If you are getting a new sink put in the kitchen or bathroom and feel like you’re completely lost, you’re not the only one. Under mount, flush mount, self-rimming and integrated sink bowls – what are they? What’s the difference? For great, personal advice, feel free to visit Tim Hmelar and his team at The Kitchen and Bathroom Company of Palo Alto
Under Mount Sinks
Under mount sinks are sinks that are mounted underneath the countertop, as opposed to self-rimming sinks which are mounted on top. They can only be used if the countertop is a solid material, like granite or marble. One of the main advantages of under mount sinks is that they don’t have the edge that over mounts do, so it is much easier to wipe crumbs or water straight into the sink. One of the drawbacks of this, particularly if you have a negative reveal (if the edges of the countertop overlap the sink) is that the underside of the bench can collect bacteria and be difficult to clean. This can be fixed by having a neutral reveal (there is no overlap), a positive reveal (the sink overlaps the countertop) or with a flush mount sink.
Flush Mount Sinks
Flush mount sinks can solve the problems of both under mount and self-rimming sinks, because the edge of the sink sits flush with the countertop. This allows you to sweep crumbs and water into the sink without having any cracks or overhangs that accumulate dirt or bacteria.
Self-rimming sinks can be great if you are installing them yourself, because they are by far the easiest. The main disadvantage is that because the sinks are installed on top of the countertop, they have an edge that can sometimes make it difficult to wipe crumbs and water into.
Integrated sinks are sinks made from the same material as your countertop, which makes the transition between the two seamless and smooth. Typically made from a material like Corian®, these sinks are easy to clean, leave no gaps for bacteria to hide in and add a stylish modern look.