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Bathroom Vanity Top Buying Guide

Nelson Cabinetry 24" White Shaker Bathroom Vanity With Soft Close
Nelson Cabinetry 24″ White Shaker Bathroom Vanity With Soft Close

Are you starting a bathroom renovation and it’s time to choose the perfect bathroom cabinet top? Excellent! The top of the bathroom cabinet, or as we also call it, the vanity top, is a key element that combines the style and functionality of your bathroom. No more headaches and wandering around the internet in search of the right material, color or design. This guide is your fast lane to a hassle-free decision. 





What Color Do You Want Your Vanity Top?

Choosing the right color for your bathroom vanity tops can completely change the look and feel of your bathroom. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you can choose tops lighter or darker than your cabinets, or stick to tones similar to the cabinets. Here’s how each option can affect your space:

Lighter Than Cabinets

If you want your bathroom to feel more spacious and bright, choosing a lighter top than the cabinets is the way to go. Lighter tops can reflect more light, making the room feel brighter and more open. This option works perfectly in small bathrooms or those with a lack of natural light.

Similar to Cabinets

For a uniform and harmonious look, choose a top that is a similar tone to your cabinets. This harmony of colors can create a sense of peace and order in the bathroom. It is ideal for those who strive for a minimalist style without excessive contrasts. Connecting similar tones between the cabinet and the top offers a seamless and elegant solution.

Darker Than Cabinets

If you want to add a dramatic accent to your bathroom, choosing a darker bathroom cabinet top can be the secret ingredient. Darker tops bring depth to a space and can highlight a beautiful cabinet design, especially if they are lighter. This combination is ideal for larger bathrooms, where darker peaks will not affect the feeling of spaciousness too much.

Selecting the Right Vanity Top Material

Material Visual Appeal Scratch Resistance Heat Resistance Maintenance Cost (Approximate)
Concrete Industrial, modern Medium High Regular sealing $65 – $135 per sq ft
Quartzite Natural stone look High High Sealing required $60 – $200 per sq ft
Quartz Wide range of colors High Medium Low $55 – $155 per sq ft
Sintered Stone Customizable looks High High Low $70 – $250 per sq ft
Laminate Diverse patterns Low Low Easy cleaning $10 – $40 per sq ft
Granite Unique patterns High High Periodic sealing $40 – $100 per sq ft
Copper Warm metallic sheen Medium Medium Polishing $100 – $300 per sq ft (very variable)
Limestone Natural texture Low Low Sealing required $50 – $200 per sq ft
Marble Luxurious, elegant Low Medium Sealing and careful maintenance $40 – $200 per sq ft
Ceramic Wide design variety High High Easy cleaning $30 – $75 per sq ft
Stainless Steel Modern, industrial High High Easy cleaning $75 – $150 per sq ft
Wood Warm, natural Low to Medium Low Regular maintenance $35 – $150 per sq ft


Source: Fletcher Creek Cottage

Concrete isn’t just for sidewalks and industrial spaces; it has become a popular choice for bathroom cabinet tops due to its versatility and modern look. It can be adapted to any shape, size and color, offering a unique and personalized design. Concrete is durable, but may require regular sealing to prevent staining and water absorption. For fans of industrial or minimalist design, concrete offers a robust yet sophisticated choice.


Farmhouse Bathroom

Quartzite is a natural stone known for its hardness and durability, often used as an alternative to granite. With its natural beauty, each piece of quartzite is unique, with vibrant lines and color variations that can add dramatic effect to your bathroom. While extremely scratch-resistant, quartzite may require sealing to preserve its surface from stains.


Quartz Vanity Top
Quartz Vanity Top

Quartz tips are made from engineered stone, combining natural quartz crystals with resin, resulting in an extremely hard and non-spinning material. Quartz offers a wide range of colors and patterns, making it easy to match any bathroom style. This material does not require sealing and has a high resistance to stains, scratches and bacteria, making it ideal for high-frequency bathrooms.

Sintered Stone

Source: Yomi Stone

Synthesized stone, also known as sintered stone, is an ultra-compact material produced under high pressure and temperature, imitating the process that occurs in nature over millions of years. The result is an extremely strong, waterproof material that can look like natural stone, ceramic, or even metal. Synthetic stone is resistant to scratches, heat, stains and UV radiation, ideal for modern bathrooms that require minimal maintenance.


Laminate Vanity Top

Laminate tops offer an economical option with a wide range of colors and patterns, including those that mimic the look of wood, stone and even metal. Laminate is composed of layers of paper impregnated with resin, covered with a protective layer, making it durable for everyday use. Although it is not heat resistant and can be damaged by sharp objects, laminate is easy to replace and ideal for those who frequently change the style of their bathroom.


Modern Minimalism Bathroom

A longtime favorite for bathroom cabinet tops, granite is prized for its natural beauty, unique patterns, and durability. Each piece of granite is unique, adding a luxurious and elegant feel to the bathroom. Although granite is resistant to heat and most scratches, it may require periodic sealing to prevent staining.


