Undermount Sinks Vs. Top Mounted Sinks

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen in 2022, deciding between a top mounted sink or an undermount is going to be one of the choices you’ll have to make sooner or later.

Backsplash, flooring, countertops, and cabinets are all crucial aspects of your remodel, but so is the sink that makes your kitchen functional and ready to use.

Undermount sinks or top-mounted sinks have their pros and cons, so deciding between them will take knowledge and information if you want the perfect fit for you. One gives elegance, the other, a more affordable price. One will be easier to clean, while the other will be harder to install.

So which is the best choice for you?

In this guide to talk about the differences between undermount sinks and top mounted sinks. Keep reading and discover which one is the perfect choice for your kitchen and your family.

A quartz countertop with an undermount sink and a wooden bowl

Differences Between Top Mount Sinks And Undermount Sinks?

The difference between these main two types of sinks are in the way they interact with the countertop space.

Let’s see what exactly makes them different.

Top Mounted Sink

Top mount sinks, also called drop-in sinks, are the most common type of kitchen sink.

This type has an exposed lip around its perimeter that rests flat on your countertop. Metal clips secure and hold everything in place, and a bead of silicone caulk under the sink’s edge will ensure your sink is secured.

The sink basin drops straight into the cut-out of your countertop, and the lip that remains on the outside holds most of the weight of your sink. For this reason, top mounted sinks need solid countertop materials.

How Much Do Top Mounted Sinks Cost?

Drop-in sinks cost about $150 – $300 and their installation is way easier, which means you can save even more money by installing this type of sink yourself.

However, you will need professional tools to make the sink cutout.

We recommend having a professional install both your undermount kitchen sink or drop in sink. They will make sure the sink edge and sink opening are accurate, and they’ll have your sink installed the correct way.

A kitchen countertops with a top mounted sink and white cabinets

Undermount Sinks

An Undermount sink is where the lip is below the countertop. That means the sink is not sitting on the countertop, but it’s hanging onto the bench top.

Undermount sinks require more planning and the entire installation process is a bit more difficult than with drop-in sinks.

First, you’ll need to let your cabinet maker know that you want to opt for an undermount sink, so he creates your cabinetry ideal for it. They will make a substrate for the sink to sit on, which will make the installation safe and secure.

Make sure your countertop is cut out the perfect size, so your sink will fit in perfectly, without leaving any gaps. Countertop materials are another thing to consider.

How Much Do Undermount Sinks Cost?

The price of an undermount sink can range from $1000 to $4000 – if you’re looking for a high-end option. Since an undermount sink installation is more difficult and requires more preparation beforehand, their cost is higher than drop-in sinks.

Generally, installing undermount sinks is about $200 to $400 more than installing top mounted sinks.

Do-it-yourself installation of undermount sinks is not recommended. Installing it yourself can ruin your countertop, which is a costly mistake, especially if you invested in solid surface countertops like granite, marble, or quartz.

However, undermount sinks can add extra value to your remodel, and they fit in with most design styles.

A quartz countertop with an undermount sink installed

Choosing A Kitchen Sink

Deciding between undermount or top-mounted sink is not the only decision you’ll have to make. Sink types, sink styles, and personal preference will play a major role in making the final decision.

Choosing your sink’s material is another detail you need to decide upon.

Let’s talk about some of your options:

Stainless Steel

Many homeowners choose stainless steel first, and for good reason – they are strong, durable, and long-lasting.

They average from $100 to $800, depending on the size and if it needs any customization to match your existing setup. These are also available in many different gauges and thicknesses.


Although white is the most common color for porcelain enamel sinks, these are available in many more hues. Porcelain sinks have a base cast of iron or steel for a much more secure installation.

You’ll find porcelain sinks from $300 to $900. However, porcelain is prone to chips and cracks if damaged, so you’ll want to be extremely careful when installing and using it.

Solid Surface

Sinks like granite and soapstone are mesmerizing and highly durable. These are the best option if you want to match your countertops with your sink if you want your kitchen to flow. However, they are pricey so budget $1,000 or more for a solid surface sink.


Composite sinks are made of materials like quartz or granite, mixed with a binding material. Compared to solid surface sinks, these are way more affordable, starting at about $300 to $400.
A close up with a material type for undermount sinks

What To Keep In Mind About Top-Mounted Sinks

Here are a few things worth keeping in mind when choosing a top-mounted sink for your kitchen.

Top-Mounted Sinks Protect The Countertop's Edges

Stone benches, for example, are prone to chipping and cracking when damaged. The knocks of pots, pans, or other kitchen utensils will eventually weaken the stone, making it more and more vulnerable. The rim will protect the edges of your stone bench, so you’ll never worry about damaging it.

Drop-In Sinks Are Easier To Install

Installing drop-in sinks doesn’t require as much accuracy as an undermount sink. You’ll only need a professional to cut the countertop in a way that will allow the sink to be dropped in it, and then the sink’s edges will be enough to secure it in place.

Replacing this sink goes a lot easier than replacing an undermount sink.

These Sinks Build Up Less Gunk

Because you’ll have access to the entire sink, it’s much easier to maintain and look for places where your sink builds up gunk.

A top mounted sink in a kitchen with gray base cabinet and white upper cabinets

What To Keep In Mind About Undermount Sinks

Undermount sinks have a lot of pros and cons. Getting valuable information about how they work and how to maintain them is crucial.

Here are some insights that will help you make an informed decision, perfect for your home.

Undermount Sinks Look Sleeker

This type of sinks allow you to maximize your countertop. Undermount sinks make your countertop and sink appear seamless, keeping the flow of your kitchen consistent and the room tied together.

Avoid Laminate Or Wooden Counters For Undermount Sinks

Undermount sinks don’t work well with laminate or wooden counters. The edges of the counter will remain visible and water can easily damage a laminate counter.

On the other hand, when your natural stone is finished and treated properly, it can withstand any amount of water.

Undermount Sinks Win In Resale Value

Undermount sinks clearly have a more custom, high-end look and feel compared to the traditional drop-in sink. As undermount sinks are highly valued by kitchen designers, they bring greater value to your home than their counterpart.
A granite countertop with an undermount sink and a basket of fruits

Consider Your Sink's Maintenance

In terms of maintenance, the undermount sink easily wins.

With an undermount sink, you can sweep everything from the countertop into the sink with no problem, as there will be no rim between the counter and sink. Unlike the drop-in sink, there will be no debris or dirt left between the lip and counter, because there is no lip.

However, your sink might need cleaning not only on the surface, but also beneath it, in the cabinet. Gunk can build up around an undermount sink and make it look less pleasant.

In any case, a good place to take a look when cleaning your sink is underneath the benchtop, as water and food scraps can accumulate there.


The perfect choice between undermount sinks or top-mounted sinks depends on numerous factors.

If budget is not a concern and you want an elegant look, an undermount sink will be a great option for your precious kitchen. It will make the room flow better and bring a luxurious vibe that will make cooking a unique experience.

Drop-in sinks, on the other hand, are less expensive to install but they may not be as easy to clean. However, stainless steel drop-ins are great in a kitchen with high traffic. They are the perfect option for homeowners on a budget, or for an outdoor kitchen.

Mortise & Miter provides professional installation of any kind of sink you choose. Have specialists install your sink properly and enjoy a functional kitchen that lasts for years!

Get in touch today and have experts take care of your kitchen upgrade!