Frederick M. Hueston, PhD

I was sitting having a cup of joe in my favorite greasy spoon when Flo started talking to me about the advances in technology over the years. Like me, Flo was no spring chicken and had been working at the same diner for nearly 35 years. We talked about the times before cell phones, fax machines, the internet, etc. I mentioned to her about how we used to play outside when we were kids, and that our moms often told us not to come in till it got dark.

Boy, how times have changed. Even the stone industry has changed, and today I would discover another new invention in the stone fabrication industry. 

Just as I was about to pay for my breakfast, my phone rang. The lady calling sounded like she was in tears.  She told me she had bought a new construction home and there was no sink in her kitchen. I said, “Excuse me?” because I thought I heard her wrong. 

She repeated, “I think someone stole it. I have beautiful granite countertops but there is no sink,” she said.  I asked her if she had the home built, and suggested she contact the builder. She said the house was a foreclosure and the builder went bankrupt and could not be located. She begged me to come out and see if a new sink could be installed. Business was kind of slow, so I reluctantly agreed to take a ride out since it was in town.

I paid for my breakfast, said goodbye to Flo and the regulars, and headed over to the scene of the sink heist.

I pulled up to a house in an upscale neighborhood. I have been in several of these homes, in similar developments, investigating various stone and tile issues.  The lady who called me was at the front door. She was a tall redhead, and she kind of looked like Lucile Ball. 

When she introduced herself I almost asked her, “Where’s Ricky?” since she sounded just like Lucy, too. She led me into the kitchen and there was the beautiful Black Absolute countertop – and she was right, there was no sink. Now, let me clarify; there wasn’t an opening where the sink should be – just a flat countertop. There was a faucet, but it appeared as though they forget to install the sink. I asked her if she knew if the faucet was hooked up. She said she didn’t know. So I took a glass that was nearby and turned the facet on, and it worked. That’s very odd, I thought.  I opened up the cabinet and noticed that there was a drain. Now I was really confused. 

I stood up and turned the faucet on, and lo and behold, the water ran to the back and drained away. All of a sudden I remembered reading about a new type of kitchen sink called a vanishing sink or invisible sink. There are several types now being introduced that use a gentle slant to a small slit in the top. I laughed and she laughed, as well. A simple Google search will show you some options. (Plus, if Kim Kardashian has one, you know it’s A Thing.)

Black Absolute countertop vanishing sink

Another example of a vanishing sink

Now, for you fabricators, you’re probably going to need a CNC to offer these types of sinks. I can’t wait till tomorrow morning to tell Flo about my latest adventure. Another case solved – and this old man learned something new.

The Stone Detective is a fictional character created by Dr. Frederick M. Hueston, PhD, written to entertain and educate. Dr. Fred has written over 33 books on stone and tile installations, fabrication and restoration and also serves as an expert for many legal cases across the world. Fred has also been writing for the
Slippery Rock Gazette for over 20 years. 

Send your comments to