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Jul 25, 2011 05:06 PM

Kitchen sink installation - need advice.

We're shopping for a new kitchen sink, which we'll install in our existing tile counter. The salesman at Lowe's told us that, if we're going to do a tile-in installation, we have to have an enamel over cast iron sink rather than one of the new synthetic materials. We were getting such an information overload, we forgot to ask why that is - can anyone enlighten us?

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  1. In my opinion, there is no one at Lowe's that is qualified to sell you a paperclip much less be able to inform you correctly about a sink. Lowe's is the last place I would shop for something where I need reliable advice, but it's a great place to pick up a pack of sandpaper. I've delt with Lowe's and will not purchase anything from them for our upcoming kitchen remodel.

    With that off my chest, there is no reason that you have to have an enamel on cast iron sink. Check out the web sites for companies like Blanco, who make the new sinks, they are mountable either above or bleow the counter top. Obviously with tile you have to have a rimed, or top mount sink because the tile probably one goes up to the edge and I'm not aware of a tile with a lip that will match the curve of the corners of the sink to make it possible or practicle for an under mount sink. Stainless, Acrylic, Granite (Blanco), and enameled over stamped steel can all be mounted from the top, called self rimming. An alternative is Flush Mount, and this is used often with tile, where the sink and the tile are at the same level. It's still installed from above, but the tile comes up next to it and a bead of calk fills the joint. Again, I think the thickness of a number of sinks would lend themselves to this installation method.

    Go to a reliable distributor and get some good information. I've used Furgason for a number of plumbing needs, and they were less expensive than Lowe's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mikie

      Maybe it's location, we've had very good luck with the Lowe's nearest us, and have been pretty happy with some major purchases. OTOH, I'd substitute Home Depot for Lowe's in your message. That said, we're not committed to Lowe's, we've just barely started shopping.

      Our current sink is bottom mounted under a tiled counter, the bullnose tile curves down into the sink. We actually prefer bottom mounted.

      Thanks for the tip, I'll check Ferguson.

      1. re: judybird

        It's unusual for a sink to be undermounted with tile, not that it can't be done, obviously, but it is unusual. That said, I see less reason why they would tell you to use an enameled on cast iron sink. Any undermount sink should work. If you have other requirements, that may make a difference, but I don't know what those requirements might be that would rule out other options.

        I've remodeled two bathrooms, started out with Lowe's on the first one and decided to shop around a bit, but committed to the counter top from them. I only live a mile down the road from Lowe's, they wanted $50 to deliver a tub, I bought it at Ferguson, they delivered it free from 45 miles away, they were also less expensive on the tub, faucets, sinks, etc. Ended up the only item we had a problem with was the counter top from Lowe's. It took for ever to get it taken care of. Ours may be exceptionally bad, I don't know, but in general, the big box stores don't have the people that know the products.

        The experience that broke the camels back was when my wife ordered some sort of blinds and they came in the wrong color and basicly told her too bad, it wasn't their problem. The blinds didn't come in the color she ordered, but they didn't tell her that when she ordered them. Since then, no Lowe's for any of that sort of purchase.

        Ferguson is all over the place, my son bought his kitchen and bath stuff from them in NY state.

    2. Have someone else do the install.