Undermount vs. Drop In Kitchen Sink: Which One Is Better?


The sink is an essential part of the kitchen that defines the character and usability of the entire space. How you’ve mounted it may seem unimportant at first, but can affect your kitchen’s efficiency and aesthetics greatly.

Though there are many different types of sinks on offer, we’ve chosen two types that are increasingly popular among customers: undermount and drop-in kitchen sinks.

Where undermount offers a sleek look, easy cleaning, and an extra bit of space to put brushes and dishes, the drop-in sink provides a wide range of styles, traditional look, low-cost, and greater longevity.

If you want to know which one works best for your kitchen, read on!

Undermount Sink: Classy And Trendy

The Undermount sink – like the name suggests – is installed under the countertop. The design ensures that the rim is not visible from a top-level view. This gives the sink an appealing, unbroken flow throughout the counter, trendy look, and slightly more space.

Pros

Sleek Appearance

This sink provides a minimalist, clean look, ideal for modern kitchen design styles. It’s visual and spatial continuity enhances the feel of high-end countertops like marble or granite. You can double this classy effect by choosing a similar material for both sink and countertop.

Even if your house has a traditional kitchen, it will look rustic and chic with the addition of an undermount sink. Due to their trendy designs and sturdy quality, you can add value to your house with the addition of an undermount sink.

Easy Cleaning

Since the Undermount sink doesn’t have a rim in-between the sink and the countertop, it’s quite easy to sweep unwanted morsels, crumbs, or water spillage into it.

Plus, you won’t be seeing any sludge build-up around the rim.

Offer Premium Quality Choices

The Undermount sink is specifically built with increased attention to detail and quality material to cater to high-end, luxury kitchens.

The unparalleled craftsmanship that goes into an undermount sink, compared to drop-in sinks, is the main reason you find the former made of robust and luxurious materials, such as granite, copper, and fireclay.

Additional Space

As the sink has no rim, they have a comparatively deeper basin tan other models, and also provide you with a couple of inches of additional countertop space. Although it’s not much space, it is enough for you to store brushes and dish soaps.

One big plus point of deeper basins is that you can fill your sink with water and wash dishes without experiencing much spillage on the counter.

Cons

Higher Price

Because they offer classy designs and top-quality features, they come at much higher prices. Normally, they can cost you 50 percent more than the price of drop-in kitchen sinks; however, that’s not all!

On top of the high cost, the installation cost may also set you back a pretty penny.

Difficult To Install

One of the main issues you’ll find with the installation of this sink is that it can’t be mounted on tile or laminate counters and lack the power to hold its weight.

However, if you want this sink installed in your kitchen, you need counters built of a solid, stone surface or some other solid material. It may be possible to pair an undermount sink with wood, copper, or stainless-steel countertops; however, this is not the recommended practice.

The other issue with this sink is that you can’t install it by yourself. In order to fit the knobs and the faucet, installing an undermount requires extensive cutting and shaping of the counter. Thus, you will have to employ the help of a professional.

Keep in mind that if you are buying a new counter for your new undermount sink, it should come with holes where you need them.

Minor Inconvenience

A small downside would be that at times, tiny dirt particles accumulate in the mounting under the countertop.

You can use silicone caulk to clean the joint, but make sure you replace it every 2 years. Besides this, there is a danger that the counter edges can chip off as there’s no rim to secure them.

Drop-In Sinks: Versatile And Simple To Install

Drop-in sinks are a common household kitchen sinks with a rim attached to the counter. Due to this timeless design, they’re famous by a few other names, such as top-mount, lay-in, and over-mount sinks. You can find this sink in multiple styles, and is easy to install.

Pros

Traditional Look

If there’s any kitchen sink model we’ve seen the most, it’s drop-in! It has a conventional feel and fits seamlessly in any kitchen style. If you want to give your kitchen a vintage look, the top-mount porcelain or cast iron sink is the perfect option.

Wide Range Of Style Choice

Another positive feature of this over-mount sink is that because of its high popularity, it’s made in a greater variety of styles, colors, and materials as compared to undermount sinks.

