Choosing a bathroom countertop surface may seem like a straightforward and easy decision, but it requires more consideration than you might think. Your home is your oasis from the world, and every area of it should be equipped with practicality and comfort that fits you and your style. Your bathroom countertop is no exception to this, with a variety of options for you to choose from that each carry their own benefits and drawbacks.
Any home remodeling decision is going to carry a certain amount of expense, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to find a bathroom countertop option that you like. In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each of the best bathroom countertops to help you choose one that fits your needs.
1) Granite Countertop
Natural stone is always going to be one of the top countertop surfaces to choose from, whether it’s in your kitchen or your bathroom. Granite, in particular, is known for its availability and diversity and is one of the most elegant bathroom countertop surfaces available.
The biggest benefit of a granite countertop is its luxurious nature, and it will almost certainly increase the value of your home (or at the very least impress prospective homeowners). Every granite bathroom countertop is going to be expressly unique, as the natural stone consists of natural patterns and variations that do not come manufactured. Its beautiful veins and swirls make it a perfect match for any master bathroom, and its stain-resistant nature will make it last for years without damage from water or heat.
One drawback to choosing granite for your countertop surface is the expense. Natural stone is going to be the most expensive option, and slabs of granite run for about $75-$175 per square foot. It also requires periodic sealing and maintenance due to the porous nature of natural stone, so bathrooms that have a high usage may want to opt for a more durable option requiring less maintenance.
1) Marble Countertop
One of the most beautiful countertop materials on the market, marble is a natural stone known for its silky veins and graceful look. Improvements in its production have increased the affordability of this natural stone and make it a classy choice for any bathroom.
The first and greatest benefit of marble as a countertop surface is definitely its beauty, with unlimited colors and vein patterns ranging from white with streaks of gray to pink with white veins. Any bathroom with a marble bathroom vanity is instantly going to be infused with class and style. Marble countertops will last quite a while, as marble is resistant to chipping and denting. Adaptable to most styles, marble is also capable of being polished to shine or honed for a matte finish.
Like granite, marble is one of the more expensive options, with slabs usually running about $100-$200 per square foot. Due to the soft, porous nature of the stone, marble countertops will need to be resealed once every year or two. It’s also vulnerable to scratching, staining, and etching from acidic substances, so delicate care is required to properly maintain this stone.
3) Concrete Countertop
A modern bathroom countertop choice that’s increasing in popularity, concrete is far from the industrial slabs seen on the sidewalk. Concrete bathroom countertops can be cast into any shape and texturized or embedded with different patterns and elements for a unique look.
Concrete is currently a very trendy bathroom countertop surface and can be marketed when trying to sell your home. Its customization allows you to cast it to whatever shape, dimensions, or style you prefer. It’s also an incredibly durable choice, resistant to heat, stains, and scratches. Concrete is perfect for a bathroom that sees a high amount of use.
Concrete must be professionally installed due to the custom nature of the casting. This increases the price of the already expensive material, which costs around $75-$150 per square foot. It’s also unable to be repaired, so if it cracks it will need to be replaced entirely. Concrete also requires regular sealing and waxing.
4) Quartz Countertop
Quartz, also known as engineered stone, is an excellent bathroom countertop choice that consists of about 90% ground quartz that gets blended with resins and shaped into slabs. While not technically a natural stone choice, quartz bathroom countertops mimic natural stone and show off a contemporary style for your bathroom.
Quartz can be formed into many different shapes, colors, and styles. Although it’s close in appearance to natural stone, it’s more durable than granite or marble with a nonporous surface resistant to stains, scratches, cracks, and mold. It doesn’t require sealing, and is a perfect choice for a family bathroom.
Quartz is still on the more expensive side, with costs ranging from $60-200 per square foot. Quartz is also not as resistant to heat as granite or marble, and honed and textured finishes may highlight fingerprints and smudges, so it’ll require frequent cleaning to maintain its appearance.
5) Solid Surface Countertop
Solid Surface bathroom countertops, made from acrylic resin and crushed stone bonded together with resins, are known as a much more affordable “faux stone” choice for those who want the look of natural stone without the cost. With popular brands such as Corian bringing this bathroom countertop surface back into popularity, solid surface can be a great middle of the road choice for your bathroom.
Solid-surface material is easy to care for and maintain as it’s resistant to stains, mildew, and bacteria. It’s very durable, and any minor damage can easily be buffed or sanded out. Its design can be incredibly realistic in mimicking natural stone, and it can be seamless, unlike granite or marble.
Like concrete, solid surface does require professional installation, which will increase the overall cost even though the material itself costs only around $40-$100 per square foot. It’s not incredibly heat resistant, and can also be damaged by dropping heavy objects on it.
