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.

By Kathy Barnes
June 08, 2015
bathroom sink, white sink, cabinets

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 are included below.


modern vanity with brass fixtures

Easy to clean, available in many colors and patterns, and extremely affordable, laminate is a popular choice for vanity tops. It's made from bonded plastics and is often very thin. Laminate is a water-proof surface that resists stains. Although it is fairly durable, it is difficult or impossible to repair and often requires replacement when damaged.

If you're concerned about your vanity sink looking cheap, consider paying a little extra for high-end laminate that is made with a textured finish that feels like the real thing.


bathroom vanity

A classic choice for high-end homes, marble is the most expensive material for bathroom vanity tops. It is also a big draw to home-buyers, so if you're planning to move in the future, consider this investment for your master bathroom. A double sink vanity top looks extra luxe made of marble.

It's best advised, however, to keep this surface out of the kid's bathroom. Stains are more likely to show up on granite than other materials. It is porous so it must be resealed frequently.

Cultured Marble

modern tiled bathroom with neutral colors

Offering a look similar to vanities with tops made of natural marble, cultured marble is a manufactured resin productat available a fraction of the price. It is stain-, heat-, and scratch-resistant, but it can fade over time and the top gel coat might eventually crack. Cultured marble does not require a sealant like regular marble.

You can find these surfaces in a variety of shapes and sizes, ensuring the right fit for your bathroom.


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Synthetic solid-surfacing materials offer a distinct look at a reasonable price. Available in nearly endless colors and patterns, the material is very durable and requires almost no maintenance.

Solid surfaces have a nonporous surface that keeps out mold and mildew. For a gorgeous look with little maintenance, this is a good choice for you!


blue vanity
Credit: Christina Wedge

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. It is made from recycled stone-like materials, so it is a good choice for the environmentally-conscious.

However, quartz-surfacing is not the most affordable choice. You'll need to pay the price of good looking, quality countertops for your vanity.


luxury bathroom, sink, vanity

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.

People love granite vanity tops for the versatility. Since it can be made with different materials, no granite is exactly the same. You can find a granite countertop for a light, dark, or neutral setting.

Cultured Granite

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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.

Because it is manufactured, cultured granite may be molded into almost any shape. If you have a unique vanity, a custom made cultured granite countertop may be right choice for you.


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