What are the Different Types of Single Bowl Undermount Kitchen Sink?

Rebecca Mecomber
Rebecca Mecomber

When looking for a single bowl undermount kitchen sink, two main types of kitchen sinks are available: self-rimming and undermount. A self-rimming sink sports a lip, or rim, that hangs from the top of the kitchen counter. An undermount sink sits below the counter, held in place by epoxy and special clips. A single bowl undermount kitchen sink is a very stylish and attractive feature for any kitchen upgrade. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of sink types, including sink material choices of stainless steel, composite granite, solid surfacing and soapstone, and they are available in many colors and shapes.

The mineral oil enhances the color of a soapstone sink.
The mineral oil enhances the color of a soapstone sink.

Stainless steel undermount sinks are a popular choice for kitchen remodels. Stainless steel is lightweight and durable, and it and blends well with any kitchen decor. Heavy gauge stainless steel with a thickness of 18 or 20 is best because it is able to withstand dents and noise. Most stainless steel undermount kitchen sinks are cast in the traditional square shape, but manufacturers might offer rectangles, ovals and circles on special order. Of all the choices available, a stainless steel single bowl undermount kitchen sink is generally the least expensive and the easiest to install.

A granite composite undermount sink exudes a luxurious appeal and is a fine choice for a more refined kitchen upgrade. Manufacturers offer granite composite single bowl undermount sinks in a variety of colors and shapes. This type of sink requires a skilled sink installation, because an inadequately installed sink might collapse from the heavy weight of the granite material. Granite composite is very durable, and it resists stains and extreme temperatures. Although it is more expensive than stainless steel and solid surfacing, a granite composite undermount kitchen sink exceeds the other sinks with its exotic beauty and rock solid durability.

Solid surfacing undermount sinks are generally more expensive than stainless steel but less expensive than composite granite. Comprised of acrylic resins, manufacturers mold solid surfacing sinks in a dizzying assortment of various shapes, sizes and colors. Solid surfacing sinks are durable, but they do stain and scratch more easily than steel and granite sinks. Stains and scratches can be buffed out with sandpaper.

Soapstone, a natural material that retains heat, is available as an undermount sink for high-end kitchen upgrades. Soapstone single bowl undermount sinks are sometimes called farmer's sinks or apron sinks. These sinks are usually very large, 3 feet (0.91 meters) wide in some cases, although smaller sizes can be obtained by manufacturers. Soapstone is extremely heavy and requires regular oiling with mineral oil. Although it is extremely durable and stain resistant, the sink might chip with heavy use.

A single bowl undermount kitchen sink installation requires more skill than the average self-rimming sink installation. The cut-out hole in the countertop must be precisely measured and cut so that the bowl rests evenly and cleanly below the countertop surface. Care must be taken to follow the manufacturer's directions with the proper type and amount of epoxy. The mounting system must be strong and attached firmly to the kitchen sink. With proper installation, a single bowl undermount kitchen sink lends a classy, customized look to any kitchen remodel or kitchen improvement project.

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    • The mineral oil enhances the color of a soapstone sink.
      The mineral oil enhances the color of a soapstone sink.