What is the Best Natural Stone for a Bathroom Countertop?
If you’re considering natural stone for your bathroom countertops, or a vanity top, you have several great options. There are a few things to consider before selecting which stone is best for you project:
- Budget – Of course price, but also the longevity of the product, and the long-term value your choice will add to your home.
- Traffic – How much use and/or abuse with the countertop get?
- Design Style – How the stone will impact your design and decorating style now and in the future.
A typical bathroom doesn’t get the same type of abuse that a kitchen does. There are fewer heavy objects that could impact the countertop, there aren’t extremely hot pots and pans moving around, and the bathroom isn’t a gathering point the way a kitchen is. This means it’s safer to use softer and less heat resistant stones. However, bathrooms often have chemicals like hairspray, nail polish remover, and shower cleaners that can cause damage to some stones. Here are some stone countertops to consider for your bathroom project, and the pros and cons for each.
Marble Bathroom Countertops
An elegant stone often used in high-end homes, marble is known for its clean look and exceptional beauty. Usually a shade of white, the stone often has gray, black, light blue, pink, reddish, tan or green veining that compliments many design styles. The stone can be polished, for a bright shiny finish, or honed for a more matte look.
Many home builders and designers avoid using marble in kitchens because it not as strong as granite or quartz, and it is more prone to damage from chemicals. This however, is not the case for bathrooms. Compared to most non-stone countertops, marble is incredibly durable and stain resistant. Only a few natural stones could be considered “better”, and marble would be much more durable than many other non-stone surfaces. For bathrooms, marble is a leading choice.
Most people choose marble for it’s aesthetics. The stone has been used for centuries in building, homes, and art. There is an instant feeling of class and elegance when you see it. It has a subtle, but powerful look that can really enhance the beauty of a bathroom. Many people also like marble because it is somewhat rare. It’s not used nearly as often as granite and other surfaces, so it can make your home feel unique and more luxurious.
Marble is one of the more porous stone countertop materials, so it does require sealing every year or so. When properly sealed and polished there is little risk of damage. It is important to clean marble regularly and immediately deal with any spills however, especially if the spill is any substance that’s acidic. Acids and harsh chemicals can cause etching and stains.
On the high-end, marble can be very expensive, but standard marble slabs are often only slightly more expensive than granite or quartz. If you love the look of marble, there’s often no substitute.
Marble is also a material that can add value to a home. Because it’s a durable and long-lasting stone, it is desirable to many homeowners. It’s a luxurious material that offers a timeless style, so its presence can be attractive to real estate agencies and home buyers.
Granite Bathroom Countertops
Granite is perhaps the strongest, most durable stone countertop on the market. It’s available in many colors and patterns, and it is a very popular choice for bathroom countertops and vanities. The stone is virtually impossible to scratch, and the heat tolerance is very good, perfect for a busy bathroom.
Granite has a natural earthy appearance, and you’ll find a style that will match almost any decor. This stone has been a popular choice for many years, and it tends to add value to homes when compared to non-stone countertops. A granite vanity or bathroom countertop can last a lifetime. And its timeless look and design versatility means homeowners and home buyers alike, will enjoy this surface for many years to come.
Granite is a very low maintenance stone. It should be cleaned regularly, and you should avoid getting harsh cleaners, chemicals and acidic substances on the surface. But typically, just wiping the countertop down periodically and cleaning up messes is all that is required. Granite is often sealed at the factory or during installation to protect it from chemicals and other damage. This is much less of a problem in a bathroom than a kitchen, but the stone may require resealing every year or so.
Quartz Bathroom Countertops
Quartz is a natural stone that is engineered using ground up stone material and resin. So while it is mostly natural, the slabs aren’t cut directly from the earth the way marble and granite are. Often quartz is indistinguishable from a traditional natural stone.
Quartz is an excellent choice for a bathroom because of its durability (on par with granite) and extremely low maintenance requirements. Another benefit is that if you are using multiple slabs, quartz will have a much more uniform look as the slabs are manufactured, there is no need to attempt to match patterns and veining from slab to slab. For a large bathroom may be important.
This stone is more modern looking than granite and marble. The patterns in the stone are not as organic, and overall there’s a more subtle, minimalist feel. Because it is engineered, there are a wide range of color options that you won’t find with other materials. It is safe to say that quartz can match just about any bathroom design style, and decor.
Unlike marble and granite, quartz is non-porous, so it is the least susceptible to stains. This also makes it very easy to clean and maintain, as no sealers are required. This is one of the main reasons many homeowners opt for Quartz in both kitchens and bathrooms.
The only real downside to quartz is the heat resistance. While it is good, it’s not as good as granite or marble. In a bathroom, you’ll have to be careful not to leave a hot iron, or other extremely hot tool on the countertop for vanity surface for a long period of time.
Quartz bathroom countertops will be less expensive than most marble, and typically about the same price as granite. Like other natural stones, quartz bathroom surfaces are very desirable and can improve the value of your home.
down the materials that work best for your situation.
While these are our top choices for bathroom countertops and vanities, we also carry some other options that may be more suitable for your design aesthetic or budget. These include onyx, soapstone, limestone and slate. If you have any questions about our natural stones, or would like to ask specific questions about your project, contact us any time.