Pros and Cons of Different Bathroom Countertop Materials

A bathroom with two sinks and bathroom countertops.

Granite Bathroom Countertops

Pros

Granite bathroom countertops, when sealed properly, can more than withstand moisture, which abounds in any bathroom. You can also find granite in not just slabs but tiles as well, which gives you a greater degree of options as far as how you can design your bathroom countertops.

Cons

Granite bathroom countertops are not as popular as they were more than ten years ago. For one, better materials that can be installed with greater ease have gotten much cheaper.

In addition to having a cumbersome installation process, granite bathroom countertops need to be resealed regularly; as often as twice every year. This can get costly. 

Granite is a very porous rock and it will retain moisture if left unsealed. This can make the slab even heavier than it already is, which poses some substantial safety and structural risks. It also exposes the slab to staining and discoloration.

Laminate Bathroom Countertops

Pros

Laminate bathroom countertops are about as cheap as bathroom surfaces get. This is the only real advantage they have over other bathroom countertop materials. 

Cons

Laminate bathroom countertops are seen as cheap and undesirable, which can have a major impact on your home’s resale value. After all, the bathroom is one of the two most important rooms in any home.

Laminate bathroom countertops present a number of practical downsides. The major of these is a direct consequence of how laminate is made — by combining sheets of plastic and particleboard. Moisture can easily facilitate the separating of these layers, which in turn causes unsightly damage like bubbling and cracking.

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Laminate bathroom countertops are also not particularly appealing from a visual standpoint. Manufacturers print designs on them in an attempt to emulate more expensive materials like marble, but this emulation only goes surface-deep and looks cheap.

Marble Bathroom Countertops

Pros

On one end of the ‘cheapness’ extreme is laminate. Marble bathroom countertops are way on the other end, representing ultra luxury. Marble bathroom countertops have a lot going for them; they’re beautiful and classic in a way that natural materials often are. 

Cons

As with granite (and really all types of natural stone), marble is porous and requires frequent resealling. Failure to maintain granite’s seal will lead to issues like discoloration and water damage.

A bathroom with marble countertops.

Ceramic Tile

Pros

Ceramic tile has been in use as a bathroom material for decades. It’s easy to install (confident DIYers can forgo a professional installer) and if a crack occurs, single tiles can be replaced with ease.

Cons

Cracks almost certainly will occur at some point; ceramic tile tends to be thin and brittle. Additionally, grout tends to collect debris and bacteria, which is unsanitary.

Recycled Glass Bathroom Countertops

Pros

As the name would suggest, recycled glass bathroom countertops are environmentally-friendly. They also produce a very unique look with a decent degree of customization; you can use larger shards, finer particles, and more.

Cons

Glass bathroom countertops are more easily cracked than those made from other materials. If you do manage to crack one, the shards will also pose a significant safety risk until you can get the countertop fixed — which will be costly.

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Reclaimed Wood Bathroom Countertops

Pros

Newer wood has not had time to expand and contract through years of humidity changes yet. With reclaimed wood, however, you’re getting a much more stable material that’s settled into a relatively stable state.

Reclaimed wood is great for creating a rustic look with your bathroom countertops.

Cons

Bacteria can make its home in wood. And you what exists in spades in most bathrooms? Yup, bacteria loves the dark dampness that is inherent in bathrooms. To keep reclaimed wood bathroom countertops hygienic, you need to reseal them frequently. This is costly, time-consuming, and generally not worth the headache for aesthetics alone.

The Best Material for Bathroom Countertops: Quartz

The above bathroom countertop materials all have their upsides and downsides. You may find yourself struggling to balance these pros and cons, and even wondering whether there’s a material that combines the best aspects of each.

Enter quartz bathroom countertops.

A bathroom with a sink, mirror, and plants on the countertops.

Pros of Quartz Bathroom Countertops

Remember how we said granite was once the most popular countertop material? Quartz is what dethroned it, becoming the best material for adding value to your home. 

Quartz is an incredibly versatile material that can resemble everything from natural stones like marble and granite to solid surface acrylic countertops.

This aesthetic versatility is especially impressive because quartz is more durable overall than any of those materials. By virtue of its manufacturing process (it’s engineered stone that combines 93% loose quartz with resins and pigments) it never needs to be sealed, ever. 

Read more about what makes quartz bathroom countertops so great.

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Cons of Quartz Bathroom Countertops

Quartz is pricier than materials like laminate; it’s more in line cost-wise with granite. This is the only real downside to quartz bathroom countertops. Those who are able to budget for quality quartz countertops from a reputable manufacturer will quickly learn why quartz is the best material for bathroom countertops as it’s a true ‘set it and forget it’ material.

Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Various Bathroom Countertops

The above outline of pros and cons should leave you with a very solid idea of what the best material for bathroom countertops is and where the others fall short.

To recap, bathroom countertop materials should be resistant to moisture, relatively maintenance-free, and aesthetically interesting.

Of all the materials listed above, quartz ticks all those boxes. 

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