The demand for undermount sinks is growing. Even if you haven't had to install one yet, it is probably only a matter of time before a customer requests one. Because undermount sinks - also called undercounter sinks - are generally used only with stone or solid-surface countertops, they tend to be found in high-end kitchens. This raises the stakes for the builder, who is likely to face a more demanding client, and will need to coordinate the work between several subcontractors. Customers who like the elegant appearance of undermounts are willing to pay an up-charge for them - not only for the countertop, but also for the cost of the sink and the additional installation time. Because sink manufacturers know that undermounts are used only with high-end countertops, they see no reason to market budget-priced undermount sinks. In general, the price of a double-bowl stainless steel undermount sink starts at $400, and heads north from there. For less-expensive laminate countertops, a drop-in sink - also called a self-rimming sink - is usually required, because the sink cutout exposes the vulnerable particleboard substrate. However, Counter-Seal is now marketing a system for installing undermount sinks with laminate countertops (see sidebar, ).

Like drop-in sinks, undermounts come in a wide range of materials, including cast polymer, stainless steel, enameled cast iron, enameled steel, vitreous china, copper, brass, and solid stone. Cast polymer Cast polymer (plastic) sinks make up a growing share of the market. Sink manufacturers generally divide cast polymer sinks into three...

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