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Should I Get an Undermount Sink? Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Posted by Daniel Mizrahi on Thursday, October 05, 2017

Tile backsplashes are in, and fluorescent lights are out. White cabinets are in, and white appliances are out. Kitchen design trends keep changing, and we are often left wondering why they happen. Is it just a style preference, or is there a practical improvement? In the case of undermount sinks, there is some of both. The look is definitely a big factor, but there are some practical benefits as well. So, is it for you? Should you get an undermount sink? Let's take a look!

What Is an Undermount Sink?

For many years, the dominant sink style was the drop-in sink, which is installed from above the countertop and dropped into the hole. It has a wider rim than the hole, so that the weight of the sink is supported by this rim, and the edges of the countertop hole are hidden. 

In contrast to this, an undermount sink is installed from below, and attaches to the bottom surface of the countertop. It does not protrude up through the sink hole in the countertop at all.

What Are the Advantages of an Undermount Sink?

The main practical benefit of an undermount sink is that it makes the countertops easier to clean. When you are wiping down the surfaces, you can swipe right over the sink and the food crumbs fall directly in. With a drop-in sink, the food crumbs are stopped by the sink rim, often becoming lodged in the crack between the countertop and the rim. (If your drop-in sink is caulked well, this can be prevented).

Beyond the functionality, many people are choosing undermount sinks for the style. This type of sink is more modern-looking, with a seamless feel to it. You see more of the countertop and less of the stainless steel or porcelain. Also, the faucet fixture is installed directly in the countertop surface or even in the wall behind the sink, creating a very striking visual effect.

What Type of Countertop Can I Use with an Undermount Sink?

Undermount sinks can be installed in countertops made of a solid surface, such as stone, quartz, granite, or concrete. Because there is no upper rim or lip on the sink, the hole needs to be cut very precisely, and it needs to have an attractive finish on the edge.

You can't put undermount sinks on a traditional laminate countertop, because the sink hole will expose the wood-chip interior. Even if the sink hole edges were covered with the laminate surface, the undermount style would expose the wood-chip interior to moisture, which would quickly ruin the countertop.

That said, there are some high-pressure laminate countertops that can work with undermount sinks. In order for this to work out well, it is vital that you select the correct materials, and have them installed according to very exact specifications.

Kitchen Remodeling and Undermount Sinks in the Los Angeles Area

Open Hand Remodeling is an experienced contractor working in the Los Angeles region. We provide kitchen design and remodeling services, as well as bath remodeling and whole-house renovations. If you are interested in a kitchen remodel, or if you are considering changing your countertop and sink, we would be happy to speak with you. Please don't hesitate to contact us!

We serve West Hollywood, Glendale, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood and the greater Los Angeles area. If you need a kitchen remodeler, you know who to call!

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Open Hand Remodeling Co., Building Contractors, Pasadena, CA