What are the Different Types of Vanity Tops?

T. L. Childree

Vanity tops are available in a multitude of colors, designs, and sizes. The materials utilized to construct them must be able to maintain their appearance after many years of frequent use in a harsh environment. These bathroom countertops may be designed with a built-in sink or with a cavity prepared for a single or double sink. The most common types of vanity tops are made of laminate, acrylic, and ceramic. Natural stone materials such as granite, marble, and slate are also utilized for vanity tops.

Laminate vanity tops are an inexpensive option with good durability and plenty of color choices.
Laminate vanity tops are an inexpensive option with good durability and plenty of color choices.

Vanity tops are sometimes constructed as a one-piece unit complete with sink, countertop, and back splash. This design is typically easy to clean and maintain because it eliminates the need for caulking which can mildew in a moist bathroom environment. Other tops are designed with a cavity cut into the center of the unit for sink installation. This configuration allows more flexibility for choosing sink styles and colors. There are also tops designed for two sinks to allow more than one person to use the vanity at the same time.

Laminate vanity tops are an inexpensive option with good durability and plenty of color choices. This material is easy to clean and maintain and has been used in bathroom for many years. Laminate surfaces resist stains and scratches well and are typically available in a glossy or matte finish. Matching back splashes are usually included with these tops. Several types of simulated wood grain finishes are also available.

Acrylic tops are made of a synthetic material that is durable and easy to clean and maintain. A good selection of colors and textures can usually be found at local building supply centers. This sturdy material resists scratches and stains well and does not mildew in moist environments. Acrylic tops can usually be repaired if they become chipped or cracked. This material is also available in simulated stone designs.

Ceramic is another common material used in the construction of vanity tops. This material offers almost unlimited color choices and is easily cleaned and maintained. Ceramic is typically manufactured in both glazed and unglazed finishes. It is also possible to mix different colors and textures for a customized look. A grout sealer should be used for ceramic countertop applications to prevent the growth of mildew.

Natural stone is also a popular material for vanity tops, but is usually more expensive. Granite and marble are the most commonly used stone materials, but slate and limestone tops are also sold. Tops made of granite offer limited color choices and must be polished periodically to preserve their natural finish. Marble countertops can be constructed with natural or synthetic materials and may be polished to a high gloss. Natural stone tops will usually require a complete replacement if they become damaged.

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