Undermount Sinks: All The Problems You May Face?

When it comes to your kitchen, which one do you think is one of the most important appliances that you can have in it?

Apart from the world-class refrigerator and stovetop, what is it that you need more than anything else? Why, your kitchen sink, of course! 

The variety of kitchen sinks and faucets that you have to choose from are simply overwhelming. There are different sink/faucets types and combinations for everyone, with every features and style imaginable.

However, it is the under-mount kitchen sink that is the most popular in most kitchens in our homes. 

What is an Under-mount Sink? 

Undermount sinks are the ones that are installed below the countertops, with its edges on the same level as the countertop. This is the most popular design when it comes to kitchen sins because it keeps the sink invisible to the eye, hiding it below the counter, hidden behind counter doors.

These under-mount sinks are slightly different from top-mount sinks which are also installed under the counter, but their rims are visible from the top. Under-mount kitchen sinks, on the other hand, are installed from below the counter and completely invisible if you are not directly standing above it.

This added sense of invisibility makes under-mount sinks more popular to people who want their kitchens to be as gorgeous as possible.

KRAUS KWU110-32 Kore Workstation 32-inch Undermount 16 Gauge Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink with Integrated Ledge and Accessories (Pack of 5)
  • DIMENSIONS: 32 in. L x 19 in. W x 10 in. D; Minimum Cabinet Size: 36 in.
  • WORKSTATION SINK with integrated ledge allows you to slide custom accessories across the sink to streamline meal prep and cleanup without losing space on the kitchen counter –  5-PIECE CHEF’S KIT INCLUDES: ROLL-UP DISH DRYING RACK perfect for rinsing produce, drying dishes, and protecting countertops from hot items; BAMBOO CUTTING BOARD won’t crack or warp, resists odors and bacteria; DISH GRID, STRAINER and DRAIN COVER
  • SPACIOUS SINGLE BOWL: Deep sink with tight-radius corners and offset drain creates an uninterrupted workspace for washing your largest cookware, like stock pots and baking sheets – UNDERMOUNT INSTALLATION creates a seamless transition from sink to countertop – SMART DESIGN adds valuable counter space by allowing you to work right over the sink, perfect for a kitchen of any size
  • HEAVY-DUTY 16 GAUGE STEEL – Made with TRU16, the thickest stainless steel on the market, this workhorse of a sink is highly resistant to corrosion and dents – RUST-RESISTANT FINISH is easy to clean and will not dull from daily use – STAINLESS STEEL BOTTOM GRID protects sink surface and keep dishes elevated for optimal draining
  • ENGINEERED FOR EASY DRAINING with off-set drain, gently sloped bottom, and channel grooves that prevent water from pooling in the sink – FULLY INSULATED with proprietary NOISEDEFEND SOUNDPROOFING, including extra-thick pads and protective undercoating that absorb noise and vibration when sink is in use

Why choose an Under-mount Sink? 

Under-mount sinks are, first of all, chosen because of their invisibility. These sinks are completely hidden from view unless you are standing right above it or close enough for a peep.

This makes it easier to hide stacks of dirty dishes inside your sink and not be seen from the outside. The more the depth of the sink, the more dirty dishes you can hide from view, and not spoil the aesthetic beauty of your kitchen.  

It also means more counter space in your kitchen and of course, you can never have enough counter space. You need every single inch of counter space that you can manage in the kitchen, and with the undermount sink, you are getting space right up to where the sink begins.

Kraus Standart PRO 32-inch 16 Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink, KHU100-32
  • INDESTRUCTIBLE CONSTRUCTION: Dent-resistant T304 stainless steel in TRU16 real 16-gauge (always 1.5mm thick) for superior strength and durability
  • COMMERCIAL GRADE SATIN FINISH: Resilient and easy to clean, corrosion and rust-resistant; matches most kitchen appliances
  • QUIETEST SINK: NoiseDefend soundproofing technology with non-toxic SoundGuard undercoating and extra-thick pads covering over 80% of the sink
  • FREE ACCESSORIES: Multi-functional stainless steel dish grid protects sink bottom, 3 piece basket strainer set, premium Kraus kitchen towel, mounting hardware, cutout template – LIFETIME LIMITED WARRANTY and customer service that puts you first
  • Outer Sink Dimensions: 32” L x 19” W x 10” D. Min Cabinet Size: 36”; Oversized bowl will accommodate your largest roasting pan, commercial baking sheets, and skillets. Sink so big, you can even give your dog a bath. Compatible with Kraus Stainless Steel Colander- CS-3

There is absolutely no space that the sink needs on your countertop, not even for the rims. 

Cleaning your countertops are also extremely easy when you have an under-mount sink, especially if you are cleaning with soap, water, and a sponge. You can just guide the dirty water to fall directly down the sink without any rims or borders to stop you.

