When replacing or newly installing countertops, it's natural to want a new sink to go with them. Old sinks often can't be fully salvaged from removed countertops, and maybe you're looking to update functionality or appearance in your new space. Here are the basic sink types and their differences.
Sink Types by Installation Method
Undermount sinks are the most commonly preferred sink type in use today. These sinks are fully installed underneath the countertop, so its easy to wipe spills directly into the sink without worrying about a lip or rim.
Overmount sinks are a bit more traditional. These sinks are budget friendly because they require less installation work since the lip of the sink removes the need for precise cutting or polishing. This same lip also makes cleaning more difficult. It is worth noting that OM sinks are the only type of sink that can be installed on a laminate countertop.
Dual Mount (DM)
Dual Mount sinks are sinks with a very thin lip that in theory can be installed either as OM or UM sinks. Beware of Dual Mount sinks, though, as the regulations are non-existent and it is very common for these sink lips to be too thick to be installed undermount despite the advertisements.
Sink Types by Shape
Rounded corner sinks are most commonly thought of as traditional. These sinks are very easy to wipe down but also lose a bit of inner space due to the size of the corner curves.
Regarded as a modern and contemporary choice, zero radius sinks are currently the most popular option. These sinks maximize inner space by removing the curve out of the corners.
Radius sinks are a pretty middle of the road choice for anyone wanting the cleaning ease of a rounded sink but the space of a zero radius. Radius sinks tend to have a 15 degree corner, meaning just a slight curve to make it easier to wipe down. Note that visually, radius sinks appear very similar to zero radius sinks.
Other Common Sink Classifiers
Workstation sinks have an inner border to rest utility items on. These sinks typically come with cutting boards, drying racks, sink strainers, and vegetable wash basins that sit on the inner border.
Farmhouse or apron front sinks function the same as other sinks but have an aesthetic front face that sits flush with the cabinet. These cabinets come with a plethora of special installation instructions, so be ready to make adjustments to your cabinets as needed.
Tapered sinks are designed to guide water into the drain more easily by adding a slight downward grade in the design of the sink. Note that tapered sinks can appear nearly identical to non-tapered sinks.