Many components go into a cohesive bathroom design and function.
The best designs expertly meld stylish decor with smart design. Combining luxury elements like a cultured marble vessel sink with a quartz countertop, and precision engineered stone fixtures – modern bathrooms really can be elevated to the most stylish degree. All it takes is the right materials.
If you are undergoing a bathroom remodel, it’s important to make sure you do your research. Ignore any component and you can compromise both your bathroom’s design and function.
One important aspect is the vanity including the vanity countertop.
The two most important aspects of the vanity top are material and color. This buying guide explains your vanity top options in detail.
Here is our ultimate guide to buying bathroom vanity tops for your home. Take a look at the different designs, and acquaint yourself with their costs, and you’ll be well on your way to redesigning the perfect powder room!
Bathroom Vanity Tops Buying Guide
Buying the perfect vanity tops for your bathroom isn’t as difficult as it seems.
Yet it does take time and patience, and a keen eye for detail. There are several options you must consider before making a final selection, most notably type of material.
The type of material you select dictates your options for the overall design, dimensions, color, and edge treatment. Next, it’s time to decide whether DIY or professional installation is your best bet.
In addition to the countertops themselves, you should also think about how they’ll look alongside your bathroom vanity, cabinets , sink, and other important design features. For example, a natural granite vanity top might look great with a chrome faucet – but quartz vanity tops might not compliment such fixtures so easily. .
Bathroom Vanity Top Material Options
Your choice in material shouldn’t be based solely on looks. Though style is undoubtedly important, you must also consider strength, durability, long-term value, and upfront cost.
Here are the most popular bathroom vanity top materials, broken down by their pros and cons.
* Pro Tip – Take home sizeable samples (even if you have to pay). Small samples don’t always give you a clear idea of the finished product.
Granite has long been the number one most desired material for bathroom countertops, with granite vanity tops being popular choices for modern bathroom renovations.
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 making it perfect for a modern bathroom. Plus, granite is extremely durable – so much so that it is often the number one choice for a natural stone countertop in kitchens, due to its resilience.
Granite is also resistant to heat and humidity . For instance, a hot curling iron accidentally set down won’t cause any damage.
Each slab of granite 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.
The only real downside to granite is the price. The combination of beauty, durability, and desirability means that granite is 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 granite bathroom vanity tops 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 contains about 95% actual 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 that can totally transform any bathroom space, making it a popular choice for solid surface vanity tops. The fact that quartz is 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. So, if you do go for a bathroom vanity countertop made from quartz, 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 .
As far as stone vanity tops go, marble is still very expensive (even more so than granite and quartz). However, even though you may have to shell out for a marble countertop – they are still a little more affordable than they once were.
The large variety of marble vanity tops and the stylish, modern aesthetic of this stone makes marble the perfect choice for just about any style of bathroom.
The main drawback to marble is that it 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, but often without the hefty price tag that comes with other stone vanity tops.
A highlight of using this material is the option for integration. You can integrate your solid-surface top, combining it with an integrated sink and backsplash for a seamless look.
Custom inlays and custom lighting, paired with a modern bathroom faucet (such as a chrome mixer tap) are additional options, or you could also pick a unique design for your sink basin – such as a basalt stone to contrast with the synthetic countertops.
Though solid-surface vanity tops are resistant to water, bacteria, and stains (no sealing is needed), they’re susceptible to heat damage – meaning that they are not the most durable countertop material.
Scratches to this material are also more visible than on others. However, damage can be buffed out.
Solid-surface requires professional installation and consequently is relatively expensive.
Concrete is one of the latest popular materials used to create both bathroom and kitchen countertops. While it might seem like a material more suited to industry, it’s not uncommon to see a master bathroom sporting a stylish undermount sink set in a smooth concrete countertop.
As such, concrete is notable for its modern look. Concrete vanity tops look great in modern and contemporary style bathrooms.
Most concrete countertops go through a custom fabrication process. This gives each slab a unique look of its own!
Concrete tops are available in different varieties. These include different tints and textures, and sometimes stone chips are added for a different look. New manufacturing processes can even create concrete styles that mimic natural stone!
