Undermount kitchen sinks are positioned below the surface of the countertop so that the edge of the counter drops directly into the sink.
This is different from a drop-in (top mount) kitchen sink, where the sink has a lip that extends over the top of the sink cutout.
Advantages of Undermount Kitchen Sinks
Undermount sinks are gaining in popularity. Here’s why:
Undermount kitchen sinks provide a clean, minimal, contemporary look that works well with nearly any decor theme and can serve as a subtle centerpiece for your kitchen.
Since undermount sinks don’t have a lip that extends over the counte, there’s no crevice between sink and countertop to catch dirt, crumbs, and liquids.
Instead, food particles simply fall into the sink, making it much easier to keep your counters clean.
Still, the gap between the sink and the bottom of your countertop can collect food and grime, so it’s important to check this area periodically and clean it as needed.
Eliminating the sink’s rim reduces the sink’s “footprint” on the countertop and helps maximize usable counter space.
It may not seem like a lot, but that extra inch of counter space can provide enough room for dishwashing liquid, hand soaps, etc.
Undermount Kitchen Sink Cost
The cost of an undermount sink is largely determined by the material. Basic stainless steel undermount sinks can start at less than $200, while materials like cast iron or fireclay can cost $500 to $1000 (or more).
Undermount Sink Installation
While undermount sinks offer a number of advantages, there are a few things to consider when it comes to the installation process.
Solid surface countertops are ideal
Undermount sinks are typically used with solid surface countertops such as wood, stone, or composite. Tile, laminate, and other materials with joints or seams can have weak spots that may separate or have trouble supporting the hanging weight of an undermount sink.
Structural support is needed
Undermount sinks require support from inside the counter. Without mechanical support, the adhesive could give out and cause a messy problem when the sink drops into the counter while full of water or dishes.
There are a number of ways to support an undermount sink ranging from custom wooden braces to specialty solutions like the Hercules sink harness.
Extra finish work needed for cutout
Since the edge of the sink cutout will be visible, additional work is needed to ensure a smooth, nice-looking finish. Top mount sinks simply drop in over the cutout, covering any imperfections from the cutting process.
Faucet and hardware holes
Most undermount sinks aren’t designed with a hole for faucets and hardware attachments, so you’ll need to have appropriate holes cut into your countertop for these components.
The tools and skills needed for an undermount sink installation mean that most homeowners should consider hiring a professional to avoid costly problems later on.
Dual Mount Sinks
Some kitchen sinks are designed for both both an undermount or drop-in installation. These dual mount sinks have a lip that is cosmetically attractive but can also function as a glue surface.
- Minimal, modern appearance
- Countertops easier to clean
- Extra counter space
- Good support required
- More difficult installation
Ideas & Inspiration
Below you’ll find a gallery of undermount kitchen sinks. Clicking any image will take you Amazon, where you’ll find more information about specs and pricing.