What is an Undermount Sink?

Ken Black
Ken Black
Man with a drill
Man with a drill

An undermount sink is one where the level of the sink is sunken down to a level below the the plain of the countertop. In other words, it looks as if the countertop naturally falls off into the sink. These types of sinks are very popular in both bathrooms and kitchens.

An undermount sink is not a new design, but rather a resurgence of an old idea that has become popular again as technology to pull of the effect has improved and become affordable. The idea is that it appears more natural and more seamless and sleek for there to be no crown around the rim of a sink. While some may not like the look, many others have the opposite opinion. An undermount sink, properly placed, can become a centerpiece kitchen sink or bathroom sink.

In most cases, it may be wise to have an undermount sink installed by a professional. It should be attached with a space-age bonding agent, such as silicone caulk, to the underside of the countertop in a consistent line to prevent leaks. New materials on the market make it relatively easy to keep an undermount sink in place. Silicone, for example, cures quickly and, once it is dry, is capable of holding a tremendous amount of weight.

The design of an undermount sink may cause some to shy away from installing one, in fear that the result will leak. Indeed, those fears are easy to understand. In some cases, such as when the sink is full of water and is affixed to a garbage disposal, caulking must be able to hold more than 100 pounds (45 kg) of weight. Silicone caulk, however, is more than able to handle the job, if it is applied properly.

For those interested in an undermount sink for a kitchen or bathroom, there are many different options from which to choose. There are double bowls, unequal double bowls and single bowls. Most kitchen sinks will use a double bowl. Bathrooms are ideal for single bowls.

If installing an undermount sink by yourself, the first thing to do is to make sure you read all directions and follow them as closely as possible. The underside of the counter, where the bonding agent will be, must be clean and free of dust and debris. Failing to ensure this can result in the sink pulling away from the counter. Also, it is good to let 24 hours pass after installing the sink and before using it. One of the most common mistakes made is not giving the bonding agent enough time to set before beginning use.

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