Undermount kitchen sinks are a newer addition to the world of sinks. Before this, when laminate countertops were de rigueur, they just weren’t an option. Laminate countertops require drop-in sinks with lips that seal over the unfinished laminate edge. With the rise in popularity of granite, marble and other solid countertops, more sink styles are available with undermount sinks than with traditional laminate or tile countertops. Undermount sinks work great with solid surfaces like granite and concrete, because they require that the countertop bear the undermount sink’s weight; solid surfaces are heavy duty, and can take the weight of an undermount sink with ease.
Best Undermount Kitchen Sink 2017
43.8 x 23 x 10 inches
33 x 19 x 10 inches
32.8 x 19 x 10 inches
32 x 21 x 10 inches
The benefits of buying an undermount kitchen sink
The biggest benefit of an undermount sink is how much easier it is to keep a kitchen clean when you have one. Because they sit below the countertop surface, you can wipe food and spills directly from the countertop and into the undermount sink for easy disposal. Also, unlike drop-in sinks, food and debris don’t get caught in the lip of the sink because there is no lip, so your countertops look much neater as well.
Another benefit to undermount sinks is the aesthetic appeal. Undermount sinks can facilitate that trendy seamless look by disappearing into the counterspace. Their looks are not attention-seeking; because of this, they allow you to showcase other aspects of your kitchen. One could say that other sink types are meant to be the focal point of a kitchen’s design while the undermount sink type fades into the background so that the kitchen can stand on its own. It’s really about preference, but their understated, seamless appearance is a big part of why many people opt for an undermount kitchen sink—they’re discreet.
Undermount sinks are available in one-bowl and two-bowl varieties. Those who are big into cooking and baking will benefit largely from the one-bowl undermount sink, because it will accommodate large pots and pans.
Another benefit of undermount sinks is the ability to customize. This is something people usually don’t consider, but think about it: Since most undermount sinks don’t have a hole for a faucet built-in, you have to install the faucet on the counter or wall behind the sink. While that may sound like a downside at first, it allows you some flexibility in terms of design as you can mix and match your undermount sink style and faucet. Whereas with a drop-in sink, you often have a hole for the faucet and the facet itself included. Theoretically, you could juxtapose two different basin and faucet styles easily with an undermount sink, which isn’t always the case with a drop-in.
What to look for when buying an undermount kitchen sink
The biggest factor to consider when buying an undermount sink is proper installation. While many will tell you silicone adhesive is enough to keep the undermount kitchen sink attached to your countertop, it’s actually not. A properly installed undermount kitchen sink will be screwed into the countertop, with straps and clips for extra security. Most adhesives aren’t resistant to water and can fail; by having your undermount sink properly secured, your sink will stay installed even if your adhesive fails. With that being said, always go for an undermount sink that can be installed with this way. If you’re unsure about self-installation, call a professional. A salesperson may tell you the minimum required to install an undermount sink, but you have to decide whether you want your sink to stay in place for years or decades.
It’s also important to ensure that your undermount sink fits well with your countertop. This can be achieved by hiring a pro to get the right fit. And even though adhesive shouldn’t be the backbone of installation, it’s still an important aspect of sealing the undermount sink to the countertop.
A key factor to consider when it comes to undermount sinks is the material they’re made from. Remember that undermount sinks are held up by the counter, so the lighter the sink, the less likely it is to fail. That said, if your counters are compatible with undermount sinks, even a heavy undermount sink shouldn’t fail, as long as it is properly installed.
Undermount sinks may be made from stainless steel, cast iron, fireclay, porcelain, stone, copper and more. Stainless steel is affordable and easy to care for, while porcelain adds classic and timeless charm to a farmhouse or traditional kitchen.
Tips on how to choose the best undermount sink for your needs
There are a few key things to keep in mind to get the best undermount kitchen sink for your needs:
- Always ensure your countertops are compatible with an undermount kitchen sink beforehand.
- Choose an undermount kitchen sink that is compatible with your counter size. Remember that undermount sinks will be surrounded by the counter on all four sides, so whether your counter is shallow in depth or not may impact the size and type of undermount kitchen sink options you have.
- Most undermount kitchen sinks don’t come with a hole for the faucet; this isn’t a flaw, this is a natural part of the design. Consider where you will place your faucet, either on the wall behind the sink or on the counter. Alternatively, you may be able to find an undermount kitchen sink with an attached faucet, so that’s something to consider as well, if that is your preference.
- Consider your budget ahead of time. Remember that undermount kitchen sinks are more expensive than drop-in sinks, even just the base cost. If you’re not an expert at DIY, factor hiring a professional into that budget. That said, most people who choose undermount sinks already know this, but it’s still important to keep in mind.
- If you’re looking for an affordable and durable undermount kitchen sink, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel. You can find it at practically any store that sells undermount sinks, it’s relatively cheap and will hold up for years to come. Also, it’s the most versatile material in terms of design aesthetic, so if you ever remodel your kitchen into a new style, you won’t be as pressed to change out your sink.