Abovemount or undermount – making your sink a style statement

Beginning as a purely functional space, modern kitchens are now opportunities to make style statements, increasingly seen as a reflection of a homeowners’ personal taste. 

From materials to colours, the devil is in the details, and new advances in engineering and an ever-expanding range of design aesthetics have created alternatives for mounting your sink to best match your overall design.

An abovemount option has a lip that sits above the counter to support the sink in place, often allowing for a drying space next to the sink. 

Alternatively, the increasingly popular undermount sink sits below the benchtop, creating a seamless countertop and maximising space. 

Style, functionality and costs all come into play when designing your dream kitchen. Finding the balance among these elements is paramount. 

Making a style statement

Kitchen spaces are becoming more than a place to prepare meals; they are a social hub of the home with modern designs incorporating breakfast bars for informal meals and catch ups with family and friends.

As we invite more people into this space, we now need our kitchens to not only match your home’s aesthetics, but become a stand-alone style statement. 

The abovemount sink is the traditional design that can be seen in many Australian kitchens and can offer a wide range of flexibility to complement your kitchen style. 

Available in a wide range of materials and designs, the abovemount sink offers an additional level of flexibility and can suit most styles and kitchen layouts. 

The overhanging lip of the sink can also add to the style of your kitchen, adding an additional feature which complements other kitchen elements or design choices. 

For those for whom a clean design is critical, an undermount sink is the perfect solution for a contemporary kitchen layout

This premium option maximises counter space, leaving more space for food preparation, a larger stovetop or a longer counter for entertaining. 

For kitchens short on space, there are a number of stylish accessories available in a range of colours and materials to cover your sink to create a functional space, or offer alternate uses within the bowl.

The hidden look creates a more integrated appearance as the counter appears uninterrupted by other materials. 

However, undermount sinks are not always the best match with other style choices. Due to the additional pressure on the benchtop to suspend the bowl, undermount sinks are best installed beneath stone and solid-surface tops, and should not be installed beneath plastic laminate, ceramic tile or wood benchtops, which can limit this option within some kitchens.

A functional feature

Style may be king, but in a busy space like a kitchen, it is important to select elements that are able to handle the daily wear and tear of this in-demand space. 

Abovemount sinks are a great choice for busy households who love to create memories through food. 

The overlay lip protects the benchtop edges from general wear and tear, however the edge of the sink is exposed to wear and tear. 

It is for this reason why the resilient stainless steel sink has been a popular choice for many years.

However, modern engineering has introduced alternatives like Seima’s Arqstone Oros range, engineered for strength and durability from natural quartz. This material is also easy to clean and is a hygienic alternative, with the option of added space for drying dishes.

Seima’s Odessa collection is another option. Made from a clay-based ceramic, these sinks are heated inside a kiln at extremely high temperatures to create a product with the elegance of ceramic but with the resilience of the heavier clay. 

Hidden beneath the bench, the edges of an undermount sink are well protected, however this also means that the edges of your bench top are exposed to potential damage from large items, like pots and pans. 

This can be less important in kitchens where dishwashers now do the majority of the heavy lifting and can be negated with a bit of care with use. 

This can be less important in kitchens where dishwashers now do the majority of the heavy lifting and can be negated with a bit of care with use. 

Cost considerations

While selecting the perfect sink, it is important to consider the short and long term costs associated with your selection. 

The more traditional abovemount sinks are unlikely to cause any additional cost surprises, with installation an easier task than undermount sinks which have additional installation requirements.

Additionally, abovemount sinks don’t require the same level of customisation, making them easier to replace in the future if your design choices change and an increasingly cost effective choice. 

Undermount sinks can also add some additional costs to your bench top, with only certain materials strong enough to hold the sink and adequate space needs to be left for the sink insertion. 

The benchtop edges around the sink, which would be covered by an abovemount option, also need to be smoothed and treated to ensure they are presentable. 

Making the right choices

We want our homes to be as unique as the people who live in them, so it is essential to choose elements to best suit their use in your home. 

Choosing how to mount your kitchen sink is one of many decisions to make within your kitchen, and it is all of these elements combined that create the final look and feel.

While undermount sinks can deliver a more contemporary feel in your kitchen, this aesthetic can also be created using a more resilient abovemount sink made from premium materials and a superior edge finish positioned correctly within your kitchen. 

And both options can create a stylish statement within the right kitchen design. 

Luckily, a large number of Seima’s sink ranges are available in both abovemount and undermount, giving you even more choices when designing your kitchen. 

To review the full suite of products, please visit Seima’s website for the latest kitchen sink styles. 

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