Which is Better: Top Mount or Undermount Sink?

Which is Better: Top Mount or Undermount Sink?

March 23, 2023

If you are renovating your house, one important decision to make is whether to go for a top mount or undermount sink. Both options have their own set of advantages and considerations. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, benefits, drawbacks, and key factors to consider when deciding between a top mount and undermount sink.

What are Top Mount Sinks?

Top mount sinks, also known as drop-in or self-rimming sinks, are installed by dropping them into a hole cut in the countertop. These sinks have a visible rim that rests on the countertop surface. The installation process is relatively simple, making it a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts. The versatility of top mount sinks allows them to be easily replaced or upgraded without altering the countertop.

One of the benefits of top mount sinks is their easy installation. They require minimal modification to the countertop and can be fitted on various materials, including laminate and tile. Additionally, top mount sinks offer a wide range of design options, shapes, and sizes to suit different styles and preferences.

However, top mount sinks have a few drawbacks to consider. The visible rim can make cleaning slightly more challenging as dirt and grime can accumulate around the edges. Furthermore, the raised rim takes up valuable countertop space, which might be a concern if you have limited surface area.

What are Undermount Sinks?

Undermount sinks are installed beneath the countertop, creating a seamless and sleek look. They are secured with clips and adhesive to hold them in place. Undermount sinks provide a clean, minimalist appearance that seamlessly integrates with the countertop, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.

One of the major benefits of undermount sinks is their easy cleanup. Since there is no rim, you can easily wipe debris and spills directly into the sink without any obstructions. The absence of a rim also means there is no space for dirt and grime to accumulate, making undermount sinks generally easier to keep clean.

However, there are a few considerations with undermount sinks. They typically require professional installation due to the need for precise cutting and securing. This can result in higher installation costs compared to top mount sinks. Additionally, if not installed correctly or with proper sealing, there is a risk of water damage to the countertop.

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Sink

Several factors come into play when deciding between a top mount or undermount sink:

●Kitchen or bathroom layout and design considerations: Assess the overall design and style of your space to determine which sink option will complement the aesthetics and flow of the room.

●Cleaning and maintenance requirements: Consider your cleaning habits and the level of convenience you seek. If easy cleanup and minimal maintenance are priorities, an undermount sink might be more suitable.

●Personal preferences and style: Your personal preferences play a significant role. Do you prefer a more traditional look with a visible sink rim, or do you lean towards a modern, seamless appearance?

●Budget considerations: Evaluate your budget, including not just the sink itself but also the installation costs. Undermount sinks often require professional installation, which can add to the overall expenses.

Comparing Top Mount and Undermount Sinks

To help you make an informed decision, let's compare top mount and undermount sinks based on several factors:

●Visual appeal and aesthetics: Undermount sinks offer a sleek, clean look that seamlessly integrates with the countertop. Top mount sinks, on the other hand, provide more design options and can be a focal point in the space.

●Functionality and practicality: Undermount sinks allow you to sweep debris directly into the sink without any obstructions. Top mount sinks may have limitations due to the raised rim, which can trap food particles and make cleaning slightly more challenging.

●Durability and longevity: Both top mount and undermount sinks can be durable, but undermount sinks tend to have an edge in this aspect. Since they are installed beneath the countertop, they are less prone to damage from accidental impacts or heavy pots and pans.

●Installation costs and complexity: Top mount sinks are generally easier to install and can be done as a DIY project, reducing installation costs. Undermount sinks, however, require professional installation, which adds to the overall expenses.

●Maintenance and cleanliness: Undermount sinks are easier to clean due to their seamless design and lack of a visible rim where dirt and grime can accumulate. Top mount sinks require more attention to keep the rim clean and free from debris.

Making the Right Choice

In making the final decision between a top mount or undermount sink, consider the factors discussed above and how they align with your specific needs and preferences. Take into account the style and design of your kitchen or bathroom, your cleaning habits, budget, and the level of convenience you desire.

If you prioritize a sleek, modern appearance and easy cleanup, an undermount sink might be the better choice for you. However, if you value versatility in design options and a more cost-effective installation, a top mount sink could be the way to go.


The choice between a top mount or undermount sink ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the specific needs of your kitchen or bathroom. Each option has its own advantages and considerations. Take the time to assess your requirements and weigh the pros and cons of each sink type.