Create Sink Cutouts in Solid Surface Countertops
True, full-scale Corian or other solid-surface brand counters nearly always turn out best when certified fabricators and installers do the job. But as a do-it-yourselfer, you can produce a pretty good small solid-surface countertop on your own for bathrooms, bars, or small kitchens.
After you cut the material down to size, you will need to make a more complicated inside cut for your sink.
With a little prep work, it is easy to make a cutout for a top-mount sink without special fabrication tools or a router. All you need are common shop tools and some patience.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Rotary cutting tool
- Extra blades for rotary tool
- Cutting guide track
- Painter's tape
- F-type clamps
Create Sink Outline on the Counter With Painter's Tape
Lay the sink facedown on the solid surface. Draw an outline of the sink or, as shown here, mark off the outline with painter's tape. Be precise about this, as errors will become magnified with the next few steps.
Once you have created the outside outline, you will need to create another outline. This second outline will be just inside the previous one. All sinks have different specs. With the 15x15 bar sink shown here, the inner outline should be 3/8 inch farther inward.
Mark off this second inner outline with painter's tape.
Drill Two Pilot Holes Per Straight Side
Think of your sink cutout as happening in two phases: straight lines and corners. You'll cut straight lines first, corners second.
Press four tabs of painter's tape down on each corner at a 45-degree angle. The purpose is to preserve this area for your future corner cuts.
Because rotary cutting tools are drills, you can drill straight into the solid surface material. Drill two pilot holes per side.
Clamp Down Your Cutting Guide Track
Rest your rotary cutter on the solid surface material, with the blade extended into one of the pilot holes. Place your guide track (fence) next to the rotary cutter.
Clamp down the fence at this spot, with the fence touching the guard of the rotary cutter. Repeat for the second pilot hole on that intended line. Readjust the first clamp if necessary.
Make Your Straight Cuts
Power on the rotary cutter. Move the cutter slowly along your fence, starting at one pilot hole and ending at the next one. Let the rotary cutter "tell you" how fast you can move; do not rush.
Wear eye and hearing protection when cutting any solid surface counter material. A respirator is also recommended, as melting solid surface materials can give off noxious fumes.
Make Your Corner Cuts
With four lines cut, you now must cut the inside corners. DuPont recommends that the inside radius of your corner be no less than 3/16 of an inch (5mm).
You can trace this out with a coin or you can just eyeball it as you cut. Since the lip of the sink will cover the corners, appearance does not matter.
Be sure the cut-out and top are supported before making the last corner cut. Allowing it to just drop could cause the top to break or crack when the cut is far enough for gravity to pull the cut-out down.
After the last cut, the inside cutout will drop. If solid surface debris is clogging any of the cut lines, lightly run the rotary cutter through that line to remove the debris.
Now you've just proven to yourself that you really can tackle a fairly involved home project by yourself. Congratulations!