It is easy to think that you know everything about drop-in sinks. They have been around for ages, and you have probably grown up washing your hands and doing the occasional washing in drop-in sinks.
These are the sinks that have a visible ledge that sits on top of the countertop. The rim gives support to the sink and holds it firmly against the counter. Even 30 years ago, top-mount sinks were the only type you could buy at the local store. Undermount sinks were only common at 5-star hotels and resorts since they were rare and difficult to mount.
A lot has changed in the world of design since then. You can now find undermount sinks everywhere, including budget online stores. However, drop-in sinks still have a dedicated market. Homeowners prefer self-rimming sinks in their kitchen over undermount sinks. Over-mount sinks are easy to install, and many homeowners DIY their sink replacement with minimal guidance from YouTube home remodel videos.
What are the most common problems anyone can face during the kitchen sink installation?
Nonetheless, you need to consider the various challenges you might face while installing your new self-rimming sink. One of the most commonly asked questions is, “why is the sink not sitting flat?” There can be several reasons why your new top mount kitchen sink refuses to sit flat, but here are some of the most common causes –
- The countertop cutout is too small or warped.
- The sink is warped, or its edges are damaged.
- The old caulk or putty is blocking the sink from going in completely.
- You have failed to remove all the clips that hold the sink down.
You can easily remove the putty or caulk by washing the old layers away with mild detergent. If the bits are particularly stubborn, you can gently scrub them with a nylon scrubber or a soft brush. Flatten out the edges of the cutout as much as possible. Measure the cutout edges and level out any weird kinks that can stop the sink. Check for any clips you may have left-behind while disassembling your previous sink.
Check the sink for dents and bents once you bring it home. Any manufacturing defect warrants immediate exchange. If your sink has warped edges or a dented bowl, you should talk to the manufacturer and arrange for a quick replacement. Visit drop in kitchen sink by Kraus USA to find out all about top-mount sink types, services, and warranties you can expect from the seller.
Double-checking these factors should help you avoid the initial reasons that prevent over-mount sinks from sitting flat on the countertop.
What more can you do to aid the proper installation of your kitchen sink?
Here’s what you can do if your sink refuses to sit flatly even after double-checking the four above-mentioned factors –
Re-work on the cutout
Working with a professional can prevent such rookie mistakes. However, if it is your first time, there is no need to panic. Whether you’re installing a farmhouse sink or a regular stainless steel sink, cutting a hole that is too small is smarter than cutting a hole that’s too big! If that’s the case, you need to take proper measurements of the sink and increase the size of the cutout before trying to insert the sink again.
Before you begin to increase the size of the cutout, ensure that the sink is straight and the edges are flush. You will need an angle grinder for stone surfaces and a belt sander for solid-surfaces.
Cleaning the old caulk
Dried silicone caulk can be quite resistant. You may need a trusty scraper or a chisel or a five-in-one-tool for the job. Sadly, no miracle solvent or cleaner can remove the caulk without damaging the surface. Hold the tool/scraper between a 30-degree and 45-degree angle to remove the putty or caulk successfully.
Wipe off the surface with a dry cloth, and try again. Unless the rim is free of caulk and completely flush, the new sink will not sit evenly on top.
Repairing a warped surface
After years of using a sink, a gap might appear between the rim and the countertop surface. It can result in water damage. Try to feel the edge of the countertop. If it feels swollen and spongy around the gap, you can be sure that it will need some good old-fashioned fixing.
You will need to replace the sink and the countertop if you want the same sized sink. If you are ready to install a larger top-mount sink, you can increase the size of the cutout so as to eliminate the damaged part of the countertop.
On the other hand, if the damage isn’t extensive, you can re-caulk the area liberally during the new sink installation. The only place you cannot do this is on butcher-block countertops, where the only solution is to grind it down with a belt sander.
Level the under-sink cabinet
When your sink refuses to sit flat, or water keeps pooling inside the newly installed sink, you might think that the level of installation is the problem. However, under-sink cabinetry can be the real reason behind your troubles.
Check the level of the base cabinet by using a spirit scale. Mark the edges that are higher. Sand down the top of the cabinet if the higher edge is pushing the sink upwards, causing it to tilt. If it involves removing the entire cabinetry to make room for a larger sink, then it is advisable to hire a contractor to finish the job.
Sometimes, it is necessary to raise the level of the sink to hold the rims flat against the countertop. You might be able to achieve that by adjusting the level of the countertop by loosening the cabinet-frame screws and re-tightening them after adding shims in necessary places.
Top mounting a sink is not rocket science, but it does involve a lot of skills, calculations, and common sense. Previous experience in repair and replacement of kitchen sinks, of course, helps in the correct and fast installation of the sink. Nonetheless, keeping these four points in mind should help you troubleshoot all sink mounting problems on your own.