The perfect bathroom vanity top will be both fully functional and aesthetically appealing, acting as the centerpiece of your bathroom. Achieving this balance is far from easy - you'll need to consider factors like the sink type and what material the vanity top should be made from, amongst other things.
Below are a handful of expert tips, designed to make this choice a little easier for you!
When deciding on your vanity top, you'll need to make sure you know what sort of sink you'd like. While it may seem relatively unimportant, the type you choose may influence what countertop material you'll have to pick, and exactly how much countertop space you'll have.
Prefer a traditional look? => Drop-in sink
Drop-in sinks are designed to fit into a space that's been cut out of the vanity countertop and are usually right in the center of the surface.
They have slightly raised edges (measuring about 1 inch to 2 inches) that rest along the top.
This type of sink is usually quite cheap, as the installation is fairly simple and can be pre-made in the shop.
Drop-in sinks work great with practically any material and style of vanity top, though they tend to fit in better with older, more traditionally decorated homes.
Unfortunately, these sinks are usually a bit harder to clean than most other types, especially if they're on the cheaper end of the scale. The edges of the sink don't always fit snugly with the vanity top, which may result in debris getting stuck between the sink and the surface.
Want something streamlined? => Undermount sink
As the name suggests, undermount sinks are installed underneath the vanity countertop, creating a sort of continuous flow from the surface to the sink.
Their seamless finish creates a much more streamlined look, which is perfect for individuals wanting to break away from traditional bathroom décor.
The lack of raised edges makes these sinks incredibly easy to clean and maintain - there are no places for debris and dirt to get stuck in!
However, when installed incorrectly, these sinks can leak or even come undone from the actual countertop - when purchasing an undermount sink, make sure whoever is installing it screws the sink to the countertop for added security.
Keep in mind that undermount sinks don't work with all vanity countertops - for example, only surfaces made from solid wood or stone can confidently handle this type of sink.
Also, undermount sinks are usually more expensive than drop-in sinks, though their prices have decreased over the recent years, due to increased availability.
Need a balance of traditional and modern style? => Vessel sink
The vessel sink design is a great combination of both tradition and modernity - the unique bowl design makes for a great statement piece that practically screams "contemporary", yet it is still very reminiscent of the much more traditional wash basins found in older homes.
Vessel sinks sit completely on top of the vanity countertop, without being mounted or installed into the surface.
They are very versatile, and are actually very easy to change out if you're remodeling the bathroom or change your mind about the style - you don't have to worry about taking the whole vanity apart just to remove the sink.
Also, vessel sinks are a great option for people who usually find typical sinks to be just a tad too low for them. Since vessel sinks sit on top of the counter, they can add a few important inches of height!
Unfortunately, because of how exposed they are, these sinks are very prone to chipping and other damage, so you'll need to invest in pretty tough materials.
Plus, vessel sinks are usually the most expensive type of bathroom sink available, so it may not be worth your money if you have to keep replacing or fixing it.
3. What is the best material for a vanity top?
The material you choose for your vanity will dictate how long the surface will last, and what aesthetic you'll be creating in your bathroom. You'll need to carefully consider whether the sink type or the material is more important to you - choosing a certain sink type can limit the materials you can choose from, and vice versa.
Want a warm and cozy bathroom? => Wood
Though uncommon, wooden vanity tops are actually a pretty great vanity countertop option.
Wooden vanity tops add a beautiful warmth into the bathroom, making it the perfect choice for homes with a rustic aesthetic.
You'll have a huge selection of styles and looks to choose from, with almost any type of hardwood available and lots of color options, ranging from natural brown to dyed black!
If treated with the right solutions, your countertop will be resistant to water damage and will last a very long time - this should be guaranteed by your countertop seller, so make sure to inquire about it!
You'll usually need to retouch your wooden countertop every few months to ensure it stays sealed and water resistant
However, wood is quite susceptible to scratches and dents, so your vanity top may not last as long as it would if made from different materials.
Like traditional styles? => Ceramic
Ceramic is probably one of the oldest vanity top materials out there, making it perfect for more traditionally decorated bathrooms.
This material is one of the most affordable ones available on the market, and can be found in a variety of colors and design options.
However, ceramic can crack fairly easily under impact as it's a quite brittle material, so definitely avoid it if you're prone to dropping things!
Also, you'll need to stay on top of your maintenance - ceramic countertops can become discolored and dull if not cleaned regularly.
Want to create an air of sophistication? => Marble
This beautifully veined natural stone will transform your bathroom into a place of elegance and sophistication.
Though there may not be as many color options as with ceramic or even wooden vanity tops, you will still have the ability to customize it - no slab of marble is ever identical!
This material is quite porous though, so you'll have to make sure to remember to seal the countertop every year or so, or you risk water damage.
Also, marble is possibly the most expensive vanity top material out there; even though it's quite luxurious and high quality, not everyone may think the high price is worth it.
Still want luxury for a lower price? => Granite
While some may not consider granite as super luxurious, it's another beautiful, natural stone that can easily create a sense of luxury within your bathroom.
Similarly to marble, these countertops will have some veining, though it won't be as intense.
Granite vanity tops are a bit more versatile than marble, with more color options and designs available; dark colors are the most popular with granite surfaces.
This material is relatively low maintenance, with darker colors being quite resistant to staining and discoloration.
Even though granite is typically cheaper than marble, it is still significantly more expensive than ceramic or wood options, so it may be unsuitable for individuals with tighter budgets.
4. What are some styling tips for vanity tops?
Most people will want to add some personal touches to customize their bathroom vanities and make them uniquely theirs. While there isn't a whole lot you can do, since most vanity designs remain consistently similar, here are some smart styling tips!
If you're using cheaper materials but still want to create an air of sophistication, choose a darker color! Any material will look great in black or dark brown, as any damage, discoloration, or imperfections will be less noticeable.
If you prefer a relatively modern aesthetic, stick to a very neutral and monochromatic color scheme. Colors like gray or pale blue are very popular in modern bathrooms, as they're not the traditional white but also aren't as intense as black, for example.
Don't rely on just your vanity top to bring together the look of the bathroom - include some cute water-related decorations or some fake flowers on the side of the sink, for example, and make those the focal points of the bathroom!
Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.