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Kitchen Design/Remodeling/Kitchen sink size (replacement)???

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Question
Hi Scott -
We want to replace our current kitchen sink (undermount) but need help determining the proper size of the new/replacement sink.  

Here are the current measurements and other notes:
Counter is granite

Hole for current sink - undermounted - is 32" wide by 21" long (depth is 9")

The gap (counter top) between back of the sink and wall is 2.5"

Gap (conter top) btwn front of sink and edge of counter is 2"


What size sink should we consider buying?  And, are we locked into undermount or can we consider over counter mount?  Knowing our limitations will greatly help finding the right sink.  Thanks very much.

Answer
Hi Len,
Thank you for your question.  Normally I would have no problem answering a question like this as the dimensions you show appear to be for a normal 33"x22" kitchen sink.  But because the sink is undermounted in granite - there are more issues to consider than just the overall size.

In my experience, the undermount sinks are not installed by a plumber or a kitchen installer - they are installed by the company that fabricated your countertop.  That being said, if you know what company supplied/installed your countertop, I would suggest contacting them as well.  They will better informed on how the original sink was installed, and therefore how it will be removed to allow for the new sink.  I would recommend using them to remove the old and install the new.  At my company, we do not allow the plumber to attach undermount sinks to the granite - and realistically, plumbers don't want to risk damaging your expensive granite countertop if they can avoid it.

Assuming you know who the original fabricator is and can hire them to do the labor - you need a little more information before selecting a new sink.  The existing hole in your counter was made specifically for that sink, and the fabricator probably had an option to install the sink in three different ways:  Overhang, Flush, and Positive Reveal.  Those three options determine how big the cutout is in relationship to the bowls.  Those three options will also determine the overall cutout, the size of the radius corners, and the faucet hole locations.

One more measurement you should look into is the size of the sink cabinet below.  Sometimes the sinks are installed in the countertop prior to setting it in place because the sink base is too small.  If you can see all four sides of your existing sink from underneath, then you should be in good shape.  If not, it may be possible that the counters would have to be removed just to swap the sink and get the new one attached securely.

I know you are reading this and thinking "heck, all I want to do is change out a sink - how can it be this hard?"  And if you hadn't said undermount granite, I would have answered this question in 1-2 sentences.  BUT - the good news is this - it sounds like you already have an equal size double bowl sink (both bowls are the same size).  If that is the case, and you want a similar style sink, you should be able to find a suitable replacement.  I wish I could give you model numbers and recommend the perfect solution, but there are just too many variables.

The best advice I can give for this is to contact the original fabricator and get them involved in the process.  Hopefully that information is available.  If not, you will need to contact your local fabricator to see if you can hire them to make the switch.  They will then be able to direct which sinks/sizes are available to use.

Thanks again for your question.
- Scott  

Kitchen Design/Remodeling

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Scott A.

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding the kitchen & bath design process. My specialty is problem solving and advising clients about realistic expectations and proper procedures. Please feel free to use this forum for fact gathering and overall questions about the remodeling process and how to get started. I take special pride in solving unique design issues (issues unrelated to interior design).

Experience

I am the general manager of a kitchen & bath design showroom that offers complete sales, design, and installation services. Our products include cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances.

Education/Credentials
I have been working in the field of kitchen & bath design since receiving my B.S. degree in Architecture in 1992. I also own my own residential home design company, and have been designing custom homes for local builders since 1993.

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