6) Onyx Countertop
A choice that many people skip when considering a bathroom countertop surface, onyx is a beautifully rare choice that can give your bathroom an elegance you won’t find in most bathrooms.
One of the greatest benefits of onyx is its uniqueness. It’s an incredibly rare stone that is not often used for countertops, which makes it a great choice for those wishing to break from the mold with their style choices. Onyx is one of the most beautiful options out there, with artistic veins that glow when lit up and turn your bathroom into a work of art.
Although it is a natural stone, onyx is very fragile. It’s a softer stone that is vulnerable to scratching and acidic etching. Onyx also requires frequent maintenance, with regular sealing and cleaning needed to stop it from staining. It’s also an expensive choice, running at about $40-240 per square foot. This fragile stone would be best used in decorative bathrooms that don’t get a lot of heavy use but will be seen by guests.
7) Tile Countertop
Ceramic tiles are traditionally made of clay with a surface glaze, then hardened by fire, while porcelain tiles use finer clays hardened at a higher temperature. Whether you’re going for ceramic or porcelain tile, this bathroom countertop surface is a blast from the 80’s past that’s increased drastically in beauty and variety.
This traditional choice of tile bathroom countertops can be modernized for your bathroom thanks to the variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Its glazed surface makes it resistant to heat, stains, and scratches, and any tiles that get damaged can get replaced individually. Installation and pattern can be customized with whatever look or style you prefer, and porcelain tiles can even mimic other materials if desired. Tile is an incredibly affordable option that costs from $35-$40 per square foot (unless you go for more expensive hand-crafted tiles). It’s also capable of self-installation, in which case you’ll pay around $2-$15 per square foot. If you’re looking to save money by doing it yourself, tile bathroom countertops are an excellent choice.
Tile is a brittle material and may be vulnerable to cracking or chipping. The biggest drawback to tile is the grout, which can attract stains and mildew. Grout is also especially difficult to clean and keep from collecting grime, so grout lines will require regular cleaning and resealing to prevent discoloration.
Which Bathroom Countertop Surfaces NOT To Choose
While any of the above bathroom countertop surfaces each come with their own set of pros and cons, there are certain countertop choices you’ll want to avoid entirely. Some surfaces are more hassle than they’re worth, and can be a nightmare for anyone who installs them only to find they’ve easily become damaged or rotten with moisture.
The first popular bathroom countertop surface you’ll want to avoid is laminate, because although it’s a cheaper choice that’s easy to install, the lightweight nature of laminate makes it anything but durable. Although laminate will cost you about $10 to $30 per square foot, you get what you pay for with laminate, and any prospective homebuyer who sees laminate countertops in the bathroom knows that the homeowner didn’t want to invest more into the remodel. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, tile will be leagues better in terms of durability and class.
Laminate is also incredibly susceptible to heat damage, and any damage done cannot be repaired. If a laminate countertop gets damaged, the entire counter will need replacing (which can make it a more expensive choice than a surface that only needs one installation). It also thins and dulls over time, making it a very short-term choice that doesn’t hold up well to age. Any bathroom that gets a lot of use should avoid laminate countertops entirely.
While wooden countertops are an interesting choice that may look beautiful in your home, they are a mistake to put in the bathroom. Wood is incredibly susceptible to damage and rot, especially when used as a bathroom countertop. The frequency in which it gets exposed to water means that you’ll have to be incredibly vigilant about keeping it dry, which isn’t ideal for a bathroom countertop. Sealing can help it become waterproof, but it doesn’t completely erase the risk of water damage.
Wooden bathroom countertops are also very susceptible to heat damage, so nothing hot can be left on it for too long without warping the wood. Bacteria is also a concern when using a wooden countertop, as it’s very difficult to completely clean. While wood isn’t as expensive as natural stone by any means, it can still be a more expensive choice for a bathroom countertop surface at about $40 to $60 per square foot, so your money might be better spent on an easier to maintain option.
How To Choose Your Bathroom Countertop Surface
Which material to use for your bathroom’s countertop depends largely on what kind of bathroom it’s going to be used in; a mildly used guest bathroom mostly there for decoration can get away with a much more fragile and stylish option than the family bathroom that the kids are using. If you’re looking to sell your home, you will definitely want to invest in one of the more expensive and stylish options to increase your home’s value and impress potential buyers. Bathroom countertops are something that many homebuyers look for when deciding whether or not to purchase a home, and a cheaper option they’ll have to replace may be enough to put them off.
Durability, maintenance, style, and budget are all large factors that play into your decision for a bathroom countertop surface, and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before making the costly decision to remodel your bathroom. No matter which of the top seven bathroom countertop surfaces you choose, you’re bound to find one that has the practicality to fit your needs and the style to express who you are.