Comparing Drop-In, Undermount and Vessel Sinks
Bathroom sink bowls come three primary styles:
vessel styles. These sinks are meant to be used with a
separate countertop and the differences are mostly in the way they attach to the
top. All of these sinks can be made from all the popular materials, such as
ceramic, metal and acrylic.
sometimes called "self-rimming", are meant to be dropped into a
pre-cut hole in the countertop. The rim is larger than the hole.
When they are dropped into the hole the rim sits on top of counter.
The underside of the rim is perfectly flat to mate to the
countertop. To prevent leaks, your installer should put a bead of
chalking under the rim. These sinks usually have brackets on the
bottom side of the sink to pull the rim tight to the countertop.
This is a good type of sink to use with plastic laminate, like
Formica, or wood as the finished edge of the countertop will not
withstand prolonged exposure to water. The rim will stand higher
than the surrounding countertop, so water cannot flow or be swept
directly into the sink. The border where the sink and countertop
meet are prone to accumulating dirt.
are attached to the underside of the countertop. A flange running
around the outside of the sink, similar to the rim on drop-ins, is
flat on it's top to mount tightly against the bottom side of the
countertop. The sink is usually held in place with brackets attached
to the underside of the countertop and clipped to the sink flange.
Your installer should add a bead of chalking to the top of the
flange to prevent leaking. The hole in the countertop is usually
slightly smaller than the inside of the sink to hide the seam where
the two meet. This type of sink is ideal for use with materials that
can have a finished edge that resists water, such as stone and solid
surface materials like quartz and Corian. While there is a seam, it
is usually somewhat hidden below the lip of the countertop and there
is no exposed seam to collect dirt.
sit directly on top of the countertop, like a soup bowl. The inside
and outside of the sink are completely exposed. The is sink usually
held in place primarily by the drain and it's tailpiece. For
comfortable use, the countertop should be somewhat lower than usual,
so the rim of the vessel sink is not too high, making use by shorter
folks and children awkward. While stylish, they do present
coordinaton problems when picking faucets and drains.
combine the sink and countertop into one piece. These are usually
some ceramic material such as vitreous china or cast polyester.
These sinks offer a seamless design in a single color throughout the
sinktop. The seamless design enhances cleanliness. Odd or larges
sizes are generally not available.
Strasser offers a group of these
|Other types of sinks, not for use
with countertops, include
wall mount sinks.