From the available types of materials to edge details, countertop options really vary across the board – so how do you choose the right one for your bathroom? Aside from appearance, you should also consider price, and maintenance when investing in a bathroom countertop.
The trend is moving away from tile countertops and toward full slabs. The One Week Bath (OWB) Team has designed and built over 3,400 bathrooms with less than 20 of them using ceramic or porcelain tile. Below we share pros and cons for some of the most popular countertop materials.
Corastone & Corian
Corastone is a resin-based product that looks like natural stone. It looks great! It comes in a matte finish, so it is not shiny and color options are limited. Because of its durability, this reasonably priced product requires a medium amount of maintenance. While Corastone is very durable, is can also be a bit sensitive to scratching, so please keep that in mind when considering where this countertop will be used. One of the benefits is that you can use a Scotchbrite pad to create a new fresh surface if you do experience scratching. This is because the color goes all the way through.
Marble, Granite, Quartzite, & More
Natural Stone, including Marble, Granite and Quartzite are materials we use often and are very familiar with. This type of material comes in large slabs, so you probably will not need a full slab if you are just remodeling a bathroom. The downside is that each piece is different so they lack consistency in terms of veining and coloring. Be sure to see the slab before you purchase it. In addition, while beautiful, they do require some care and maintenance. Sealing and avoiding highly acidic products in contact with the slabs are a must.
OWB Pro Tip: Purchasing a half slab or remnant piece will help keep your budget down and ensure you aren’t paying for materials that you will not need. Depending on your selection, slabs can range from $600 to $3,000. We have slab materials we work with on a regular basis, and may have just what you are looking for. One Week Bath can quickly help you identify which option is best for your bathroom and budget.
A very popular product right now is Quartz. Typically the most expensive material, Quartz is ground natural stone mixed with resin. This product is scratch proof, heatproof, and stain proof, making it great for bathrooms and kitchens. A lot of name-brand quartz companies offer a lifetime warranty and products that don’t require any sealing. Cons would be that Quartz is on the pricier end of countertop materials and occasionally it is very difficult to get them to look like true natural stone.
Porcelain countertops are extremely hard, durable and stand up to most impacts and scratches. They have a non-porous surface so liquids do not absorb and the rare stain is easily cleaned off.
While also extremely beautiful, porcelain does come with a few challenges. The way that porcelain is fabricated, using large sheets of material, you are limited in what you can do with the edges and areas around the sink as well as the shape and type of sink that you can use. A One Week Bath Design Professional can walk you through all of your options.
When deciding on countertops for your bathroom or kitchen, the next thing you want to think about is what the edge detail will look like.
Double Edge vs. Single Edge
The first thing to know is the difference between double edges versus a single edge. The single edge is typically three-quarters of an inch thick, whereas the double edge countertops are typically an inch and a half thick. Stylistically, you’ll want to think about how you want the counter to look; do you want a heavier look or more of a sleeker, minimized edge?
The second consideration you want to think about is the shape of the edge. Currently, the popular shape is square and very polished, moving away from the bullnose edge. Occasionally we will do what’s called an OG edge, which has more traditional detail and can really dress up your bathroom.
There are limitations to the edge detail depending on the sink you’re using. If you’re using an oval sink, most countertops can be tooled around it to accept just about any edge. If you’re working with a rectangular sink, there are certain edges that will just not work. The majority of rectangular sinks will need to have just a simple, rectangular edge.
At the end of the day, the most important thing when deciding on countertop materials is to do your research. Do you want to discuss your bathroom remodel? Contact One Week Bath to schedule a free consultation at (888) 246-6675.