Under-Mounting a Top-Mount Sink
I arrived at the house yesterday, took one look at the (quote) American Standard “self rimming” sink sitting on the countertop and said “that’s not an undermount.” The owner replied “the display at Home Depot said it could be undermounted.” Thinking he was mistaken and it had said something along the lines of “undermount model available”, I swung by the store and sure enough, affixed on what to me looks like a typical drop-in type self rimming sink is a sticker stating “this sink can be undermounted with an optional kit.”
This one is new to me. In my experience, sinks are either undermount models or not. I’ve never come across such a hybrid before. I thought undermounts typically have a large, flat, often thinner flange with an unfinished edge and come with brackets and installation instructions included. I informed the owner that I wouldn’t feel comfortable cobbling this sink into his very expensive kitchen and preferred that he return it and purchase a sink manufactured specifically for that application.
Am I totally behind the curve here? Is this the wave of the future or (as I see it) a not too well thought out marketing ploy? ("Let’s not bother to tool up for a different sink, just throw in a couple of brackets and call it an undermount...")
On American Standard's site, I found install instructions for the sink I'm guessing your customer purchased. It can be tiled in or undermounted two different ways. You do need clips though, and the instructions aren't clear about whether they are included or not.
Most any sink can be undermounted. Don't make such a project out of it. The main requirement is adequate support. Do what you need to support it so that the top of it is flush or slightly lower than your 3/4" roughtop. I usually rout the plywood 7/16" or so and add cleats on sides that will carry weight. I've had many requests to undermount with the option of removing the sink from below in the event the sink needs replacement. That's a whole new batch of headaches.
Undermount Sink Setters will make your life much easier. You can get them from specialtytools.com.
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