Every time you build or renovate your kitchen, you may have to choose between types of sinks. The same applies to the construction of bathrooms and kitchen sinks. The market has many types of single & twin-chamber sinks. In terms of the way they are mounted, you may have Undermount or top mount sinks.
Undermount vs Top Mount:
When you go to buy sinks, you will notice that every sink has a lip lining around it. This Lining acts as the wedge to hold a sink in place.
An Undermount Sink is slightly harder to install in the home. It requires the lining to be sandwiched between the countertop and the board (this can be marble or wood). It is also mounted from under the top slab. It is common knowledge that an Undermount Sink looks better than a drop-in sink.
A top mount sink, on the other hand, is also called a drop-in sink. It is simply dropped through a pre-fabricated or cut-out hole in the tabletop. The lip lining prevents the sink from falling through & fits in with the hole border.
Both sinks require high-quality tops, but the Undermount requires an additional board too. This also means that such sinks may have more durability, but they become very difficult to repair & replace. A detail of the advantages & disadvantages of such a sink can be seen in the Pros & Cons section later.
Types of Undermount sinks:
Today, sinks are not just chosen for their utility, but also their aesthetics. Usually, Undermount sinks are made of stainless steel or ceramic, but their types are distinguished by the level of reveal possible at the time of installation. The reveal defines the look & utility of these sinks.
If the sink has zero reveal, its rim is completely hidden by a well-measured & sand-papered flush. The lip is completely invisible & the entire border of the sink is easy to clean. This type of installation is the most expensive type & it requires flawless precision, as well as a good quality sink. The lip does not become the sole support of the sink wait & it gets protection from grime & filth.
More cost-effective options include positive & negative reveals. While a positive reveal allows for some visibility of the sink rim, it is the easiest to install because the countertop has to be cut to the shape of the sink. On the other hand, a negative reveal needs greater precision in cutting a smaller hole over the sink & polishing the ledge of the countertop, that hides the rim. In either case, it is possible that the rim or the ledge collects filth, suffers wear & tear, or even gets damaged in the long run. Nonetheless, all the risks are less than a top mount sink. The only problem is the difficulty in the replacement of an Undermount Sink.
Some installers may suggest a drop-in sink with grooves to ease the cleaning of the sink. Such sinks are more expensive than an ordinary drop-in sink & they may not carry the same benefits as an under-mount sink. For example, the grooves may lose their utility over a period of time, as compared to the border of a countertop. Another reason is the countertop space. Drop-in sinks, with or without grooves, reduce the countertop space drastically.
Pros & Cons of an undermount sink:
It is obvious that the Undermount Sink would cost more in terms of materials & installation expertise, but it has its advantages.
First, the Undermount Sink is easier to clean in terms of the edges. The lip lining does not obstruct the swipe of dirt into the sink. This cleaning is perfect in terms of a zero reveal Undermount Sink.
Second, the Undermount exerts less weight on the lip lining or the countertop. Its weight gets distributed over the under-board. This improves the life of the sink & the countertop.
Third, the Undermount Sink gives more space over the counter. An over-the-counter space is useful for commercial installations & big families.
On the flip side, if the sink is a positive or a negative reveal, it becomes harder to clean the sedimentation that collects at the rim over time. While the day-to-day cleaning is easy, the grime can accumulate over long periods of time & make the sink vulnerable to unsanitary conditions, rusting & damage.
An Undermount is costly, difficult to install & difficult to replace. Sometimes, this can outweigh the ease of use & aesthetics of the Undermount Sink.
Another disadvantage may be the lack of. space under the sink. Some consumers do not mind the lack of countertop space, as long as sufficient storage is available under the sink.
Choosing the Best Undermount for your kitchen or bathroom:
As a consumer, you have to look at 5 parameters before selecting a good Undermount Sink. It is important for you to attain a good balance between your requirements & your budget. Do you have an engineering-grade countertop to support a drop-in sink? Do you have the budget to install a zero reveal Undermount Sink?
Does your sink have aesthetic & high volume over-the-counter requirements? If the answer to all these questions is a yes, you need to evaluate the ease of replacement of an Undermount Sink. You also need to see if you can switch between installation experts if your trusted plumber or engineer is unavailable. In some cases, the sink manufacturers provide installation services.
You also need to figure out if the storage space under the sink can have some other alternatives. Perhaps you could have some wall-mounted storage above the sink.
The drop-in sink may look like a no-brainer, but under-mounts were invented for specific demands of the market. If these demands match your requirements, do not hesitate to install an Undermount Sink in your kitchen.
Eventually, a sink has to suit the needs of the consumer, including the ease of cleaning & aesthetics.
Undermount sinks are quite popular as they look nice. This is why they are often installed in designer bathrooms. In kitchens, an overmount sink is often used as this makes it easier to clean around it.
Undermount sinks look very nice but are harder to install and more prone to breaking. Most people pick overmount sinks for this reason but an undermount sink can give it a unique look.
If you decide to go for an undermount sink, it can be a good idea to hire a plumber to install this for your. A plumber has the right glues and adhesives for this.