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Bathroom Vanity Tops

The vanity is the focal point of most bathrooms. For a low-cost, low-fuss upgrade to your existing cabinet, try replacing the top. Use our guide to weigh the pros and cons of some popular vanity top materials.

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A new vanity top is a budget-friendly way to give your bathroom a facelift. These premade tops are sized to fit standard vanity cabinets, making installation an easy project for the do-it-yourself homeowner. Custom-fabricated countertops, on the other hand, require a professional to measure your bathroom, make the top, and install the finished product. Although style choices are limited with vanity tops, they are an affordable solution for a budget makeover. As long as your vanity base is a standard size, you can update its look with a simple top swap. There are models to accommodate any sink installation, including undercounter, countertop, above counter, and vessel.

For the most part, off-the-shelf vanity tops are made from the same materials as custom countertops. The most popular materials include:

• Laminate: Easy to clean, available in many colors and patterns, and extremely affordable, laminate is a popular choice for vanity tops. Although it is fairly durable, it is difficult or impossible to repair and often requires replacement when damaged.

• Marble: A classic choice for high-end homes, marble is the most expensive material for vanity tops. It is porous and stains easily so it must be resealed frequently.

• Cultured marble: Offering a look similar to natural marble at a fraction of the price, cultured marble is a manufactured resin product. It is stain-, heat-, and scratch-resistant, but it can fade over time and the top gel coat might eventually crack.

• Solid-surfacing: Synthetic solid-surfacing materials offer a distinct look at a reasonable price. Available in nearly endless colors and patterns, the material is very durable, requires almost no maintenance, and has a nonporous surface that keeps out mold and mildew.

• Quartz-surfacing: This manufactured composite replicates the look of natural stones, such as granite or marble, but is stain- and scratch-resistant, durable, easy to clean, and comes in a variety of colors.

• Granite: Not just for the kitchen anymore, granite is a beautiful, stain-resistant material. It can be pricier than other materials but is very durable and, if properly resealed, can last a long time.

• Cultured granite: A manufactured mix of stone and fillers creates a material that looks and feels similar to granite at about half the price. Unlike its natural counterpart, however, cultured granite doesn't need to be sealed.

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