Alternative Stone Countertops

Go beyond granite in your bathroom with soapstone, limestone or travertine countertops.
By: Kim Hildenbrand

They may not be as ubiquitous as granite, but these other stones deserve a hard look. See what's to love about soapstone, limestone and travertine.

Soapstone. A centuries-old surface option, soapstone brings classic beauty to the bath. On the practical side it's nonporous, heat-resistant and impervious to chemicals — good news if you're prone to spills. It's even used in chemistry labs for this reason. A metamorphic rock, soapstone is composed largely of talc, which gives it the slightly "soapy" feel. The light gray surface gains a rich, dark patina from age and applications of mineral oil.

Limestone. Limestone melds sophistication and natural beauty. A sedimentary rock, limestone has a slightly more rustic appearance than granite and marble, and it often features tiny shells and fossils. The most common colors are creamy beige and gray, but yellows, pinks, browns, reds and blacks are also available. Not as durable as some stones, limestone can scratch or mar and spilling acidic liquids can cause etching. The absorbent surface requires sealing.

Travertine. Travertine lends old-world charm to the bath. A sedimentary rock that's technically a form of limestone, it's available in earthy shades of white and brown and features a textured, pitted surface. As stones go, it's somewhat soft, and the surface is prone to staining and etching. To add durability and simplify cleanup, the pockmarked surface should be filled with grout or resin and sealed.

Alternative Stone Bathroom Countertops

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Next Up

Engineered Stone Countertops

Usually made of quartz pieces mixed in resin, this surface makes a durable bathroom counter

Granite Countertops

This stone is the top choice for high-end bathroom remodels

Marble Countertops

More beautiful than practical, this material brings luxury to a low-traffic bathroom

Concrete Countertops

A trend for bathroom counters, this surface blends practicality with custom details.

Tile Countertop Buying Guide

A staple of stylish baths, tile is ideal for virtually any surface — including countertops.

Laminate Countertop

Good looks and great value make this a top choice for bathroom vanity tops.

Solid Surface Countertops

This man-made surface gives a bathroom counter the look of stone without the upkeep.

Marble Vs. Quartz: Which is Better?

Marble and quartz both make gorgeous countertops, but each material comes with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Erin Napier's Cost-Effective Kitchen Countertop Trick is So Clever

The soapstone-look countertops are the cherry on top of her English countryside-inspired kitchen design.

Granite vs. Marble: Pros and Cons

We're comparing two of the most popular natural stone countertop materials, granite and marble, to help you decide which one best fits the needs of your busy kitchen.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.