nted sink not installed properly?
Can I ask a question of those who have an integrated/flush-mounted sink? I had a new kitchen sink (and worktop) installed while I was out of town for a couple of weeks. The sink had the option to be undermounted, flush-mounted, or inset—I chose the flush-mounted option. However I have returned to discover that there is actually a very small raised 'lip' around the edges of the sink (we're talking a few mm) and am thinking my fitter didn't install it correctly. Does your integrated sink have a small lip around the edges, or does it actually sit absolutely flush with your worktop?
This is the sink I've got:
Doesn't the edge of the sink sit on the worktop, so the "raised lip" will be the thickness of the metal?
I might be totally wrong, but you can't have a truly flush-mounted sink can you? You mean absolutely 100% flush level with the work surface?
My understanding was that sinks are either under or over - so they either sit completely under and the work surface or like yours, they have a thin lip which sits on top of the work surface. I don't think I've ever seen a totally flush one (but then that could be because I'm never looking in that price range!).
Having said that, I've just looked and found this one which I would indeed consider flush mounted: olivertwistbistro.com/extraordinary-flush-mount-sink/flush-mount-sink-wall-mount-porcelain-kitchen-sink-with-porcelain-cabinet-double-sink-in-indoor/
If it clearly says on the installation sheet that comes with the item (ie the technical fitting sheet) that it can be flush mounted, presumably in order to do that and not have any lip, whatever the width of the 'lip' would need to have been ground out of the worktop before it was fitted (called a rebate I believe but don't quote me on that). Thus it would have fitted flush.
Was he specifically instructed to mount it flush and does the existing worktop allow him to do it that way - is it grind downable to allow it to sit flush or of a material that wouldn't allow that?
If there is a lip then the sink has probably been inset fitted, ie. just a hole cut into the worktop and the sink inserted. A flush fitting sink should indeed be flush with the worktop. It is extremely difficult to rebate out the surface to fit a flush fitting sink perfectly as the sink rim, (especially stainless ones like the one you have chosen) is rarely perfectly flat and the same can be said of the worktop. Your hand is exceptionally sensitive to any lip and it is common practice to fit a flush fitting sink a fraction of a millimetre below the worktop level. That said, it's only recently that flush fitting has been offered by mainstream sink suppliers and they are still a rare addition to most kitchens. It's seems likely to me that the fitter may just may not have been aware that the sink was to be flush fitted and just fitted it inset.
Some pictures of flush fitting sinks. A word of caution, these are manufacturer's promotional photos and the rebate was most likely cut at expense using cnc machinery. You also fail to mention your worktop material. Flush fitting is not generally suitable for laminate worktops so the fitter would not fit the sink flush fitted by default. If you need any more information feel free to ask.
Thanks all for your comments and for the photos. To answer the questions:
1. Yes, the fitter was instructed to flush-mount the sink, both during our discussions and on the written list of instructions I left for him. There were instructions in the sink's installation manual for how to do the three different types of fitting.
2. The worktop is called "Maia". It's 36mm of acrylic on top of some kind of board that makes up the rest of the depth. The fitter and I had a discussion about this before I left and he commented that as the acrylic was thicker than the rim of the sink that would enable him to flush-mount it.
I'm thinking now that if he has in fact inset-mounted the sink that it would still be possible for him to re-fit it correctly as he would simply need to rebate the worktop that the lip is currently sitting on top of?
Yes, subject to the worktop material being able to have a rebate cut out of it then he should come back and do that as per your instructions as he hasn't done what you asked him to do.
I just found the sink installation instructions (pic attached) and they don't actually use the term "flush mounted"—they use the term "integrated". Perhaps I confused him by saying I wanted it "flush mounted"? (Or would that be a very lame excuse for it not being done properly? He is a very experienced kitchen fitter of 20+ years, according to his advertising.)
Inset, flush - kinda mean the same thing really don't they.
I find with (even v experienced) tradespeople they may have routinely been exposed to endless number of sink fittings - but very standard ones. When they see something outside of their experience they reference it to what they already know.
I bet you'd find a wide range of experience between someone who's routinely done basic fittings and someone operating with high end clients wanting hand beaten copper sinks or complex plumbing or the like - it's chalk and cheese.
I wouldn't have thought if you said you know I said flush - it's not flush though it's above the surface of the worksurface so can you please come back and rebate the edge so that the very top of that lip is flush with the worksurface please?
Thanks. I was struggling to come up with the correct technical terms to use when contacting him so I use the phrasing you suggested.
I think it will be quite a faff for him as the sink is large and will have to be un-plumbed and removed, but that's not my fault!
I agree with Doinitforthekids on what he said about tradespeople. The kitchen fitter may have done hundreds of kitchens with laminate tops so he may never have come across alternative types of sink and hob fittings. I have done granite, marble and solid surface tops for the last 20 odd years and have come across all kinds and come across all kinds of alternative designs. It can be rebated in situ but depending on the sort of kit they have, the kitchen company will be wishing they had done it in the workshop before it was sent out.
Normally an integrated sink is made in a similar type of material to the worktop and ground in and polished to the worktop and made virtually seamless. That seems very unlikely using stainless with an acrylic type material but if that's the term the sink manufacturer is using then go with that. Reginox are a quality sink manufacturer so they know their stuff too.
Hope you manage to get it sorted.
Thanks KitchenGuy. I know the fitter has done high-end (granite worktop etc) kitchens (mine doesn't fall into that category) and in fact it was he who recommended the acrylic to me, and was extolling its virtues.
I have heard back from the fitter—he says he didn't want to risk cutting the rebate as routering is tricky and the space was too tight. However, he says he will try to come up with a solution to put it right.
I am also planning to contact Reginox for advice. However, while looking up their contact details I found this on the site FAQ's:
"Can I install an integrated sink unit into an already existing kitchen?
An integrated sink unit can only be installed into an existing worktop by a worktop manufacturer in the factory."
So if I'm reading this correctly Reginox are saying it can't be done?
Certainly sounds that way.... can you ring the manufacturer, describe what's happened, your worktop material, the worktops already fitted, etc and see what they advise?
That's not strictly true Chrys. It's obviously recommended that the the rebate is done in the workshop and larger worktop workshops will do it on a CNC machine. However, with care, a skilled craftsman can do it in place. It's a bit more awkward but not that much difference to doing it on a work bench. The main difference is that you would normally cut the rebate before you cut the actual sink cut-out.
We have done flush fitting hobs in situ in granite worktops. Acrylic is a much easier material to work with and if you scratch it, it's relatively to get out. I can understand the fitters' reluctance to do it as you only get one bite of the cherry but if he just bites the bullet, takes a lot of care and gets on with it, the sink will be out and back in in less than half a day.
Your call at the end of the day but I hope you get manage to get it sorted.
Thank you for the reassurance. I have contacted Reginox regarding the information on their website and they told me it only applies "if you have a stainless steel worktop or if the worktop and sink have been fabricated by a worktop manufacturer". Very curious.
They also told me that a qualified fitter will be able to do it in situ, so fingers crossed.
A flush fitting hob, you say...? Now that's got me thinking again!
Step AWAY from the flush-fitted appliances!!
DoinItForTheKids I'm assuming it wouldn't be a good idea as I only 'splashed out' on a £175 ceramic hob, which probably isn't going to last years and years...
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