You’ve made it! This is the final part of our 3-part series on choosing the right kitchen sink for your kitchenCRATE project.
In our first posts, we looked at choosing a sink finish. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of cast iron, stainless steel and engineered stone sinks. In our second post evaluated different sink configurations, including single or dual-bowls and also bowl depth.
Your final decision in choosing the perfect sink pertains to the install method. Accordingly, we’ll weigh-in on the top-mount vs. undermount debate.
Top-Mount Kitchen Sink Installation
What is it: A top-mount sink configuration means the edge of the sink sits on top of the countertop. This creates a bit of a “step” to get from the countertop into the sink.
When it’s used: Top-mount sinks are used mainly when the sink is being replaced but the countertop is not. The reason is simple: it’s impossible to get a undermount sink in place without removing the countertop. (You’ll see why in the next section). One drawback to a top-mount sink is it makes cleaning the countertop more difficult. You can’t simply wipe crumbs into the sink because of the “step” created by the sink edge.
Pricing: The average top-mount sink is less expensive than the average under-mount sink. Most economy grade cast iron or stainless steel sinks are top-mount.
Undermount Kitchen Sink Installation
What is it: An undermount sink configuration means the edge of the sink sits under the countertop. Another way to look at it is the countertop overlaps the edge of the sink. Within this undermount configuration, there are options for how far the countertop comes in towards the center of the sink. Options include holding the countertop back from the inside edge of the sink, running it equal to the inside edge, or even running the countertop over the edge just a bit. This all depends on homeowner preference and what will look the best with your selected countertop material and sink.
When it’s used: Undermount sinks are viewed as a higher quality install method. The undermount method can only be done when the countertops are being replaced as well, so if your considering this method, be sure to tell your contractor upfront.
Pricing: Undermount sinks typically cost a bit more than top-mount.