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Question DetailsAsked on 11/4/2016

I am having an oval sink installed into a silestone counter top, how close to the edge can I mount the sink

I need the sink as close to the edge as possible as my daughter is in a wheelchair and has trouble leaning over to clean her teeth. I bought a semi vessel sink thinking I could mount the top about 1" from the front of the counter but the contractor has set it back 5" because he said the silestone will crack if it is cut any closer. Now my daughter can not lean over to rinse her mouth out and I feel I have wasted money because I was told that I could mount a vessel sink closer to the edge than a drop in sink.

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2 Answers


Yes you can mount a vessel sink closer to the front edge than a normal sink, as long as it is not fully recessed. Like this -


Commonly for handicapped access the sink is lowered below normal mounting height, especially for surface mounted vessel basins - by lowering the cabinet, or sometimes by cutting down the cabinet at the sink only (so a step-down) to install the sink lower, like is common for one basin in older public restrooms before all basins/sinks started being built to ADA standards. Here is a drawing with normal ADA requirements on height and depth and such -

Now - normally the front lip of a vessel sink can actually overhang the front of the counter if you want - assuming it is surface mounted or only shallowly recessed and at least about 8-10 inches in front to back "depth". The key dimension is the amount of countertop material required to be left in front of the cutout - normally about 4" is the manufacturer recommended minimum without specifically reinforcing that strip - down to about 2" is commonly done when full support for the front edge is assured and it is bonded to the support (commonly by epoxying on a 3/4" plywood supporting base under the countertop). I have seen and done ones with less than 2" front edge (down to about 1 inch) but only when the entire countertop was laminated to a supporting underlayer - effectively thickening the countertop and making it essentially act as a laminate.

So - how close it can get depends on the support of the countertop, the contractor and how iffy he is willing to go, and how recessed the bowl is. Obviously, if fully recessed (so not really a vessel sink at all - becomes basically a rimmed sink) then the front edge of the sink has that much of a minimum setback from the front edge of the countertop. Potentially, with surface mounting (so the only hole in the countertop is at the drain and the vessel basin sits basically on top of the countertop - though this can cause issues with accessibility unless the countertop is now low because the basin rim is higher by the depth of the basin) then the rim could overhang the front lip of the countertop by an amount close to about the following: half the front-to-back dimension of the bowl minus half the drain hole dimension minus the minimum front edge countertop clearance.

So - for example say a 16" "deep" bowl - with a 5" front countertop lip like he wants and say a 2" diameter drain hole through the countertop, that would put the center of the sink at say 6" minimum back from the front (front lip dimension plus 1/2 of drain hole diameter) - which in this case would mean the front edge of the 16" sink (8 inch to center) would overhang the countertop edge by 2 inches. With his 5" dimension anything more than about a 12" front-to-back dimension basin could have zero clearance from the countertop edge to rim edge - smaller basins would set back from the countertop edge by respective amounts. Obviously, the larger the sink the more overhang you could have, bearing in mind of course that overhang cannot by code infringe on the clear walking space in front of the sink - 21-30 inches depending on code requirements in your area, and 30 inches minimum per ADA for handicapped accessible bathrooms.

IF the holes for the sink have not been drilled in the countertop yet, he should be able to handle this - though if sink is small it may not work (especially if he sticks with the 5" front lip dimension) and you may need a deeper one. If holes have already been done, makes it tougher though if necessary they can be decoratively plugged with either silestone cores or with available hole plugs for sinks - caulked in to avoid drip-throughs from wet countertop. (If already drilled holes are plugged, using same color silestone would still show a circular ring so commonly contrasting color is used for plugs - or better yet for say faucet holes behind the sink that need plugging, plug then epoxy on a soapdish or toothbrush or liquid soap holder or such.

Another solution if the installation has already been done but she can reach the faucets and such OK - use a portable basin or bowl for the tooth brushing, which she can hold on her lap.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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