Undermount Sink Vs Overmount (Drop-In) Sink: Which One Is Appropriate?

Fancy as it sounds, both undermount & drop-in (overmount) kitchen sinks are a sophisticated choice for any contemporary kitchen. Being almost similar in designs & properties, it’s hard to choose any one between these two. To clear up the confusion, our in-depth comparison between undermount sink vs overmount kitchen sink will guide you.

Speaking about kitchen sinks, there are many types of them in terms of design and material. Many of you may have different designs of kitchen sinks like a Farmhouse sink, Apron sink, not to mention the undermount & overmount sinks we are discussing in this post. Plus different materials like porcelain, stainless steel, cast iron & even ceramic create a lot of variation in the world of kitchen sinks. Without further ado, let’s see how these two kitchen sinks differ from each other—

Undermount Sink

In recent times, an undermount sink has been a part and parcel element of any contemporary kitchen. To give the kitchen a minimalistic & sophisticated look, many people prefer undermount sinks in their kitchen. Although the undermount kitchen sink isn’t all about the looks, its facilities are advantageous too.

An undermount sink implies a certain sink design where the edge rims of the sink are hidden or mounted under the kitchen counter. So it provides a smooth & clean look to the countertop & creates a continuous flow towards the sink. Therefore, you can swoop things right into the sink.

An undermount sink is installed in such a way so that the sink hangs underneath the counter instead of sitting on top of the kitchen counter. Depending on the material, a sink can be very heavy on its own. Plus a sink full of dishes is much heavier than the actual sink. So it needs proper support from its surroundings.

The undermount kitchen sink acquires support from the kitchen counter from both the bottom & the sides. It uses some clips or brackets as support that mount to the counter. These brackets & clips hold the sink & effectively prevent it from getting collapsed. 

Other than brackets, some caulking materials like silicone or epoxy help to complete the installation of an undermount sink. This helps to prevent food deposits at the underside of the kitchen counter & ensures a complete seal. Depending on the sink model, we recommend replacing the caulking adhesive once every two to five years to ensure the best outcome.

This type of kitchen sink requires a waterproof surface to ensure proper sealing. Plus it requires a solid countertop to support the sink or basin. For that, marble, granite, concrete or soapstone countertops are well-suitable for this type of sink.

Undermount sinks are extremely efficient at saving up counter space. Because they kind of act as an extension of the countertop. If you have a really small kitchen, you can consider installing an undermount kitchen sink.

Undermount sinks are available in pretty much all materials like stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic, fireclay, etc. Depending on the material, size, and design, the price range may differ. But an undermount sink is usually expensive.

Advantages Of Undermount Sink

  • Provides a clean & minimalistic look to the kitchen counter
  • Saves up counter space
  • Easy to clean the countertop
  • They can be deeper to help washing large pots & pans

Disadvantages Of Undermount Sink

  • Expensive than other sink types
  • Risks of getting collapsed
  • Hard to install
  • Frequent accumulation of food at the underside of the counter
  • Requires solid countertop

Overmount Or Drop-in Sink

Being the opposite type, an overmount or drop-in sink has a contrary design & properties of an undermount sink. It has a visible edge rim, and usually shallow in depth making it easier to clean the sink itself. It’s suitable for any type of countertop.

Not having a hidden lip doesn’t make the counter any less elegant, there are countless drop-in sinks that look sleek enough to go with any minimalistic kitchen. It’s extremely easy to install & doesn’t require any professional, you can do it yourself as a part of your DIY kitchen renovation project.

Since it sits on the countertop, it doesn’t have any possibility to collapse. Plus there are fewer chances of food accumulation so it doesn’t need any proper sealing too. It doesn’t need any waterproof countertop or anything, so you can install this sink no matter what material your countertop is.

A drop-in sink, however, is usually wider in size, so it takes up more kitchen space. Don’t worry, you can still save some of your counter space by installing a drainboard drop-in sink. However, it’s usually much shallower in depth to maintain a sleek look, so you may find it difficult to wash larger pots & dishes.

Drop-in sinks are extremely budget friendly and available in pretty much all types of material. You can find marble, fireclay, porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, cast iron, literally any type of drop-in kitchen sinks in the market. Since it doesn’t need any extra support, you don’t have to worry about the extra weight of dishes too.

