I really like undermount sinks. They're practical and they look great. Clean lines with no edges for kitchen gunk to build up under. What's not to like?
Well ... cost for one.
Because undermount sinks are most commonly used in solid surface, quartz or stone countertops, they often won't fit into a more modest budget. It's true these premium materials will give you the best results for overall "countertop experience." But premium product can also mean a premium price.
What about more economic countertops materials like laminate and tile? Despite what you may have been told, you can undermount a sink in a laminate countertop.
Counter-Seal has been successfully undermounting stainless steel sinks in laminate countertops for over 10 years. Their system involves a ring of solid surface material that is incorporated into the countertop substrate. The joint between the laminate and the ring is sealed using an epoxy adhesive (keeping the joint water-tight) and the sink is attached underneath using the standard clips provided with the sink.
The rings are available in most colours of Corian, Gibraltar and Staron (check their website for the exact colours) and can only be used with certain sinks (available through Counter-Seal). Installation can be DIY, but using a certified installer is reccommended.
The finished product looks really good, and is very durable. We had one installed in a working kitchen display in our showroom. It easily handled all the abuse that a group of kitchen designers can dish out over 5 years. And if laminate is not your scene, the Counter-Seal rings can also work with tile countertops.