How to Choose the Right Vanity Counter Top

Choosing the right pieces for your bathroom remodel or refresh project can be a little overwhelming. You need to figure out what style suits you best, if you prefer warm or cool neutrals and then which fixtures – including the bathroom vanity top – will give you the finished look you’ll love.

Before you start shopping for your vanity top, there are some points you need to take into consideration.

First, be sure you’ve accurately measured the vanity itself so you know what size top to order. Keep in mind the placement of your vanity because the top usually hangs off the front and sides by about a half inch. If your vanity measures 30 inches wide, you’ll need a 31-inch top so be sure the space around the vanity has the clearance to accommodate the size of your piece.

Next, consider the material you’d like for your top:

  1. Granite – As popular in bathrooms as it is in kitchens, granite is a great choice for a vanity top because it requires a little maintenance and stands up to the wettest room in the house.
  2. Quartz – This man-made material of ground minerals and resin can truly take anything you can dish out in the bathroom and still keep its stunning good looks. More homeowners are turning to quartz because it is virtually maintenance free.
  3. Marble – Classic, regal and gorgeous, marble continues to be a popular choice because it works with every style from traditional to transitional and modern. Marble vanity tops do require some special attention, but their beauty is pretty much unrivaled.
  4. Glass – Advances in tempered technology have given designers and manufacturers almost unparalleled freedom to explore colors, shapes, textures and patterns in glass vanity tops. Not only are they easy to clean and maintain, they often feature an integrated sink to boot.
  5. Solid surface – Like quartz, solid surface vanity tops are stain and scratch-resistant and stand up to heat and cold. Solid surface vanity tops are also repairable and come in hundreds of color combinations, including those that look like natural stone. We like solid surface because of its flexibility; sinks can be integrated or the top can be configured for any other application as well.
  6. Vitreous china – With a finish that is slick and shiny, vitreous china is easy to clean and maintain. Vanity tops in this material often include an integrated sink, and the variety of shapes and sizes available is pretty unlimited so whatever your design scheme, chances are you’ll find a great match.
  7. Ceramic – Like glass, ceramic vanity tops come in a veritable rainbow of colors that can be pure and rich or mottled with texture under the finished surface. Sink configurations can be either integrated (for easy clean-up) or an undermount.
  8. Wood – The beauty of the warm, rich tones of real wood in the bathroom cannot be overstated when wood is used for a vanity top. This is where a high-quality finishing process is key to your vanity top retaining its good looks; be sure the top is sealed with a varnish that provides superior moisture and UV resistance.

How thick you want your vanity top is about as subjective a decision as they come. For years, chunkier thicknesses were the way to go for more modern and contemporary designs, but at the 2016 kitchen and bath show (KBIS), vanity tops were veering toward much thinner profiles of just 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Most vanity tops we’ve encountered run about an inch to 1-1/2 inches, but this is a detail that can really impact the overall look of your room so you should take it into careful consideration.

And finally, it’s vitally important that the number of faucet holes in your vanity top match the faucet you’ve chosen; a 4-inch centerset vs. a single hole, for example. Vanities configured for a vessel sink will require a vessel faucet, which is typically a single hole fixture.

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