This variety allows you to be experimental with your kitchen:  you can pair a bright colored sink,  such as cherry red, with cherry cabinets, and that makes your kitchen pop with character!

Budget-Friendly

Over-mount sinks are a much more affordable choice and can normally slash a minimum of $100 from the total buying cost if you choose this over an undermount sink.

Unlike undermount, its installation process is quite simple. You can easily install it if you’ve got a little know-how of plumbing. Even if you get a professional to give you a hand, the job will not put a significant dent in your pocket.

Greater Flexibility

This type of sink can easily be installed almost on all counters as they’re specifically built for standard-sized sink-holes. This unique feature allows the top-mount sink to be easily replaced.

Cons

Wiping And Maintenance Problems

One issue that you may find irritating in top-mount sinks is that food crumbs can constantly build up in the rim of your sink, which can make your cleaning process harder.

You can’t use caulking with drop-in sinks as it can damage the color of the sink before wearing it. In case you’ve got a high-end counter, the rim will cover its edges and will always be at risk for breaking.

Things To Consider When Selecting A Kitchen Sink

Which Material Should You Go For?

Kitchen sinks come in various materials, including stainless steel, porcelain, cast iron, among others.

Make your decision based on two things:

  1. How often will the sink be used?
  2. How many times will it be washed?

When it comes to porcelain sinks, you can face several stains and scratches; however, there’s nothing to worry about, as you can clean these with relative ease. All you’ve got to do is grab an abrasive cleaner – such as baking soda – and give it a good scrub!

If you expect to be tough on your sink, it would be better to choose a stainless-steel kind. They are small in size but exude trendiness. Also, they’re much easier to clean than most other sinks.

Pay Attention To The Size

When it comes to the size of the sink, there are many important things to be considered, such as budget and usage. If you want a large size sink, you have to pay more – that’s because the bigger the size, the more expensive it is.

Also, keep in mind the usage factor. If it isn’t used much, the standard size, ie. 22 inches, should be ideal; however, if the kitchen has the counter space, we would recommend you choose a large-sized sink.

Besides that, you should pay attention to the design aspect as well. This is because if you’ve got a small kitchen, choosing an enormous-sized farmhouse sink might not be a good choice.

Do My Cabinets Need Adjustment?

The cabinets work like a base for your kitchen sink, so you need to be extra careful when choosing a style unless you plan to conduct a complete renovation.

The important thing you need to consider here is whether your cabinet’s depth is enough to accommodate the new sink. Plus, be sure to check whether the cabinet can hold its weight or not.

Consider this: if you’ve got a porcelain sink in your kitchen and it’s completely water-filled, the weight of the sink can go above 100 pounds easily. Can your cabinetry withstand such weight?

Single Bowl Or Double Bowl

Have you come across a person who says, “My kitchen sink is too spacious”?  Probably not!

If your kitchen has ample space and you have the money to spend, we suggest you go for a double sink. It lets you separate your dirty dishes from the usable space, making the entire cleaning process easier.

A double bowl sink is perfect if you are an avid cook and go through a set of dishes daily – the extra space will make cooking and cleaning much less stressful. However, go for a single bowl if you prefer one large usable space for cleaning dishes without any divider.

Related Questions

Can I Convert My Top-Mount Sink To Undermount?

Though many sink experts disapprove of such conversions, you can still undermount your drop-in kitchen sink.

Can My Undermount Kitchen Sink Get Mildew And Mold?

Yes, it can. As the water gets in easily in-between the counter and the sink, it causes mold and mildew issues, particularly when the counter material isn’t water-resistant.

Which Kitchen Sink Is Better Overmount Or Undermount?

Both sinks come with several features that can make your kitchen look good. If you want a sink to provide a modern touch to the kitchen, go for undermount. However, if you wish for more durability and that too at a low-cost, choose over-mount.

Ian Haynes

Ian Haynes is a digital marketing specialist and has successfully written hundreds of home improvement guides. Outside of his work, Ian likes fixing old bikes and exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

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