For some time, overmount, or top mount sinks have been the prevailing fixture in our bathrooms and kitchens. They've been so popular, due to the fact that they are limited in size or shape by any surrounding cabinetry or other structures. Now, with the new trend moving toward natural stone countertops, undermount sinks have made a slow, but steady comeback.
Their modern and fashionable look is appealing and they compliment other high-end materials, such as the natural stone countertops. As nice as they look, there are some drawbacks to an undermount installation.
Just as the name implies, these fixtures are installed under a vanity or other cabinetry in a kitchen or bathroom. It's pressed up against the bottom of the surface, so it is flush with the cabinetry or countertop. Its edges are hidden, almost invisible. Since it's working against gravity, it needs to be glued, caulked and finally sealed. The difference between a top mount or overmount and an under mount is that a top mount is put in from above, its weight is then supported by the countertop surface. It is then suspended using the overhanging lips, and in away, working with gravity as opposed to against it.
The main motivation for choosing an undermount sink is in its appearance. As mentioned before, they are a common choice for use with natural stone countertops, such as granite or quartz. An overmount sink will cover up part of the counter, whereas an undermount is flush with the underside of the counter and will more effectively display the decorative working on the edges of the countertop.
There is some added functionality; it's not all about the looks. Since there is no overhanging lip, it provides for easier maintenance and cleaning. Also, it's easier to slide crumbs, water or anything else from your countertops directly into the sink. There is no overhang to obstruct the progress of the material collected from wiping down your countertops and no worries about dealing with spills that could possibly collect around your sink if it were an overmount model.
The only thing really, that separates and overmount sink from an undermount is the installation. You also need to watch overfilling your sink because if it's overfilled enough times, it can and will compromise the seal and cause leaks with untold amounts of damages that are costly to repair. Some of the damage could eventually lead to structural harm. Also, since they are made from high-quality, heavy materials, you need to make sure that your undermount sink is secured and sealed with the appropriate water-resistant type of caulk.
An undermount sink can add to the style and décor of your bathroom or kitchen, but it's a must to have it installed by a qualified, knowledgeable professional.