Urgent! undermount stainless sink advice need!!!
My contractor is to install undermount stainless sink & granite counter
top tomorrow, but he told me that I will have to break the granite if I
decide to change the undermount sink later on, is this true or he does
not know how to install undermount sinker correctly?
Thanks in advance.
Sounds like a load of rubbish. Are you sure you didn't take
something he said literally that he didn't intend, e.g. "Yes,
John, when we install this the seal will be so good you'll
have to break it up to remove the sink, hohoho!"? I should
try talking to him about it.
I have an undermounted "granite" sink on my Silestone counter. The granite
powder/epoxy sink is just siliconed (plus some metal supports) to the
counter top and if the counter top can be removed from the base cabinets in
one piece, replacing the sink would be quite easy. BUT, and it's a big
"but", granite and Silestone counter tops can be installed on base cabinets
in a way that make removal of the counter top very difficult if not
impossible without breaking the counter top. My installation had something
like plywood or MDX (?) board screwed into the top of the base cabinets,
then caulking applied generously on top followed by the setting of the
Silestone above it all. When I asked how this top could be removed, the
installers said that it would be possible at times to use many screws driven
from below the plywood or MDX and slowly tighten the screws, wait, slowly
tighten some more, wait, etc...until the force of the many screws broke the
adhesive between the plywood and Silestone allowing the counter top to be
lifted off. He also said this may fail and either not remove the counter
top--or break the counter top in the attempt.
So, to me, loss of a counter top does seem a possible outcome in a future
sink replacement, not only for trying to replace a sink, but for any attempt
to remove the counter top.
The shop that did my work has been in business for well over a decade and
is the primary installer of Corian, Silestone and granite in northern
Arizona, so I assume they know what they're doing. And from watching the
sink and counter being installed, my counter top would have to be removed
from the cabinets to be able to replace the undermounted sink. A new sink
couldn't be installed with the counter top in place.
Of course, with an above-mounted sink, the counter top could stay in place
as you replace a sink. Just hope that the opening req'd for the new sink
matches the hole you have!
PS--personally, I find SS sinks to be too much work to keep sparkling. Have
you looked at granite sinks (Moen, Pegasus, etc?)
PPS--an undermounted sink really "adds" to a kitchen, in my opinion, as well
as making counter top cleaning easier. Given the unlikely event that you
would ever need to replace the sink, go for the undermount! ;-)
I just had new Granite counter tops and a Kohler 3356 sink installed. Mine
was glued underneath with some silicone. I was afraid that it wouldn't
hold, but I understand this is the stand method. So far (two weeks now,)
everything is fine.
I'm figuring that if needed it might be possible to chemically attack the
bond and maybe slowly wedge it loose. But I cant think of a possible reason
why. The opening is cut specifically for that sink. I would only be able
to replace it with another Kohler 3356 if it needed to be replaced.
I considered the possibility that the sink can never be removed, that's why
we spent the $600 for a good sink.
We are in the process of replacing our counters with granite. After shopping
around, my conclusion is that undermount sinks are not a good idea with granite.
They are better suited to Corian type synthetics.
The typical undermount screws into the underside of the counter with 4 mounting
screws. While the entire rim may be sealed with silicone, that glue will flex
considerably more than the screw when overstressed. By contrast, a self-rimming
top mount sink is supported by the entire circumference of the sink and slab.
While "typical" use of an undermount sink may not cause any failures of the
sink, rock, or mounts, I think a top mount is a much more structurally sound
One of the installers we talked with said he would not put an undermount on a
granite countertop without a structural wood "sink box" underneath to support
the sink. He did not describe it fully, but he obviously did not trust the
typical undermount. Remember, the weight of the sink alone is nowhere near the
total weight. You have to add the water, faucets, disposer...
Also, silicone glue CAN be cut with a razor knife, but it is a tedious job...
well... Our sink (Franke BBX 160)
sat on top of the standard sink base unit. The supporting rails were
routed down by the thickness of the sink material so the granite surface
sat flush across the sink and associated line of units.
The Silicone was more of a seal han a glue as the sink is supported by
the unit as intended.
And the tink unit it's self is bloomin' brilliant even if a tad on the
steep (expensive) side.
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Those screws are amazingly strong and if done properly, there's nothing
structurally unsound about an undermounted stainless sink with a granite
countertop. There should be no flex with a decent quality stainless sink.
Make sure the gauge of steel is adequate. Faucets are typically not mounted
to an undermount sink; usually separate hole are drilled into the granite.
Rapid Realm Technology, Inc.
We have an under mount sink with granite. The sink is glued under the granite
in the conventional fashion. Last year, I walked into the kitchen to see my
wife standing in the sink while painting the upper trim of a window. Don't
worry, it's plenty strong. It also looks great and is easy to clean.
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