Undermount sinks give the kitchen a sleeker look, while adding clean-up convenience. Undermount sinks have not been traditionally recommended with laminate because moisture can easily penetrate a laminate seam and create bubbles. Major brands such as Kohler and American Standard, which are available at big-box retailers nationwide, do not offer an undermount sink capable of laminate installation. However, two lesser-known companies have seem to come up with a solution to the laminate problem that finally gives consumers a budget-friendly option to the undermount feature.
Karran has a line of sinks that provide a seamless installation. The solid-surface sinks are made of acrylic resin and a polyester/fibreglass mix. The secret to the effectiveness of their products is the solid surface seaming adhesive used to seal the sink to the laminate. The adhesive and the materials on the underside of the sink can be sanded flush with the substrate to eliminate the possibility of moisture penetration.
The Counter-Seal Corporation has a line of stainless steel sinks that is installed as a kit with its ring-in seal system. The ring is composed of solid-surface materials and is installed with an epoxy that resists moisture.
Karran Vs. Counter-Seal
To install the Karran undermount sink, you must purchase new substrate and laminate. The Counter-Seal sinks, however, can be used on existing countertops. Installation of the Karran sink requires fewer supplies and tools. The solid surface sink offered by Karran also is resistant to stains, bacteria, scratches and heat, and is easier to clean.
The Karran and Counter-Seal sinks are only available through a network of small-scale dealers, interior designers, architects and professional contractors. That may limit the possibility of completing the project yourself, although with the right tools, it looks manageable. Visit each company's website to find a local retailer.