Removing undermount sink

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Old 03-01-15, 10:44 AM
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Removing undermount sink

It looks like the previous owners cleaned the sink with a wire brush. The enamel is completely gone on one side of the sink and I'd like to replace it. Don't like the style either.

Anyway, the sink is mounted under a granite counter top. As far as I can tell, there would only be two ways to remove it. Either by replacing the counter top, or cutting the sink out.

It appears to be a cast iron sink with a porcelain finish. The house was built in 2003, but I think the counters were redone later along with the sink.

I attached some pictures for reference. Is there an "easy" way to do this? can the sink be cut out?

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Old 03-01-15, 11:12 AM
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Have you tried cleaning with bleach. I have the same type of sink and just normal use with pots and pans will make it look as you describe. Softscrub and Barkeepers Friend will also remove light scratches on the surface of tubs and sinks.

It appears that your sink is an under mount, but it is also captured by a piece of plywood and not just held in place with fasteners. Will complicate a removal attempt.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 11:13 AM
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There's no easy way to remove it. Either the counter needs removed and replaced, or it needs to be cut out from below.
To cut out from below you will need a good oscillating tool with good quality blades (Fein Blades, who are the original makers of blades and tool).
Take your time and cut all around the perimeter, completely through the plywood. It's a slow process but is the best way.

The sink is porcelain on steel, not cast iron, and doesn't weigh much.

Edit: When I said replace counter, this means reinstall existing after sink is replaced.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 12:28 PM
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Yes, that's how we've been cleaning it for the past 3 years. It only lasts for a day or two though, and it's only a temporary solution. I was looking for something more permanant
 
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Old 03-01-15, 12:31 PM
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Handyone, how would one cut from below? There's no room to even get my fingers in, let alone any type of tool. What if I cut from the top, going through the porcelain first, right next to the counter surface? Would cutting through the steel be easier than cast iron?

Forgot to add: while I'm waiting for a more permanent solution, I picked up a resurfacing kit from Home Depot for $40. Just started the process. I'll post some progress picts as I go
 
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Old 03-01-15, 12:55 PM
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Don't place much faith in paint on refinishing kits. I have a good friend who re-glazes tubs and tile for a living. He acid etches, primes and then applies the finish coat. Just painting without the other steps is a waste of time and money. You are trying to get paint to adhere to a glossy surface and it will not last for any length of time. The end result will look worse than what you have now.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 01:36 PM
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Here's a before and after the first coat. Actually there is an initial cleaning phase which includes a cleaning solution that needs to be diluted with water then using steel wool to scuff up the old surface. Not as thorough as the steps your friend takes, but not as expensive either

I agree that it probably won't last a very long time, but there's no way it can look worse.

The gray sections are the delaminated sections of sink with no more porcelain left.

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Now, I need to wait 3 hours before applying the second coat, then wait 3 days before it can be used. So far it looks ok, but the smell of the enamel paint is really bad.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 01:46 PM
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Yeah Detour, I oversimplified it. Your best bet is to remove counter top, splash included.
This would best be done by professionals. After removing counter they can install a new under mount sink and reinstall top, you can plumb.
If you do want to remove sink yourself:

- Protect counter around sink
- Drill a few starting holes around perimeter of sink from above
- Cut out sink from above using a jigsaw. The jigsaw needs to be quality, like a Bosch, with new blades. A cheap saw is useless.
- Once you have cut out the majority of the sink from above, you can then cut through the plywood from below using the oscillating tool.

Don't be intimidated by cutting through steel, it is rather soft. The porcelain will chip while cutting so be wary of that.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 06:52 PM
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So here's the final result.

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Actually it came out pretty good. It doesn't look like a new porcelain sink, and it's not a completely smooth surface, but it's 10x better than before. Of course it still early and I think it still has some curing to do as it's not completely hardened, but it's hard enough to use and it looks good.

I'll probably end up getting some sort of sink grids or something for additional protection, but when it starts to look old again or starts chipping or something, I plan of cutting it out and getting a drop in. Did some research and a Dremel with an angle bit and a few of these EZ506CU blades should do the trick
 
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Old 03-05-15, 09:00 PM
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Yeah,
You could cut it out and install a top mount/self rimming sink. Shop around for one that fits the opening.
I can't believe the previous owners chose that sink to install with granite.
 
