Undermount or overmount sink with quartz?

cindy49January 21, 2009

Origionally I thought we'd put in laminate counters, but as you've all probably experienced this kitchen remodel has "grown" and I am now going to use LG Viatera quartz for counters. I was talking to my KD and she almost flipped when I said that I am considering still using an overmount sink. Either sink would probably be a light colored cast Iron installed in a rich brown quartz countertop. My concerns are: doesn't that "lip over the undermount sinks connecting them to the quartz or granite just collect all kinds of dirt, gunk, etc.?

Also, wouldn't an overmount sink also look nice in quartz or am I just way behind the times? Have any of you done it?

Thanks for your help.

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I have a rich brown quartz with an undermount SS sink. Wouldn't have done it any other way! As for gunk - I think you're going to get that no matter what. Either it's around the edges of the overmount sink, or in the seam of the undermount, wherever that silicone sealer is, it's going to get a little gunky.

Oh, and as for reno's getting away from you and taking on a life (and budget) of their own... been there. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 9:35PM
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Boy is that the truth...and this site doesn't help matters! (Too many "cool" things!)

Overmount vs undermount...

I think the rim of a cast iron sink overmounted will be pretty significant..."taller" than that of SS. Personally, and this is personal observation, I think it makes the sink stand out more, be even more difficult to sweep crumbs from the counter into the sink, and the "gunk" build up would be obvious since it's on the top of the counter. That gunk, too, is more difficult to get out since despite the silicone there will still be a gap for crumbs to collect and you have to use your fingernails to get the gunk out (at least we did in our old sink).

For an undermount sink, there are 3 options for a reveal: zero or flush, negative, positive. See the linked thread below for pros/cons of each.

The only advantage I can think of right now of an over mount sink is that if you have to replace the sink later you can do that w/o risking damage to your counter or cabinet. However, in all honesty, how often have you or anyone you know had to change a sink out in a reasonable amount of time (say 20 years)? Maybe w/a porcelain-coated cast iron sink you might...but w/a SS and probably Silgranit it's very doubtful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: Undermount sink reveals - post pics please!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 10:15PM
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I really don't want SS. I've never had gunk build up on my over mount Swanstone that I have now and it's been in for 14 years. No, I'm not supper clean.
I guess the same silicone is used whether it's undermount or over. I didn't even know about the flush, positive and negative choices with undermount--all more to think about.

More opinions welcome. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 11:09PM
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Why don't you consider Silgranit? It's a quartz composite that I think is kind of similar to Swanstone. People here really like it (understating the matter) for its looks and easy care - I would have gotten it but it didn't come in the size I needed.

I believe you can get it either undermounted or overmounted, though in my opinion, undermounted would look nicer.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:24AM
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Well, my experience with Swanstone white sink is it looks nice initially but is hard to keep clean. Even potato skins stain it. Is Silgranit like this too? Aren't all composite sinks hard to keep clean unless they are dark and I don't want a dark sink, maybe not white but not dark. (My experience with a chocolate brown Kohler bathroom sink 25 years ago was a nightmare--always looked dirty unless shined clean, so that has turned me off to the darker colors)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:47AM
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I don't think people with light-colored Silgranit have had those complaints. There have been lots of discussions about Silgranit on this forum - do a search.

Actually, I just did. Check this thread - good info, and at least one white sink!

Oh, and here's another thread about Silgranit vs. Swanstone. And another one.

And one about white Silgranit sinks.

Lots more threads - you can do a search if you need more info. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:04AM
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Having just traded an overmount for an undermount silgranite I would never go back to overmount. The main issues with the overmount were the raised lip that buehl mentions preventing crumbs from being swept into the sink coupled with the caulk which collects all the junk and needs to be replaced periodically.

Having had cast iron, stainless and now silgranite I'd say the Silgranit is much better suited for our needs. It doesn't show water spots and doesn't scratch, and requires zero care to look amazing. I have two of the antricite (black), so I can't comment on the lighter colors.

One more consideration is sink depth. When you overmount a sink the bowl sits higher. Some have had issues with undermount sinks being too deep for their backs, but it seems to be easily remedied with a sink grate. Of course it depends on the depth of the individual sink you choose. Initially mine seemed a bit deep for me, but then I washed all the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator in it the other day and thought--boy, is it great to have a nice deep sink for this!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:32AM
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You are all right, the Silgranit sinks have great reviews, but most people have not had them over a few years. My Swanstone looked great for a few years too, but once that top finish wears off it then is easy to stain--I've had mine since 1995 but cursed it since about 2000. It is white and I will probably go a little darker, but not much. So are the Silgranit really that superior or just haven't been around that long? I am convinced to do a undermount so I think you for that. Cindy

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 12:42AM
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As I mentioned earlier, the only sink I've seen replaced b/f the counters was my parents' sink...and it was white porcelain-coated cast iron. They replaced it b/c it had gotten so dingy as well as chipped & scratched up after about 20 years or so. They replaced it with the stainless steel sink they still have.

