Prefabricated vs Custom Made
Vanities are regularly sold as a package with a countertop. You can buy a prefabricated one or you can get one custom made. The styles range from contemporary furniture to period specific chic.
While most bathroom vanity counters do not over hang the vanity, it is not unheard of to have grooming surfaces that extend out to form window sills or even to connect two adjoining vanities to increase useful counter space.
The standard width for a vanity is about eighteen to twenty-one inches and incrementally increases to about seventy-two inches in units of about six inches. The typical height is approximately twenty-nine to thirty inches but then again this can be adjusted to accommodate taller users by shimming the base.
Ceramic tile used to be the traditional favorite for working surfaces because just about anyone could install them and it was quite easy to get a unique individualized look, not to mention if a tile cracked or broke you could simply replace it without having to redo the whole counter.
But due to the mildew buildup in the grout and the overpowering and sometimes distracting patterns, they have been left behind for more modern solid surface materials.
Custom countertops made of natural stones such as granite and marble are two favorite building materials of bath renovators. These surfaces are excellent for hygiene, durability and are especially ideal for wet bath environments though they can sometimes suffer from hairline cracks.
Luxury and relaxation are all words used when thinking of granite in the lavatory because it brings to mind ancient Roman bathing houses with rising Corinthian pillars of stone.
Corian is a somewhat expensive material for counters and is made of a blend of natural materials and pure acrylic polymer. It comes in a matte or shiny smooth surface. It is nonporous and resistant to mold, mildew and fairs well against moisture and stains.
Corian table tops are easy to clean and maintain and are hypoallergenic. Its only caveat is that like plastic laminates; it is susceptible to heat damage by hair curlers and other heat-generating appliances.
Laminates Lack Longevity
Plastic laminates that are water resistant are another favorite for DIYers. These can be rather decorative but have become quite popular for washroom work surfaces and come in a variety of different finishes and surface patterns ranging from low luster to metallic and high gloss.
The cons of using plastic laminates are they are susceptible to heat and scratching, also water seeping in the seams and under sink edges may cause the laminate to come apart by damaging the substrate.
Wooden counters, though somewhat uncommon has made its way back into the upper high-end bathrooms. For those that can afford it and whom want what others do not have, wood is chic.
Certain species such as redwood and teak must be properly treated and sealed to stand up to normal everyday bathroom use and is not recommended for high traffic areas and require regular upkeep to ward off water spots or damage.
Other important but sometimes neglected areas of the counter are the trim and the back splash. The side and front edges should match the countertop but you don’t have to if you want to create contrast.
You could also eliminate the back splash for a more spacious feel to your working surface. Just remember that by doing so you will have to clean the mirror more frequently and the mirror may be more susceptible to breakage.
Counter tops provide additional work space in the bathroom to carry out your everyday activities. Just remember to decide on your sink and faucet style before finalizing your bathroom countertop because this will affect some of your trim details.
It is the little details that make your grooming space more that just a place to wash your hands but a relaxing joyful experience that you will enjoy doing time and time again.