Pouring concrete gives it incredible shape-shifting abilities, meaning it is great for custom bathroom designs. You can request a concrete vanity top in a seemingly endless array of forms and styles.
It’s also highly customizable. You’ll get the exact shape, size, and dimensions required.
Better yet, modern concrete is surprisingly lightweight. Still, it retains the extreme durability concrete is known for.
A professional contractor is required for designing and installing concrete countertops. Due to the nature of the material, this isn’t the job for even experienced DIYers.
It’s important to note that concrete requires regular maintenance. Waxing and sealing are necessary because of the material’s porous nature.
If it’s options you want, then a tile bathroom vanity top is for you.
Tile comes in thousands of interchangeable options. This can be 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.
Perhaps the most practical material for a bathroom vanity top is laminate.
According to Consumer Reports, laminate countertops are “best for areas of heavy use but minimal abuse.” This means they are relatively hardy but likely will not withstand things like extreme heat.
Laminate utilizes a thin plastic material for the surface. This is pressed to more plastic, particleboard, or plywood for a durable base.
Laminate is available in a vast variety of colors and patterns. Seriously, you can find just about anything you’re looking for (or even have it custom made) – making tile an awesome choice for bathroom vanity countertops.
Though laminate has been used as a vanity top material since the 1960s, it’s come a long way since then. Instead of the garish colors and visible seams common in previous decades, modern laminate is quite stylish.
Some of the best varieties mimic stone or wood finishes for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
In fact, laminate is one of the cheapest bathroom vanity top materials. In addition to its low price, installing laminate bathroom countertops is a relatively easy DIY endeavor, meaning you can transform your bathroom space without having to undergo a full bathroom remodel!
The only real downside to laminate, other than not having the glamor of other materials, is that they often thin or dull over time.
When damaged or worn out, the entire top must be replaced. Repairs aren’t possible, so keep this in mind when planning your projects.
Recycled glass is currently one of the trendiest materials for bathroom countertops.
If you want your bathroom to look hip and exciting, then a color-infused recycled glass vanity top might be your best bet.
These consist of shards of recycled glass pressed together into a shape with cement or resin binding everything together.
Every single recycled glass top is different. Tons of colors and patterns are available to choose from.
Vanity tops made with larger shards work perfectly in a contemporary bathroom. Countertops with ground shards look more solid (similar to solid surface bathroom countertop).
Recycled glass is notable for its resistance to heat and scratches. The downside is its susceptibility to chipping, staining, and cracking.
A less common, but very visually appealing option is butcher block. While the term ‘block’ might make you think of stone, butcher block actually looks like wood.
Though butcher block is popular on kitchen counters (for its food production benefits), it’s yet to make a big splash in bathrooms.
The main highlight of butcher block is the natural beauty. The material oozes traditional charm and looks good with almost any bathroom style and design.
You get more warmth from butcher block than any other vanity top material.
Butcher block is created with several strips of hardwood glued together. There are three grain types (or methods of gluing the pieces together). These are edge grain, face grain, and end grain.
Just about any wood can be used. The most common options include maple, oak, cherry, teak, and walnut (or any combination of them).
The downside to butcher block is that it scratches and stains easily. Moisture damage can also be a problem. Proper sealing is essential to prevent these issues, and maintaining a proper seal is also needed to ensure that bacteria doesn’t seep into, and start thriving in, the wood’s porous material.
Sanding and refinishing butcher block is possible to repair minor damage, but if you are looking for something more durable then it might be an idea to look into a granite countertop or other stone vanity top instead.
Like butcher block, stainless steel vanity tops are much more popular in kitchens than bathrooms.
They’ve still made their way into some bathrooms in modern years thanks to their sleek, stylish, commercial design. Stainless steel for vanity tops is currently trending – you only need to check out Pinterest and Instagram to see the evidence!
Stainless steel is a great material for both retro and contemporary designs, as different shapes and finishes give the surface a unique look that can pair with modern bathrooms as well as older looks,
If you’re all about the modern look, pair a stainless steel bathroom countertop with a stainless steel sink and backsplash for a uniform look across your bathroom. Doing so looks great when combined with contemporary lighting, fixtures, and accessories.
