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deeaa 07-12-2008 10:19 AM

Caulking around kitchen sink
Okay, so we got the counter in last night, fixed the issues we had with that and then got the stainless steel kitchen sink in this morning. It's a fairly standard sink with the lip that sit on top of the counter. The problem, is that it doesn't fit perfectly snug to the countertop mostly I think because of the putty underneath. The putty was a grey colour and as a result, if you stand back, you can see grey and then gapping where the putty didn't come as forward as much as it did in other spots. My question is, should I use some latex caulk around the outside of the sink to deal with the gaps and if so, what colour should I use considering my countertop is black? If I use the black caulk, surely you will see it clearly on the stainless sink but, if I use the clear caulk, you wil still be able to see the gaps where the grey putty isn't as thick. Any suggestions???? Thanks!

Termite 07-12-2008 01:54 PM

First of all, you need to use kitchen and bathroom silicone. What you want to do is fill the void, not get caulk on the sink. I'd suggest applying a small bead, doing your best to get it in the gap. Don't worry about how it looks.

Next, use a wet finger to form the caulk. The majority of the caulk will end up on your finger, as it will actually take very little to fill the gap. Use wet rags to clean your finger off every few inches or so, and to keep your finger moist. Then use a moist sponge and a bucket of water to go over the whole thing a little bit at a time. Clean the sponge often. The sponge should remove all but the caulk that is in the void.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-12-2008 06:00 PM


The lip of the kitchen sink should be relatively flat, as should be the counter top. I don't understand why the kitchen sink isn't sitting flat on top of the counter.

The putty you put under the lip of the sink is there to prevent water from leaking under that lip. The whole space under the lip of the sink should be full of putty. When you tightened the sink down, putty should have oozed out from under that lip.

Perhaps you simply need to use more clips on your sink to pull down the areas where the lip is sticking up high?

angus242 07-12-2008 07:37 PM

I agree with Nestor. There should be some kind of clips that pull the sink toward the counter. Typically SS sinks are only 20-18GA. I believe if you tightened the clips from underneath, the lip should pull tighter to the counter.
If not, maybe pull it back out, remove the putty and put a large bead of 100% silicone around the counter where the sink lip will go. Make sure you install the sink quickly afterwards. Don't let the caulk start to skin over. Now when you tighten the sink back down, some of the silicone may ooze out, just use KCs advice for dealing with the excess. Watch for excess oozing from the inside too. It may drip to the base of the cabinet.

deeaa 07-13-2008 06:42 AM

It's an ikea sink that came with this grey putty stuff that rolls out like tape. It's very stretchy and thick. It's not as squishy as the regular putty. The sink fit tight to the counter before we applied it so it's obviously the cause. We're going to pull the sink up again and put either the plummer putty on or the silicone stuff. Which do you think is better? We had a lot of trouble getting the excess silicone off the counter when we used it for the corner joint so I'm hesitant to use it again. If we use this stuff and wipe off the excess immediately, will it come off without any trouble? Also, once we finally get the sink to fit tightly, is it necessary to use the kitchen cault around the outside rim if there are no gaps?? Thanks again. Obviously, I have next to no experience with this kind of stuff but really want to learn. You're comments are super helpful.

MinConst 07-13-2008 07:56 AM

While the sink is still in. Tape off the area right up to the sink with blue painters tape. If this putty your talking about is showing outside the rim of the sink scrape it off first so the tape bonds to the counter. Then remove the sink, remove the caulk tape and place a bead of kitchen bath silicone II (GE) around the counter right next to the cutout. A nice even 1/4" bead should suffice. Set the sink in place and tighten the clips under it. You can press down on the sink to help it seat while tightening the clips. Some sinks will have a slight curve and relying on the clips to pull it down may snap the clips off. So helping it down is better. Slight pressure is all thats needed. When the sink is set and clamped to its final position, remove the tape and you will have a minimum of cleanup. Do cleanup the caulk as explained above asap and make sure you get it all while it is still wet.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-13-2008 12:10 PM

MinConst: I wouldn't mark the sink's location now since Deeaa probably didn't center the sink in the hole to begin with. If we mark the sink location now on the counter top, we're only going to succeed in getting it just as much out of whack on the next attempt. So, me thinks it would be best to center the sink first.


Here's what I'd do:

Get under that sink and remove the clips and disconnect the drain.

Pull the sink out and remove that stuff from Ikea from the sink and counter top. Clean both the underside of the sink rim and the perimeter of the counter top hole with paint thinner and dry with a paper towel (or whatever).

1. First, center the sink in the hole:

Drop the sink into the hole and move it North, South, East and West, and mark the furthest extent of the sink's travel in every direction with a piece of masking tape, felt pen, or whatever. (Check to see that the sink sits flat on top of the counter now, too.)

Position the sink so that it's about in the middle of all 4 marks so that you know that it's centered in the hole in the counter top. Now, mark the perimeter of the sink in that position with masking tape, felt pen or whatever.

2. Now install the sink:

Throw that stuff that came with the sink in the garbage where it belongs and apply a mound of plumber's putty around the hole in your counter top. Apply a fairly thick mound to make a watertight seal..

Lower the sink into the hole and press it down onto the plumber's putty so that the rim of the sink aligns with the marks made earlier when the sink was centered in the hole. Keep pushing down until the plumber's putty starts to ooze out from under the sink rim.

Now, get under the sink and install the clips and tighten them gradually, allowing plenty of time for the plumber's putty to ooze out from under the sink lip. Have a helper keep checking that the sink is still aligned with the marks made when the sink was centerd in the hole. To do that, he/she will have to keep removing the plumber's putty that comes oozing out.

If you don't have a clip at the front of the sink, or good access to it, simply put a board onto the lip of the sink at the front, and use a large clamp or two to clamp the board down onto the lip of the sink at the front. That will push the lip at the front of the sink down onto the counter top.

Connect the drain, fill the sink with water and test for leaks.

deeaa 07-13-2008 02:03 PM

Great directions. Thanks very much. Is it necessary to caulk the outside edge once all that is done or should the plumber's putty be sufficient?

Nestor_Kelebay 07-13-2008 03:12 PM

The plumber's putty is all you need.

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