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Plumber: Special sink is best for a tile kitchen counter

December 22, 2018

Question: Dear Ed: I’m installing a tile kitchen counter, not solid surface. While my countertop is planned, I do have a question with the kitchen sink installation. Do I need a special kitchen sink for a tile countertop or can I just use a drop-in type of kitchen sink?

- Donald, Rhode Island

Answer: A drop-in sink requires an opening in the counter that allows for the rim of the sink to sit flush on the finished counter. So a drop-in sink can be used on a tile countertop, but it may not be your best choice.

If you really want to take your tile kitchen counter and sink to the next level, go with a tile-in style sink.

A tile-in sink is a drop-in sink, but it has three main differences.

1. The sinks are usually made of enameled cast iron.

2. The sink rim is installed on the rough counter, not on top of the finished tile.

3. The sink rim has square corners and a flat outside rim that butts up flush to the tile.

So the sink fits into the counter like a big piece of tile. Tile-in sinks are even available in apron or farmers style, and I hope that plants some new ideas in your head.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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