Though the biggest benefit of stainless steel for bathroom countertops is its clean, simple beauty, people also love it for its durability. You can expect a stainless steel top to last 15 to 25 years minimum in a kitchen, and even longer in a bathroom.
An additional benefit is just how easy stainless steel is to clean. It’s not porous, so bacteria don’t have anywhere else to go when you wipe your vanity top down.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to stainless steel, however, is that it dents and scratches easily. Smudges such as fingerprints are also very noticeable (but easily cleaned).
Another disadvantage for some is its high price. Stainless steel isn’t necessarily expensive, but the high-quality type you want for your vanity top certainly costs a pretty penny.
A reclaimed wood bathroom vanity top is similar to butcher block, except that it’s created entirely from recycled wood.
The wood used is most often reclaimed from a barn, factory, warehouse, or similarly old structure.
The age of the wood gives it a unique life, boosting its rustic appearance. It’s a warm, welcoming material that looks great in both modern bathrooms as well as more traditional styles.
Those that select reclaimed wood usually do so because it’s a sustainable, environmentally friendly option.
Its unique appearance is another highlight. The weathered wood looks so much different than most sourced wood, and it is a great material to use if you want to create some contrast – such as by pairing a modern ceramic master bath with rustic wooden vanity countertops.
Finally, reclaimed wood is strong, stable, and sturdy. Unlike vanity tops made from newly sourced wood, reclaimed wood has already expanded and contracted due to humidity and settled into a stable shape.
The big hitch with reclaimed wood is its scarcity. There’s only so much of it available, and its scarcity combined with its popularity means it’s a very expensive material.
The other downside to reclaimed wood’s high price is the number of shady retailers trying to make a quick buck from it. Make sure to buy your reclaimed wood style from a reputable dealer, so you know that it’s not sourced wood being illegally passed as reclaimed.
Porcelain is already used on most other bathroom fixtures – so why not vanity tops?
The trend of porcelain vanity tops has long been popular in Europe but is just making its way into North America.
Porcelain is loved for its stunning aesthetic. It is available in numerous colors, hues, patterns, and finishes for a unique finished product.
Combine a porcelain top with a porcelain sink and backsplashes for a seamless, modern bathroom design.
Other benefits of porcelain as a bathroom are its easy maintenance as well as its strength and resistance to chipping, scratching, cracking, and heat.
Another nifty benefit of porcelain is it’s one of the only materials you can lay directly over an old countertop instead of replacing it altogether.
Like all materials, porcelain has its downsides. Chief among these is that it’s expensive and requires a professional installation job.
Lava bathroom vanity tops are uniquely attractive.
The material lava stone is extracted from the sites of ancient volcanic eruptions. The stone is then cut to individual order (so make sure your measurements are correct).
Lava stone is easy to install once sink openings, and other cut-outs have been made. It’s a job those with a little DIY experience can probably do.
In addition to its stylish good looks, lava is also very durable. It is strong enough to resist chipping, cracking, staining, and heat.
Furthermore, your lava stone can be glazed to match almost any design, décor, or style in your bathroom.
The only catch is the price. Lava is far and away the most expensive material commonly used for bathroom vanity tops.
Resin bathroom vanity tops are known for their beauty and durability.
Created with synthetic materials (most often cured epoxy, acrylic, or polyester resin), your top can be customized to your needs and preferences.
Resin styles are available in a wide variety of colors, hues, and patterns to mesh with your bathroom style.
In addition to its beautiful looks, resin is also very strong. It is resistant to scratches, heat, and stains. They’re also non-porous, making them a sanitary option.
The final benefit of resin is its low price. They’re one of the most affordable materials available.
Perhaps the biggest negative factor to watch for is a lack of consistency.
Different types of resin create a different finished product. Make sure to research each brand’s durability, brittleness, and heat resistance before pulling the trigger.
Along these same lines, paying more for resin almost always nets you a stronger, more durable, higher quality product.
There’s no denying the fact that bamboo looks great as a bathroom vanity top material.
Despite its great looks, bamboo isn’t usually your best option. Though it is one of the eco-friendliest options, it lacks the strength and durability for this purpose.
