A Small Project That Adds Big Value
Bathrooms are among the smallest rooms in the house, and the countertop occupies only a tiny portion of the room. Still, bathrooms, and bathroom counters in particular, receive heavy traffic and must contend with a constant onslaught of water, not to mention health and beauty products.
It is important, therefore, to choose a counter material that can stand up to the abuse. And of course, when you're getting ready in the morning, the last thing you want to look at is a drab countertop. Whether you already have a material in mind or are just beginning your search for the perfect bathroom countertop, read on to learn more, including how much typical installations cost.
A Word On Natural Stone Countertops
Stone bathroom countertops, including those made from granite, marble slab, and stone tile, are very popular. This is no surprise, as stone countertops are elegant and long-lasting. But stone has one weakness: it is porous, which means water and bacteria can penetrate the surface. To avoid this, a sealer must be applied regularly to stone counters.
As an alternative, consider synthetic countertops. These counters include solid surfaces such as Corian, Silestone, and Zodiaq, as well as laminate (Formica) and vinyl. Not only do synthetics cost less, on average, than stone countertops, but they are non-porous, and don't require regular resealing to resist liquid absorption. Keep this in mind when deciding on a bathroom countertop, especially if you don't like the idea of regular maintenance.
Bathroom Countertop Options
- Marble: Natural marble has long been a top pick for bathroom counters due to its elegance and near-indestructibility. An alternative, cultured marble, costs less while still providing excellent stain resistance and durability.
- Granite: Granite not only looks great, but is extremely hard and difficult to damage. A properly sealed and installed granite bathroom countertop has few rivals.
- Laminate: Made of recycled wood and paper with plastic resins added for strength and stability, laminate countertops are inexpensive, durable, available in a plethora of styles and colors, and easy to install.
- Tile: Tile countertops can be made from a variety of materials, including natural stone, ceramic, and even glass. They are easy to clean, perform well, and are sold in a virtually limitless array of colors and styles.
- Stainless Steel: Sleek, seamless, and durable, stainless steel countertops are one of the hottest trends in bathroom design. If your decor encompasses a modern aesthetic, stainless steel is a great choice.
- Manufactured Quartz: More closely related to solid surface than natural stone, quartz countertops resemble granite and other stone slab counters but perform like synthetics. Popular brands include Zodiaq (DuPont) and Cambria.
- Solid Surface: Solid surface countertops are a high-end synthetic. They can cost as much as stone countertops but are non-porous and low maintenance. Solid surface is stain resistant and holds up well under heavy use. Corian and Silestone are among the best-selling solid surface counters.
Bathroom Countertop Costs
- Granite countertops cost $75 to $150 installed. For an average-sized 2 foot x 4 foot bathroom countertop, thats an estimated total of $600 to $1,200.
- Manufactured quartz counters cost $50 to $200 per square foot installed ($400 to $1,600 for a typical bathroom counter).
- Solid surface countertops have a price range of $80 to $100 per square foot installed ($640 to $800).
- Natural marble countertops cost $120 to $200 per square foot installed ($960 to $1,600), while cultured marble runs $70 to $90 per square foot installed ($560 to $720).
- Stainless steel counters cost $80 to $100 per square foot installed ($640 to $800).
- Laminate counters can cost as little as $10 to $15 per square foot installed ($80 to $120), while melamine-based laminate costs upwards of $40 per square foot ($300 to $400).
- Tile countertops vary greatly in cost. Depending on the type of tile, material costs can run anywhere from $4 to $50 per square foot, while labor costs, which are influenced by tile material and size, average $200 to $300 for 8 square feet of counter space (for an overall estimated price range of $350 to $700).