When it comes to kitchen sinks, not all are made equally. You need to consider both the style and function of your sink.
The undermount sink is visually similar to a drop-in sink. However, with a drop-in sink, the rim is visible. With an undermount, it is installed from literally underneath the countertop and through the cabinet, making the rim invisible. This creates a streamlined look, as though the sink is merely a part of the countertop.
Many undermount sinks have a lot of qualities similar to a farm sink. However, with a farm sink, the entire front portion is visible to the eye, appearing as though it was “slid” into the countertop. An undermount sink, however, might have a similar appearance, but it’s the installation that sets it apart.
Undermount sinks are perfect for minimal, contemporary, and luxury kitchens, though they can fit into almost any design. This type of uniformity is commonly seen in higher-end modern kitchens, where many appliances are worked into the decor to make them less noticeable.
Pros & cons to undermount sinks
As with anything, there are pros and cons to choosing an undermount sink. Here are some of the most important to keep in mind.
- The appearance is sleeker. Without an exposed front section or even a lip installed into the countertop, an undermount sink gives a kitchen a more high-end, streamlined appearance.
- It makes cleaning easier. You’ll be able to simply wipe the countertop without having to worry about dirt and debris getting buried and stuck in the rim of a sink’s lips. Similarly, when it comes to cleaning up food and other waste, you can easily slide it from the counter into the sink.
- It will age better. Whereas if you went with a more trendy option, it could phase out in a number of years, a minimally exposed sink will last longer and be able to work with many different interior designs.
- It won’t work with all countertops. If this is the case, you’ll need to not only get a new sink, but a new countertop as well.
- If the sink is not installed properly, it likely won’t work.
- Given that most countertops are cut to include a sink that has lips, the sizing may be off, requiring you to size up or get a new countertop altogether.
Tips for installing undermount sinks
Given that an undermount is a unique setup, you might need some guidance when it comes time for installation.
First, it is important to install an undermount sink before the countertop slabs are set down. If you are trying to install an undermount with cabinets still in place, you will probably run into trouble. Otherwise, make sure that the sink is installed and secured before the rest of the counter is installed. That way, you can correctly seal and finish the sink and underside of the countertop together.
It is important to install the undermount sink prior to the countertop because it will ensure that there are no gaps left between the sink and the countertop, which is apt to happen if you try to install an undermount as though it were just a drop-in.
You can keep the countertops that you already have as long as you can lift them up for installation. However, keep in mind that this also requires your measurements to be precise and likely a bit different than the measurements you would need to make a regular drop-in sink work.