undermount sink with tile countertop

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by vegashomes, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. vegashomes

    vegashomes New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Would an undermount sink work with a porcelain tile countertop
  2. edlentz

    edlentz New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Michigan
    Good Question! I have a new sink that will do either under or over AND I am installing porcelain tile on a new countertop. It will be interesting to see what the experts say.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The problem with doing undermount with tile is that is it a lot of work to make a nice finished edge around the top and edges of the cutout hole. I have seen lots of them done. Looks really cool if you have a colorful, exotic tile. Just a lot of work.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,154
    Location:
    New England
    Two places to look; one for help, and the other for products. www.johnbridge.com specializes in tile. www.schluter.com makes some trims that would help. It is easier to get a good clean install if you are using something that can have the edge profiled (like a solid granite or through-body porcelan). But, if you use the trim that Schluter makes, you dont' need to profile the edges.

    Basically, you sandwich the flange from the undermount under the tile, and above the plywood backer. The details are the deal-breaker, though.
  5. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    There are a couple of different ways to do this, neither of which are simple. You can mount your sink on top of the counter-top base (actually trimming down the area under the sink footprint so that the sink will sit flush with the surface of the countertop base) and then tiling over the sink flange to give a finished look....bullnosing the tile gives a nice finished and clean look. Or you can do a regular undermount installation and cut and install pieces to fit around the opening of the sink cutout to give a finished look. Both installations will require planning. The first installation will allow you to to do rounded corners for the sink coutout, but the second will leave you restricted to a square cutout for the sink.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego

    Some good tips from lurker. On the second method, I envision very small mosaic tiles, which allows you to have a rounded cutout. If you were planning 4X4 tiles, that would not work well on an undermount.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    sink

    The problem with a true undermount sink is that the faucet openings are extemely oversized so the faucet will fit through them and attach to the countertop. Normally a conventional sink is installed on the subsurface, then the tile is installed over it with a rounded cove tile to finish off the edge. A second option is to get a tile-in sink with square corners which is installed with the tile because it is the same thickness. This creates a flush surface.
  8. have wet saw, will use it.

    If you have to pay someone a high wage to use a saw to cut the detailing in tile, you will spend a lot more there than anywhere else. Good to know before you start.

    Yes, it will look good.

    David
  9. alexjag33

    alexjag33 New Member

    Messages:
    32
  10. edlentz

    edlentz New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well, I did the install this ast weekend. The sink is not an undermount, but the 16 x 16 porcelian tile, Fortunately the tile was exactly the thickness of the lip for the sink, so it lined up flush to the sink. It worked out just as I wanted, so it can be done.
  11. An72

    An72 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Alberta, Alabama
    I notice that this thread was a bit old but still I want to include my input. Undermount kitchen sinks are sleek and gorgeous. Kitchen sinks that undermount below the countertop are perfect for granite, marble, solid surface or engineered stone countertops. A granite undermount kitchen sink is what I have in my own home too. Countertops can have tow different types of sinks installed depending on the preference of the home owner. A sink can be installed through the top of a tile counter or to the underside of a tile counter. Both installation options will require first cutting a hole for the sink in the counter. The first step in installing a sink to the underside of a tile counter is mounting the sink to the counter before cutting and laying the tile.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  12. TWEAK

    TWEAK New Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Sounds like what you have is what is called a "tile-in" sink. These give a very slick finished look, and you can push debris right off the counter into the sink just like an undermount. But much easier than trying to cobble up an undermount installation, which will have a lot of problems to overcome.

    In your case the thickness worked out ok, but in most cases the sink has to be shimmed to get the sink lip flush to the finished surface (top) of the tiles. You can use a makeshift screw arrangement or little wooden blocks... get the tiles in, make any final shimming adjustments to the sink, then pack under the lip with bed mortar.
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