For homeowners who want their kitchen or bathroom to look seamless, an integral sink is, well, integral. But what exactly is an integral sink? Below, we splash into the design, how much integral sinks cost, and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing one for your home.
What is an integral sink?
An integral sink looks as if it’s built into the countertop; it’s a sink that is part of the counter itself, according to Mark Melonas, founder and lead designer of Baltimore-based Luke Works, a design-and-build firm that creates furniture, precision casework, and concrete elements. “It is the same material as the countertop, and in the case of concrete, an integral sink is cast all together in one mold at the same time.”
“This style might be a combination of components put together, or it might be one long slab with a carved or molded section that is the sink,” says Selena Rivas-Alexander, a designer at KRE Group LLC in San Antonio, TX. “In either instance, the sink and counter appear to be a single piece.”
Integral sinks are available in a variety of materials, including cement, stainless steel, ceramic, solid-surface, quartz, and composites. An example of a composite option is a granite composite sink, which is a combination of granite and acrylic resin.
Like more common basin sinks, integral sinks can also have a single bowl or double bowl. “A double bowl integral sink usually has a recessed middle divider which allows for overflow into the adjacent bowl,” says Bob Watts, owner of Granite Metal Services/The Stainless Guys in Boston.
Cost of an integral sink
If you’re thinking about getting an integral sink, how much should you budget for? According to Melonas, the price will vary and is based on several factors:
The overall size and shape and the counter that contains it. This is often a square footage price that will range from $100-$150 per square foot.
The complexity and shape of the sink form
If the artisan you are working with is making a custom form or using a mold they have in their library.
“For example, at my firm, we charge about $100-$120 per square foot, plus $300 for a ‘standard’ form from our library or from $450 to over $1,000 for each custom mold,” Melonas explains.
Installation is always a separate cost, and Melonas says that’s determined by the complexity of the job, the length of time it will take, and various site conditions. “Sometimes a skilled carpenter or contractor on site can install the sink,” he explains. “Many times, the owner will insist that the sink be installed by the person or company that made it.” These factors are likely to increase the cost of installation.
Rivas-Alexander says that in San Antonio, integral sinks can start at around $75 and cost up to $1,000 or more, depending on the type and quality of the sink. “However, the vast majority are priced from $200 to $500,” she says.