Compared to other materials, bamboo is one of the most easily stained, scratched, and scorched! Plus moisture can warp bamboo and cause it to change color over time.
Perhaps the only time to opt for a bamboo bathroom vanity top over similar options (like wood) is when installing in a rarely-used guest bathroom.
Simply put, bamboo is better for show than actual use, although its beautiful looks make it a surprisingly popular material in many homes.
Bathroom Vanity Tops Design Options
These include design, dimensions, specific color, and edge treatment. Combined, these give your bathroom vanity its overall aesthetic appeal.
Bathroom Vanity Tops Design
Design largely relates to the shape of your bathroom vanity top.
If you’d rather opt for something more traditional, make sure everything matches. Use the same material used for the vanity top for your sink and backsplash as well.
Solid-surface, stainless steel, and porcelain are the best materials for this particular seamless design.
Source: Nest Appeal
How big should your vanity tops be?
Their dimensions are largely dictated by the size of your bathroom and the size of your cabinets/vanity.
Make sure to double-check and triple-check your measurements before ordering. Best to be thorough and check the length, width/height – and depth! Different manufacturers operate differently, but in general you will need to provide your measurements in square footage:
Length x Depth = Area (of each countertop section)
Be sure to add all the areas together, and provide your measurements in the recommended units (usually inches)
The material you choose largely dictates its color.
However, many materials come in a variety of different colors, patterns, and hues. Adding a finish can mix things up even more.
Choose a color or pattern that works well with the rest of your bathroom décor for a put-together look, and be sure to make use of color palette generators like coolors and other design tools online.
The image above shows you several of the most common edge treatments.
The edge treatment you choose is largely based on your preferred look and style. However, a rounded edge treatment also helps prevent chipping on certain materials, such as glass and quartz.
Vanity Tops: DIY or Professional Installation?
Those with a little DIY experience should be able to install laminate, lava, and wood types.
You’ll want to for sure hire a professional contractor if you’re installing granite, concrete, solid-surface, or another heavy material.
It’s also essential to request a countertop with any pre drilled hole or cutout requirements already seen to, (such as sink cutouts) if you’re attempting a DIY install job.
Here are some other important factors to consider when researching bathroom vanity tops to buy for your bathroom remodel or redesign.
Overall Bathroom Design
Think about the overall style of your bathroom when selecting your countertops.
Are you going for a modern look? What about contemporary? Other common options are traditional, rustic, country, French and Victorian. Each of these styles has it’s own aesthetic, so keep this in mind.
Most people like to match their vanity tops with other design elements in their bathroom.
How do you normally use bathroom vanity tops?
If you regularly use a hair iron or other hot tool, you need heat-resistant tops. Non-porous materials are best if you commonly use makeup, fingernail polish, or lotion.
Non-porous materials are also ideal for bathrooms used by kids since they don’t harbor harmful bacteria.
Time in Home
How long do you expect to continue living in your home?
If you only live there for a few years, a cheaper material might be the best bet. If you know you’ll be there for a decade or longer, it might be best to invest in a durable, long-lasting material.
Also note that certain materials, while expensive, can add a lot of resale value to your home.
Care and Maintenance
Do you want a material that requires minimal maintenance? Then go with stainless steel, laminate, or solid surface countertops.
Don’t mind providing a little regular maintenance now and then? Marble, granite, or tile might be the right choice.
Cost and Budget
Pricing varies wildly.
For materials, expect to pay around $100 per square foot for “expensive” materials like granite, marble, quartz, and concrete.
“Cheap” materials run around $10 per square foot for inexpensive tile to $50 per square foot for quality laminate materials.
The most expensive materials, like lava stone, can run up to $150 per square foot or more. The cost of labor for hiring a professional contractor to install a vanity top is likewise varied.
Expect to pay anywhere from $5 per square foot to $25 or more per square foot. The cost of labor depends on the material used and the complexity of the project.
For instance, installing intricate tile patterns costs more than installing a tile all of the same color and sizes.
Where to Buy Bathroom Vanity Tops Online
Here’s our selection of the best online merchants to buy bathroom countertops from: