flush top mount sink?

jenmnaJune 14, 2009

Has anyone ever installed a top mount sink that sat flush to the countertop? It sounds like you would rout out a channel of countertop material to fit the flat rim of the sink so that it would sit at the same level as the countertop. Then a silicone caulk could be used to seal the sink into place.

I have a sink that could hypothetically be mounted in this way. I asked a local stone fabricator if they would be able to do this with soapstone and the owner of the company told me that they could do this and will if I ask them to, but that she wouldn't recommend it. She said that the silicone caulk would catch dirt and grime as it was swept into the sink.

I understand what she's saying, but it seems like gunk building up at a seam is impossible to avoid without an integrated corian sink. A drop-in sink can gather gunk at the lip and an undermount sink can gather gunk at the seam. To me, this seems like the most appealing option.

She was pushing for an undermount, but I'm not sure that's what I want. I have a deep sink (10 inches) and I'm afraid that undermounting it will make it feel too deep.

I'd love any advice or insight anyone can provide.


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What a great idea. We purchased a sink thinking we were going with laminate countertops. We paid over $300 for the Kohler SS drop in sink 3 months ago.
Now that we are ready to order countertops, we decided to go with Corian. They want $200 to specially cut the sink hole for an under mount. Then looking at under mount sinks we are looking at $700 for the same style sink we have...just under mount.
So just to get an under mount we are looking at close to an additional $1000!! No thanks. We are keeping the original sink that I fell in love with and doing an standard mount.
I will talk to my dh about routing it out so it sits semi-flush with the counter.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Hi Laurielep,

Yeah, it makes sense in my head and I can imagine it being great, but I don't see many examples of it on the internet when I've searched. Let me know if your DH pokes an obvious hole in the theory!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 9:56PM
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Such good ideas from this forum! This is exactly an issue I am dealing with now. Our neighbor just installed granite with an undermount in their existing kitchen and had a difficult time putting the disposal back. I just don't want to lose any space under the sink.

It will cost more to do the cutout, but an experienced fabricator could make it work. Please keep us posted on this.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Yes, I'm worried about space and our disposal as well. It looks like there is enough space under our disposal for it to be moved down, but then it will be pretty close to the bottom of the cabinet.

Does anyone have any experience with silicone caulk catching food particles or dirt? Or any experience with water seaping under such a lip?

I found a photo and description of the kind of thing I'm thinking of and I'm trying to link it below (new at this game!).

Here is a link that might be useful: Flush mounted sink

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Tile-in sinks are similar to what you are thinking of doing. Here is a photo of one.

Here is a link that might be useful: tile-in sink

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 1:07PM
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Kimkitchy- Yes! That's precisely what we're thinking of, but we're not using tile.

It seems that flush-mounting like that is acceptable when using tile, so I'm not sure why it would be different with a stone surface.

Maybe because grout is used in the gap instead of silicone caulk?

Thanks for the photo link.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Sorry about bumping this thread, but I'm meeting with the stone fabricator again tomorrow and was wondering if anyone had any last minute ideas or advice regarding this sink plan...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 10:07AM
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jenmna, we opted not to get the Corian and are going with granite. The granite guy came out yesterday and told me it would be very difficult to do this and the best would just to top mount it.
I refuse :)
DH is under mounting our top mount sink. He's a plumber and said he's had to do it many times before. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works because there will be no turning back once the counter is cut!!
We'll find out tomorrow!
best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Here is out apron front, flush mount, counter depth sink. It is installed almost flush with the counter (about 1/32" lower). Notice that this does not have a lip. It is simply butted up against the counter and the seam is siliconed. It has stood up to almost three years of use with no problems.

This is how I built the cabinet and installed the sink

Finished, flush mount.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I think trying to flush-mount the sink is a lot more trouble than it's worth. I would not want the silicone caulk to be in such an exposed place. I wouldn't want a seam right where I'm always wiping crumbs and water into the sink. If you undermount the sink so that the edge of the countertop is even with the edge of the sink, you won't have a problem with gunk building up where you can't see it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:17PM
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I think the flush mount works really well. There is absolutely no gunk whatsoever in the seam! This is after three years of daily use. Of course you need the right kind of sink to make this work. and the perfect installation.

A flush reveal undermount might work well too because there would be no place for gunk to accumulate.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:22PM
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Thanks for all the thoughts and photos! I'm going to bring the sink with me tomorrow to the fabricators so that they can see it as well. Pharoah, your sink and granite are beautiful!

A flush reveal undermount is a good option and might be what we end up doing.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 3:11PM
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Having problems with installation of my apron sink. I am a short person but as the sink sits waiting to be installed, it is too low for me. The photos of the sink when ordered, shows the top of the sink is slightly above the counter top. Waiting for the contractor this A.M. to see what can be done. Like the photos and have something to show him. Hoping for a good resolve.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:41AM
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