Create Sink Cutouts in Solid Surface Countertops


Installing a sink into a solid surface countertop requires cutting an opening or “sink cutout” into the countertop material to fit the sink. While this may seem daunting, with the right tools and techniques, creating a professional-looking sink cutout in a solid surface countertop is totally doable as a DIY project.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through everything you need to know about planning, preparing for, and executing sink cutouts in solid surface countertops. We’ll cover how to measure and mark the cutout location properly, recommendations for tools and materials, steps for cutting the opening precisely, and tips for getting clean edges and a perfect fit with your sink. Let’s get started!

How to Choose the Right Sink for Your Solid Surface Countertop

Before starting any cutout, the first step is selecting the right sink. Here are some tips for choosing a sink for your solid surface countertop project:

  • Consider the sink dimensions – Measure the existing countertop opening or plan the sink size appropriately for your countertop layout. Undermount sinks, in particular, need to fit within the available countertop depth.
  • Choose the right sink type – Solid surface materials work well with undermount, drop-in, and vessel sink types. Undermount sinks provide a seamless transition from sink to countertop.
  • Match the sink and countertop hole sizes – If installing a drop-in sink, the cutout hole must match the sink rim dimensions. Carefully check sink specs during selection.
  • Factor in other features – If wanting an integrated backsplash, sidesplashes, drain grooves, or custom features, select a sink that accommodates this.
  • Pick a durable sink material – Stainless steel, enameled cast iron, and composite materials hold up well paired with solid surface countertops.

Doing a bit of planning and measurement upfront ensures you pick the optimal sink for your countertop design and installation needs.

How to Measure for a Precise Sink Cutout

Once you’ve selected the perfect sink, it’s time to measure and mark the sink cutout location. Accurate measuring is crucial for achieving a clean, professional-looking cutout result. Here’s how to measure for your sink cutout:

Gather Your Supplies

First, pull together the following supplies:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Painter’s tape

You’ll also need the sink itself or the cardboard sink template that came with the sink.

Mark the Sink Center Point

Determine the exact spot where you want the sink centered on your countertop. Mark the center point with a pencil.

Mark the Sink Outline

Place the sink or sink template centered over the center point on the countertop. Trace a line around the sink perimeter using a pencil and ruler or straight edge.

Double-Check Your Marks

Carefully re-check all sink outline marks against the measurements on the physical sink or template to ensure accuracy. Also confirm required clearance around the sink cutout lines.

Careful attention while marking is the best way to avoid messy mistakes when you start cutting.

Recommended Tools and Materials for Cutting Sink Cutouts

Having the right tools for the job will make cutting the sink opening much easier. Here are the recommended tools and materials for DIY sink cutout projects:

Cutting Tools

  • Jigsaw – The optimal power tool for making curved and straight sink cutout cuts
  • Router – Creates clean, smooth edge cuts with a template guide
  • Hole saw – For drilling drain hole and faucet holes
  • Sandpaper – For smoothing cut edges (80-120 grit range)
  • File – Helpful for evening out corners or small ragged edges

Safety Gear

  • Safety goggles/glasses – Protect eyes from debris
  • Ear protection – Reduces noise from power tools
  • Dust mask – Prevents inhalation of harmful dust
  • Gloves – Give better grip and protect hands

Additional Supplies

  • Clamps – Hold the countertop steady while cutting
  • Blue painter’s tape – Masks off the cutout area to prevent surface damage
  • Mineral spirits – Removes pencil marks and excess adhesive

Investing in quality tools like a good jigsaw, router, and hole saw bit set provides the best experience and end result. Don’t forget safety! Eye and ear protection, gloves, and a dust mask are a must.

How to Cut a Sink Opening: Step-by-Step Process

Ready to start cutting? Here is a step-by-step process for safely and accurately executing the sink cutout:

Prep the Countertop

  • Clear the countertop surface of any items or debris.
  • Use blue painter’s tape to cover the outline area for protection.
  • Secure the countertop to sawhorses or a sturdy worktable with clamps.

