Bathroom Countertop Buying Guide

Consider factors like room size, layout and style when picking materials for your bath remodel.


By: Kim Hildenbrand

Before you start shopping for bathroom countertops, make sure you have a plan for your bathroom renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Bathroom Questionnaire and Bathroom Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new bathroom will look like and a solid budget.

When shopping for bathroom countertops, the key is to combine the perfect mix of durability, ease of cleaning and serene sophistication. Consider these factors:

Luxe Look. Your bathroom countertop—often called a vanity top—won't encounter hot pans and cooking spills. That means, unlike in the kitchen, you can allow style to hold greater sway in the decision. Choosing a luxurious surface makes every evening feel a little like a stay in a posh hotel. Think about options such as color, finish and tactile feel.

Practical Nature. Though style reigns, steamy showers, splashing children and spilled toiletries all take their toll. Especially in a busy bath, it's important to choose a countertop that holds up to daily use while maintaining its looks. Along with everyday concerns—soap, toothpaste and shaving cream—factor in tougher culprits like hot curling irons and chemical hair dyes.

Custom Blend. In a small space such as the bath, surfaces go a long way toward establishing the general style. Unless you're relying on the countertop as a jumping-off point for a redo, aim to achieve cohesive design by selecting surfaces that complement the existing floors, wall treatments and furnishings. No matter how much you love marble, for instance, it probably won't look right in a colorful kids' bath.

Price Points. Estimate your square footage requirements and gather information about countertop costs. If budget is a concern, consider compromises: If you love stone, you could select tiles instead of slabs. If you fall in love with an out-of-reach surface, consider installing it in the powder room rather than the master bath. Whatever you choose, try to enjoy the process as much as you savor the result.

Explore the latest bathroom countertop options:

**Cost estimates courtesy of the International Surface Fabricators Association.

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