with:
Deep breaths. I know it’s an absolute cluster fuck. But the water turns on, the dishwasher runs, and the disposal chops stuff up. So… I’m feeling optimistic.
Our dishwasher squeezed in perfectly and was hard-wired from the front:
So how is everything holding up?
I love our faucet. I’m trying not to be too impressed because I feel like the odds are against this guy (he was just so cheap!), and I don’t want to get my hopes up and then be heartbroken when he blows up in a few months (…or whatever happens to faucets when they die).
For now, though, I’m in love. The water pressure is strong on both settings (spray or stream). The neck swivels easily, so you can point it in one bowl of the sink or the other based on where you need it (or if you just need it out of the way).
I can’t say enough good things, I really love this faucet.
I’m also completely in love with our sink (and have been making great use of it!)
It’s so huge!
The only thing that concerns me about Dömsjo is that the bowls have a tendency to puddle:
Water collects a few inches from the drain, where the sink bottom must be jusssttt uneven enough that it can’t drain properly.
Is this a big deal? I’m not sure. Right now, I’m just trying to stay on top of it by scooping the water towards the drain with my hand. It seems like more of a pain in the butt than anything, but I’m apprehensive that someday something dark or unforgiving will puddle up, and the sink will stain. We’ll see…
As for our Waste King garbage disposal, despite it’s 1 hp of power… it purrs like a kitten that got drunk on peach schnapps and passed out on a velvet cushion. So silent. Our apartment sink had been equipped with a viciously loud Insinkerator that made the entire countertop vibrate. I was worried the Dömsjo wouldn’t be able to handle the vibrations (especially because the Waste King is so heavy), but you can’t feel a thing!
It’s too early to give a definitive answer on any of the items we chose for our kitchen sink, but so far… I’m impressed!
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