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How to Install a Semi-Recessed Vessel Sink (STEP-BY-STEP Guide)

How to Install a Semi Recessed Vessel Sink

A semi-recessed bathroom vessel sink refers to a sink that is installed partly into the structure of a cabinet. So, how do you install a semi-recessed vessel sink?

The sink is installed in such a way that it cannot be seen without opening up the doors on the cabinet.

When it comes to implementing remodeling activities in the bathroom, people are constantly opting for sinks that are more customizable.

With the sink, similar to a wall-mounted option, you can easily adjust the height during installation to better suit the needs of your family.


What is a Semi Recessed Sink

These sinks do come in a wide variety of designs, with circular, oval, and rectangular-shaped options being the more popular choices.

Some vessel sinks are specifically designed to be used in a recessed installation. There are, however, options that provide a multipurpose solution. These can be installed either on top of the cabinet or as a recessed sink.

In terms of a semi-recessed sink, these usually feature an angled design, which allows the sink to be placed on an opening in the countertop without slipping through the hole.

How to Install Semi-Recessed Vessel Sink

Step 1: Marking and Planning the Placement

The vessel sink placement first needs to be planned out to ensure efficiency in the installation process. It is important to consider the type of vessel sink you will be using.

Get a marker and place the sink on top of the vanity cupboard. Use the marker to draw a line where the base of the vessel sink runs.

You should also make a note of where the drain will be. The sink should go to the specific spot where you want to install it before you make any markings.

Once you have this outline, subtract about ½ an inch from the inside of the drawing. This forms the line that you will use when cutting out a placement for the sink.

If the sink has an angle at the base, then you should keep this in mind. In such a case, you may need to draw an outline that represents the size of the sink halfway between the base and the top.

Step 2: Making a Cutout

The next step is to actually create a cutout where the sink will be placed. Use the final line that you drew as a guideline.

Precision cutting can help you get a better fit for the vessel sink installation. Start by making the cutout, as this will give you something to work with.

Once the cutout is made, you want to test the fitting of the sink. Place the sink into the hole. A part of the sink should remain present above the top of the vanity cabinet while the rest of the sink lowers into the cupboard.

It is better to cut a hole that is a bit too small than one that is larger than it should be. With a small hole, you’ll be able to increase the size of the hole to provide a better fit for the sink.

Thus, start with the minimum size if you are not 100% sure that you have the right guideline drawn on the vanity top.

Step 3: Securing the Sink

Now that you have a cutout that provides a proper fit for the sink, the next step is mounting. When mounting a semi-recessed vessel sink, you’ll need to use a cured silicone. It is a good idea to use a neutral option, as this won’t interfere with the colors of either the sink or your vanity cabinet.

Apply the silicone to the recessed edges of the sink. Some people also prefer to place some of the silicone on the cutout. It is important to avoid using putty at this point. Silicone provides a waterproof shield and offers a secure fit for the vessel sink.

After applying the silicone, immediately fit the vessel sink into the cutout you made earlier. At this time, the silicone has not been cured yet.

Take extra care to ensure you put the vessel sink in the specific region you need it to be. Once in position, you should leave the silicone to cure. This means you should not be using the sink for the time being.

Final Step: Fittings and Plumbing

A final step is to connect the plumbing to your new bathroom sink. You’ll also need to connect faucets during this step. Connect the existing plumbing in your bathroom to the drain on the sink.

If you run into compatibility issues, you may need to get a converter.

In a situation where there is no plumbing, a plumber may be needed to help with this step. Some vessel sinks come with designated spots where faucets can be fitted, but this is not always the case.

Take a look at how the faucets work and follow the appropriate steps to install a set – which may include either two separate taps or a single mixer faucet.

How to Install a Vessel Sink Over Existing Sink

If you already have a sink with a cutout in the bathroom, then the process of converting to a vessel sink that has a semi-recessed mount is a bit different. If this is your situation, follow the steps we outline below.

Step 1: Removing the Current Sink

You will need to start the process by removing the current sinks. This may require a bit of cutting, especially if a hardened putty was used to mount the sinks.

Make sure you consider the plumbing at this point too. The drain section of the sink should be disconnected from the plumbing. Depending on the specific scenario, you may also need to remove the faucets for now.

Step 2: Measuring, Opening, and Adjustments

When your sink is out, you’ll be sitting with an existing opening in the vanity cabinet. You should take a measurement of the opening while also keeping the shape in mind.

If you want to adjust the shape when installing a new bathroom sink, you’ll likely need to make additional cuts in order to modify the existing shape of the hole.

Step 3: Fitting New Sink

Once you have taken the measurements into consideration and got a new sink, the next step is to fit the vessel sink. At this point, you may need to make a few additional adjustments.

After the sink fits perfectly in the opening, you’ll need to apply some cure silicone. Before reconnecting the plumbing and faucets, make sure you give the silicone an appropriate period of time to completely cure.

On-Top Installation of the Sink

On-top installation requires less cutting, and you only need to cut a hole for the drain pipe like in the bowl.

  • Use colored masking tape to mark the diameter of the bowl where it will sit and the bottom hole.
  • Use a sabre saw or driller to cut a hole for the drainage pipe.
  • Turn over the bowl and spread the sealant on the bottom. Use a secure and waterproof sealant.
  • Align the drain hole and the holes in the countertop and press down the bowl to make sure it sticks with the base evenly.

Vessel Sink Using Set-In Installation

Set-in installation is when you fix the bowl on the countertop.

  • Place the bowl upside down on the countertop and mark the diameter.
  • Trace the rims of the bowl and also trace the drainpipe hole.
  • Cut the drainpipe hole according to the measurement of you’re the hole cut in the bottom of the bowl
  • Use a driller or sabre saw to cut the hole for drainage pipe on the countertop
  • Draw another line ¾ inches from where you have drawn the first line.
  • Use a sabre saw or driller to cut the countertop to fit in the bowl
  • Also, trace the drainpipe hole
  • Place the bowl on the hole to see if it is a snug fit
  • If the bowl fits in perfectly, remove the bowl and apply sealant around the rims of the bowl.
  • Sit the bowl perfectly on the hole press it with your hands so that sealant adheres to the sides.
  • Make sure you don’t leave any spaces in between, and the bowl is sealed from all sides.
  • Give the adhesive time to cure. It may take several hours.

Key Takeaway

The specific installation depends on the type of sink you are using, as well as the structure of the cabinet.

In addition to installing the vessel sink, make sure to consider the faucets you will be using. The faucets should provide appropriate compatibility with the sink and cabinet structure.

Installing a semi-recessed vessel sink often involves cutting and perfectly lining the structure with the countertop of a bathroom cabinet.