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Originally published Friday, January 11, 2013 at 8:01 PM

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Small kitchen remodel can make big change

Swap out drop-in sink without removing countertop.

Scripps Howard News Service

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Ed the plumber

Q: We’re planning to do a small kitchen remodel job by just changing our “drop-in”-style sink. Since we are not changing the counter or cabinets, can you give us any ideas on how we can make a big change by just replacing our present kitchen sink? — Sue in New York

A: An advantage to having a drop-in sink like yours is that it can usually be removed and changed out easily, since the sink mounts from the top of the counter. So, in most cases you can change the sink without removing the countertop.

On the other hand, “under mount”-style sinks are usually locked in under the counter, so in most cases the countertop would be removed along with the sink. This would be a much larger project, and I wanted to point that out.

Now, if you’re looking to take your sink replacement to the next level, I’ve seen drop-in-style stainless-steel apron-front sinks that should be able to work with your present kitchen setup. These new-style sinks have a thin stainless-steel self-trimming rim, and the sink slides into place after your contractor makes a few carpentry cuts. The finished front side of the sink simply overlaps the existing cabinet supports.

This gives you the look of a custom “farmhouse”-sink installation without all the custom woodwork. This way you can upgrade your drop-in job without dropping big bucks on a complete remodel job!

Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or email eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes. Sorry, no personal replies.


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