Before upgrading or building a new kitchen or bathroom with an undermount sink, want to know everything about it? Let us explore all the aspects of under-mounted sinks -from buying to fitting and cleaning.
In fact: How about we compare the pros and cons of an undermount sink to help you make the right choice for your kitchen or bathroom?
So, here is a detailed explanation of all the pros and cons of fitting an undermount sink in your bathroom or kitchen.
About Undermount Sinks
With the increasing popularity of natural stone counters, this is a relatively new sink. In layman’s terms, undermount sinks are called under-the-counter sinks. They are characterized by their way of installation on the kitchen countertop.
In contrast to a drop-in sink, an undermount sink is installed under the counter rather than dropped into pre-cut holes. The sinks sit underneath the countertop with the help of heavy clips and strong adhesive. Hence, there is no rim between countertops and sinks.
Pros of Undermount Sink
Below are some of the undermount sink pros: Read on
With an undermount sink, you can wipe debris and messes into the basin with a lip or edge below the counter. Integrated drainboards are included in the undermount sink itself to keep your worktop clean and dry.
It drains the excess water preventing the worktop sink area from getting wet. Therefore, there is less clutter, everything smells fresh, and you save time.
You need to ensure that the silicone caulking that joins your sink to the counter is regularly cleaned and dried if you have this type of sink.
The crack between the sink and the countertop is often a cause of concern for people. However, using a sponge or soft cloth and dishwashing soap or liquid soap, you can easily clean an undermount bathroom/kitchen sink.
The seamless style of undermount sinks is one of the many reasons they are gaining popularity. Since the sink is underneath the countertop, it creates sleek, seamless lines that add to your modern home decor.
You can design your sink as per your choice as long as they are perfectly installed. Additionally, the material of the sink also adds to the beauty.
To be precise, undermount sinks are available in stainless steel, one of the best materials to have in our kitchen. Also, scrapyards pay a good amount when you sell them.
Enough Countertop Space
As the name suggests, it is an under-mounted sink installed in your home. Hence, it does not take up much space in your kitchen and instead provides enough countertop space for you to use.
In this type of sink, the edge of your sink will not disturb your counter space.
Additionally, this extra space brings extra storage as it maximizes the worktop.
Undermount Sink Reveal
Another benefit is sink reveal. As the name suggests, sink reveal refers to the part of the sink visible beneath the countertop. Precisely, this word refers to sinks that are beneath the counter.
Sink reveal offers three options to choose from, so it is a benefit. Your preferences will determine which fit is right for you.
After deciding on the material and an under-the-counter sink, the following step is choosing a type of sink reveal. Sink reveals come in three varieties: positive, negative, and zero.
Positive reveal means that the countertop edge leans back from the edge of the sink. With this type of reveal, some portion of the rim remains exposed.
Additionally, this reveal gives the designer some room for maneuver when it comes to cutting. As they are easy to clean, positive reveals become popular.
A negative reveal is when the countertop is slightly extended beyond the edge of the sink from all sides. But, this extending edge is more likely to get chipped.
In addition, if not cleaned regularly, it can develop mold under this edge.
In a zero reveal, also known as the flush mount, the under-mounted sink and countertop are aligned in a perfect line.
However, it becomes an additional expense because installing a zero reveal sink requires high precision.
An additional benefit of zero reveal is that it is easy to clean gunk or ickes because there are no edges exposed.
The advantage of getting an undermount sink is that they are customizable. In the market, the sinks come in different materials and different sink bowls. Some of the materials of an undermount sink are:
- Stainless steel
- Enamel-coated cast iron
- Solid surfaces
Note- Undermount sinks perform well with solid countertops. For example, they should be composed of durable materials. Like, solid wood, solid surface material, natural stone, or composite stone.
These sinks should not be paired with laminate or ceramic tile counters as they are susceptible to water damage.
You can decide from the below three given options for washing, draining, and rinsing as per your choice.
One bowl -A single bowl for everything, washing, draining, and rinsing. However, you can buy additional accessories such as a utility tray, drainboard, etc.
Two bowls -A double sink bowl makes cleaning easier. The two bowls are for washing with soap water and rinsing with clean water.
Three bowls -A triple bowl provides three different compartments for washing, draining, and rinsing.
Cons of Undermount Sink
While numerous pros, under-mount sinks also come with disadvantages of their own. Learn some important cons of undermount sinks
If you wish to buy a budget-friendly sink, this might not be the best choice for you. There is an increased cost associated with undermount sinks when compared to drop-in kitchen sinks.
While deciding to go for an under-mounted type of sink, along with the sink, you will have to have:
- suitable countertop,
- high precision and proper installation, and
- other accessories.
For bathrooms, particularly, you might have to drill a faucet hole before installing the sink.
The drilling will come as an added expense.
Overall, undermount sinks are expensive.
Extra Care and Maintenance
Under-mount sinks have nothing above the counter to hold them, they require extra care, support, and maintenance. Additionally, they also need more sturdy counters resistant to water damage. Or else it will damage the sink cabinet.
Another drawback is that if the kitchen sink installation is poor, it can fail. It needs the most precision and skills during the sink installation process.
Firstly, this sink is properly installed beneath the worktop, making it difficult to install. Secondly, the sink and the countertop must then be in perfect alignment. A seamless design is when the sink rim is lined up perfectly with the countertop.
As a result, consider hiring a professional to install your undermount sink. It will cost you more money, but you will have a perfectly built sink.
Contractors generally use only adhesive to attach an undermount sink to the countertop. This is a red flag. Using fasteners/clips along with silicone will make it safer. Keep an eye on the installer while they are installing it.
Not Suitable for Every Countertop Materials
The undermount sink is underneath the countertop, it has to be of durable material. For example, a granite countertop will be an excellent choice.
Additionally, it also has to hold the weight of your undermount sink and the weight of the full sink.
Weigh the pros and cons and decide whether an undermount type of sink fits you best. If you have decided to buy a new sink, that is great. Now, you might be concerned about the cleaning and maintenance of it.
How to Take Care of An Undermount Sink?
Clean and dry the silicone caulk between the kitchen sink and countertop regularly. Clean the sink lips with denatured alcohol. Check the seal for sink opening, cracks or mold and replace if there are problems found.
If you’re replacing this yourself, make sure that you carefully remove the old silicone and re-tighten it to allow enough time to dry.
How to Clean Mildew from Undermount Sink?
Did you know?
Silicone is the best mildew-resistant caulk available for undermount kitchen sinks. Thus, you can always opt for silicone for caulking your sink to the countertops. It will resist the development of mildew.
However, if you still see any mildew buildup, you can try the following method.
- With the cloth, wrap the end of the butter knife/screwdriver and spray it with a cleaner available at your house.
- Next, run the knife edge gently over the mildew and remove it.
- Repeat the process with different ends of the cloth by spraying the cleaner until clean.
Tip: Try not to push the knife very hard as it can damage the adhesive
Another way to get rid of mildew from undermount kitchen sinks is using white distilled vinegar. It is the cheapest and best acetic acid available in the market.
- To use, fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and spray it on the affected areas.
- Then, wait for 3-4 minutes until it starts to take effect.
- Once the acid begins to disappear, soak a cloth in hot water, wring it and wipe away the vinegar.
And you’re all set!
Understanding the pros and cons of undermount kitchen sinks will help you decide if they are a suitable match for your house. Ultimately, the verdict is that it is your choice and your preferences.