Karran undermount sink in laminate thumb1

I got the insanely awesome privilege of traveling down to Vincennes, Indiana to the Karran Sink headquarters to learn the process of installing undermount sinks into laminate.  Did you know that is possible?? After doing a truckload of research I decided months ago that I wanted to upgrade my current builder’s basic laminate with something new and install an undermount sink.  The only option that seemed viable and able to withstand wear and tear was the process that Karran uses to install their sinks.  They have a patented sink product that allows you to get a seamless sink to laminate install…and it is awesome!

karran undermount sink in laminate

I chose Formica FX 180 in Soapstone Sequoia.  It looks like a faux slate.  It is grey with white veining going through it.  You can buy it for about $13 a sq. ft at Lowes.  I haven’t checked elsewhere but you might be able to find a better deal.

So they first used this kick awesome saw to cut the laminate to my counter’s specifications.countertop saw

Then from the underneath of the laminate they attached a template and routered out the particle board in order to the put the sink in.

routing undermount sink

They routed out all the wood until they could see some of the brown of the laminate peaking through.  It was a rather dusty process (me sans makeup…but for some reason I found earrings necessary???)

eye protection

Then they used some special solution to remove the 1/8” wood layer left behind.installing undermount sink in formica

They used a special glue to adhere the sink to the underside of the laminate.

karran undermount sink

Then they installed the sink and we had to wait about 45 minutes for the glue to dry.  I was dying at this point.  I was so excited to see it flipped over and routed out.

undermount sink in formica

After it was all dry he put some silicone around the edge to seal it and then added some more wood to give it extra stability.

installing undermount sink

Then he drilled out the countertop part and routed the edge where the countertop meets the sink.  Squuuealll! There it is!

karran sink

Then he drilled holes for my faucet and soap dispenser.

undermount sink in formica countertop

Then he attached the countertop together and filled the seam with some seam fill stuff.

seam filling miter of countertop

Then we strapped my new countertop in and I made the trek home.  We got back and screwed the countertop back in place and reinstalled the plumbing.

karran sink undermount

I can’t tell you how I much I love my countertop and undermount sink.  It is so nice just to wipe right into the sink without having to deal with the lip of a drop in sink.  It is a lot more sanitary as well.  After we took my old sink out you would not believe how nasty it smelled around that caulked edge where dirt and grime get stuck.


For those of you, who like me don’t live in a neighborhood where granite or a hard surface makes sense in the long run, this a beautiful way to get a similar look.

So how much does it cost?  Well the Formica is the same price so you can’t factor that in.  A regular stainless steel double bowl drop in sink costs around $100 – $150.  For a Karran sink with install it is about $450-$500.  So you are looking at an extra $350-400 or so to have an undermount sink option.  So yes it is definitely an upgrade but not anywhere near how much you would pay for granite, marble or solid surface.

If you are interested in this as an option here is a list of retailers in your area.

Tomorrow I will show you my new subway tile backsplash.  My kitchen looks so different now.


Disclaimer:  I received the sink and the countertop in exchange for this post. As always, my opinions are always my own.

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  1. Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but did receive the sink and the countertop in exchange for this post. As always, my opinions are always my own.

    Is that not compensation?

  2. Looks awesome! So glad to know this is an option because for us granite is not an option either. I will be sharing this post with hubby and saving it for when we actually get to our kitchen upgrade.

  3. Well I guess it is. I was just trying to comply with FCC rules and let you know I did receive the countertop and sink for free but that they did not actually give me cash in exchange for it. How should I have written it?

  4. Looks great! And I totally get the earrings without make=up..I’m not dressed without earrings!

  5. Hmm do I note a bit of a debbie downer in the comments???? I just want you to say thank you for showing us this option and congratulations on your new sink and countertop! I, for one, know ALL the HARD work you put into your blog. Growing and maintaining a blog of this caliber is NO EASY task! In fact it is truly a full time job!! So congratulations, and enjoy the rewards of your hard work!!! Love the new counters and sink…. I am thinking this is something we may look into once we have a few more bills paid off… (but in the mean time I am going to squirrel away my left over grocery money… to go towards this!)

  6. That looks great. Stainless steel is so in these days. I have had Karran’s bisque acrylic sink installed under laminate in my home for a while now and I just love the look and functionality of it. What a great laminate choice too. Love that Formica color.

