I know the sink says Tile-In, but can I use it with granite if I am buying a new countertop to install over it? I know that is probably a dumb question, but thanks.
I for one feel there are lots of dumb questions on this site, but this certainly isn't one of them.
Here's the deal. A tile-in sink and an undermount sink look a bit similar. An undermount sink is designed to be installed UNDER the counter, specifically, there is a small flat flange running around the sink that is designed to be glued and otherwise secured to the bottom of the counter. There is nothing ABOVE the counter.
A tile-in sink installs OVER the counter (just like a topmount sink, aka a "drop-in," aka a "self-rimming" sink). But whereas a topmount has a large, bold, visually appealing rim running around the edge of the sink, a tile-in sink has a small, usually tapered flange running around it. You are supposed to be able to run tile over it all the way up to the edge of the sink (aka "tile it in").
When you look in the sink hole, then, with a tile-in sink, you see a thin layer where the tile is and then the sink material starts. This sink is 9 inches deep. The total depth of the sink is therefore something like 9 1/2 inches from the bottom to the countertop, the depth of the sink plus the tile above it.
When you look in the sink hole on an undermount sink, you see the full thickness of the precisely cut slab material used for the counter (usually polished granite ranging from 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/4 in.) and then the sink begins. The total depth of the sink, with full-thickness granite, is 10 1/4.
It takes skill and specialized equipment to precisely cut out, ease, and polish the edges of a fine stone sink cutout on an undermount sink. It takes more specialized equipment and skill to make sure the sink is in absolutely the right position when you epoxy and then clamp it in. For that reason (and the additional depth of the sink gained by the installation), undermount sinks on granite are a luxury touch.
If you try to use a tile-in as an undermount, the flange I mentioned isn't optimally shaped to provide a good bond or optimal visual profile to the counter material above. There will be a gap and it will look funny, in other words, not a smooth transition. There's also the additional problem of drilling faucet holes through the countertop. If you look at the undermount Cape Dory models, you'll see that the holes are bigger. This is to make sure you get a clean installation hole through the sink when you drill.
If you do image searches on undermount sinks, topmount sinks, and tile-in sinks, you'll see what I'm talking about rather quickly. But again, if you're using granite slab material for your new countertop, a tile-in sink epoxied under it will look odd. Of course, that doesn't compare to the problems of dropping a tile-in sink OVER a ragged and unpolished cutout in a slab granite countertop, leaving the narrow flange of the sink completely visible. That will just look like a very bad DIY hack and will lower the value of your home.
Date published: 2016-11-26