Can I Put an Undermount Sink in My Existing Countertop?
Undermount sinks provide a clean, modern and professional dimension to your kitchen because they fit under the countertop and have no rim. This seamless style is also easy to clean up, since all the crumbs sweep right into the sink. Whether you can install one in your existing counter is another matter that depends largely on which type of countertop you currently own.
If you already have a granite countertop installed on your cabinets, you can install an undermount sink. However, the new undermount sink must size up properly with the current sink-mounting hole in your countertop. If the new sink is slightly larger than the current sink, the hole is enlarged for a precise fit. A professional stone cutter is your best option for cutting a new hole for your undermount sink because it involves the use of high-powered stone grinders and saws.
Special undermount sinks are designed to install on laminate countertops. However, the sink is mounted to the counter at the factory using a special router and advanced adhesives. The undermount sink rises flush to the top edge of the laminate, and a special tool grinds the edge for a clean look. If removing the countertop is possible, it's a good idea to have an installer to do the job for you. It is not recommended to install any undermount on laminate without professional assistance. If the sink breaks free of the counter, extensive damage to your plumbing and cabinets will occur.
The hybrid countertop is formed by two or more materials mixed together and pressed into shape. This refers to recycled and cultured marble countertops. Undermount sinks are not specifically designed to fit inside recycled countertops. Recycled countertops do not have the strength to support undermount sinks. It is best to change the counter to granite or another solid stone before installation. Cultured marble is made of stone dust and may be a suitable surface for some undermount sink, but check the recommendations from your manufacturer before attempting the installation. Cutting the countertop produces a lot of dust. Therefore, installing the sink in the home requires special dust-collecting equipment and professional stone-cutting tools.
Slightly softer than granite, soapstone is still able to support an undermount sink. The same rules apply to soapstone as do granite. Professional stone-cutting tools make the job much easier, or the undermount sink must be sized to match your existing sink hole. Even if you size the sink to your existing hole, the edges of the hole will look unfinished without grinding and polishing. If you plan to install an undermount sink on soapstone, retain the services of a professional with experience completing this project.
Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.