A Guide to Bathroom Countertops
The bathroom is every bit as essential to a home as the kitchen, so you need to give it as much attention. A smart bathroom upgrade can increase the value of your home by as much or more money you put into it, so it makes a lot of sense to do it. One way to accomplish this is to put in nice bathroom countertops.
The good news is your bathroom countertops do not have to be as durable as a kitchen countertop, and you need a relatively smaller one. Stone suppliers will charge you for the actual size you need rather than a whole slab. The typical stone slab is about 130 x 70 inches, but the bathroom countertop is about a fifth of that. Often, a stone supplier will have remnant slabs from which you can choose for your small needs. You can go for the more expensive materials for it with impunity, and pay just a small amount for the material of your choice.
Below is a guide you can use for choosing the right materials for your bathroom countertops. This will help you narrow your choices and make an informed choice.
Granite and marble is by far the most popular choice for bathroom vanities even today, despite the wide breadth of material choices available. Their dominance in the market is undisputed, and for good reasons.
Both marble and granite are durable, and will last for decades without losing its looks. However, granite edges out marble in this department a bit more. Granite is immune to many scratch-inducing materials, and does not have a problem with water or heat in general. Granite is also available in a wider range of colors and patterns than marble is. You only have to check the Granite ASAP showroom in Chantilly, VA. On the other hand, marble has an elegant look that granite cannot match. Marble works in more traditional bathroom, while granite looks right at home in a modern setting.
The downside to granite and marble is the price. It tends to be right near the top for the most expensive countertop materials out there. However, as mentioned earlier, you only need a small piece for bathroom counters, so cost is not actually a big deal. It is true you need an expert from Granite ASAP to fabricate and install it, but that is true for most other materials, so the additional cost is negligible. Expect to pay between $60 and $200 per square foot of natural stone countertops, installed.
Another thing about natural stones is its porosity. Marble is more porous than granite, so moisture can be a problem if they are not sealed. However, since reputable stone suppliers seal the stone after installation anyway, this is again a non-issue.
Quartz countertops are the next best thing to natural stones for bathroom countertops. It is a man-made or engineered material that can and is made to look like natural stone. While not all engineered stones contain quartz, top brands of quartz countertops do contain a minimum of 90% quartz material. Quartz is what makes granite durable, so you can imagine that quartz countertops are more durable than granite. Among the top brands for this category of countertop materials are Silestone, MSI, Cambria, and Caesarstone, all of which are available from Granite ASAP.
The biggest advantage of quartz over granite is its non-porosity. It will not need sealing, and resists stains and scratches for the most part. If you like consistency, you should choose quartz countertops. Granite and marble are natural stones, so you will see wide disparities in the way each slab will look, even if they come from the same block of stone from the quarry. Some quartz stones also use recycled materials, so it is a good choice if you like to recycle, reuse, and repurpose.
A major drawback for quartz stone is the cost. It is typically more expensive than even the higher end marble and granite varieties. Quartz stone is also not heat resistant because of the pigments and resins mixed in with the quartz, which reacts to heat. Make sure your just-used hair blower or straightener instead of putting it down on the vanity. Expect to pay between $60 and $100 per square foot for quartz countertops.
Another engineered product, solid surface materials are gaining some traction in some circles for countertop installations. Like quartz stone, it is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, although it tends to lean more towards the contemporary rather than traditional stone look. Solid surface slabs are made from acrylic resin and pigments to mimic some characteristics of granite. The most popular solid surface brand is Corian.
The great thing about solid surface is its durability and resistance to stains, mold, and to a lesser degree than granite, heat. You can also repair minor damage to solid surface countertops, unlike quartz stones. It is also slightly less expensive than natural or quartz stone. Expect to pay between $40 and $100 per square foot.
The problem with solid surface stone is the weight. It is quite heavy, and requires a pro to install it. It is also likely to crack when something heavy falls on it, and intense heat (such as from a still-on hair straightener) can damage it.
Natural stones, quartz, and solid surface are all great options for bathroom countertops. Most people do prefer granite or quartz stone because they are simply more beautiful and durable than solid surface. What you choose will depend on your personal preference. Whatever you choose, you should get it from a reliable supplier and installer such as Granite ASAP. We service the state of Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, Tysons, and Washington DC.
We carry a wide range of natural stone slabs as well as the best engineered stone brands in the country. Over 100 colors of granite and marble slabs are available for inspection at our Chantilly, Virginia showroom. If you prefer engineered stone, we can offer you products from the Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI brands, each one carrying the manufacturer’s warranty. You can choose what you want and we will deliver it ASAP!
Feel free to ask any questions over the phone, or get in touch using our contact form. We offer free estimates and quotes for any of your kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling needs.