Whether you’re completely renovating your bathroom or just looking for a way to spruce it up, a perfect vanity top is a great way to start.
Although bathroom countertops don’t usually face the same kind of abuse as their kitchen counterparts (think hot utensils and knives), they do experience damage from everyday use. That’s why it’s important to choose a material that’s attractive as well as hardy and functional.
What to Consider Before Choosing a Bathroom Vanity Top
Before choosing the material for your vanity top, you need to decide if you’re going to use the space as a full bathroom or powder room.
Unlike a full bathroom that’s used often and exposed to many different products, a powder room is a smaller space with less exposure to chemicals and stains. Also, if you have kids, chances are that colour pens and sticky substances (like candies and chocolates) may find their way there.
The secret to choosing the best bathroom vanity top is to find one well-suited to your family’s lifestyle. For instance, is your family has kids or teenagers, your vanity should be sturdy enough to resist all spills, scratches and dents caused by naughty or careless hands.
5 Most Popular Bathroom Countertop Materials
There are plenty of bathroom countertop materials, and your biggest challenge is to pick one that fits your needs. Read on to learn about the different kinds, including their benefits and drawbacks.
In spite of being expensive, granite is a popular countertop material for bathrooms. It’s tough and durable, particularly when properly sealed to avoid scratches and staining.
Its wide range of patterns, styles and designs allows you to choose one that matches your bathroom decor.
- Since granite is a natural stone, each granite countertop is entirely unique.
- It’s long-lasting and resistant to stains, scratches and water.
- It resists heat and humidity, which are common in bathrooms.
- When sealed properly, it requires minimal upkeep.
- It’s one of the most expensive countertop materials.
- Granite has a high chance of chipping or getting damaged if not handled properly
Maintenance: Granite countertops must be cleaned using liquid detergent and warm water. Avoid harsh cleaners (with chemicals), as they can stain and dull the surface. Remove small scratches and chips with gentle polishing. They also need to be sealed every six to twelve months.
Versatile, affordable and attractive, laminate is the go-to countertop material for many homeowners. Made from a thin plastic surface that’s pressure secured to a particleboard or plywood base, laminate countertops are extremely hard and durable. Thanks to printing technology, you can get laminate with realistic wood- or stone-like finishes.
- It’s affordable.
- It comes in a wide range of patterns and colours.
- It’s easy to clean, low maintenance and resists water and stains.
- It’s easy to install yourself.
- Laminate tends to dull and thin over time.
- Long-term exposure to moisture and humidity may cause it to peel or crack.
- Repairs aren’t possible; in case of damage, the countertop needs to be replaced.
Maintenance: Any type of spill (especially makeup) should be cleaned immediately. Wipe regularly with a soft cotton cloth dipped in mild liquid detergent or any other (chemical-free) cleaning agent.
Hard, durable and non-porous, quartz is the ultimate choice for modern bathroom vanity tops. Made from 95% natural quartz dust bonded with chips, resins and recycled materials, it’s one of the hardest and most long-lasting materials on earth. It’s tougher than granite, doesn’t require sealing, and is naturally resistant to stains, moisture and mould.
- It comes in a wide range of vibrant tones and patterns.
- It doesn’t require sealing or polishing.
- It’s naturally resistant to stains, moisture, scratches and bacteria .
- It comes with a ready-to-install under-mount sinks.
- Quartz may cost even more than high-end marble and granite.
- Honed or textured finishes can make fingerprints and smudges more evident; frequent cleaning may be required.
- It’s prone to damage by acidic or highly alkaline chemicals like bleach, solvents and abrasive cleansers.
Maintenance: Clean with a sponge or soft cloth dipped in mild soap and warm water. Wipe afterward with a dry cloth.
A luxurious-looking natural stone, travertine comes in a range of colours and decorative patterns that are similar to marble but more affordable. This natural stone is usually available in four finishes – honed, polished, tumbled and brushed. Being relatively porous, travertine countertops need to be carefully and repeatedly sealed for long-lasting protection.
- It looks high end.
- It’s naturally resistant to heat and moisture.
- It comes with integral or separate under-mount sinks.
- Travertine is extremely reactive to acids.
- It needs to be polished and sealed from time to time.
- Any spill must be wiped immediately to avoid stains
Maintenance: Use only alkaline-based cleaning agents.
Concrete is a durable, attractive and affordable countertop material. Available in a range of colours, textures and patterns, it allows a huge space for creativity and customization. Some installers (on request) can also embed stone, tile or bits of polished glass into the surface during fabrication. Like natural stones, concrete is naturally porous and requires periodic sealing and maintenance. You can either pair it with an integral concrete sink or another type.
- It’s an organic material that mimics the look of natural stone.
- It’s customizable in terms of dimension, colour, shape, texture and decorative pattern.
- It resists heat and moisture.
- It’s an eco-friendly option, especially when combined with recycled content.
- It requires professional fabrication and installation.
- It can chip and develop hairline cracks over time.
- It requires regular waxing and sealing to protect against stains.
- Sufficient support is necessary from the vanity or base cabinets to bear its weight.
Maintenance: Avoid harsh scrubbers or cleaning solutions as these can erode the surface sealer. Use only a pH-neutral cleaner.
Many components go into a well-planned bathroom. If you ignore any of these essentials, you compromise both the look and functionality of the space. One such important aspect is your vanity top. Use this guide to choose the countertop materials that suit you best.