Undermount Sink Vs. Drop-in Sink

The Difference Between Undermount VS Drop-In

Are you looking for a new sink to spice up your kitchen? Can't decide between undermount or drop-in?

We're going to compare the two and see which comes out on top. Get ready to make your kitchen dreams come true!

Before we get into the nerdy details let's first establish the difference between an undermount sink vs a drop-in sink.

Undermount Sink

Undermount sinks are installed under the counter. Instead of the outer rim supporting the sink's weight, silicone and sink clips are used to secure it from underneath.
They do have a rim ... you just won't be able to see it once the installation is finished. The edge of the pre-made counter hole, however, will be visible. This is always polished and smooth to the touch before your sink is installed.

Drop-in Sink

Drop-in sinks, often referred to as top-mount sinks, sit in a pre-cut hole in your countertop. It's a self-rimming variety — in other words, the rim sitting on top of the countertop will support the weight of the sink.

Sometimes, there will be extra supports tucked under the countertop to ensure everything stays in place depending on the type of sink material.

Drop-in sinks are the most common sink used in kitchens, winning over its slightly more stylish cousins, especially with laminate countertops.

Sink Cleaning: Undermount VS Drop-In

Okay, now let's talk cleaning.

The most infuriating aspect of undermount sinks is the awkward cleaning regime that comes with them. Though incredibly pleasing to the eye, the gap between the top of the sink and the counter gets mucky. Yes, this gap is filled with silicone but it will require a little more diligence in cleaning to remove food granules that will have a tendency to collect there.

Easiest Installation: Undermount VS Drop-In

When it comes to ease of installation, drop-in sinks win hands down. Why? Well, the clue is in the name! All you have to do is drop it into the hole on your countertop.

Conversely, undermount sinks present many installation challenges. They have to be installed below the countertop so you need to have a complete understanding of the right methods, tools, techniques, and bonding agents to use.

It's safe to say that the drop-in sink wins this round!

Which Sink For Which Countertop Material

When choosing a sink it's important to understand that if you have a certain type of material your sink options are limited.

Laminate Countertops

All Other Countertop Materials

Undermount sinks can be used with all other materials. Undermount sinks are the most common sink chosen for granite, marble, quartz, and all other solid surface countertops.

There are a few things to consider as outlined in this article.

The most important thing is that you choose a sink that you're happy with!

Sink Factor Winner
Installation Ease The drop-in sink.
Cleaning Ease The drop-in sink.
Lowest Cost The drop-in sink.
Aesthetics The undermount sink.
Construction Quality The undermount sink.
Durability The undermount sink.

By looking at the table above you can determine which one you think would fit your home the best.

If you're looking for something easy and budget-friendly, choose the drop-in sink or a cheaper undermount.

If you're wanting to add a splash of luxury to your kitchen, choose the undermount.

Advantages of Undermount Sinks

  • Great aesthetic appeal if you love a streamlined look

  • Tend to be built from higher quality materials

  • Very much "on-trend" right now (but remember that things always go out of style).

  • Better resale value. Although, it's important to realize house prices rarely inflate due to single items like sinks. Having said that, undermount models do add an extra touch of glamour homeowners might be looking for.

  • Countertops easier to clean with no lip (rim) getting in the way.

Advantages of Drop-In Sinks

  • Typically more budget-friendly than undermount sinks. This is due to the range of construction options available to manufacturers.

  • Easy to install. Nine times out of ten you won't even need to employ a professional. Simply drop it in and hook it up yourself!

  • Works with all countertop materials. Undermount sinks need solid surfaces like quartz to be work safely and effectively; drop-in sinks do not.

  • Easier to clean with no gap between the underside of the countertop and the rim.

Undermount And Drop-in Sink Basin Comparison

Most undermount sinks have a deeper sink basin. The depth of your sink basin is also affected by the thickness of your countertop. If you have a 3cm thick countertop which is 1 1/4 inches you will get that much more depth. Overall a deeper sink is more desirable.

Drop-in sinks are usually not as deep as an undermount sink. Drop-in sinks are usually 6 inches deep compared to 8 inches or 9 inches for undermount sinks.

For this reason a lot of people prefer an undermount sink over a drop-in sink.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it's all about which one you find more appealing! Just remember to keep your budget in mind when you're considering an undermount sink vs. drop-in sink.

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