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What Should I Consider When Buying a Bathroom Countertop?

A quality bathroom countertop may cost a few hundred dollars.
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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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Bathrooms are typically the smallest rooms in a home, but a modern, updated, remodeled bath can reap big benefits when it comes to resale value. For being such small spaces, bathrooms rank pretty high on the expense list of home remodel jobs. This largely because of the extra plumbing and fixtures involved. While smaller details, such as faucets and light fixtures can update the look of a bathroom, countertops and cabinets make big impacts.

When buying a bathroom countertop, keep in mind that there are standard and custom sizes. In most cases, a standard size countertop will prevail, but if you have unique architecture or simply want to create a unique look, a custom countertop may be the way to go. Determining whether you will be looking at standard or custom sizes will likely dictate where you will purchase your bathroom countertop.

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Most home improvement stores sell all, or nearly all, standard sizes. Common widths of cabinets, which determine the width of the countertops are 32 inch ( 81.3 cm), 36 inch (91.4 cm), and 48 inch (121.9 cm). If you are replacing only the countertop, make sure you buy the right size to fit your existing cabinet. However, if your budget will allow, a new cabinet will set off a new bathroom countertop best. Keep in mind the size of the space and avoid installing a bathroom countertop and cabinets that will overpower the room. Conversely, if you have extra space that is not being used to its fullest, installing a larger vanity or a longer countertop can provide much needed storage and surface space.

Also consider the type of countertop you would like to install. For instance, you can purchase a solid piece with the sink built in or a vanity top with the sink opening cut out. You will also want to decide what type of material you want your bathroom countertop made of. Porcelain, granite, sandstone, and acrylic are all possible choices. To get ideas, browse through home magazines and books that have several images of bathrooms.

Be careful of choosing a bathroom countertop that requires a sink and plumbing line openings to be cut. More experienced and skilled DIY homeowners can probably tackle the job, but precision is important and it may be a difficult task for a novice. Instead, look for ready-to-install varieties or package deals.

It is also important to consider your project’s budget. A quality bathroom countertop may cost a few hundred dollars, quickly sucking up a large portion of your budget. If your budget is small, consider purchasing a standard cabinet and one-piece top together as this is sometimes cheaper than buying them separately. You can always opt for higher end fixtures, flooring and accessories to dress up the overall look.

As with any home improvement project, creating a well thought-out plan of design is the first place to start. Get an idea of what you want the finished project to look like and then begin comparing styles and prices of countertops from your local retailers. If you are having difficulty with choosing a color scheme, opt for neutral colors.

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