There are four common types of mounting installations for a kitchen sink into the countertop: drop-in, undermount, dual mount, and farmhouse.
A drop-in sink (also known as top mount or self rimming) has a finished edge or rim and is installed or mounted on top of the countertop. Ideal for replacement, drop-in sinks can be removed and installed without damaging countertops and are a great option for the DYI-er weekend project.
An undermount or recessed sink is installed under a countertop to create a seamless appearance. Undermount sinks can be mounted in two different ways: reveal (showing some of the sink rim) or overhang (shows no sink rim), also referred to as no reveal. It's the remodeler’s choice for quartz, solid surface, or natural stone countertop materials because of the clean, uninterrupted feel. Due to the nature of mounting to a solid surface, undermount sinks should be installed by a professional, experienced installer.
A dual mount sink has a flat rim that is usually just the thickness of the material, except for Quartz sinks which will have a thicker rim. They can be installed either above as a drop-in or below as an undermount, making it a versatile choice that can be installed in any countertop. A dual mount sink provides flexibility when choosing your countertop to achieve your desired look or when remounting your sink during a future remodel.
A farmhouse sink (sometimes called an apron front) is mounted below the countertop and features an exposed sink front that extends out slightly farther than the cabinet below it. Ideal for any solid surface countertop, it offers a unique look that highlights the sink design and material. This is a classic look, but its installation requires a professional, experienced installer and may require a specially designed base cabinet.