The Top 3 Common Types of Sinks

Do you remember learning about variables in algebra class? I don’t know about you, but every time I looked down at that heavy textbook, there sure were a lot of them. While the similarities between Algebra II and choosing between types of sinks pretty much end here, kitchen sink installations do involve a few variables. The truth is that things change depending on which of the three common types of sinks you’re looking at.


Sinks are commonly categorized by how they are mounted, and there are basically three kinds of mounting systems that you’re going to see. While each type of sink mount has many variations, 95% of sinks will fall into one of the following categories.

Self-Rimming Kitchen Sinks

Self-rimming kitchen sink

The first type of sink on our list is the most common one. This is a self-rimming, stainless steel sink (also known as a drop-in sink). “Drop-in” is a pretty appropriate name for this style because the sink is literally lowered into a cut and measured space in the countertop, as pictured above.

Notice how the rim of the sink sits above the countertop. This is is the hallmark characteristic of this type of sink.

Self-rimming sinks are installed on a hard surface — often Formica — by clips underneath the rim that hold the sink in place. Be sure to adjust the clips to hold tightly if you attempt this type of sink installation yourself.

Undermount Kitchen Sinks

Undermount kitchen sink

Next on our list of types of sinks is the undermount sink. This is a classy choice that you’ll typically see in more expensive homes. It’s also a bear to install. As far as installation goes, this is far and away the most difficult of the three types of sinks.

Notice how the sink does not show from above the countertop. If you take a level view across the countertop, the rim of the sink does not pop up above the counter.

Installing these types of sinks, as I mentioned, is much harder. But it might be worth it if you want a very unique and austere look. Like drop-in sinks, the undermount kitchen sink is installed on a hard surface — often granite, marble, or corona. It is then secured to the underside of the countertop. This creates an effect not unlike that of an infinity pool… but for your dirty dishes.

Undermount kitchen sinks are the infinity pool of sink styles.

Farmhouse Sinks

Farmhouse sink

The last of our 3 types of sinks is the farmhouse sink. This one is much more common than an undermount kitchen sink, but it still isn’t all that common.

The thing about a farmhouse sink is that it doesn’t mount at all. This sink type sits entirely on top of its surface (pictured on top of a walnut wood surface in the above photo). Check out Annie and Oak’s post for more on the pros and cons of farmhouse sinks.

As the name suggests, farmhouse sinks are often found in homes with the renovated farm aesthetic that is so popular in certain parts of the country. It is a very fun look to be sure, and one that will stand out in any home.


As I mentioned at the beginning, each of these sink categories contains a variety of different styles within it. While the self-rimming Formica sink is much more common than the farmhouse or undermount kitchen sinks, if you want to go for something a little more unique, you have options here.

If you experience bad water pressure following an installation, take a look at our low water pressure checklist. If none of those solutions help you fix the problem or you’re not comfortable attempting the fix, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.

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A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.