Undermount or drop-in sink ... that is the question.
It is not an overexaggeration to say that your sink can absolutely transform the look of your new kitchen or bathroom.
While a farmhouse sink - or apron front - can be seen in some bathrooms, it is most often a kitchen application. So, for now, we're going to focus on overmount (often called drop-in or top-mount) sink and the sleek, more modern undermount sink. We’ll guide you through the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make the right choice.
The Advantages of a Drop-In Sink
A drop-in sink is easy to identify by the lip that skirts around it, connecting it to the counter - and this sink style is a classic for a reason.
Offering a traditional look, the overmount sink can be easier on your wallet and simple to install, making it the perfect choice for a family on a budget or DIY renovator. It also offers you almost unlimited flexibility in the choice of countertop finish. From granite, wood, laminate or quartz to marble, tile or resin, any countertop material is possible.
Bottom line: If your main priority is easy installation at an affordable price, the drop-in sink is your best bet.
Freddy Martinez recently installed an Azhara granite composite in his kitchen; part of the process, he said, was a breeze while other aspects - in part because his home is older - were more of a challenge.
The Advantages of Undermount Sinks
A growing trend in kitchen and bathroom design, the undermount sink creates a seamless flow from countertop to sink with no lip.
Boasting a minimalist aesthetic, this sink style works well for contemporary and Scandinavian-style rooms and is a smart choice to maximize countertop space in a smaller kitchen. It also earns brownie points for ease of cleaning compared to the overmount sink, whose built-in lip can make the countertop tricky to clean and less sanitary.
Finally, since an undermount sink is highly valued in designer kitchens and bathrooms, it often raises the resale value of your home more than an overmount sink.
Unfortunately, the selection of complementary countertop materials available for undermount sinks is a bit more limited. For best functionality and longevity, we recommend pairing undermount sinks with stone, marble or solid surface countertops. Wood, laminate, and tile countertops are unable to effectively support the weight of an undermount sink.
If you’re keen to invest in a designer kitchen or your kitchen’s size is on the modest side, an undermount sink is the clear winner.