What is an Undermount Sink?
Undermount sinks are typically installed within elegant countertops, such as those made from quartz, granite, etc. This type of basin is installed underneath the counter, rather than the standard sink installed from the top.
The installation process of this sink type can be pretty tricky, so it is best left to professionals. In addition, this fancy lavatory requires the countertop to be customized to fit its measurements, which requires a lot more work than your standard sink.
Why choose an undermount sink if it tends to be more complex and costly to install? Well, there is the unique aesthetic merit that it delivers to your home. In addition, this type of sink provides a more natural look to the countertop than a standard basin which tends to break the streamlined appearance of a countertop.
Pros and Cons of Undermount Bathroom Sinks
If you are still not sold or need more information as to what you can expect if you choose an undermount sink, then you have come to the right place. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating this type of upmarket sink into your bathroom or kitchen. Afterwards, you will be able to weigh in the pros and cons and make a more informed decision. Let’s begin.
The Pros of Undermount Sinks
Elegant and Sleek Aesthetics
The most notable advantage of using this type of sink is aesthetics. Once installed, this sleek basin integrates seamlessly into the countertop. Unlike the overmount or drop-in class, which somewhat protrudes physically and visually. You will also avoid the “lip” or borderline, which breaks the seamless design between countertop and sink.
There are also several variations of this type of basin that feature different materials. There is a good chance you will find a sink that utilizes a similar appearance to your countertop. If you do, it will make for a more streamlined and pleasing appearance.
Speaking of versatility in design and material, undermount bathroom sinks are also highly flexible in their color scheme. This aspect will make it even easier to achieve the uniform format for your lavatory and countertop.
You can even experiment with the design by utilizing contrasting yet complementing colors for your basin and countertop. There are also stainless-steel versions of this sink, which adds a classic charm to your vanity area.
Unique and Versatile Features
Another advantage of incorporating this kitchen/bathroom sink is its unique (and somewhat tricky) installation. Your standard basin will be installed from above, while as the name of the undermount sink implies, it installs from the bottom.
This installation process will provide outstanding benefits for countertops made from ceramic, granite, or quartz. This result is because the basin type will integrate smoothly into the overall aesthetics of the countertop.
Due to the undermount sink’s installation, it adds countertop space and provides versatility when it comes to interior designing and decorating the surface your vanity.
Easy to Clean
Due to not having the lip protruding over the borders of the sink, the undermount basin is considerably easier to clean. Also, depending on the material used, you can clean your countertop and sink at the same time without needing to switch to another cleaning tool or chemical.
The streamlined integration of this lavatory can cut cleaning time by half, which is always welcome. In addition, the lack of the typical basin “lip” means that you can avoid having to contend with hard water buildup on the cracks in between the sink and countertop.
Cleaning the undermount sink, depending on the material used, is also incredibly easy and can be accomplished with a simple microfiber cloth or sponge. No matter the material used, you can bet that cleaning this sleek basin will be considerably easier than expected.
Saves a Decent Amount of Countertop Space
Due to the sink’s positioning being underneath, the extra inches taken up by the lip disappears and the basin only takes up only the necessary space, which is the sink area itself.
For a bathroom countertop, the more space, the better as it improves overall convenience. Adding extra accessories will prove quite valuable in the long run and will also enhance the bathroom’s overall aesthetics.
This space-saving quality is most welcome if you have a vanity countertop which in itself offers limited space already.
Excellent Resale Value
Unlike standard basins, an undermount bathroom sink offers excellent resale value if you ever wish to renovate your home. Of course, this will depend on the material of this basin type, but generally, you can expect undermount sinks to fetch a decent amount of price even if it is second-hand.
We recommend you opt for high-quality materials when it comes to undermount basins. For longevity, you should go with ceramic or cast iron basins as these will last for a good couple of decades with proper care and maintenance.
Choose the suitable material, the best design, and you can significantly boost the resale value of your bathroom in the future. That’s a pretty good investment if you ever plan on moving sometime in the future. If not, you still have a pretty stunning lavatory that you can use – talk about a win-win situation.
The Cons of Undermount Sinks
Installation can be Quite Difficult
The biggest gripe we have encountered involving the undermount sink is how difficult it can be to install. In fact, this type of bathroom sink is the most difficult to install. Unlike the drop-in sink, which is pretty straightforward to mount, the undermount version requires several steps and precise measurements to fix your countertop correctly.
The fact that you will be installing this from below makes it awkward to mount from the get-go. Another factor that adds to the complicated installation process is exact measurements before you start cutting the countertop. This part of the installation process is probably the most delicate as one wrong move, and you can forget about that seamless and smooth appearance.
Besides the need for exact positioning, this type of lavatory also must be perfectly sealed to avoid water leaks. Improper installation of an undermount bathroom sink will result in an unattractive appearance and lead to water leak problems.
Because of the complicated nature of installing this bathroom sink, we highly advise you to contact a professional if you lack the experience to do so yourself. It may cost you extra money with this option, but at least you can rest easy knowing that the undermount sink is installed correctly.
Lack of Multiple Faucet Options
This type of bathroom sink mounts from beneath the countertop, the faucet options available is severely limited. In addition, this type of sink does not support a faucet in its design, which means you will need to install the tap directly to your countertop by drilling holes and using a deck-mounted faucet.
Taking that drawback into account, you will also need to carefully choose the right faucet type, which further shortens your options.
Vulnerability to Condensation Buildup
Another issue that may arise from an improper installation is condensation buildup underneath the sink. Condensation buildup is often due to the undermount sink not being adequately sealed with a silicone sealant.
Condensation buildup is a potential problem as it can cause mold buildup and unpleasant smells. There is also a high risk of damage to the basin if left untreated for a long time.
Incompatibility with Some Countertops
Another downside to using an undermount bathroom sink is that it is not compatible with all countertops. This type of basin requires a sturdy countertop to support its weight adequately. Thus, it is best suited for granite-made countertops. However, ceramic countertops will also do, as long as it is a high-quality and durable model.
We highly refrain from installing undermount basins if your countertop has integrity problems, as this might cause the entire sink to collapse.
This Basin Type is Considerably More Expensive than Other Models
Another factor that tends to sway people away is the high price tag. Compared to other sinks, like the standard drop-in model, the undermount version is more expensive. Add to the fact that you will most likely need professional help with the installation; it can stack up the cost three-fold.
Also, add that undermount bathroom basins require a sturdy and high-quality countertop, which means you might need to renovate your bathroom as well. That said, this type of bathroom lavatory is a good investment over time and is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options out there in the market.
If you decide on getting an undermount bathroom sink, consider all the pros and cons discussed above. The size of the countertop and plumbing system are factors that you should consider first and foremost.
All in all, your personal preference will be the final deciding factor, and you can bet that an undermount bathroom sink will be a pretty good and satisfying investment.