Real estate experts agree that a significant amount of the value of a house comes from the kitchen, so choosing the finishes and features of this room can be a very important decision for a homeowner. Besides the refrigerator, one of the most frequently used fixtures in the kitchen is the sink, which can come in a range of materials and styles. Both granite sinks and undermount sinks are thought to add value to a kitchen, but there are pros and cons to installing a granite undermount kitchen sink. While considered stylish, clean, durable and noise-insulating, a granite undermount kitchen sink can also be expensive, heavy and may require professional installation and custom cabinetry.
Made of solid stone, a granite undermount kitchen sink can come in a wide range of colors and patterns. No two slabs of granite are exactly the same, which can give the kitchen a unique look that can appeal to homeowners. While the particular color of granite may be appealing to whoever installs it, not all homebuyers will have the same taste.
The popularity of undermount sinks in general is due to the fact that crumbs and messes on counters can be swept directly into the sink, without catching on anything. They are considered cleaner than drop-in sinks because food particles do not get stuck in seams, which can be hard to clean and could cause bacterial growth. All undermount sinks require either installation into the underside of a countertop or a support structure in the cabinetry below the sink, and granite can complicate this. Considered to be one of the heaviest sink materials, a granite undermount kitchen sink requires a substantial amount of support to stay in place, requiring professional installation and a custom cabinet below the sink.
Noise is often a complaint when using a metal sink, and the heft of a granite sink helps to insulate and quiet the noise produced by washing dishes. Care must be taken with glass and ceramic in a granite sink, however, because the hard stone can break these softer materials easily. The durability of stone means that a granite undermount kitchen sink will last for a long time without rusting and with minimal discoloration. Ammonia-based cleaners can dull and discolor granite, so their use is not recommended. Another consideration is that any chips or cracks in the stone will require professional repair and sealing, as they cannot be buffed out.
While granite is considered a valuable material in the home, it is also one of the most expensive materials on the market. Though the price of granite can vary depending on whether it is a man-made composite slab or carved from a single block, even less expensive variations are usually pricier than other materials like stainless steel or ceramic. Combined with the cost of installation, custom cabinetry, and professional repairs, a granite undermount kitchen sink can be a very costly investment.