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February 24, 2013

Can I replace an undermount sink in a granite top without breaking the granite?

Are you wondering if you can replace an under-counter kitchen sink on a granite countertop?




The answer is; "it depends". If the sink has a lip that is tucked under the walls of the cabinet, the countertop has to be lifted. In this case, the granite might break but might be worth the risk if you are willing to consider plan B which is to replace the top. A word of caution though; plumbers generally know one thing: Plumbing! So, if you want to lift the granite, the best people to do that are granite top experts.

We've also seen sinks that are "glued" down with silicone. After years of setting, silicone can become really strong and the wrestle with the top can cause the top to break. You can seperate an aged silicone bonding with a knife but space in that area may make it impossible without lifting the top. Natural granite can have weaknesses and you never know where they are until you try to lift it.

There are a zillion possibilities. One other that one can imagine is getting the sink off but not being able to get it out of the cabinet because it won't turn in such a small space. When undercounter sinks are installed, they are normally just provided to the granite professional (during new installation) who installs them then sets the top with the sink already installed. Space is a problem when working with the sink from the bottom; so much so that it may be impossible to replace an undermount sink without lifting the top.

You should really have a plumber come out and give an on-site opinion. Before making a final decision, call a granite professional to get his on-site opinion as well. Every situation is different and since granite tops are expensive, you should consider all the possibilities. We wouldn't want you to conclude from this article that you have an impossible situation then end up spending more than you have to.

If you have the budget to replace the granite counter top, use this opportunity to create a new kitchen sink area that you will really be proud of. This is one of the most used areas of the home and the quality should be the highest that you can justify. If you are spending thousands on a granite top, consider choosing a new kitchen sink that rises to the occasion! It should be a high quality sink of heavy gauge stainless steel or cast iron with a porcelain finish. There are a number of types actually but remember that the saying "you get what you pay for" applies here. A good quality sink will cost several hundred dollars.

When choosing a new sink, just think about how difficult it is to change it later. Since granite is a natural material, it's a tall order to find a perfect match if it is broken and needs to be replaced.

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