Make the Cuts

  • Drill a starter hole with a hole saw inside the marked sink outline.
  • Use a jigsaw to cut along the sink outline, starting from the starter hole. Make relief cuts at corners. Go slowly!
  • Repeat first two steps to cut any holes for faucets or accessories.

Refine the Edges

  • Smooth any rough edges with a file and sandpaper.
  • Remove pencil marks with mineral spirits and a Scotchbrite pad.
  • Clean away all dust with a vacuum, tack cloth, and damp rag.

Take it slowly during cutting, and double check measurements often. Leaving the tape around the edges until final install protects the surface.

Tips for Achieving a Seamless Sink Cutout Result

Follow these tips and tricks to get the most flawless sink cutout possible in your solid surface countertop:

  • Use a template or router with guide for straighter sink edges.
  • Cut slightly inside the lines then sand/route edges to line for a perfect fit.
  • Angle jigsaw blade slightly during rounded cuts to prevent binding.
  • Clamp a straightedge guide to the countertop when possible for straight cuts.
  • Apply painter’s tape around the cutout to prevent surface damage from tools.
  • Use a hole saw before jigsaw cuts to create starter openings.
  • Reduce router speed for cleaner cuts and less chipping.
  • Make several light passes with sandpaper instead of applying pressure.
  • Use a soft Scotchbrite pad and mineral spirits to erase pencil marks.
  • Test fit the sink several times during the process to check edge alignment.

Patience and the right techniques will help you achieve a flawless, seamless sink cutout for your solid surface countertop installation.

Installing the Sink After Cutout

You’ve done the hard work, now it’s time to install the sink! Here is a quick run-through of the process:

  • Dry fit the sink – Test fit the sink into the opening to ensure a good fit. Make any final adjustments.
  • Apply adhesive – For undermount sinks, apply adhesive around the rim of the sink. For drop-ins, adhesive is applied to the countertop.
  • Insert sink – Carefully lower the sink into place, aligning edges and pressing firmly to adhere.
  • Allow curing time – Let adhesive cure fully before use, usually 24-48 hours.
  • Seal edges – Apply clear silicone caulk around the sink edge for water protection.

And that’s it! Proper planning, measurement, a smooth cutout, and professional sink installation will give you a beautiful, seamless end result.

FAQ About Cutting Sink Cutouts in Solid Surface Countertops

Still have some questions about executing sink cutouts in solid surface countertops? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What are some examples of solid surface countertop materials?

Popular solid surface countertop materials include Corian, Swanstone, Gibraltar, Avonite, and Wilsonart. These are made of acrylic, polyester, or a combination.

Can I cut the sink opening directly on the installed countertop?

It’s best to cut the opening before installing the full countertop. Cutting the hole in place risks damage to finished surfaces like cabinets and is difficult to get full tool access.

Is it okay to make my sink cutout a little too small?

No, you want the sink cutout to fit the sink rim perfectly. Take the time to measure precisely and test fit often. An undersized cutout cannot be made larger easily.

What is the most common mistake when cutting solid surface countertop sink openings?

Rushing through the process and not taking care to cut inside layout lines is a common mistake. Take it slow and careful to get a clean cut right up to your marked edge.

Should I expect the sink cutout edges to be completely smooth right after cutting?

Expect the edges to need some light sanding and refining after cutting the cutout even with good tools and skill. Take time to smooth edges for a professional finish.

How can I get clean curves and rounded corners on my cutout?

Use a jigsaw and rotate the piece into the blade to prevent binding on curved cuts. Angle the blade slightly and avoid cutting too fast. Large rounded corners may need to be cut in stages.


We’ve just covered everything you need to know to professionally cut sink openings in solid surface countertops – from choosing the right sink and making accurate layout marks to proper cutting technique and installing the finished sink.

Planning the project carefully, investing in quality tools, and exercising patience during the cutting process will result in a flawless sink installation that looks like it was completed by an expert. Just take it slow and use the right methods.

With the information in this guide, you can feel confident taking on a DIY solid surface countertop sink cutout project and ending up with a beautiful, functional result.