Compare Undermount vs Drop-In Sink Costs
An Expert Comparison of Undermount and Drop-In Sink
About Undermount Sinks
Undermount sinks are all the rage right now. Just as the name suggests, they are mounted underneath the countertops, rather than above. The look is seamless and more sophisticated than traditional drop-in sinks.
How Much Does an Undermount Sink Cost?
Undermount sinks start at about $75 and range up to $1,000 or more, depending on type and quality. However, the vast majority are priced from $200 to $500. Installation can add another $100 to $200 to the total price. We’ll get into specific prices for certain sink materials later on in this guide.
Faucets and drain strainers are sold separately. A good faucet usually costs at least $100 to $150, and faucets with pull out spouts start on the high end of that range. Drain strainers cost about $10 to $15.Undermount Sink Pros
- Easier to clean - With an undermount sink, there’s no lip between the edge of the sink and the the countertop where food particles and dirt can get stuck. Simply sweep debris from the countertop right into the sink.
- Streamlined look - Undermount sinks look neater and less cluttered.
- Better quality - Undermount sinks are usually better quality than drop-in sinks because they’re designed for high-end kitchens.
Undermount Sinks Cons
- Won’t work with some countertops - Undermount sinks only work with certain types of countertops, including as granite, marble and limestone. They won’t work with laminate countertops.
- More expensive - Undermount sinks are more expensive. Budget at least $200 in most cases.
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About Drop-In Sinks
Drop-in sinks are an older, more traditional style. Just as the name implies, they are dropped in from above into a cutout in the countertop, rather than mounted underneath. The lip of the sink rests on top of the counter.
How Much Does a Drop-In Sink Cost?
Drop-in sinks can range in price from less than $50 to more than $800, depending on quality, materials and the brand. Most are priced from about $150 to $300, not including installation.
Drop-In Sink Pros
- Less expensive - Drop-in sinks usually cost about $200 less than undermount sinks, although the price varies based upon type and quality.
- More versatile - Drop-in sinks work with all styles of countertops, not just solid surfaces.
Drop-In Sink Cons
- Harder to clean - Food and debris tend to get stuck in the lip of the sink, where the edge of the sink meets the countertop.
- Less streamlined look - Drop-in sinks are an older style. Many people consider them to be outdated compared to undermount sinks.
- Lower quality - Drop-in sinks tend to be lower quality than undermount sinks.
Choosing a Kitchen Sink
Undermount or drop-in is far from the only choice when you’re buying a kitchen sink. One of the most important decisions is the material:
- Stainless steel is the most popular choice. Stainless steel sinks are strong, durable and long-lasting. They range in price from about $100 to $800, depending on size and other factors. Stainless steel sinks are available in different gauges, or thicknesses, but the gauge actually doesn’t matter much.
- Porcelain enamel sinks are available in a wide variety of colors, although white is the least expensive and most timeless. Porcelain sinks can have a base of cast iron or steel. They are relatively affordable at about $300 to $900, but they are prone to cracks and chips if heavy objects are dropped in the sink.
- Solid surface sinks such as granite and soapstone are beautiful and highly durable. They are great if you’re looking to match your sink to the countertops, but they are pricy. Budget $1,000 or more in many cases.
- Composite sinks are made of materials such as quartz or granite mixed with a binding material. They’re far more affordable than solid surface sinks, starting at about $300 to $400.
You’ll also have to decide whether to purchase a sink with a single bowl or multiple bowls. For small kitchens, a single bowl is usually best - anything else will overwhelm the space. Larger kitchens look better with two or more bowls. Depth is the final decision to make, with popular models ranging from 6 to 12 inches deep.