Budget? Taste? Traffic? These are a few key factors to consider when choosing your vanity top. The good news: given the number of options out there, you’re bound to find a vanity top that meets all of your needs. Let’s break down the basics to help you decide which material is made for your bathroom.
1. What's your budget?
If you plan on staying in your home for any length of time, you may want to splurge on your vanity top. If you’re renovating in order to sell, then budget-friendly is probably what you’re thinking. Either way, vanity tops come in a number of different price ranges depending on the material and design you choose. An exotic stone with a custom edge profile and multiple cutouts = splurge. A lower group granite with standard splashes and edge profile = budget-friendly. You get the picture. What’s most important regarding budget is that you establish one at the beginning of your hunt for a vanity top. Having a defined budget will steer you in the right direction and immediately weed out thousands of options that aren’t right for your project.
2. What's your taste?
Now that you’re working within a budget, it’s time to think about taste. Again, if you’re staying in your home for years to come, you’ll want to pick a material that you’ll enjoy looking at for years to come. Think about your taste and style in general (as opposed to what’s currently trending on Houzz). You’ll want to get a long life out of your vanity top so make sure it’s something you can’t see yourself quickly getting sick of. If you’re moving in the near future, think about the potential buyer and what they might perceive as being easy or difficult to coordinate with. Simpler is usually better.
Another question to ask yourself when deciding on a material for your vanity top … do you like surprises? If not, then natural stone may be out of the question for you. Because every stone is completely unique, coloring and veining will vary from slab to slab. To avoid any surprises, it may be wise to go and view the actual slab your vanity top will be cut from. This way, you can see the veins and coloring that will be predominant throughout. If you prefer a more consistent look and feel (a.k.a. what you see on the sample is what you get), then you may want to consider quartz (also known as engineered stone). Quartz comes in a number of colors and styles and will not vary from slab to slab.
One last point regarding taste! If you’re remodeling, it’s best to choose your vanity top before picking the other design elements for the space. It’s typically easier to coordinate tile and cabinetry around a unique vanity top than attempting to do it the other way around.
3. What's the traffic level?
You have a budget. Check. You know what suits your taste. Check. Now it’s time to consider how much traffic your vanity top is going to get (and the age groups of said traffic). If the vanity top is for a bathroom that will be used regularly by the entire family, think about all the products it will be potentially exposed to. Make-up, hairspray, nail polish, soap, toothpaste … the list goes on. And in general, kids and teens tend to put more mileage on a bathroom. That said, a heavy-traffic bathroom calls for a heavy-duty vanity top. Quartz is a great option because it’s highly resilient and very low maintenance. Granite is also a nice choice but will require regular sealing for protection. Marble is a softer material that stains easily and is more challenging to maintain. However, it provides a clean and classic look that never goes out of style. If your vanity top is intended for a low-traffic bathroom and you’re willing to give it some regular TLC, marble can certainly be an option for you.
If you came up with clear answers to these three questions, you are now prepared to start the fun part of the project ... shopping! Good luck!