Copper Vanity Top

Copper tops bring warmth and character to the bathroom, developing a patina over time that adds uniqueness to any space. It has natural antibacterial properties, making it a hygienic option for bathrooms. However, copper may require some maintenance to maintain its luster and color.


Limestone Vanity Top

Limestone adds a soft, natural texture to the bathroom, often coming in lighter tones that can make the space feel brighter and more spacious. Limestone requires regular sealing to protect against stains and water damage, making it a better choice for bathrooms with less traffic.


Marble Vanity Top

Marble is a symbol of luxury and elegance, known for its distinctive veins and sparkling surface. Although marble is visually impressive, it is a porous material that can stain and scratch easily, requiring careful maintenance and regular sealing.


Ceramic Vanity Top

Ceramic tops are durable, economical and easy to clean, making them a practical choice for many bathrooms. They come in a variety of colors, patterns and finishes, offering flexibility in design. Ceramic is also resistant to water, scratches and stains, ideal for family bathrooms.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Vanity Top

Stainless steel offers a modern, industrial look for bathroom cabinetry. This material is extremely hygienic, easy to clean and resistant to bacteria, water and most household chemicals. Stainless steel can be cool to the touch and prone to fingerprints, but its durability and ease of maintenance make it a popular choice for contemporary bathrooms.


Japandi Bathroom

Wooden tops add warmth, naturalness and uniqueness to the bathroom. Choosing the right type of wood and finish can make a wooden top resistant to moisture and water, although it will require regular maintenance to preserve its beauty and functionality. Wood can contribute to a feeling of spa-like relaxation and luxury in the bathroom.


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Should Vanity Top Be Bigger Than Vanity?

Vanity top can be larger than the cabinet itself for additional storage space and to protect the cabinet from water. However, in small spaces, it is better to choose coordinated sizes for the sake of aesthetics and to avoid visual reduction of the space.


Let’s start with why you would even consider a bigger top. The larger top can provide extra storage space, which is super useful, especially if you’re constantly struggling with running out of space for all those bottles and tubes. Also, a small protrusion can act as a protection for the cabinets from water dripping from the sides, which means less worry about damaging the wood or laminate.


But there are also reasons why some prefer exactly matched sizes. Aesthetics is one of them; to some, it simply looks better when everything is symmetrical and when the borders correspond perfectly. Additionally, in small bathrooms, every centimeter counts, so a larger top can make the space visually smaller and more cramped.


So how do you decide? Here are some practical tips:

  • Measure the space: If you have limited space, think about how much extra space you really need. Sometimes a sleek, close-fitting look is a better option.
  • Think about functionality: Do you need more storage space or is aesthetics your priority? Your daily use should dictate the final decision.
  • Consult an expert: If you are in a dilemma, you can always ask an interior designer or an expert from the store where you plan to buy. They can offer advice tailored to your specific needs.


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How to Measure for a New Vanity Top

To measure for a new vanity top, first measure the cabinet’s width and depth horizontally. Check wall straightness for protrusions, measure faucet spacing, decide on any overhang, and perform final checks.


Measuring for a new vanity top? No sweat! Here’s a quick guide to walk you through all the steps, no unnecessary complications. Grab your tape measure, a notebook, and a pencil, and let’s get started!

  1. Width of Vanity: The first thing you need to do is measure how wide your vanity cabinet is. Place the tape measure from one end of the cabinet to the other, horizontally. This gives you the width. Write down this number.

  2. Depth of Vanity: Now, it’s time for the depth. Position the tape measure at the top of the cabinet from the back edge to the front edge. This measurement tells you how deep the top should be. Don’t forget to write it down!

  3. Check the Walls: Are the walls around your vanity straight, or are there any protrusions? If there are protrusions, make sure to account for them. Your measurements should reflect the maximum space the top will occupy.

  4. Faucet Space: Think we’re done? Just a bit more. You need to measure the spacing for the faucet. This is crucial for anticipating the openings on the top of the vanity.

  5. Extra Space?: Do you want the top to overhang the edges of the cabinet a bit? This could be an aesthetic decision or functional if you want extra space. Decide how much this would be (usually 1-2 centimeters) and add this to your measurements.

  6. Final Checks: Review your measurements one more time to ensure there are no errors. Double-checking before purchasing can save you a lot of time and headaches.


Final Thoughts

Selecting the right vanity top for your bathroom is a blend of aesthetic preference, practicality, and budget considerations. By understanding the different materials available, measuring your space accurately, and considering the look and durability you desire, you can make an informed decision that enhances the beauty and functionality of your bathroom. Remember, the perfect vanity top not only complements your bathroom’s style but also withstands the test of time, making your investment worthwhile.

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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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Evan Nelson

Evan Nelson is a skilled content writer with over 5 years of experience specializing in kitchen and bath design. His expertise in the field and ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible way have made his articles a valuable resource for homeowners and design enthusiasts alike. Evan's insights have been featured in top publications like Homes & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Real Homes. He focuses on providing practical advice, innovative ideas, and detailed guides to help readers make informed decisions about their kitchen spaces. With a passion for creating content that educates and inspires, Evan's writing helps transform kitchen dreams into reality.