Granite has long been the number one most desired material for bathroom countertops.
The natural stone is loved for its overall attractiveness and dramatic beauty. It's available in a nearly limitless variety of colors, patterns, and styles.
Each slab of material has its own individual hues and patterns. If you find a granite you love, reserve that specific slab. You won’t find an exact match again.
In addition to overall beauty and variety of options, granite is also notable for their hardness. These countertops are durable and scratch resistant. They'll hold up to any normal abuse you can throw at them.
Granite ise also resistant to heat and humidity. For instance, a hot curling iron accidentally set down won't cause any damage.
The only real downside to granite is the price. Their combination of beauty, durability, and desirability mean they’re one of the most expensive options around.
Yet the high upfront cost pays off in the long run. Not only does granite last just about forever, but they also add resale value to your home.
Hire a professional contractor to install your granite vanity top – the material is heavy with a high chance of breaking if handled improperly.
Unlike granite, quartz is “engineered” stone rather than natural stone.
Though quartz is a naturally occurring material (one of the most abundant on earth), quartz only contain about 95% quartz.
The other 5% is constructed from a variety of pigments, resins, and recycled materials, depending on the specific manufacturer.
The top benefit of quartz is its natural durability. Unlike granite, quartz is naturally waterproof and doesn’t require sealing. The material is also resistant to stains and bacteria.
Most quartz has a clean, contemporary look. The fact that they’re engineered, however, means there is a remarkable variety of colors and patterns available.
Quartz is just about as expensive as granite. But you get what you pay for regarding toughness and durability.
The only other drawback to quartz is that the edges can easily chip. Opt for a rounded edge treatment to counteract this problem.
Marble is a type of limestone with several variations in color and pattern.
The most common patterns are white with streaks of gray (pictured above) or almost black with streaks of white, though there are dozens of options available.
In fact, marble taken from different quarries contains different amounts of minerals. These enable each quarry to produce marble that’s slightly different from any other in the world.
People love marble for its stylish elegance. In the bathroom, these countertops have long been a symbol of wealth and luxury.
Though marble is still very expensive (even more so than granite and quartz), they’re a little more affordable than they once were.
The large variety of marble vanity tops and its classic looks make the material a perfect choice for just about any style of bathroom.
The main drawback to a marble is that its prone to staining and scratching. You must reseal yours on a regular basis to prevent staining.
Both stains and scratches can be honed or polished out with special cleaning products.
Solid-surface vanity tops are created from synthetic materials with a mix of acrylic resin, quartz, and crushed stone.
They come in the widest range of patterns, colors, and styles of any countertop material available.
This ensures they work well with almost any style of bathroom, though they’re most popular with contemporary designs.
Solid-surface countertops often incorporate flecking or streaking to make them look like a natural stone material.
A highlight of using this material are the options for integration. You can integrate your solid-surface top with your sink and backsplash for a seamless look.
Custom inlays and custom lighting are additional options.
Though solid-surface vanity tops are resistant to water, bacteria, and stains (no sealing is needed), they’re susceptible to heat damage as well as scratches.
Scratches to this material are also more visible than on others. However, damage can be buffed out.
Solid-surface requires professional installation and are relatively expensive.
If it’s options you want, then a tile bathroom vanity top is for you.
Tile comes in thousands of interchangeable options. The material is available as ceramic tiles, glass tiles, porcelain tiles, and more (though ceramic is most popular).
Each tile material is available in a nearly endless variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Your vanity top can be further customized with individual patterns.
Use a tile for a subdued and sophisticated look, a bright and loud look, or something in between.
Ceramic tiles are also a good option for backsplashes, shower/tub surrounds, and many other features in the bathroom.
Tile is one of the most affordable options. Better yet, individual tiles can be replaced as needed, extending the life of your countertop.
Ceramic tiles are also heat, stain, scratch, and moisture resistant. The one catch is that mildew easily grows on the grout between tiles. Proper sealing prevents mildew growth.