Monday, March 04th 2013
Natural and Recycled Vanity Surfaces for Bathroom Countertops
Posted by Jim Drury
Category: Bath Design
In a bathroom, every element is of equal importance – the shower, toilet, sink, floor, lighting and vanity share the same stage, but the bathroom vanity gets the most use. So while the countertop must harmonize with the rest of the bathroom design, you should choose a bathroom vanity surface that is durable, beautiful, easy to clean, and of course, reflects your personality.
There are many surfaces to choose from for your bathroom vanity from natural stone slabs to green materials to more unusual surfaces like concrete or recycled glass. Here we highlight some of our favorites that we choose from when we design bathrooms and powder rooms.
Natural Stone Vanities
Granite – Granite’s natural timeless beauty combined with its durability makes it an excellent choice for a bathroom vanity surface. When sealed properly, granite resists mold and mildew– perfect for a high traffic bathroom, but can scratch.
Marble – Marble is the classic bathroom countertop surface. Often considered a luxury, it’s worth the cost if you want a timeless bathroom vanity that will bring magnificence to your bathroom or powder room. Marble is not practical for all applications and homeowner however, and requires regular maintenance and care unless you don’t mind it developing a patina from use over time.
Limestone - Similar to Marble, limestone is attractive to many homeowners because its naturally light coloring helps keep a bathroom bright. It is also similar in appearance to marble, but is less expensive. Limestone may be quarried from the United States, so if you are looking for a local source for your surface, limestone could be ideal.
Soapstone – Soapstone is a natural, stain-resistant material that is so durable, when oiled regularly, you can use practically any cleaner on it without affecting the surface. Since bathroom countertops get so much use, it’s an excellent and affordable natural stone for the vanity. It also requires maintenance, and should be oiled to keep a "like new" appearance.
Green / Renewable and Alternative Vanities
Acrylic - An acrylic countertop is a man-made solid surface and is a lower cost alternative. They are non-porous, so they don’t require sealing or resealing, and they are naturally mold and mildew resistant - making them a practical choice for your bathroom vanity top.
Corian – Corian is not new, but it stands the test of time. Made from an engineered, solid surface, Corian is available in a wide range of patterns, tones and even custom colors, is durable, and is stain-resistant. It will scratch, but the surface can be renewed.
Engineered Stone - or sometimes referred to as Quartz, is a combination of ground stone and resin. These combine quartz as the major filler along with resins, epoxies or cements. These materials make for good countertops as they are less porous than natural stone and are more stain and scratch resistant - hence need less care. Brands include - Cambria, Silestone and Caesar Stone. They are produced in slabs and are fabricated much like granite or marble. They can provide a more modern look with many solid color choices.
Gilasi Recycled Glass – Gilasi uses locally sourced materials from right here in Chicago to create countertops made from recycled glass. Composed of 85% recycled materials, choosing Gilasi Recycled Glass for your bathroom vanity is a step in the green direction. This material needs ongoing maintenance as well. See Gilasi's recommended care and maintenance web page from thier site.
Stainless Steel – Stainless steel may sound like an unusual choice for a bathroom counter, but take another look! Textured stainless steel, available in colors and patterns, will bring a modern, bold look to your bathroom or powder room.
There are many more surfaces to choose from for your bathroom including porcelain tile, agate, zinc, and more. To learn about the entire selection, give us a call at 888-444-1055 or visit our interior design studio in downtown Glen Ellyn and talk to one of our award winning interior designers. We’ll listen to your needs and help you choose the surface that’s just right for you.