Most kitchen sinks are drop in sinks, which means you drop them in to a prepared hole and the rims rest on top of the countertops. This is the most affordable option, hence its popularity. However, many homeowners are beginning to appreciate the advantages of undermount sinks.
Undermount sinks install under the countertops, so the rims are out of sight. It makes for a sleek appearance, more countertop space, and ease of cleaning as well as more versatility in the placement of the faucets.
However, undermount sinks do present some challengers when it comes to your choice of countertops. Here are some tips for choosing kitchen countertops for undermount sinks.
Stone countertops are your best options
Installing Undermount sinks involved the use of both epoxy and silicone caulk. Typically, the installer will run a line of caulk all around the edge of the sink, to be followed by epoxy. Clamps placed through the drain holes will keep the sink edges in place against the countertops until the caulk and epoxy dries.
This combination of adhesives will produce a tight, stable, and waterproof bond between the countertop and the sink, capable of supporting a lot of weight. Undermount sinks with a full load tend to weigh more than drop in sinks because they are deeper, so it is important that the supporting structure (in this case the countertops) is enough to bear the weight. For this purpose, stone countertops are the best options, specifically quartz, marble, and granite.
Aside from strength and durability, you need kitchen countertops that can handle constant exposure to water. Since undermount sinks attach to the underside of the countertops, splashing and even submersion in water is inevitable on a daily basis. You want something that will not absorb water and rot or encourage bacterial growth, and most stone countertops can do all that.
Marble and granite
Marble and granite countertops have always been a popular choice for kitchen countertops, but it was primarily for its looks. In this case, they are ideal for undermount sinks because they also happen to be durable. The fact that they are porous also helps on helping the adhesives bind more firmly with the stones.
Despite what most people think, marble is not a “soft” stone. True, it is relatively softer than granite in that it is easier to carve. It also easily scratches and stains relative to granite, which would explain this impression.
Generally, however, marble is much more durable and flexible than other metamorphic stones, a category of rocks to which it belongs. Marble countertops weather very well under all conditions, and they last for generations without visible damage. While you can scratch it with most pointed instruments, it will take a lot of force actually to damage the integrity of the slab. Marble countertops can handle any load that an undermount sink can put on them.
Granite is a natural choice for undermount countertops because it is a tough nut to crack, literally. Granite countertops are very durable, capable of taking on heavy burdens without much trouble. If your only criteria for choosing kitchen countertops for undermount sinks, granite is definitely in the running. However, if you also want variety in color and patterns, then you will want to look through the hundreds of granite types available to you.
Unlike marble and granite, quartz is not a natural stone and non-porous. However, because it is very versatile in terms of color and design, and extremely durable, it makes for a great choice for undermount sinks.
Concrete is a relatively newcomer to the stone countertop market, although it has been around for centuries as a building material. Improvements in coloring, refining, and texturing concrete have made it an acceptable option for kitchen countertops. In terms of durability, concrete countertops can definitely handle the load any undermount sink can throw at it.
The real problem with concrete is porosity. Despite being an engineered product, concrete is extremely porous, so it will absorb water and other liquids quite easily. This will not only result in stains and even cracks in the stone, but encourage bacterial growth around the edges of the sink, ad that is not good. While it might seem a great idea to have unique concrete countertops for your kitchen, it is not a good pairing with undermount sinks.
Undermount sinks can give your kitchen a sleek, seamless look as well as make cleaning a lot easier. However, it poses unique challenges when it comes to choosing kitchen countertops that would be able to support undermount sinks. If you want undermount sinks for your kitchen, you should look to putting in stone countertops such as granite, marble, and quartz. You should also look for a reliable countertop specialist to supply you with the best materials as well as install your undermount sink and countertops properly.
The experts at Badger Granite know all there is to know about granite, marble, and quartz countertops ad undermount sinks. We are a local company specializing in all types of countertops, especially granite countertops.
Our staff will gladly walk you through our showroom so that you can see the actual slab before you buy. If you prefer engineered stones, we carry only the best brands at the best prices, and have a much quicker turnaround than big box stores. All our products have manufacturer warranties from the best quartz companies, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI.
We are also highly skilled at the fabrication and installation of kitchen countertops and all types of sinks. You can be sure that you will have no problems when you contract with us.
We can offer you free in-home consultation and quote at no obligation to you. Give us a call or send us a message now!