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NFT: Any granite guys/fabricators amongst us?

GruningsOnTheHill : 12/2/2019 6:27 pm
We have a 36" x 16" farmhouse sink undermounted beneath a marinace granite countertop. Briefly, the white sink has always looked stark against the almond/biscuit/colonial cabinets and wall tile, and when I stumbled across a brand new/open box model of the exact same sink in the biscuit color for 1/3 of the original price, I pounced on it.

The sink I'd like to remove sits on 2" x 4" rails mounted under it on each side, and the top of the sink is caulked to the underside of the granite along the back and sides. I would just need to cut the caulk and slide the 100-pound beast right out.

Or so I thought.

One of the aforementioned 2" x 4" side rails was shimmed by the installer, and thus the sink along that side is wedged right up against the granite so I cannot get a knife in there to cut the bond. The back and other side are cut free, but I cannot break the bond along the one edge because it's so tight. Multiple spray applications of a "wonder product" called Caulk Remover predictably did nothing. I'm out of my depths here and I'm apprehensive about tapping a chisel in there or whacking the sink with a rubber mallet for fear of busting the granite.

I called two local granite fabricators who are quoting roughly (gulp) $400 to come over and free the sink from the granite, and they are telling me I will need to sign a waiver absolving them of potential damage to the granite countertop...

I was able to get in touch via email with the guy who did the installation years ago, and he moved his business to the other side of the state. He doesn't remember for sure, but he says he can't imagine having used epoxy or anything more than just silicone to form the bond. He said that on the positive side, the marinace is at the stronger end/less likely to break than the average slab of granite.

For those of you with experience, do I: a) continue trying with chemical removers/a thin guitar string/something else; b) pay a professional whatever they charge and hope it goes well; or c) learn to love the white sink that's in there, dump the open-box almond sink, and cut my losses? Thank you.
I'm not a granite fabricator,  
Raultney : 12/2/2019 7:59 pm : link
but I've done my share of installations.
Without an actual photo, I can't say 100% what you should do. However, if I'm picturing this right:
1. Can you remove the 2x4 in question?
2. If you can get a thin, glass-scraping blade, you might be able to slide it in between the sink and the countertop from the inside of the sink bowl and cut the silicone that way. Prop up the free side of the sink while you're doing this.

That's the best I can do. A pic would help. Good luck.
I've used...  
Ryan : 12/2/2019 8:17 pm : link
... monofilament fishing line to cut silicone joints on island tops I've replaced before.

If you can see the shims you could also try cutting them out with a thin blade on an oscillating tool if you have one - then re-shim when you install the new sink if you need to.
These things are typically  
idiotsavant : 12/3/2019 8:45 am : link
Accomplished on a look-see basis.

You hire someone good and honest and let them proceed. Have a quick chat after they see your project in person.
Hello, and thanks  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/3/2019 6:42 pm : link
to all for weighing in.

I did work at it a little bit with the "caulk release" spray and a razor knife last night and then again before work this morning. When I got home from work: behold! The sink was sitting right on top of the 2x4 ledge--as opposed to being suspended 1/16" above it with the shims removed, due to the caulk bond--and I can wave my razor knife all the way around without impediment.

I will get someone to help me with the weight of these sinks to do the swap this weekend, and it should be straightforward now.

I hope.
RE: These things are typically  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/3/2019 7:00 pm : link
In comment 14700871 idiotsavant said:
Accomplished on a look-see basis.

You hire someone good and honest and let them proceed. Have a quick chat after they see your project in person.

The honest part is tough. Someone came to give us an estimate today; my wife said the guy eyeballed it for a minute or two, and said it was going to be very tough to break that bond. He said $400 just to release the bond and pull the sink out. Any plumbing (removing the in-sink-erator and detaching the sink trap) would have to be done by someone else, and sliding the new sink into place would be an additional cost. No lifting of the granite/no cabinet disassembly necessary.

I understand that these guys have to make a living, but that's a massive chunk of change.
Now the question is:  
Raultney : 12/3/2019 7:02 pm : link
Whatcha gonna do with the $400 you saved by doing it yourself?
Bet it all  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/3/2019 7:15 pm : link
on NYG at Philadelphia (-8.5)?
Raultney : 12/3/2019 7:22 pm : link
It's your money. Glad things worked out for you.
The problem odd jobbers face is they  
idiotsavant : 12/3/2019 7:30 pm : link
Have to take half a day to switch from lawn tools to carpentry tools to paint stuff, jam the right stuff into the Ford, drive an hour, only for a 15 minute job.

It's not remotely possible to make a living unless you have a minimum charge.

The honest trick would be to inform potential clients about the minimum charge and suggest that they line up enough projects to make it worthwhile for both parties.

If you have to get a 30' ladder into a living room loaded with antiques and art, just to change a lightbulb, you have to charge. You have to get set up to do it correctly, the light is the least of it. While doing that you are not on another job or helping your kids with homework. There's insurance.
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