Undermount sinks have become a distinctive new trend in kitchen renovations. The standard kitchen sink gets dropped in and hangs over the countertop, which creates that slightly raised rim. An undermount sink is installed to eliminate these lips because it sits under the countertop. The attachment process uses an epoxy adhesive that gets sealed around the perimeter with silicone caulking. The result is a continuous line between the countertop and the sink, with no rim exposure. Many homeowners consider this innovative design to be an aesthetic and functional improvement over the traditional sink. However, an undermount sink would not be the right fit for every kitchen, and there are several elements to consider. Read on to learn about the pros and cons that are characterizing this remodeling trend.
Pro: An undermount sink is easier to clean
People who have these distinctive sinks will mention that their notable advantage is the ability to wipe all counter scraps directly into the sink. There's no accumulation of dirt or crumbs, unlike with traditional sinks where you can get obstructed by the rim. Over time, the lip around a sink can collect so much debris that it becomes both an appearance and cleanliness issue. Undermount sinks present an incredibly elegant solution to this problem, and this is a significant reason for their popularity.
Pro: The attractive, seamless look of undermount sinks
Since the undermount sink is hanging from beneath the countertop, there is a striking effect of seamlessness. The sink does have an edge, but it has been hidden because of where it is mounted. Many people have a preference for the clean, modern lines of this look. Seamlessness has been popping up all over home decor, including with the seamless shower trend. An undermount sink fits right into the minimalist design scheme.
Con: Undermount sinks are not appropriate for laminate or tile countertops
The installation structure for undermount sinks makes them incompatible with certain types of countertops. It takes a countertop made from a very solid material like granite, concrete, or marble to support the sink's weight safely. In the case of countertops made of laminate or tile, there would be too many points of weakness alongside seam or grout lines for an undermount sink to be feasible.
Con: Regardless of countertop material, can be improperly installed
Even with the right countertops, which would be stone or another solid material, homeowners have to be mindful of getting a high-quality installation. The process for getting undermount sinks to adhere correctly can be tricky, requiring both clamps and epoxy adhesive. The sink also needs to be screwed into the countertop to make sure the unit is properly secured. The undermount sink installation costs more than a standard sink installation and will also require a more careful search for a reputable plumber than can do the job right. Without proper installation, an undermount sink can eventually loosen away from the countertop. Over time, the weight of the water, pots, and the garbage disposal can overwhelm the adhesive so much that the sink drops down.
Bottom line: It's worth noting that, along with being more expensive to install, undermount sinks themselves also cost more, especially the popular stainless steel variety. So is this trend the right solution for your kitchen? If your kitchen doesn't have countertops of the right materials, you'll have to look into getting a traditional sink instead. Homeowners that appreciate the modern look and cleaning convenience of an undermount sink may consider it well worth the investment. With a seamless transition between the countertop and the sink, this innovative trend brings a modern, minimalist style to any kitchen.
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