Drop in, Undermount, Vessel, or Farm Sink?

The style of sink that you should choose for your kitchen or bathroom design is often a decision that baffles many homeowners. While there is no right or wrong answer, there are pros and cons to each type that you should be aware of before purchasing. The space that it will be installed also plays a part in the sink mounting option that you should choose. Lets dive in and see which style will work the best for your home and budget!


Drop In Style:

A drop in sink is a sink that can be lowered easily into the space that is designated in the countertop. The rim of the sink extends over top of the counter, so that it rests on the counter top and supports the sink’s weight. Drop in sinks typically have clamps on them that are located underneath the sink the help to make it more secure. They might have holes for faucets, or the faucets may be mounted onto the countertop instead.

  • A drop in sink is not effected by an irregular opening in countertop, such as chips, uneven cuts, etc.
  • If your countertop is made from a soft material such as marble or wood, a drop in sink will protect the edges of your countertops.
  • A drop in sink is typically cheaper than other sink styles.
  • Drop in sinks are some of the easiest to install, making them a great DIY project.


  • Many people don’t like the look of drop in sinks. This is all personal preference, but many people like to see the edges of higher grade building materials like granite or quartz.
  • With a drop in sink, pieces of food can swept or stuck underneath the edges of the sink that sits on the countertop. This can lead to mildew, bacteria and a build up of germs that can be unhealthy.
  • They can be more difficult to clean on those same edges.

drop in sink

Undermount Style:

Undermount sinks are named that because of the way that they sit UNDER the countertop. Instead of being dropped into a hole in the countertop, undermount sinks are installed under the counter and secured. Because of this, there is no rim between the countertop and sink. Undermount sinks come in a wide range of materials and can be found in single and double bowl configurations.

  • An undermount sink is thought to be more beautiful than a drop in sink. This is because the line of your countertop is not interrupted by the edge of the sink and instead flows much better.
  • Clean up is easier in undermount sinks. Any food crumbs or spills can be swept right into the sink with no obstruction in the way, such as the edge of the sink.


  • Undermounts often take at least twice the time to install as self-rimming models. They are not as easy to install yourself and can often take a professional to correctly adhere the sink and ensure no leaks and a secure bond.
  • They also require solid materials, such as granite or solid surfacing, since the counter material is exposed. You can install undermounts with butcher block countertops, but it is extremely important that the counters are sealed – we would suggest 5 times. This is because the wood edges will be exposed to moisture on a daily basis, which can cause damage.
  • Undermount sinks will be more expensive typically than your drop in sink options.

Undermount Sink

Apron Front (Farm Sink) Style:

An apron front sink, also called a farm sink, has a very unique look because of its exposed front. It is a large sink that is fit into the counter top with the front edge of the sink being exposed. The farm sinks were designed to be added to a space cut out of the kitchen counter. This type of sink is traditionally quite large because it is designed to be used for multiple functions and cater to the needs of a large family, like those traditionally living on a farm.

  • The look! Most people love the look of these nostalgic sinks. They are cozy and welcoming. It takes you back so a simpler time.
  • Very large, can easily wash pots and pans, along with other dishes all inside the sink.
  • Very durable.
  • Withstands splashes and spills
  • Eliminates leaning over to work over the sink – no countertop space in the middle.
  • If it’s damaged then the drain pipe would be removed and the entire sink could easily be replaced.


  • The cost. These high style, high function sinks are often twice, if not more, than other styles.
  • If you don’t have a pull down faucet, it can be difficult to keep clean because it’s so large.

apron sink farm sink

Vessel Style:

A vessel sink is a design that is traditionally shaped like a bowl that sits on top of your counter, or can be installed onto a drain pipe coming out from a wall! While some people think that they’re a more modern design, they are actually more traditional as they mimic the basin style sinks of the past. Of course, there are many modern takes on this traditional design. Most vessels are used in bathrooms, but they have been used in kitchens as well.

  • The look. These sinks are unique, so you can guarantee that they’ll be the focal point of any bathroom. They add a bit of glamour or interest to your space.
  • They can save space. They can open up more countertop space, or can be installed on a very skinny base, or directly out of the wall, making them ideal for small spaces.
  • They are removable. You can easily switch them out with a different style.
  • Very easy installation, ideal for a DIY project.
  • Comfort. They can be adjusted to the hight of the homeowner more easily.


  • The splash. They tend to get water outside of the bowl more often than other sink styles.
  • Extra cleaning due to both sides of the sink being exposed.
  • Durability can be an issue. Since both sides are exposed, they are more susceptible to chipping.
  • Stability can also be an issue if not installed correctly.

I hope that your questions were answered and that your decision will be easier when looking for your next kitchen or bathroom sink! If there is anything we didn’t cover in regards to sink styles, feel free to ask us in the comments!
Vessel Sink

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are one of the top providers of kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks in the area. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Allie Bloyd