  7. Isn’t it wonderful? I noticed it was an option at big box stores but not advertises as much as in the smaller kitchen stores. It is so nice! I would love to see a pic of yours. What formica did you choose?

  8. I am electronically challenged so not quite sure how to do this. Can I upload here or shall i email?

  9. I’ve been doing these for years now, with almost 2 doz happy customers, both stainless and the acrylic, it’s a great option and a nice clean look. Mine are all built from scratch so the process is a bit different than yours.

  10. What a neat process and awesome alternative! I love our undermount sink and yours looks fabulous surrounded by that beautiful countertop! Definitely suggesting this to those looking for an affordable kitchen upgrade! Thanks for sharing, Beckie!

  11. That is pretty cool you can do that with laminate!! Undermount sinks are the way to go, for sure!!

    Looks awesome, so nice to get a fresh and clean sink and kitchen upgrade, I’m with ya on that. Almost makes you want to do dishes!!

    I said almost.

  12. I love undermount sinks and I don’t even have one! Yours looks great and super sleek. I can only imagine the funk that gets caught in the other kind. Yuk. Can’t wait to see the tile tomorrow!

  13. Wow! I didn’t know they could do that. So cool! And I loved seeing all the pictures of the process. The parts on Mr. Rogers and Reading Rainbow where they showed you how crayons are made we always my favorite. I am a nerd like that 😛

  14. Well, all right, I have a blog site too on kitchens and baths and so forth. Some time back I got a free roll of Formica, and god willing, I will put it to use in the next few months for a project I’m making for my wife’s home office. Here’s the thing, though. We had already decided that we would use Formica in her office, and had already picked out that particular type of Formica. Then, because I visited their booth, as part of my blogging work, I got an opportunity to get for free what I had already decided I was going to buy. Did they BUY my opinion? Hell no!

    I have also seen Karran Sinks in person and have long since decided that I will use them in our kitchen when we remodel it. I’m a cabinetmaker and have the skills to do this sort of thing. I can put down a Formica countertop myself for about a thousand dollars or so. Budget is very important to our kitchen plans. I will make the cabinetry myself. And because I think so very highly of Formica, that is what we will use for the countertop. There is no other surface I can use in that price range with the exception of ceramic tile. I have had that countertop material for some 30 years now and have long since wearied of it. We will also use a Karran Sink because it enables us to do something marvelous with the countertop.

    I would love to get this stuff free, but whether I do or not, I will use them because I believe in them. I will also write blogs on the process when that time comes. But my opinion is not for sale, and I believe Beckie when she says the same thing, that she’s not for sale. Sometimes along the way bloggers get an occasional freebie. But if they have integrity—and I believe Beckie does—it doesn’t turn their heads.

  15. I am DYING to get an undermount sink. I have jealousy issues now. {tee hee} I loved seeing this whole process Beckie! And it makes me even more determined to get something similar at my house.

  16. I did not know that you could have an undermount sink with a laminate countertop but I’m happy I do now. Love that companies are creating ways to give consumers more options in different price points for home renovation. I am not a fan of drop in sinks so that has always been a big factor in choosing countertops in the past. This is awesome!

  17. Wow – what a cool experience. I would love to see that. And I love the picture of you in the glasses LOL!! Oh my goodness – the sink looks awesome and the subway tile. Eeeeek!! It all looks so good!!!! Love the sink!


  18. It looks fantastic, Beckie! And how cool that they would let you come see how it’s all done! I love to hear about companies like that. Loving how it looks!

  19. LOVE IT!!! The sink looks awesome with the counter top! I’m not gonna lie, I was doubting that it would all look “like it went together”, but now that I see it, i LOVE IT! It almost looks like marble 🙂 Great color choice. And the pull out faucet and subway tile??? yum!

  20. That is amazing! It looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us that that is even possible! I bet it will give so many others so many more design options.

  21. That is seriously cool! I thought I knew a lot about kitchen sinks, but I didn’t know of this option. What a beautiful look! Thank you for sharing all the behind the scenes stuff. I love that!
    Pinned it!

