Granite Countertop Problems and Solutions for Trapped Sinks

Trapped sinks are a silent ticking time bomb. Everything looks and works well until the sink gets damaged or fails and can not be replaced. This happens when sinks that do not actually fit completely inside the sink base cabinet are installed. This is never a good idea. The practice of scooping the sides of a sink base leave the stone counter-top either pressing down on the sink itself or not fully supported in what is the most critical and fragile of all counter-top areas.

Designing a kitchen with a 24 inch sink base means there are very few sinks that will actually fit the cabinet.

With 30 inch sink base widths; there are almost no double sinks that will fit the cabinet. There are a few single bowl options.

At 33 inch sink base widths, there are options, but be careful-the customer almost always wants the one they can not have.

At a 36 inch sink base widths, you can get almost any sink, a garbage disposer, soap dispensers, instant-hots, sprayers the sink and it’s flange inside the cabinet, PLUS and this is a big plus, your plumber can actually install all that stuff too. This is a real bonus!

Why not scoop the sides? Beside the support issue mentioned above, sinks can scratch, dent, chip, stain and leak after a few years or a few minutes. When I say “leaks” you might be thinking how can a sink leak? It’s not actually the sink that is leaking unless it is cracked. More often than not it is the silicone that has broken down between the sink and the stone. Think of the caulk around your tub. After a few years it gets a mold behind it and starts to fail. The same thing can happen with the silicone around the sink rim and its mounting flange. When that does occur, it may be necessary to lower the sink in order to gain access to, and then scrape away the old silicone and mold, clean both surfaces and re-silicone the sink. That is just not possible when the sink is trapped inside of “scooped” cabinets.

Replacing a sink is a common request. It is doable if the sink fit the cabinet without scooping the sides. It is impossible if it is trapped between the counter and the cabinet. Okay, Okay, it’s not impossible. You just throw away the back-splash and counter and start over again.

Designing a kitchen with a trapped sink is similar to designing a car that needs the engine removed to change a spark plug or oil. What is the upside of trapping a sink? Why not just provide a cabinet that fits the sink?

Contractors or designers that suggest “Scooping the sides” of a cabinet have either never plumbed a sink, dealt with a crying customer who’s sink is in need of replacement for any number of reasons or had to make a granite kitchen over again due to a crack in the stone around the sink.

Sinks that are too deep from front to back for the cabinet/faucet/back-splash and or just the stone itself.

D-Shaped sink bowls in straight sink runs leave inadequate amounts of stone to mount the faucet behind the sink. Most stones will break as the Single D-Bowl sink doesn’t leave enough stone to be strong enough to transport and install. These sinks are well suited for corner applications. While Corian and any number of Quartz materials are made of consistent material and strong enough to use this style sink, Granite is not.

Dan DiTomaso Stone Masters inc. 515 School House Road, Kennett Square Pa 19348

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