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Old 03-06-15, 04:52 AM
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I agree with Handyone, a top mount sink is the only way to go. Just for the reasons the OP is going through. Not uncommon. Most dealers will try to talk you into it. The undermount is currently in vogue but just like colored appliances it will fade. Top mount sinks are like white appliances or chrome fixtures, they stay in style.
 
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Old 03-06-15, 09:30 AM
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Yeah, that was the one thing that I hated when we bought the house and it's been bugging me every day for the last 4 years . I couldn't understand why someone would go through the trouble and expense to get granite with 7" back splash all around then get a cheesy undermount sink like that. Not only that, but how could they trash it that bad in such a short period of time. From what the neighbors have said though it makes sense. Apparently the PO's didn't take care of anything.

Anyway, been looking at drop ins and there are some pretty nice one's out there that aren't too expensive. I might not wait for this one to start wearing out before it's replaced.
 
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Old 05-17-15, 12:51 PM
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Update

OK, so it's been a couple of months since the refinishing. Turns out that the resurfacing kit actually worked out pretty well. The main problem I have is that the recommended 3 day curing period is way out of whack with reality. It really took about about 3 weeks to finally cure completely. You could probably begin using it after 3 days, but need to be extremely careful as anything that is set on it will sink in and leave a mark. Once it's done curing though it works and looks pretty good. Not like new, but definitely better than before.

Anyway, it was never meant as a permanent solution so I decided to bite the bullet and see if I could drop a new one in. Settled on a granite composite single bowl - this one - Franke USA | SGR3322-1 - Composite Granite Single Bowl Sink

The toughest part was trying to find the exact bowl measurements online. I went to Lowes and had the guy open the box on this one so I could look at how it was constructed around the lip and bowl. While it looked like it would fit, there were attachment points that looked like they might get in the way. Figured, I could just grind them off if needed. Everything else seemed like it might work. It was a big "might" though. If it didn't, we wouldn't have a sink.

As expected, the hardest part was cutting the old one out. I ended up using a combination of two tools. A Dremel with the metal cutting blade and angle attachment as mentioned earlier and a pneumatic angled die grinder with a metal cutting blade. The both worked pretty good, but the angle head on the Dremel wasn't up to task and I ended up just using the cutting blade attached normally. It took a total of 1 day to cut the whole thing out. Friday afternoon to evening and Saturday morning to afternoon.

Here are some pictures of the old sink while I was cutting it out.

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As suspected, the tabs on the new sink were keeping it from mounting flush on the counter top. The Dremel blade cut through the 4 of them pretty easily. In fact the Dremel outperformed the Die Grinder. That cutting blade is awesome. Once all of the tabs were cut off and ground down, I test fitted the new sink about 8 times. I ran into a problem with the faucet attachment hitting the back of the counter top causing the sink to wobble side to side a little if you pushed on it, so I had to find a way to grind back the granite around the faucet. Once again the Dremel attachment was able to cut and grind the granite enough so that the faucet attachment didn't get in the way

While the sink doesn't fit completely flush with the counter top, it is secure and once the clear silicone is applied you can't even tell. Here's the finished product. Not the best silicone job ever, but I'll work on cleaning it up later.








Almost forgot to mention the plumbing part. Luckily I was able to use the existing piping without the need for different lengths or attachments. The P trap swiveled nicely to the new location. An added bonus to having a single drain is the cleaner look underneath.

I'm posting this follow up in the hopes that someone in a similar situation sees that it is possible for a semi handy home owner to DIY. Not sure how much it would have cost to have a professional put it in, but it ended up costing me about $550 for all parts.
 
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Old 05-17-15, 01:04 PM
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Great job. I think it looks as good as a professional would do. Only difference, you know the about the mistakes and the work arounds.
 
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Old 05-17-15, 02:48 PM
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Great Job I must say as well.

If you're unhappy with the silicone, you can redo it. Cut out old silicone.
Tape off a nice clean line when applying new silicone, use mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to clean off excess.
 
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Old 05-19-15, 08:32 AM
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Nice tip Handyone. I think I'll give it a try

Thanks for comments everyone.
 
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