Undermount vs. Overmount Kitchen Sinks

A white kitchen sink in front of a window with a beige interior.

If you're rebuilding your countertop, you may wonder what type of sink you should use: an overmount kitchen sink or an undermount kitchen sink. Each sink is installed in very different ways, and has its own pros and cons. Here is a quick run-down of each type of sink as well as its advantages and disadvantages you should consider in your next kitchen remodel.

Overmount Kitchen Sink

This is the traditional type of sink where the edges of the sink are placed on the countertop. The weight of the overmount kitchen sink is supported by the countertop.

Pros of an Overmount Kitchen Sink

An overmount kitchen sink is not limited in size by the walls of your cabinet. If your countertop is made from a soft material such as marble, an overmount kitchen sink aids in the protection of the edges.

An overmount kitchen sink is cheaper and easier to install than an undermount kitchen sink.

Cons of an Overmount Kitchen Sink

Many people believe they are unsightly when used on a countertop made of high-end materials, such as granite and marble because they cover the edges of that material.

With an overmount kitchen sink, pieces of food can get swept underneath the edges of the sink and stuck there. This can lead to the growth of mildew and bacteria that can be unhealthy for you and your family.

Undermount Kitchen Sink

An undermount kitchen sink.

This is a relatively new kind of sink that has become popular with the increased use of counters made of natural stone. With this type of sink, instead of being placed on top of the counter with the counter supporting its weight, the sink is installed below the counter and held in place with a strong adhesive.

Pros of an Undermount Kitchen Sink

An undermount sink allows the natural beauty of your counter to be uninterrupted by the edges of your sink.

Cleaning up of your counter is easier with an undermount kitchen sink because food and other spills can be swept right into the sink with no obstruction in the way, such as the edge of the sink.

Cons of an Undermount Kitchen Sink

Certain care must be used when you have an undermount kitchen sink. Since the sink has no edges, you must be careful never to fill your sink. If you do, water will spill out onto your counter top. In addition, the adhesives that hold the weight of the sink are often not waterproof and contact with water can cause these adhesives to loosen, and your sink will fall.

Because of the way these sinks are held in place, it is important that they are installed correctly to avoid problems down the road. This can lead to a lot of work on your part in the installation or the cost of hiring a professional to install it for you.

Not counting the cost of labor, undermount kitchen sinks are also more expensive than their overmount kitchen sink counterparts.

As you can see, each have their advantages. Now it's up to you to determine whether an overmount or undermount kitchen sink is right for you.