Pros & Cons of Undermount Bathroom Sinks

Many first time homeowners might be surprised to learn just how many different type and styles of bathroom sinks there are. It’s not something many of us think about until the first time it actually becomes an issue whether due to needed repairs, inheriting a bad fit for what you need from your bathroom, or approaching it as a DIY bathroom renovation project.

Undermount bathroom sinks are just one option, but they’re worth looking at if you are considering a remodel and while they’re not quite as common as sinks where the edge of the sink is even with or slightly above the countertop, they have plenty of benefits that make people really enjoy them as the right pick for a renovation.

Torva undermount sink
Torva Undermount Sink, one of the most popular brands out there.

What Is an Undermount Bathroom Sink?

An undermount bathroom sink is a sink that sits in a way so the edge of the sink is actually under the counter as opposed to set into it. This is a design choice that means they have to be mounted a certain way with support from underneath because they can’t be just set into a countertop. While these are a bit more common in modern homes in the kitchen as opposed to the bathroom, they can work great in the right situation.

These are also sometimes referred to as “Bottom Mount” sinks, don’t get confused: they’re not different. These are the same types of sinks.

Since the top of the sink is installed under the countertop surfaced that means the edges must be finally finished and a careful and supported clamping happens from the bottom. Usually this means using a silicone-based sealant to make absolutely sure the area between the counter and the sink are clearly connected with a waterproof seal.

Additional waterproof joints are added underneath that support the weight of the sink from the bottom up, using existing infrastructure of the counterspace to keep the sink up and able to handle the weight of water.

While these are a less common form of sink, there are some clear reasons why some individuals might want to go in this direction.

Pros of Undermount Bathroom Sinks

There are multiple pros to going with an undermount sink, and after reading through all of them it probably won’t be hard to see why this is such a popular choice. Undermount sinks tend to have a very contemporary look that really transforms the overall appearance and aesthetics of the room – whether kitchen or bathroom. This series of choices of chic looking sinks are great and come in a variety of colors and coatings.

That versatility is something that a lot of people appreciate as that means undermount bathroom sinks can help contribute to many looks that otherwise just wouldn’t be possible.

Another advantage is the fact that cleanup of the counter is easier. Since there isn’t a ledge of the sink over the top of the counter, there isn’t that space under the lip or crevice all the way around that can end up collecting debris. Cleanup is easy as you can just wipe anything loose into the basin and wash it down.

Pros of Bottom Mount Bathroom Sinks

  • Contemporary modern look
  • Versatile looks and aesthetics
  • No rim where food, debris, and germs can jam up and fester
  • Easy clean up

Cons Undermount Bathroom Sinks

If you are a DIY type of individual, there’s no question that putting in an undermount bathroom sink is much more difficult to install than the conventional drop-in sink that many do-it-yourselfers choose to go with. So if you are a true DIY beginner who is diving into the bathroom renovation, you might want to reconsider this route (or get some help.)

Another potential con of undermount sinks is that they require more support. Sinks are heavy, and without the structure of the sink and counter coming up to support it the way it does with dropping down a sink on top means that more support is needed to safely keep the sink into place.

These are also not the best choice for very small bathrooms because undermount sinks tend to take up space. They sit lower than drop in sinks and and take up crucial space so if you have a very limited amount of room to work with, then this might not be the best solution even if the best sink options seem to be undermount in nature.

Finally, undermount sinks are more difficult to replace. It takes more work, it requires more support work, and you can bet on a bigger work load and/or more expenses if you are going to end up having to tear it out and replace it with a new one in the future.

Cons of Undermount Sinks

  • Tend to me more expensive than many other types of sinks
  • Don’t go well with laminate counters
  • Requires more support structure to keep properly in place
  • Tend to be larger
  • More work to replace

The Best Undermount Bathroom Sink Options

There are multiple options when it comes to picking the best undermount sinks and not all of them are created equal. Understanding this means doing a little bit of research but keep in mind that while there are general brands or models that are highly ranked as the best, there are major differences between those that work best for kitchens versus bathrooms.

Also the size of your bathroom makes a huge difference, so if you have a small bathroom forget the undermount sink. There’s a reason those are generally considered kitchen sinks and if the kitchen is small…well there’s a reason you don’t find many of these in non-luxury apartments, either.

If you do have a bathroom that can take an undermount sink, then you need to go through several of the same steps that you would go through when picking one for the kitchen.

  • Look at the counter type and find a sink that matches
  • Keep aesthetics in mind as you want everything to work together
  • Measure multiple times
  • Make sure your bathroom sink setup can handle an undermount sink (most old ones can’t)

If you keep those points in mind, you are far more likely to find the right sink that fits your needs and makes your kitchen or bathroom look its best.

Great Undermount Sink tutorial that shows how to remove an old undermount sink and how to put in a new one.

Undermount Bathroom Sinks – In Conclusion

When it comes to undermount bathroom sinks, only you know your specific situation and whether or not these make sense as a great affordable solution for your new sink. Whether this is replacing an old sink, upgrading a current one that isn’t up to the task, or looking for a new one for a remodel, there are many great options for an undermount setup for a new bathroom sink that will offer plenty of quality for the cost.

While these are traditionally more likely to be a kitchen sink, if you have a sizeable bathroom and are looking for that dream bathroom, a good undermount sink designed to work with granite or decorative concrete might be the perfect extra little touch that creates the vibe that you are looking for.

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