What Is a Self-Rimming Sink?


Although self-rimming sinks are used in both kitchens and bathrooms, they are most commonly used in kitchens. The advantages of self-rimming sinks are their relatively low cost and ease of installation. They are also designed to accommodate counter-mounted faucets or sink-mounted faucets. Self-rimming sinks can be easily identified by their rounded edges. These edges are used support the sink within the countertop, hence the name "self-rimming."

Self-Rimming Sinks in General

  • Kitchen-sink designs generally fall within three categories: self-rimming, metal-rim and rimless. Of these three, the self-rimming sink is the most common design due to its straightforward installation. Self-rimming sinks are commonly produced out of cast iron, stainless steel, solid-surface resin or porcelain, and they feature rolled edges that rest against the top of the countertop. The vast majority of self-rimming sink are secured to the countertop only with a bead of caulk, but stainless-steel self-rimming sinks are also secured with mounting clips underneath the sink. A common criticism of the self-rimming style is that material on the countertop cannot be easily swept into the sink because of the rolled edges.

Cutting the Countertop

  • You may be able to find a self-rimming sink the same size as your existing kitchen sink, in which case there is no need to expand the sink opening in the countertop. If cutting the countertop is necessary, use the cutting template supplied with the sink to trace a cutting line around the edges of the template. Use a saber saw fitted with a blade specifically designed to cut through countertops to make the cut. If cutting into a countertop that does not have a sink, drill a hole anywhere inside the template line and begin the cut from inside the hole. It is important to support the underside of the countertop to prevent the cut portion of the counter from breaking off and damaging the rest of the counter.

Installing the Sink

  • Once the countertop is cut, installing the sink varies slightly depending on whether the sink is made from stainless steel. For all sink materials, apply a bead of silicone caulk or plumber's putty around the edges of the countertop, then lower the sink into the counter and press the sink downward firmly. Clean away any caulking that squeezes out from under the sink's lip with a plastic putty knife. Installing a stainless-steel sink requires one more step. You must attach the mounting clips included with the sink to the underside of the sink. Position the clips within the grooves on the bottom of the sink, then tighten each clip's securing bolt to pull the sink tightly against the countertop.

Removing a Self-Rimming Sink

  • If you are replacing an existing self-rimming sink in favor of a new sink, you must first disconnect the drain lines from the bottom of the sink. Have a bucket ready when disconnecting the lines, as they will probably contain a small amount of water. If removing a stainless-steel sink, remove the mounting clips from the underside of the sink. Cut through the caulking seal between the top of the countertop and the edges of the sink with a utility knife and lift the sink out of the counter. If the sink will not lift out easily, you may need an assistant to push the underside of the sink while you lift upward on the top of the sink.

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  • "Ten Pound Books: Home Improvement Guide"; Creative Publishing International; 2006
  • "Home Improvement 1-2-3"; The Home Depot; 2003
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