Topmount sinks give you the best selection, are easy to install and blend with any kitchen scheme. This topmount sink guide gives you an overview of what’s available and reasons to consider this type of sink for your kitchen remodeling project.
What is a Topmount Sink & When is it Used?
Topmount sinks have become the traditional style. They are fabricated with a rim around the sink bowl that rests on the countertop. Topmount sinks are installed after the countertop is in place, and they are also called drop-in sinks, overmount sinks and self-rimming sinks. Clamps are used from beneath to secure the sink to the countertop, and silicone caulk beneath the rim creates a waterproof seal.
If you want to compare these to your other main option, see our Undermount Sink Buying Guide.
The faucet and accessories such as a sprayer or soap dispenser are installed through the ledge behind the sink, and sinks are available with two to four holes to accommodate them.
Topmount sinks are used to replace the same type when the countertops are not being replaced. They’re also very popular for complete kitchen remodels when the look is preferred to either apron sinks or undermount sinks.
Your topmount sink options include:
- Single, double and triple topmount sinks (See our sets of guides for each)
- Widths ranging from less than 20” to more than 40”
- A pleasing range of materials including stainless steel, copper, granite composite, glazed metal, porcelain and fireclay
- Attractive sinks from less than $100 to more than $5,000
Drop-in sinks integrate well with any countertop material.
Top Topmount Sink Brands
All sink manufacturers make drop-in sinks. Here are the top-rated brands:
- Kohler Kitchen Sinks
- Blanco Kitchen Sinks
- Franke Kitchen Sinks
- Elkay Kitchen Sinks
- Menards Kitchen Sinks
- Ticor Kitchen Sinks
- Kraus Kitchen Sinks
- Vigo Kitchen Sinks
Advantages and Disadvantages of Topmount Kitchen Sinks
Compare these topmount sink pros and cons with those for undermount sinks to decide which is right for your home.
Topmount kitchen sink advantages – Topmount sinks:
- Are much easier to install and remove than undermount sinks or farmhouse sinks
- Are made in a wider range of choices than other types
- Look good with most types of countertop
- Cost less to install than undermount sinks
- Can cover an imperfectly cut sink opening while the opening for undermount sinks must be very precise
- Have a rim that protects the edge materials such as marble that might easily be chipped when exposed by an undermount sink
Topmount kitchen sink disadvantages – Topmount sinks:
- Often accumulate food debris and water around the rim, so the area needs to be cleaned regularly
- Prevent you from brushing food scraps and crumbs directly from the countertop into the sink
- Have a visible rim, so the overall look isn’t as elegant – in some homeowners’ opinions— as an undermount sink
- Break up the visual continuity of the countertop, and for this reason there is a difference of opinion as to whether drop-in sinks should be used with high-end materials like natural stone
Topmount Kitchen Sink Style
Because overmount kitchen sinks have been so popular for so long, we’re used to seeing them in any kitchen style. In other words, they look good with – and certainly don’t look out of place with—any kitchen style. They’re most often chosen with traditional kitchen design.
Topmount Kitchen Sink Prices
This overview gives you an idea of what you’ll find as you researcg drop-in kitchen sink prices. Our Topmount Kitchen Sink Price Guide provides much more detail about prices for each type of material topmount sinks are made from.
- Starting price of a topmount kitchen sink: About $55
- Price range for most topmount sinks: $275-$700
- High-end topmount kitchen sinks: $3,000-$5,500
Is a Topmount Sink Right for your Kitchen?
If you’re not replacing the countertops, and you have a topmount sink already, choosing another drop-in sink is more cost-effective than installing an undermount sink because installation is easier.
Topmount sinks are the best choice for laminate, butcher-block and other types of wood countertops because they protect the edge of the countertop from being exposed to water and coming apart or warping as a result.
If you’re installing a countertop like marble, tile, concrete or granite with edges that are susceptible to chipping, a drop-in sink will protect that edge from heavy pots and pans.
What Looks Good to You?
Apart from these specific issues, the choice of a topmount sink over an undermount sink or farmhouse sink is simply a matter of personal preference. There are gorgeous options in all three types, so browse your choices to see what catches your eye.
Topmount Kitchen Sink FAQ
This Q&A includes additional important information.
I’m replacing my undermount sink. Can a topmount sink be installed in its place?
If you’re not removing the countertops, the difficulty would be in removing the undermount sink. If that can be done, then yes, you could replace it with a topmount sink. Keep in mind, however, that the bottom of most undermount sinks is lower than the bottom of most drop-in sinks, so you may have to replace the drain or add an extension to it. This will increase the cost.
Can I install my drop-in sink, and how much money will I save by doing it myself?
If you’re a bit handy and can follow directions, installing the sink is something you certainly should be successful doing. See our Topmount Sink Removal and Installation Guide for how-to steps. What you’ll save depends on how complex the job is and who would do it if you don’t. A simple job means installing the sink and attaching one drain line. A complex job includes multiple drains, a disposal and dishwasher lines too. Topmount sink installation cost is $75-$400 or more.
What’s the best way to keep food gunk and water away from the sink edge?
It starts with proper installation. If a heavy sink is not properly supported, it might slightly bow the countertop, especially a laminate counter. When that occurs, water on the countertop will run toward the edge. If this is occurring with your sink, try adding supports that will raise it to make the countertop level. As for food debris, brush crumbs from the counter into your hand or a wastebasket rather than trying to brush them over the sink rim into the sink.
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