How do I Choose the Best Undermount Bowl?

Robert Ferguson
Robert Ferguson
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Undermount bowls can be a beautiful addition to a kitchen or bathroom. This type of sinks work best when used in conjunction with a solid surface countertop such as granite, marble or acrylic. Considerations such as cabinet width, location of existing plumbing, shape, finish, durability, edge reveal and warranty should determine which type of sink is best for the applicable situation.

The width of the sink base cabinet is critical when choosing an undermount bowl. The width of the cabinet has to be wide enough to accommodate the width of the undermount bowl. The sink should install without major alterations to the cabinet, which could weaken the cabinet structurally.

The location of existing plumbing lines is important to consider when choosing an undermount bowl. The sinks depth could require major alterations to connect to the drain line and/or shutoff valves. A kitchen garbage disposal might not have the required clearance to connect properly.

There are various shapes, sizes and types of undermount bowls, and all of these are important considerations. Shallow sinks use less water but have size limitations. Deeper sinks use more water but allow room to perform everyday duties. For example, a household that washes large pots on a regular basis is better served by a deeper sink with two or even three bowls.

A typical undermount bowl is made of ceramic, stainless steel, acrylic and cast iron with an enamel finish. Heavier-gauge stainless steel sinks have a better resistance to dents than lighter-gauge sinks. Ceramic sinks and the enamel finish on cast iron sinks can chip, and acrylic sinks are prone to stains. The everyday wear and tear to which the sink is exposed should weigh into the decision on which type to purchase.

An undermount bowl attaches to the bottom of the countertop. The reveal of the sink is the amount of the rim that is visible after installation. The three types of reveal to consider when purchasing a new undermount sink are a zero reveal, negative reveal and a positive reveal. A zero reveal is when the rim of the sink is flush with the edge of the countertop. A sink with a negative reveal conceals the rim of the sink, and with a positive reveal sink, the rim is exposed.

Undermount bowls are expensive, and a company that stands behind its product typically is a sign of good quality. Some sink manufacturers guarantee the finish on their sinks by offering a warranty. This offers consumers a piece of mind knowing that they are covered if the sink fails to live up to its promise.

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