All About Bathroom Countertops: The Most Common Surface Materials Used

Choosing the perfect material for a bathroom countertops can be a bit of a brain teaser, thanks to the abundant options available at nearly every price level. But because bathroom surfaces typically don’t face the same abuse as those in the kitchen, the decisions most buyers wrestle with are usually more about style and cost. Granite remains the premier choice among the varieties of natural stone, due to its dramatic beauty and seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns. 

Granite

Granite offers a million options, especially regarding color. They come in many patterns as well; it is almost impossible to not find a granite that you like. Granite is hard and scratch resistant, and requires minimal upkeep when properly sealed, and lasts forever. Also, because it is so popular, granite is sure to add value to your home. You should know that there’s a real chance of damaging the slab if it isn’t handled properly, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job.

Quartz

Quartz is one of nature’s hardest and most abundant minerals. Nearly every type of stone contains some percentage of it. Manufacturers of quartz countertops add pigments, resins and, occasionally, recycled content, to a base that is about 95% natural stone. One plus is that quartz is tougher than granite and doesn’t require sealing. It’s naturally resistant to moisture, stains and bacteria. It also has a variety of edge treatments and installation options. Unfortunately, some of the finishes will fingerprints and smudges, so frequent wipe-downs may be necessary. 

Solid-surface materials

These are made of acrylic resin and crushed stone. You’ll find a wide range of solid colors and subtle patterns that pair especially well with contemporary decor. These materials are extremely durable and naturally resistant to water, bacteria and stains. Realistic flecked or streaked styles can rival natural stone. Minor damage can be buffed out, which is a pro. Installing this counter will definitely require professional installation. Wear and scratches are more visible on darker colors.

Marble

Thanks to improvements in its production, marble has become a bit more affordable. A hard, crystalline form of limestone, marble is often white with streaks of grays, although there are many color variations. It is long lasting and strong enough to resist most chips or dents. It can also be polished for a high shine or honed for a casual, matte finish, and is adaptable to nearly every style. Some downsides are the expense, its porous nature which makes it prone to stains, and its required maintenance (sealing).

Concrete 

Concrete has shape shifting abilities that allow an endless array of looks. Most concrete countertops are manufactured offsite for maximum quality control. Concrete is an appealing organic material that can mimic the look of natural stone.

It offers a vast range of customized colors, textures and decorative inlays, and can be cast in the exact shape, dimensions and edge style desired. It is extremely durable, reasonably ecofriendly, especially when recycled content is added. Like marble, concrete countertops need to be waxed and sealed regularly.

Laminate

Most commonly known as Formica, this easy-care product is composed of a thin plastic surface that’s pressure bonded to a particleboard or plywood base. The latest printing technologies are used for modern laminates to produce amazingly realistic stone- and wood-like finishes, as well as a variety of solid and graphic patterns.

Laminate is one of the most affordable countertop surfaces. It is durable, water resistant and easy to clean. It is convenient as well, as pre-sized products are widely available at home supply stores, and is relatively easy to install without a professional. Unfortunately laminate does tend to thin or dull over time. Damages can’t be repaired; the entire counter usually needs to be replaced. 

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile can be a great surface material. Boldly patterned tiles also make wonderful backsplashes and tub surrounds. Some advantages are that its glazed ceramic tiles are resistant to heat, stains, scratches and moisture. Tile is affordable, and individual tiles can be replaced if damaged, and the installation and pattern can be customized.

 

2 comments on All About Bathroom Countertops: The Most Common Surface Materials Used

  1. Laminate countertops for the bathroom (and any room in the house for that matter) are a disaster. They stain SO easily, and cannot be cleaned. Once they’re stained, they’re stained. Granite might be more expensive in the short run, but in the long run, you’ll save money as well as thousands of eyesores from staring at bold, ugly stains.

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