Undermount vs Drop-in Kitchen Sink

Last Updated: August, 2021 | By JULIAN GILL

Whether you are doing kitchen remodeling or getting a new kitchen sink, you have to know that the kitchen world is now full of varied sink options. Picking anything in the market install on your countertop could serve the purpose, but getting the right sink demands keen evaluation. Searching through these different types and styles is fun and exciting. You will have all the feelings of picking one item as you drop the other item until you realize that landing on the best option is overwhelming. However, with all kitchen sink varieties presented to you in the market, you need to narrow your search down to two main types; undermount or drop-in sinks.

Choosing the best option between undermount and drop-in sinks solely depend on the useful and stylistic approaches. The way you install the sink on the countertop may not bring out many details, but it can significantly affect the kitchen aesthetics and usability. Therefore, whether you decide on undermount or drop-in sink, it is wise to consider some factors, including how you want your kitchen to look, the countertop’s material, and the budget. In other words, we will look deeply into each type of kitchen sink for you to make a better choice.

Drop-In Sink

Drop-in sinks, also called self-rimming or top-mount, are the most commonly used type of kitchen sink. The sink basin drops straight into the countertop cut-out on installation, with its perimeter lip holding everything in place. There are metal clips under the countertop and the silicon caulk beads under the sink edge for security purposes. You may find this type of sink more useful for new kitchen installation than its competitor because it comes in a wide range of styles and easy to install.

Features:

When choosing between two products, the only aspect that can help have a quicker choice is their features. For instance, although Moen manufactures similar products, deciding on Moen 2510 vs. 2520 will be determined by each product’s characteristics and usage. Therefore, we can differentiate between drop-in and undermount sink using the following features;

Traditional Appearance

The self-rimming style is what most people are used to see for a long time now. The drop-in sink’s traditional appearance makes it fit right into any countertop, regardless of your kitchen style. This is because most kitchen experts have been using drop-in sinks for the longest time, and they make every countertop similarly to fit this type of sink. However, the only downside is that drop-in sinks are not suitable for luxury countertops where you may not want to cover the edges with a sink.

More Styles Available

Depending on how you want your kitchen to appear, there is always something for you from this class. This type of sinks’ popularity means that manufacturers give enough options in terms of materials, styles, and colors. Therefore, if you dream of having a cherry red kitchen, you will easily find it in the drop-in design.

Versatility

With a drop-in sink, you can install it on any countertop. Drop-in sinks mostly come in designs that can fit in any standard counter hole. You can also access more flexibility with those that do not directly sit on the countertop than undermount sinks. The greater versatility means you can easily replace drop-in sinks.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Since the drop-in sink has its rim on top of the counter, it gathers more food crumbs, making its cleaning a bit harder. However, that is not a big issue since the lip, and the visible seam is visible, making its maintenance a little hectic. Therefore, drop-in offers easier sink cleaning with more challenging countertop cleaning.

Undermount Sink

Undermount, on the other hand, is installed with its rim below the countertop. The structure is held in place by heavy-duty clips and caulk or a unique adhesive. In undermount installation, the rim is invisible since the bottom of the counter hides it. This results in a continuous visual flow across the countertop, modern creation, and more space for kitchen activities.

Features:

Modern Streamlined Appearance

The Undermount sink comes in a modern streamline look that offers a clean, minimalist appearance that matches your contemporary design. With this high-end visual continuity, you will enjoy a luxurious countertop, which comes in different materials like granite and marble. Imagine how your home and kitchen would look if you get a sink in the same material with your countertop.

Cleaning and Maintenance

With the undermount type of installation, there will be no rim between the countertop and the sink. This makes it easier to clean the countertop by wiping the food crumbs down to the sink. However, there is a mounting point just below the counter where debris can accumulate. This mounting point can be cleaned by applying silicon caulk, although you will be forced to replace it frequently.

More High-Quality Designs

The high-end design of undermount sinks makes it easier to find in luxurious materials and details. Manufacturers of undermount sinks use durable and appealing materials such as copper, granite, and fireclay. Finding drop-in sinks in these materials is not easy, which makes undermount sinks more durable and luxurious.

Which Is the Best Sink to Buy

When choosing between a drop-in and an undermount sink, there are other factors you need to look at. Both sinks come in a variety of colors, materials, sizes, and styles. Therefore, apart from the sinks’ price, you need to ask yourself why you have to buy the sink. For instance, are you replacing the countertop? Are you buying a new sink for a new kitchen? If you are replacing your countertop, of course, you may think about something sleeker and more effective design. This means you will have to choose an undermount sink. However, if it is a new kitchen, any design can work. What matters at this point is the size of the countertop and the kitchen environment you intend to create. Furthermore, here are the significant differences between drop-in and undermounts sinks;

  • A Drop-in sink is easy easier to install. You only apply some caulk, set the sink in the counter hole, and secure it using underneath clips. On the other hand, installing undermount sink needs close attention. This is because it must be placed temporarily in the space, mark the clip locations, carefully drill holes into the countertop, and install the clips. Then the sink has to caulked and mounted with no errors.
  • Drop-in sinks are generally cheaper in terms of material, labor, and installation costs. Undermount sinks require higher installation costs because you have to higher qualified installers.
  • Undermount saves more countertop space than a drop-in sink.

Final Verdict

Therefore, your choice between the two types of sinks solely depends on your budget and countertop type. We can say the choice is both a stylistic and practical one. If you are after luxurious and high-end counter finishes, go for undermount. If you are working with your budget, drop-in is the choice.

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Sources

https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/sink/undermount-kitchen-sinks

https://www.thekitchn.com/all-about-drop-in-sinks-sink-spotlight-166396


author of resisories.com julian gill pictureJulian Gill

Julian Gill is a mechanical engineer and Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) and worked as a plumbing engineer for ten years. Besides this, he is interested in home improvement and currently works as a writer. @JulianGillPro

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