From an interior design perspective, the undermount sink has been gaining in popularity especially when installing natural stone countertops such as granite and quartz. And it’s easy to understand why. Not only do they make clean up easier, allowing homeowners to quickly wipe debris into the sink without getting caught under a lip (of an overmount sink), they also offer an uninterrupted view and appreciation of the natural graining that make the stone installation so unique.
However, these well sought-after clean lines and suspended look do come with a price when practicality, durability and longevity are put to the test.
From a restorative perspective, the two most common calls we receive involves cracking along the sink opening and chipping along the edge profile.
For obvious reasons, the sink opening tends to be a weak area and proper installation and support are necessary to protect your stone counter from cracking. If installed without proper support, an undermount sink provides added pressure on the stone pulling from below and a crack along the weakest point is inevitable.
Most people consider their natural stone purchase to be a long-term investment and so it’s important to address the fact that a sink needs to be replaced or updated eventually. Removal of an undermount sink is a very risky procedure requiring extreme caution. Not only will you have to keep with the current sink design since the stone was custom cut to accommodate the original sink opening, cracking at this time is again plausible. What might have been an inexpensive reno may become a costly counter installation.
The second most common call we receive involves chipping. Despite the aesthetic appeal, an undermount sink leaves the stone edge around the sink opening completely exposed and susceptible to damage. When washing heavy pots, it’s common for the pot to slip and bang against the edge profile – resulting in a chip or a chunk of stone breaking off.
Some precautions can be taken to prevent chipping when considering an undermount:
- Edge Profile: A straight 90 degree edge profile would be the most susceptible to chipping. Consider a more rounded edge profile or a profile at a 45 degree angle; and
- Caution: Wear gloves when washing heavy objects and be extremely careful.
If your countertop has chipped, it can be professionally restored. Just be sure to keep any pieces of stone that have broken off to ensure the best possible restoration.
Related services we provide:
- chip repair
- edge profiling
- modifications to edge profile
- crack repair