6 Things You Need to Know About Undermount Kitchen Sinks

6 Things You Need to Know About Undermount Kitchen Sinks

Cambria Bold
Feb 14, 2012

Thinking about renovating your kitchen? If so, then our Sink Spotlight series will help you. Up today: undermount sinks.

Sink Style: Undermount

1. Distinctive Features: The edge lip of the sink is mounted below a solid surface countertop, so the sink effectively hangs underneath the counter, as opposed to sitting on top of it; creates a continuous flow from countertop into sink.

2. Countertop Compatibility: Best suited for solid surface countertop materials like granite, soapstone, marble, or concrete. NOT well suited for laminate or tile counters, which have too many weak points along seams and grout lines to support the weight of the sink.

3. Pros: Wipe food scraps straight into the sink (no exposed rim to catch crumbs and dirt); reclaim up to half a square foot of counter space; attractive, minimalist look, easy to clean.

4. Cons: Generally more expensive than drop-in sinks; only works with weight-bearing and water-resistant countertop materials; condensation build-up under the counter can cause mold; faucets must be attached to the countertop or wall.

5. Installation: Proper installation and sealing is crucial to prevent leakage and to make sure the sink is properly supported. (A full sink of dishes gets very heavy. You don't want the sink pulling apart from the underside of your countertop and crashing to the floor.) Undermount sinks are typically attached with a two-part epoxy adhesive and sealed with silicone caulking around the perimeter. Make sure to get a professional or someone who knows what they're doing. Most professionals can install an undermount kitchen sink in 30 minutes or less.

6. Price range: $250 - $800, depending on size and material.

Kitchn Reader Reviews: More reader reviews can be found here.

My sister just remodeled her kitchen and went through the same dilemma. She's a big baker so she went with a stainless, undermount, single basin sink that was large enough to fit a sheetpan. If you want to soak pans, bring a big one with you when you shop. She also chose a model with rounded corners at the bottom so it's easy to clean. - cbreynolds
I remodeled 2 years ago and went with a deep, stainless steel, undermounted, single basin sink. I love it. It's deep enough to hold a big pot, and big enough to wash sheet pans without getting water all over. It's so easy to just brush crumbs into the sink, or to wipe any spilled water back into the sink. Oh and I think it's insulated, which makes it quieter. - mimi2856
When we renovated our kitchen we got a cheap undermount sink from ebay, for $100. We got, yet another sink when we got new countertops. Same double bowl stainless, but the one was insulated way more and is a lot quieter. I wanted the smaller bowl to do dishes in, but it's just too small. If I did it again, I would get an undermount stainless, insulated single rectangle sink. I don't know what your budget is, but Kohler is the best, in my dads opinion, who is a pro plumber. He also love Moen. - thewholesomehome
There is mold in the silicone between our undermount sink and the counter. I can't figure out how to get rid of it. I still like it better than our old overmount sink that regularly featured a puddle of water and crumbs around the edge. The new sink is white composite, our old sink was stainless steel. The white composite also gets moldy in the corners. I would think hard before going with composite again, since our old stainless did not seem to have that problem. - sagekitten85

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Other Recommended Reading

How To Install an Undermount Kitchen Sink | DIY Network

(Images: 1. This & That; 2. Gregor Torrence | The Kitchn; 3. Jill Slater | The Kitchn; 4. The Kitchn; 5. Jim Franco)

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