We all know how important it is to have a dedicated space in the bathroom for doing makeup or hair styling. In modern times, wherein a typical day starts with getting ready for the office, the importance of a vanity top can’t be undermined in a bathroom for its convenience and aesthetic.
If you have made the crucial decision of renovating your bathroom or changing your old vanity top, there are a few things you should consider before buying the material. It is important to know the upsides and the downsides of each material available in the market to make a pragmatic choice.
While there are budget constraints to regard; style, durability, colors, polishing, and cuts are also vital considerations. Because a vanity top can be a substantial investment for the resale value and the general aesthetic of your house, you can’t afford to go wrong with your choices. This is why we have put together a complete list of materials along with their downsides so that you can make an informed decision.
As one of the most riveting materials known to mankind, marble is a perfect choice for those looking for a touch of class in their bathroom. Available in various tones of white and gray, its use symbolizes royalty (as can be seen throughout history).
It is also available in different patterns and styles and can be polished in many ways to suit the style of a bathroom. Because it has considerable strength and is not very prone to heat damage, it is a good companion for those looking to use hot curling irons in the bathroom with a little caution.
Downsides: It is one of the most expensive options out there, despite being prone to scratching and water porosity. It also requires sealing from time to time. The good news, however, is that the damage can be easily buffed out with special cleaning products.
It is one of the most coveted materials for both vanity tops and worktops–and not without sound reason. It is one of the hardest natural stones available in the market and comes with many patterns and color options. Ranging from white to dazzling blue, the options are huge. Most of its patterns have a tinge of boldness–adding to its dramatic appeal. Just like most natural stones, every granite slab harbors a unique pattern of streaks and veins, unlike any other. Contrary to its cousin marble, granite is much more resistant to scratches and heat too. Its durability is unmatchable as a granite slab has long-lasting written all over it.
Downsides: Although not as expensive as a few other options like Lava and Marble, it is still an expensive choice. Its desirability and durability contribute to both its popularity and price. It is not a easy material for DIY installation either as it is quite heavy to handle.
Quartz is a man-made or “engineered” stone–which means that its patterns are seamlessly uniform and color options are exceptionally abundant. It is one of the most durable stones available for vanity tops and is highly water-resistant. Because it is not porous, unlike natural materials, it doesn’t require sealing. Its smooth surface makes it resistant against the growth of bacteria and smudging as well.
Downsides: Possibly the only thing that you need to be wary of is the price. It is almost as expensive as granite, although it requires very little maintenance in comparison. We recommend cutting its edges round to prevent chipping.
Made of plastic or particleboard, laminate is a widely used material for bathrooms. Most people opt for it due to the variety it offers in terms of designs and colors. As it is very customizable, homeowners with an eccentric sense of style often go for this material. It is also one of the most affordable materials for the bathroom and its lightweight also makes it perfect for a DIY installation.
Downsides: Although Laminate can help save costs, it is not as entrancing in its looks like the others. In fact, there is a chance that its colors will fade over time. Its strength is also questionable as it can be prone to damage.
5. Solid Surface
Made of synthetic materials, solid surface can often mimic the style of natural stones with similar veining patterns. For those looking for bold color schemes, it has many available options too. Its clean lines make it a good choice for those looking to experiment with a contemporary vibe in the bathroom. As it is a factory-made material, it is also not prone to water damage and can be a good choice for that reason alone.
Downsides: Although it is relatively cheaper than Granite or Quartz, it is quite prone to heat damage and scratches. In fact, scratches on this surface tend to be more visible than on others. One may be able to buff those out, but it is still considerably high maintenance.
6. Recycled Glass
One of the most trending materials of 2019, a Recycled Glass vanity top is riveting for the way its surface balances color infusion with a subtle background so smoothly. For that reason, it is a hit with those looking to unleash their creativity and experiment with bold contemporary designs.
It is available in many colors and patterns and can be customized on request. As shards can either be large or ground, you can choose a vanity top based on your preference. Because it uses recyclable material, you can contribute to the environment with its use too. Unlike stones, it is quite heat-resistant and hardly gets any scratches. It is considered to be a sanitary choice as it doesn’t promote the growth of bacteria. It is impenetrable by water too.
Downsides: Just like anything made of glass, a Recycled Glass vanity top is prone to chipping and cracking too.
Because it can be poured into any mold, it is one of the most customizable options available for modern-day bathrooms. Its clean lines and custom fabrication process make it a sophisticated choice for any bathroom. Many patterns, tints, textures, and variants are available simply because concrete is very easy to fabricate. Some homeowners also opt for glass and stone chips to mystify its look.
Downsides: Despite the strength that concrete is known for, it lacks the alluring looks of a natural stone. Even if you can find one that imitates the style of marble or granite, it might still lack the “wow” factor. Due to its shape-shifting capabilities, it is not an easy material to install by yourself and needs the touch of a professional. It can be hard to maintain too as it requires regular application of wax and sealants.
Similar to Solid Surface, Resin is also made of synthetic materials like polyester and acrylic. Its biggest advantage is its low price point despite its stunning looks. A supplier may even be able to customize a Resin vanity top upon request to meet your exact requirements as it is an easy material to work with.
It is popular among homeowners and remodelers alike for its extraordinary strength and durability. Despite consisting of synthetic components, it is not prone to heat damage–which makes it a great choice for those who style their hair a lot as they can easily use hot appliances without damaging its surface. It is not prone to scratches or water damage either. This makes Resin the best choice for those looking for great quality at an affordable price. Resin can also be obtained in many styles and colors and complements most styles of bathrooms.
Downsides: Less of a negative downside of Resin and more of a downside of the industry is that the quality of your Resin purchase depends entirely on the supplier. That makes consistency a big problem when one considers Resin. Different suppliers generally use different components to manufacture it–which can alter its properties. If you do opt for it, we recommend buying from a reputable supplier and choosing a high-quality Resin vanity top over cheap ones.
Think complementing sink, backsplash and vanity top. With porcelain vanity top, one can achieve a very modern unified look in the sink area. Thanks to our European counterparts, Americans are opting for porcelain more and more for the stunning effect the whole space creates. Its various colors, patterns, and finishes make for an exciting shopping spree too. Unlike most materials, it is also very easy to maintain as it is not prone to scratches, cracking or chipping. In fact, its strength is remarkable and can withstand heat as well. Some creative homeowners layer their existing vanity tops with porcelain slabs to make the top sturdier.
Downsides: Porcelain is a stunning material and one pays for what one gets. Its price and the installation cost is the only deterrent when comes to its purchase.
10. Reclaimed Wood
Made of recycled wood, reclaimed wood takes rustic to the next level. Unlike most new woods, its age magnifies its allure and gives it a warm look. Its weathered appearance makes for a very exotic, beachy look. Many prefer it for its Eco-friendliness and strength too.
Downsides: As it is not as common as sourced wood, it can be quite expensive. In fact, there are instances of suppliers selling sourced wood as reclaimed wood to make good money. Therefore, due diligence is required when purchasing this material. We recommend buying only from a reputed supplier. Heat and water damage can be quite an issue with reclaimed wood too, so be prepared for some serious maintenance.
There is no material that comes without its own pros and cons. Since vanity tops are not items one chooses every day, proper research must be done before purchase. Consider things like budget, your style, maintenance factors etc before you make the final call. We highly recommend that you consult a professional supplier before the final purchase.
Also Read: Picking the Right Accessories for Your Renovated Bathroom