Kitchen Cabinets

Make a Choice: Top-Mount vs Undermount Kitchen Sink

By June 27, 2024 No Comments

The Sink, apart from being an indispensable part of the kitchen, holds immense value in giving a statement to the place. Whether you are renovating your kitchen space or are planning a new area altogether, the sink remains a tough choice to make given the variety of options available.

To help you avoid confusion, this blog explains the difference between top-mount and undermount kitchen sinks. We will consider the pros and cons of installing both types. By the end of this read, you will be able to pick the sink that matches your exact requirements.

What is a Top-Mount Sink?

The rim or lip of a top-mount sink sits on the countertop. Having a variety of names, it is also called the “drop in sink” or “overmount sink”. It creates a visible outline when looking at the counter space.

What is an Undermount Sink?

An undermount sink hangs onto a countertop. Because it is attached below the counter space, the rim of the sink is invisible, creating an illusion of a spacious countertop.

Top-Mount vs Undermount Kitchen Sink

A major difference between the top-mount and undermount sink is the placement of the sink lip or rim. To make a choice one needs to understand the pros and cons of having both the types.

The Pros of Having a Top-Mount Kitchen Sink

1. Installation

  • It is easier to install a top-mount sink. The process includes cutting a hole which is sufficient to make the rim sit on the countertop. Clips and sealant are used to ensure the fit is watertight and immoveable.
  • When we guarantee easy installation, we mean the process needs no special tools. It can be almost a DIY job for many people.
  • With no complications involved the installation of a top-mount sink is really quick, cutting off the time and labour costs.

2. Costs

  • The manufacturing process is quite simple, and the materials used are cheap. This makes top-mount sinks both a common and budget-friendly option.
  • Since it is a DIY installation job, there are almost minimum to zero installation costs involved.
  • The edges of the countertop are protected by the rim of the sink. Hence, it proves to be more durable in the long run.

3. Versatility

  • A top-mount sink goes with a wide variety of countertop materials, including laminate, tile, granite or solid surfaces.
  • Top-mount sinks are also available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. To add more, you get a wide range of designs to choose from.
  • It is easier to swap your old top-mount sink with a new one without having to make significant changes to the countertop.

The Cons of Having a Top-Mount Kitchen Sink

1. Cleaning

  • If you hate cleaning then this sink is not ideal for you. The rim or lip of the sink accumulates dirt, food or other contaminants that need to be brushed off regularly.
  • Checking out for grime build-up can be an additional task.
  • The possibility of moisture and debris build up in the long run can contribute to mold or mildew growth. It can disturb the hygiene of the kitchen space airing out odour.

2. Aesthetics

  • If you have a beautiful countertop, the visible edge of the top-mount sink might kill the appeal.
  • Top-mount sinks are considered to be an old model compared to modern undermount sinks.
  • Though available in a variety of designs, the top-mount sinks do not add to the aesthetic appeal of contemporary kitchens.

The Pros of Having an Undermount Kitchen Sink

1. Appearance

  • The invisible rim provides an illusion of more countertop space, giving a sleek and modern look.
  • The sleek design of undermount sinks provides an aesthetic appeal, complementing a modern kitchen design.
  • They also blend well with a wide variety of countertop materials.

2. Cleaning

  • It is much easier to clean than top-mounted sinks.
  • Messy leftovers like crumbs and spills can be directly swiped off into the sink.
  • As the sink is sandwiched between the countertop and a supporting medium, it leaves no space for grime accumulation. This helps maintain a hygienic environment in the kitchen.

3. Uninterrupted Counter Space

  • More counter space means more area to accommodate large utensils. It adds to optimizing the kitchen space to its full potential.
  • The aesthetic look that an undermount sink gives to your kitchen space makes it a fun work place both for daily use and entertaining guests.

The Cons of Having an Undermount Kitchen Sink

1. Installation

  • Precise measurements are needed while installing an undermount sink.
  • Involving a professional in this process means added labour cost and time consumption.
  • Securing an undermount sink needs immense attention to detail. Additional tools, strong adhesives, and mounting brackets all add up to costs.

2. Costs

  • The initial cost of an undermount sink is higher than a top-mount sink.
  • As mentioned in the above pointer, the need for a professional and additional tools increases the cost.
  • The chances of making modifications after installing an undermount sink is almost nil. Any mistakes while fitting an undermount can lead to costly fixes.

3. Limited Countertop Options

  • Given the invisibility of space between the sink and counter surface, the compatibility options are limited.
  • It is advisable to choose a solid surface to complement an undermount sink.
  • While granite, quartz, and stone prove to be best suited for undermount sinks, laminate or tiles are not the best options.
  • The hole in the countertop needs to be custom-made to fit the sink. The homeowner first needs to pick the sink, and provide the exact size to the stone mason, who will then work on the final cut out.

Make a Choice

This is often a tricky question when choosing between what one wants and what one needs. It is advisable to double-check your requirements before picking the right sink.

If you are someone who doesn’t care about the aesthetics then top-mount should be a suitable option. However, if you want to keep a balance between efficiency and elegance, an undermount is the best choice.

As promised, you’ve reached the end, where you have made a choice! If you still haven’t, start by answering these three questions:

  • What are the uses?
  • Do you have a modern kitchen or a basic old-fashioned one?
  • What is your lifestyle like?

While you make a choice on your own, it is no harm to seek advice. Get in touch with us at Cozy Home to book a consultation with the experts.