Keep in mind that we were a family of 8 so perhaps that's why...

Regardless of under/over mount, my recommendations to you are (1) don't get white and (2) get a grid for the bottom so it isn't as likely to get chipped or scratched. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 1:03AM
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undermount! I LOVED it in our old house. We were really worried about our decision for some reason, but it was one of my favorite upgrades in the previous kitchen we renovated. So, so convenient.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:04AM
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I love my biscuit colored silgranit sink. Silgranits do not have a "top coat" they are the same material all the way through. I have no other sink in the kitchen so all my vegetables are prepped there and it sees it share of tomato, coffee and tea also.

I asked for a flush reveal (no lip) and couldn't be happier with it. If I ever move I will get another silgranit.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:06AM
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The Swanstone sink you had previously was an all acrylic model, not a granite composite model. Acrylic sinks don't wear well at all. Stone composite sinks wear tougher than iron. In your situation, I'd pick the brown Silgranite sink from Blanco and undermount it. I've never ever had a client regret choosing undermounting a sink, and 90% choose undermount. It's the biggest reason people give for choosing a solid countertop when upgrading from laminate. The only ones who have choosen overmount are those who have a traditional cast iron sink that has sentimental value, or builders who don't want to pay the extra $$.

Go with the undermount, and the chocolate Silgranite. You'll never regret it.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:30AM
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My DH is insisting on an undermount sink so that he can easily swipe the counter and get all of the crumbs and junk into the sink with few motions.

Because I am always looking for things that will motivate him to help out in the kitchen tasks, I am thrilled to have this as an additional reason to choose an undermount sink. :-)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:49AM
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I didn't read the responses, so I may be redundant here, but here's my experience. I have one undermount stainless sink in the kitchen and one overmount commercial sink in the kitchen. I find the overmount gunk issue to be non-existent. I have never found gunk in my wipe-ups of the counter or sink. I have had more issues with the undermount.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:11AM
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I'm still way in the planning stage but was going undermount because of the same "sweep the crumbs" issue. I do hope that pays off and performs as I imagine it in my dreams. I do a lot of veggie chopping, DH likes crusty bread, etc, and so all wiping up (when it gets done) consists of wiping stuff to the edge of the counter and into your hand--and therefore onto the floor.

To this end, I also realize that I will want to organize the layout so that most of that kind of mess is made on the counter(s) that connects to the sink--not all will be possible, of course, but perhaps a lot. This may be OT, but that's one thing that is bugging me about layouts--if the cooktop and sink are not in the same counter run, then you have a kind of conflict between whether you prep next to the stove, and therefore continue to sweep crumbs into your hand, or prep by the sink and ferry stuff to the cooktop.

Boyoboy! Decisons, decisions!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Thanks for all your input. I went sink shopping today in a larger city and finally saw the silgranit. I was disappointed in the color choices and bowl sizes. Is it any different in composition than the granit Swanstone? Anyone have a Swanstone granit in the lighter colors?
Also saw the Kohler cast iron in the sugarcane color and liked it, but have never had cast iron. They say they will be replaced if chipped, but this will go in quartz so I'm thinking replacing a sink is not where we want to go--have to get it right the first time. Any comparison in cleaning light colored cast iron to the granit composits like Silgranit or Swanstone? Thanks, Cindy

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 12:41AM
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Hi Cindy,
IÂve had a Silgranit sink for about 6 months and love it. But you made me curious when you asked the difference between Silgranit and Swanstone. I did a quick search and it looks like the main difference is that Swanstone "granite sinks" are 80% quartz while Silgranit sinks are 80% granite. HereÂs the info that I found. I donÂt mean to short change Swanstone by providing less info. ItÂs just that Silgranit info seems more readily available online.

Swanstone "granite"

  • Colors - Bianca, granite, nero

  • Made with 80% actual quartz stone - only a diamond is harder.

  • Virtually indestructible - will not damage from kitchen use.

  • Recommended cleaning - wash with soap or detergent and warm water, ideally after use. The surface can be wiped with a clean soft cloth. This procedure, if carried out regularly should be sufficient to keep the surface clean and stain free.

  • Heavy staining liquids such as dyes and vegetable juices should be washed off as soon as possible.

  • Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners such as scouring pads and steel wool on the sink as such cleaners tend to abrade the surface, which aggravates cleaning.


  • Colors - White, biscuit, metallic gray, café brown.

  • Contains 80% natural granite, mixed with acrylic resin.

  • Heat resistant to 536ËF.

  • Resistant to extreme changes between hot and cold.

  • Color all the way through.

  • Highly resistant to scratching and chipping.

  • Non-porous design resists most household stains, including coffee, tea, mustard, beet juice, red wine, hair dyes.

  • Unaffected by acids and alkalis typically used in the home.

  • Resilient surface is less likely to break dinnerware and fine crystal.

  • Extremely hygienic. Does not absorb odors or bacteria.

  • Cleaning  Use a scrub pad such as Scotch Brite and any non-abrasive cleaner, including our own BLANCOCLEAN.

  • Stubborn stains, caused by prolonged contact, can be removed with a solution of 50% bleach, 50% water, or by using Bar Keepers Friend.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 7:11AM
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Has anyone had these granite sinks, either silgranit or swanstone longer than 5 years-specifically a light one? I am wondering if the same thing will happen to them after about 5 years that happened with my regular swanstone-shiney and easy to clean until too much use and then the bottom is so porous that it stains with everything.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 5:43PM
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We will be going with Blanco silgranit sinks (color Cafe), and they will be undermounted in our quartz countertops. We saw them installed at our kitchen store, and the undermount install looks really good.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 11:52AM
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I have had a porcelain coated cast iron sink before, but am considering the Swanstone or Blanco granite sinks this time around. The cast iron never chipped, but it did get black marks all the time from pots and pans.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:38PM
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I've got the Schock Cristadur sink.. Absolutely love this sink.
It's silgranite.. Similar to Blanco's but no pores, smooth, and fine texture..
I have the Alive N-175 series model number JCEA175UBL.. U= undermount, BL= black..
German Made, Distributed through Canada's Novanni Stainless Inc.
Love this sink.. Goes spot on with my Quartz Countertop..
Antibacterial , easy to clean, food safe, UV stable, Stain resistant, extremely tough and impact resistant.
I've had no issues with cracking as of yet, but am well aware of the possibilities of cracking with hot water, and pots be placed directly and poured into the sink.. Just like I don't place hot objects on my counter top,
I let everything cool down before I put in the sink..
It's a con that I truly believe can possibly happen, but I would rather do it this way, than buying SS and knowing it's gonna get scratched the first pot I wash in it.I am all over SST for alot of things, but if I'm gonna dump alot of money into a sink, the one thing I have a hard time looking at is scratches.. In fact I got turned off of SST sinks at the specialty plumbing stores, cause everyone that was on display was scratched, ot didn't matter if it was brushed or polished, Kindreds Blanco's, Pearl, Elkay, Novanni, Franke, they all had scratches..I'm the type of guy, who in my spare time at home, walks around the house and fills the dents in walls with putty at least once a month, and than my wife touches them up..
She is painting now actually, but I can't live with something that will scratch no matter what you do to try and prevent it.SST will scratch no matter what, and it will scratch at any price point..

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Schock Cristadur is considered silgranite, but it is actually 80% quartz is used in the sink..This sink is extremely durable, and extremely food safe,
and it has been so far kept it's promise of being stain resistant, and it even brags about being able to with stand high temps.. However have not or will I purposely test this out on my sink..That part, I'm not so sure about...
But it looks as new as the day I bought it.. I love that part..

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 9:45PM
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I have Caesarstone quartz with an undermount fireclay sink and I love that you can't see the gunk! (these pics are of my faucet but they show the almost zero reveal)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:14AM
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I've had a large (22"x25"s10" depth) Moen white composite overmount sink in my laminate kitchen counter for over a decade. I've just ordered a quartz countertop for which I purchased a white Elkay undermount graniite Composite sink.
Regarding "crud" at my silicone install layer: never once even a trace in that time.

Regarding cleaning-Mostly just Palmolive liquid soap; for "bad cases" I always use "The Moen Method":which is to fill the sink perhaps 75% full of water and add a half cup of chlorox and let stand for up to an hour. I'm a chemist by trade: Because the chlorox is so dilute the sink is never damaged; because it's chlorox, the sink always looks wonderfully white in that hour (or perhaps a half hour)!

I've wrestled with overmount/undermount in my mind for weeks now and decided on undermount; because the counter installer likes "negative reveal" I'm going that way; because the sink weighs 31 pounds, I'm going to use a 20-25" "Sink-setter" kit that I read about here FOR INSURANCE on the glue/clip installation!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:29AM
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