how to install ceramic tiles over kitchen sink

j_e_l_l_oJune 8, 2010

i have a kitchen sink that was installed and i didnt like the contractor so i didnt have him come back out to finish the tile around my new stainless steel kitchen sink. I do have the tiles, and now that i have my floors demo'd to install solid bamboo, i can get back to lesser tasks.

here is a photo:

do i put thinset over the stainless to match up to the height of the counter? or can i just use contstruction adhesive to glue the tiles down up to the height of the counter.

what should be the recommended installation? thank you.

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Circus Peanut

hi Jello,

There's a really good online forum for tiling where a bunch of pros hang out and patiently answer DIYers questions. That's probably the best place to ask this question. Link below.

I'm no pro myself, but I don't think you want to use construction adhesive anywhere that water might flow -- for that, you really want thinset. But I'm not sure about putting thinset over the stainless rim itself. Ask the guys at the tile forum for the real answers! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: John Bridge Tile Forum

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:08PM
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I'm thinking most tile countertops have self rimming sinks (sinks that fit on top of the tile). This looks like an undermount sink.

You can do an undermount sink in tile but it requires some preplanning and it looks like this tile has already been set. Then the sink looks like it was put in later.

Schlueter makes a sort of trim that can be used to make a finished look around a sink like this. But this needs to be done in concert with the tile job, not after the fact.

thin set is not going to hold up to the constant water around the sink. You need some flexible waterproof seal. Silicon caulk is going to look ugly. I'd go with an overmount self rimming sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Schlueter Brochure

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Your contractor did that??!! OH MY! It is the right kind of sink for tile, bad tile job. Remove the sink and somehow get the tile under the rim. Hard to tell from the photo what's happening on the left, but you cannot simply fill that gap with just anything....Another possibility is to get a sink w/a larger rim, if they even exist.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 5:26AM
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Sink appears to be a self-rimming type, i.e., drop-in. If so, it was supposed to sit on top of the tile.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 10:11AM
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Circus Peanut

Oh, I thought the sink was still loose, not installed. Yes, you have to put this kind of stainless sink with the rim over the tile, like this:

There's a special kind of sink called "tile-in sink" that is designed to be installed on level with the tile, like this:

For reference, here's the OP's current sink scenario:

From what I can see, you need to lift the sink out, tile over the the edge of the cutout (regular thinset and grout), then silicone under the edge of the rim and drop that baby in. (You will need to be able to cut the tile to fit right up to the cutout, but the edge doesn't have to be exact since the sink rim will drop down over it.)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:06PM
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oops didnt click email postings. first post.

yeah thats why i fired him, he was saying things that just didnt seem right but i went with. this is my first home. now, i buy my own tools and do it myself.

i cant remember but i think it was a rusted, original, cast iron sink in place. The tile had to be cut to gain access to the sink mounting hardware. Thats where the ruff edges are in the picture. due to the old design and dimensions, this was his solution. i bought an above mount sink, and he custom "cut and grinded* the sink to fit in the space. he said later he would put tiles over it. i have the actual tiles thank gawd that are actually a damn good match for it.

i was thinking to use waterproof construction adhesive to the steel (it is juusssttt bout level to the tiles if i do that). it is used for exterior flashing so i know it will hold. silicone around the the bottom edges and fill in with grout. but once again i dont know if that will work.

i would have no idea how to remove it. its glued in place. if i had to get a bigger sink, that would be 200 bucks down the drain because taking this thing out would def render it un-usuable.

i will check out that tile forum and see what they say. will post back later. thanx!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 10:36PM
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