Besides, there is no chance of dirt and grime accumulating around the rims or the borders that are actually extremely hard to clean. 

For all of these reasons, and some more, under-mount sinks are extremely popular in stylish homes with gorgeous kitchens.

Problems of an Under-mount Kitchen Sink

However, these under-mount kitchen sinks don’t come without their limitations. When we are talking about certain practicalities, it is true that there are some problems that you may face if you have chosen an under-mount kitchen sink.

Ruvati 32-inch Workstation Ledge Undermount 16 Gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Single Bowl - RVH8300
  • WORKSTATION sink with single-tier track - Overhanging lips on the front and back act as a track for sliding the built-in accessories | Includes solid wood CUTTING BOARD, deep STAINLESS STEEL COLANDER, and dish-drying roll-up rack that slide on the ledges converting your sink to a workspace
  • 16 GAUGE Premium T-304 Grade Stainless Steel (18/10 Chromium/Nickel) will never rust or stain | Commercial grade BRUSHED FINISH - Easy to clean and long-lasting. Unlike satin finish, our brushed-finish hides scratches and matches well with your kitchen appliances
  • Heavy duty SOUND GUARD UNDERCOATING and THICK RUBBER PADDING to minimize noise and reduce condensation | Sloped bottom with grooves to allow complete water drainage | | zEDGE zero Radius - sharp inside corners for a resolutely modern look
  • Exterior dimensions: 32" (wide) x 19" (front-to-back) | Interior bowl dimension: 30-1/2" (wide) x 16" (front-to-back) x 10" (bowl depth) | Standard 3.5" drain openings will fit any garbage disposal unit
  • Included in box: Sink, Cutting Board, Bottom Rinse Grid, Basket Strainer Drain, Cutout Template, Mounting Clips and Installation Guide | Limited Lifetime Warranty - Ruvati USA
  1. Expensive

These are the most expensive types of sinks available in the market at the moment. Under-mount sinks may be the most popular type of kitchen sinks for glamorous homes, but they also happen to be quite expensive.

In fact, some of the most exclusive brands make under-mount sinks that can cost up to double the amount a regular drop-in sinks costs. 

It’s not just that the sinks that are expensive, but the installation process is lengthy and expensive, as well. With most other kinds of kitchen sinks, you can install them yourself, or anyone who is a little handy with tools can install them.

However, with under-mount sinks, you need to further hire a professional who will charge you for a few hours of installation. 

  1. Installation Time

Installation is also quite difficult and time-consuming, and needs expert hands. Where drop-in sinks can be installed in less than an hour if the hole has already been made on the counter, an under-mount sink may need double the time to be installed.

  1. Installation Process

Under-mount kitchen sinks are installed from below the counter, supported by special sink supports and then held in place by cement. The cement needs to be properly applied and then let dry for a long time for it to harden.

The cement is the only thing that holds the sink to the top, besides the temporary sink supports. If the cement hasn’t been applied properly or if the supports are removed before the cement has hardened properly, there is a good chance of your sink crashing down.  

  1. Overflow Problem

If you have the habit of turning on your kitchen faucet and forgetting about it, this under-mount kitchen sink can be a problem for you. Since it doesn’t have a rim along the borders, water will start to overflow as soon as the sink is full, and after that, it won’t take your kitchen to be flooded.

Besides, if this happens too many times, the cement around the sides will start to weaken, and ultimately crack and increase your sink’s chance of crashing to the floor. 

  1. Countertop Material

If you have laminated countertop, then, unfortunately, under-mount sinks cannot be an option for you. These sinks cannot be installed in a kitchen where the countertops are laminated.

This is because laminated countertops are made from MDF or particleboard, and these boards are not strong enough to hold the weight of a sink simply with the help of nuts, bolts and washers.

  1. Mold Problems

With under-mount kitchen sinks, water can get lodged between the sink and the counter, where the cement is holding both together, and stay trapped there.

This will ultimately lead to mold and fungus problems between the joint, something that is quite difficult to clean without calling in an expert. With proper maintenance, knowledge and the right professional installation method, you can stop this from happening, but it is a lot of work.  

  1. Proper Care and Maintaincance

If you have an under-mount countertop in your kitchen, you need to regularly check for any signs of cracks or molds in the joints, both above the countertop and under.

This needs to be done quite regularly, at least a few times in a month, so that you don’t miss the first signs of a crack. In case you do find a crack or mold, you have to call in a professional for repair unless you want your kitchen sink to ultimately crash on the floor. 

There’s no denying that an under-mount kitchen sink looks much better than any other kinds of sinks in the kitchen. They are stylish and often gorgeous, and completely invisible from plain sight, but they also come with a number of added problems that can be hard to tackle.

These sinks are expensive and they add to the overall resale value of your home, but they also require more maintenance and care than most people want to be bothered with. 

So, what are your thoughts on an under-mount sink - are they worth the hassle?

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