Besides the various options of bathroom vanity countertops available, there are also a number of styles and materials from which you can select one. In the long run, most homeowners select either a laminate material, natural or cultured stone for their vanity set, each of them having their pros and cons.
As the name suggests, natural stone is extracted from quarries which are then undergo a process of cutting, grinding and sanding into the desired size and shape. The most popular options are granite and marble, but sandstone, a more uncommon material, may be chosen, too. Sandstone, containing embedded fossils, is featured in most high-end, luxurious bathrooms, and is particularly fascinating to see owing to their unique beauty.
Unique patterns and natural beauty that exist in natural stone are among the pros. This stone is extremely durable and has the ability to withstand abuse to a great extent without scratching or chipping. Among the cons is that in reality, natural stone is generally very expensive, and in order to avoid discoloration, the material will have to be periodically stripped and sealed.
A process used for molding cultured stones – man-made materials – into desired shapes, uses the same process that is employed in fiberglass manufacture. Reinforced plastic countertops are subjected to a re-engineering process whereby they are made to closely resemble their natural stone counterparts, although they are considerably lighter in terms of weight and less expensive, too. In virtually every case, sinks are fitted in a manner which makes it blend well with the countertop, making it appear as one piece.
To its advantage, the finished countertop replicates the stone’s beauty at a bare minimum cost versus that of genuine stone. Cultured stone is a material that requires no maintenance and the high quality of color mixed during molding makes scratches invisible to the naked eye. Backsplashes are generally molded in, which makes the countertops leak-free and easy to clean. The only demerit is the relative dearth of colors and patterns on offer.
A laminated countertop basically consists of a plywood base or particle board with its exposed surfaces glued with thin decorative laminate sheets. Laminated countertops, though considered the most popular ones by far, have been replaced, in recent years, by cultured stone.
On the positive side, laminate material comes in a stunning collection of designs. However, the negative side is that you will have to purchase the sink separately and mount it in the hole made in the countertop. In this case, it becomes difficult to clean the resulting rim in the countertop. Being extremely thin, the laminate material will not only show scratches easily, but will be an ugly sight.
Although there are several variables that can ultimately influence your final choice involving the three kinds of the bathroom vanity countertops that are available, you will surely find a wide collection of styles to match any décor and suit your budget.