Advantages Of Drop-in Sinks

  • Budget friendly price range
  • Easier to install
  • Flexible to any type of kitchen counter
  • Easy to clean the sink itself
  • No food accumulation
  • No risk of getting collapsed

Disadvantages Of Drop-in Sinks

  • Visible edge rim that hampers the clean look of the counter
  • Takes up more counter space
  • Shallower sinks don’t allow washing large dishes

Difference Between Undermount Sink vs Overmount Sink: Which One Is More Appropriate?

Having a slight difference in design & properties can make a huge change, and the description above probably has already given you some hints about their differences. Anyways, the complete comparison is not complete yet, there are a lot more things you can discover when you put these sinks against each other. So let’s dig into the head to head comparison between undermount sink vs overmount sink—

Difference In Design

The undermount sink & overmount sink have obvious differences in design, and it’s not only about the edge rim or lips. Undermount sinks are usually confined yet deeper in design to save up counter space but still allowing to wash larger pots & dishes. On the other hand, drop-in sinks are much wider and shallower in design to keep up a decent look.

Undermount & drop-in sinks have visible differences in faucet designs. In the case of an undermount sink, the faucet has to reside on the countertop or the wall where most of the drop-in sinks have rooms for faucet attachment. So you may have to go through the additional hassle of installing the faucet separately if you choose an undermount sink.

Another important aspect of the design of these two sinks is, an undermount sink prevents spilling the water since it has a deeper design. But water spillage is quite common in drop-in sinks. Because it’s shallow & has no countertop extension.

Difference In Installation

Different designs of these two sinks have the most impact on the installation, and in the case of these two, the installation process has night and day differences. Installing an undermount kitchen sink requires a lot of planning & expertise, making it doable for only the professionals. Since it needs a lot of invisible supports & proper sealing, it’s wise to leave the installation process to the professionals.

On the other hand, installing a drop-in sink doesn’t require any plans or exercise at all. You won’t have to worry about the support & faucet placement, anybody can install a drop-in sink just by watching a YouTube video. It doesn’t need any specific counter types, so you can be absolutely worry-free about the installation.

Difference In Cleaning

Having a continuous flow from the countertop, cleaning the countertop is extremely easy if you have an undermount sink. Just swoop the food scraps & crumbs into the sink, the sink will take care of the rest.

However, cleaning the sink itself might be difficult since there are chances of food deposits in the space between the sink & countertop. You may have to remove the caulking material & reinstall it if it catches mold or anything. Removing & reinstalling the caulking material isn’t that hard, just use a chisel and remove the caulking material from the underside. Then prepare some new caulking mixture & fill up the spaces with it.

An overmount or drop-in sink doesn’t have this problem, the sink itself is easy to clean. Cleaning the countertop won’t be as comfortable as an undermount sink countertop. But it’s still much more comfortable than cleaning the food deposit from the cul de sac of the undermount sink.

Difference In Durability

Since they’re both available in most of the sink materials, they don’t have much differences in durability. But the undermount sink has some drawbacks in terms of durability.

Since we use a caulking material to ensure the seal the space between the sink & countertop, it needs to be replaced once every few years to prevent food deposits. But the most dangerous scenario would be collapsing the sink, which is pretty common. In that case, you have to replace and reinstall the whole sink setup.

Difference In Prices

Undermount & drop-in sinks have a different price tag, which is definitely a game changer. Depending on the design, material & size, an undermount sink may cost you up to 1000 dollars plus installation charges.

On the other hand, you can get the high-end drop-in sinks within 300-400 dollars. So undoubtedly, a drop-in sink would be a much cheaper option if you want to renovate your kitchen within the budget.

Undermount Sink Vs Drop-in Sink: Our Verdict

After all the discussion, we think now it will be easier for you to choose any one between them. Now that you know the pros and cons of both of these sinks, you can choose the one you find more suitable. And if you still want our opinion, here it is—

Despite having all these disadvantages, it’s quite undeniable how stunning an undermount sink looks in any kitchen. It literally changes the whole look of any kitchen. If you’re going for a sleek & minimalistic look for your small kitchen, an undermount kitchen sink should be your ultimate choice.

And if you’re doing a budget-friendly & DIY kitchen renovation, an overmount or drop-in sink should be your choice. We can’t get over how easy the installation process is, not to mention the durability & low price range of this sink. You can still get a fancy looking sink for your kitchen even though you can’t spend much.

So there goes the detailed comparison between undermount sink vs overmount sink. We hope this post will be enough to guide you through choosing the most suitable sink for your kitchen. Set your preferences & shop for your favorite sink today!

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