Undermount sinks: flush or reveal?

dibdotMay 13, 2014

I've recently been converted to the idea of having an undermount sink (Caesarstone benchtop).

My question now is: reveal (with some horizontal surface of the sink showing), or flush? I do know I definitely don't want any overhang of the benchtop over the lip of the sink.

My concerns are:

- keeping it all clean
- the risk of chipping the edge of the engineered stone
- the overall "look" - our kitchen will be a transitional style with white shaker cabinets, full double undermount sink (no drainer), mid-grey benchtops, slate tile floor

Would appreciate views of those who have lived with either type of installation. Thanks!

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badgergal

I previously had a positive reveal (sink edge projecting slightly beyond countertop edge) and currently have a flush mount.
I find the flush mount easier to clean- no little edge to wipe off. I also prefer its simple clean line look. My kitchen is transitional/contemporary with Shaker style cabinets and eased edge countertops.
I have had my current set up for 2-1/2 years and so far no chipped edges.
Here is my sink:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:59PM
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dibdot

@badgergal - thanks for your input! My gut says that flush is the way to go in terms of maintenance, I have slight reservations about whether it will be easier to chip (especially as my hubby does all the handwashing - have nightmares about cast iron pots and the big wok!) but in reality the difference is hopefully not that great.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:35PM
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oldryder

I am a fabricator.

Our standard is what would be referred to as flush mount (actually 1/116" overhang). We think this style is better for the following reasons:

1. the reveal on the sink is another surface to clean.
2. the sink flange exposed with a reveal gets beat up over time.
3. the reveal exposes the caulk joint between the countertop and the sink. Over time the caulk can crack and yellow.

Many fabricators do a reveal because that is the cutout size supplied by the sink OEM and the fabricator lacks the expertise or willingness to change the cutout to flush.

The typical sink cutout from an OEM has a reveal because in some municipalities the health code requires that all surfaces in the food prep area be exposed. An overhang, even a very small one, could be grounds for a health inspector to reject a countertop. The sink OEM's cover their behinds by having a reveal on all their cutout specs.

Regarding chipping; the edge profile at the sink cutout is much more important the size of the cutout. A 3/8" top radius on the sink cutout will be substantially more difficult to chip than a sharp radius on quartz and most stones.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:29AM
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feisty68

My sink template had multiple cut-outs and my fabricator recommended flush mount.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:21PM
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neitsdelf

Oldryder, do you think there would be any benefit to going with a slightly larger radius on the easing, for 5/4 material, like 7/16" or 1/2"?

Would demi-bullnose look to weird?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:31PM
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Trebruchet

neitsdelf:

The larger the radius, the less the chance of chipping. A demi-bullnose would not look weird.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:55PM
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neitsdelf

Thanks, that's what I was hoping, since I'm going to do a soapstone and I was primarily worried about chipping.

I suppose I could start with one radius and if I don't like it, increase it (be a bit hard to go the other way, though)!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:04PM
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athomesewing

What do the installation instructions specify regarding reveal, or do they?

My sink (Franke Orca) has instructions which specify âÂÂnoâ reveal or overhang -- neutral I guess. Does my fabricator like it...well, it's not what he would prefer. It is easier I assume to cut a hole smaller than and set the sink under it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:30PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I had the Franke Orca is my previous home with a slightly positive reveal. I don't remember what the installation instructions for the sink said, but generally I think they're irrelevant.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:33PM
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a2gemini

I have a slight negative reveal. At times, I wish I had done the slight positive reveal. They couldn't do a flush for some reason and it was the one item my DH voiced his opinion.
In the grand scheme of things - there is gunk somewhere - there was a great post showing this a couple years ago.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:47PM
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Jackie54016

Thanks for this discussion string. I am having an Elkay stainless steel undermount sink installed and requested a flush mount from the Cambria fabricator. He said the Elkay template either offers a 1/2 inch reveal or a 1/16 inch counter overhang, so the 1/16 inch counter overhang would be considered the flush mount. Anyone else encounter this? I just want to make sure the Cambria won't be more prone to chipping.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:28PM
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PhoneLady

Also, if you are considering the use any sink grids, baskets, cutting boards, etc. just double check that whatever reveal you choose doesn't negatively (no pun intended) impact your ability to use those accessories successfully.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:06PM
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