Drop-In Kitchen Sink
Buyer's Guide

What is a Drop-In Kitchen Sink?

Drop-in kitchen sinks are sit in a hole cut in the countertop and are held in place by a rim running along the top edge of the sinks. They are literally “dropped in” to the counter cutout during installation.

Kraus Forteza Drop-in Kitchen Sink (Black)
Kraus Forteza Drop-In Granite Kitchen Sink (Black)

Drop-in sinks are easy to install and are available in a wide variety of materials, colors, and configurations. For these reasons, drop-in sinks are the most common style of kitchen sink in use today.

Drop-in sinks are also known as top mount sinks, overmount sinks, and self-rimming sinks, but drop-in seems to be the most commonly used term.
Check out our overview of kitchen sink materials to learn more about the many different types of kitchen sinks.

Drop-In Sink Designs and Materials

Top-mount sinks come in a variety of basin styles and finishes. These include metallic, stone, ceramic, and composite materials and finishes, and they come in a wide variety of textures and colors.

Drop-in sinks are available in countless colors, styles, and configurations, so you won’t have a problem finding a sink that matches your decor.

Despite the growing popularity of undermount sinks and their modern styling, drop-in kitchen sinks offer a timeless aesthetic that works perfectly with many design themes.

Elkay Quartz Classic drop-in kitchen sink in Greystone
Elkay Quartz Classic drop-in kitchen sink in Greystone

Drop-In Sink vs. Undermount Sink

Drop-in sinks have a lip or rim that rests on the edge of a hole in the countertop. This lip supports the weight of the sink and creates a seal between the sink and the countertop.

Undermount sinks are installed from the bottom side of the countertop. The edge of the sink cutout is visible, and the top of the counter drops off directly into the sink basin.

Drop-in sink next to an undermount sink
Kohler Wheatland drop-in sink and VIGO stainless steel undermount sink
This is just a brief overview of the differences between top mount and undermount sinks. Click here to read our article about undermount kitchen sinks.

Drop-In Sink Installation

In most cases, installing a drop-in kitchen sink is easier and less expensive than an undermount sink. Here’s are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a drop-in sink.

Drop-In Sinks Work With Any Countertop Material

While undermount sinks are best suited to solid surface countertops, drop-in sinks work with any type of counter material including tile and laminates.

Stufurhome NW-3322DO Drop-In Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Stufurhome NW-3322DO Drop-In Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Do Drop-In Kitchen Sinks Need Supports?

Most drop-in sinks are supported by the sink rim, which extends past the edge of the sink and rests on the countertop.

This generally eliminates the need for under-the-counter supports or professional installation, making drop-in sinks a popular choice among do-it-yourself types.

While most drop-in sink styles are fully supported by the countertop, some very heavy materials (like cast iron) may require additional supports under the sink. Be sure to do your homework to figure what kind of support your sink might need.

Hidden Countertop Cutout

Since the cutout for a drop-in sink is covered by the rim, it doesn’t need to have a cosmetically perfect finish.

With an undermount sink, the edge of the countertop cutout is clearly visible, so it has to be carefully finished for a good appearance.

The hole for a top mount sink can be left rough because nobody will see it, so you’ll save time and money when it comes to building the countertop and installing the sink.

Faucet and Hardware Considerations

Many drop-in kitchen sinks are built with holes for faucets and sprayer hardware, eliminating the need for drilling separate holes in the countertop. This simplifies installation and reduces costs, but somewhat limits customization options.

In addition to being easier to install, top mount sinks are easier to remove if you change your mind down the road.

Cleaning a Drop-In Sink

There’s nothing special to cleaning a drop-in sink, but it’s worth remembering that the lip of a drop-in sink forms a crevice that is prone to collecting food particles and liquids.

Winpro New Mocha Drop-In Sink
Winpro New Mocha Drop-In Sink

The upside is that this area is clearly visible, so it’s easy to see when you need to clean around your sink. Undermount sinks have hidden seam, making it a little more difficult to stay on top of keeping it clean.

One clear advantage to an undermount sink is that grime can be wiped off the countertop directly into the sink–there’s no lip to get in the way. This makes the countertops easier to clean and is a big selling point for undermount kitchen sinks.

Pros

  • Often most affordable
  • Takes up under-sink storage space
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Creates “edge” on countertop
  • Durable
  • Harder to clean


Ideas & Inspiration

Below you’ll find a gallery of granite composite kitchen sinks. Clicking any image will take you Amazon, where you’ll find more information about specs and pricing.

Many of the sinks below come in a variety of colors. Click the image to view available styles on that product’s Amazon page.
Transolid Aversa Granite Drop-in Kitchen Sink
Harrahs Drop-In Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Kraus KGD-442GREY Kitchen Sink
KOHLER Deerfield Double Bowl Top Mount Kitchen Sink
AuraLum Brushed Stainless Steel Drop-In Kitchen Sink
Stainless Steel Drop-In Kitchen Sink
Basic 20-Gauge Stainless Steel Drop-In Kitchen Sink