  22. It looks great, and how cool that you got to watch that whole process.
    Fab earrings too!
    And I know what you mean about the drip edge getting all yucky! So this is so much better and cleaner.
    Can’t wait to see the rest of the kitchen progress.

  23. Love this. Thank you so much for sharing this info. I want to remidel my kitchen and laminate is in the budget not granite. I so wanted a undermount sink. I love this idea for when we do the remodel. I love your blog. Thanks so much for sharing all your info.

  24. Wow, I had no idea you could do that with laminate! Now I feel like I have a doable option for our kitchen countertops. Granite is just way too expensive for the way home values have tumbled in our area.

  25. It looks terrific. I wish I would have selected this option when we built our house. I would love it if you would link this post on the Thursday hop this week. Hugs!

  26. Analisa, I love this idea, and would like to do it my own home. How long have you had it installed? How is the edge holding up?

  27. Geoff, how is the countertop edge (around the sink) holding up? I would love to do this in our home but am skeptical!

  28. Julie it is guaranteed for three years I believe. They have a patent on it and it is supposed to hold up for the life of the laminate.

  29. i am so happy to know about this info. we do not all live in homes that we want to put such expensive countertops but still admire the undercounter sink instalation. I may have missed the info about the labot portion of this. i got the materials availability from Lowes. I had a real challenge trying to read the post with all the popups everytime i moved my cursor to try to scroll.

  30. Julie, we have had it in since 2005. Edge of the laminate is holding up very well. I asked about warranty as well and was told it would never fail because of the type of glue used. I think they are right.

  31. Pops ups??? What? There should not be any pops up on my site. i am freaking out right now. Can you tell me where the pops up were? What ads were they?

  32. one is a large redhouse and the other one is an expanding one for underwear and i am so sorry that i do not recall the exact name of the product. they completely covered the part i was trying to read, invitation to participate in some sort of survey floated over all of that . Again i am so sorry that i do not recall the exact names. there was also another sort of quarter moon shaped and it was yellow. i ran my antivirus anti spam to be sure it was not something from me and came up clear.

  33. I have to agree with nester–you do look adorable in that picture, even without makeup.
    Your sink and counter look fabulous! How great that you got to see it all transpire! Love your sink…hate mine!


  34. Thanks for your response. I was not trying to be mean, I was merely trying to understand why you would write such a disclaimer when the cost of item itself could be construed as a compensation. I am not aware of the FCC?? rules???. I am just newly entering the world of blogging. BTW, I love the content on your site.

  35. We have an acrylic Karran sink in laminate in our showroom. I am curious about the special liquid to remove the 1/8″ of particle board, and also curious what bit is used to router the laminate around the stainless edge? Looks good.


  36. I didn’t think you were trying to be mean, I did change it to not make it confusing. Per FCC rules I have to tell people when I get stuff for free and when I am paid. I was just trying to make it clear.

  37. Dave, the liquid was a solvent like lacquer thinner or toluene. Just enough to soften the wood and help in its removal. The bit is a 10 degree bevel bit with an over-sized nylon bearing. Over-sized is the key because it keeps the cutting face away from the steel wall. The lower the bit is set in the router, the closer it cuts to the steel. It certainly takes a few passes lowering each time to cut the laminate away from the steel just right.

  38. How do you like soapstone sequoia formica countertop? Want to use but I am a little concerned about the durability of it.

  39. I love it so far. I haven’t had it for a long time, but I love Formica. What are your concerns? I feel like Formica countertops are pretty indestructible.

  40. I have the same question too on durability. My husband and I area thinking of installing the soapstone sequoia laminate and we have a sample at the house. Is it easy to clean with the texture? Does it scratch and if so, are the scratches visible? I love the look, but want it to hold up!

  41. It is awesome. I love it. Because of the veining of the pattern, no scratches are visible. It has held up amazingly well, and I would choose it again all over. Hope that helps! 🙂

  42. We are in the process of a kitchen remodel and I desperately want a seamless sink. Around how much did the sink cost? No retailers in my area have even heard of this.

  43. Did your countertop manufacture do your sink install or did you have to take it somewhere else?

  44. I also am having the soapstone sequoia & karran sink installed in a couple weeks.I came across your site & love how it looks! Your faucet is very nice, can you tell me the brand? Also, what is the color of your cabinets, thanks

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