The top is probably the most integral part of the vanity.
The whole process of improving the appearance of the bathroom can be as easy and straightforward as replacing the old countertop on the vanity cabinet.
Beauty and durability are two key factors to consider when choosing a top.
Selecting the right top means understanding the pros and cons of the different types of materials used to make them, figuring out the right budget, and choosing the aesthetics that complement your bath’s overall style.
When it is time to upgrade or update your bathroom vanity top, such things as size, color, and sink shape are important factors.
Six Manufactured Home Replacement Vanity Top Shopping Factors
Here are the factors to consider:
1. Budget & Cost
As with any other new home project, you will want to understand the cost of acquiring the tops and keeping your budget within manageable margins.
With so many brands and types of bathroom countertops available in the market, finding the look and material of your liking at just the right price can be relatively easy if you put your lifestyle into perspective.
2. Sink Shape
When looking for the best top for your bathroom, it is important to choose one that meets your sink. Make up your mind on whether you want one or several integrated sinks or the cut-out option.
Selecting the best bath countertop for the vanity may also come down to style.
Modern vanity cabinets tend to work better with marble, quartz, or acrylic tops while classic-styled vanities may go well with granite.
Settle on what really works for your space and what complements the aesthetics of your home.
It may sound too obvious, but always start by taking the dimensions of your current fixture, in this case, your vanity top as well as the vanity cabinet itself before shopping for a new one.
Tops don’t come in a single standardized size – they are cut in different sizes to fit a range of vanities which may also depend on the size of free space you have in your bathroom.
So, measure the frontal width and the rear of the current vanity top before obtaining the length of the sides.
Thereafter, find the depth and record all the obtained dimensions on paper. If you are adding a countertop to a vanity unit with no top, add about 1” to the depth findings.
Most of the vanity tops you will find in the store come with 1,2, or 3 pre-drilled holes designed to accommodate most types of faucets.
Make up your mind whether you are going with the widespread, single, or center-set faucet.
Always remember to check the size of the drillings on the old/current top as switching to a new faucet style might not turn out as you expect.
6. Other upgrades
Ask yourself whether you will also install a backsplash or vanity side?
Make sure the countertop is fully set up before doing so.
How To Replace A Bathroom Vanity Top: Eight Considerations
1. Material of Construction
The material of construction will influence the durability of the vanity top and even the level of maintenance and care.
Most of the vanity tops you will find in the store are made of these materials:
Ceramic tops are made using porcelain ceramic molding methods to give them the familiar sleek scratch-resistant finish.
- Heat resistant and much easier to maintain
- Is not prone to discoloring
- Highly impressive resistance to scratches
- Classic, sleek finish.
- You are more likely to land a five (5) year warranty on the ceramic top (and 1 Year warranty on the ceramic basin)
- Highly susceptible to cracking and chipping when under impact
- Limited range of sizes.
- Supports just 1 tap hole in most cases so as not to create many weak points
- Cannot be repaired once damaged
- Size variations, imperfections, and warping are expected due to the usual 1200° C kiln vitrification process.
- Ceramic tops are not recommended for installation between walls due to variations in size
These tops are molded using one heavy polymer resin that has been carefully mixed with finely crushed marble.
Thereafter, they are coated with matte gel or durable gloss for that clear, smooth appearance you known them for!
- Consistent surface with very little or no warping or imperfections.
- Highly durable
- Easily repairable if chipped or scratched
- Overflow available on some select-few styles
- Often comes with a warranty in the region of 7 years
- Less susceptible to cracking and chipping compared to ceramic
- Limited sizes.
- Supports just 1 tap hole
These tops are formed in a vacuum using one sheet of acrylic (sanitary-grade acrylic) and plenty of heat to mold it into the correct shape before the back-filling process.
Acrylic tops are some of the most durable out there and they are normally very straight.
- Wide range of sizes.
- Consistent surface with zero warping or imperfections
- Brilliant white finish.
- Durable, non-porous body
- Light scratches can be easily polished out
- Stain and chemical resistant
- Can be bought in 0, 1, and/or 3 tap holes
- Excellent resistance to chipping than ceramic
- Warranty is normally in the region of 7 years
- No overflow
- Cannot be repaired
- Susceptible to heat-induced damage
- (e.g. through your hair straightener)
- Not recommended for installation between walls due to wide size variations
- Size variations, imperfections, and warping is expected because of the usual 1200° C kiln vitrification process
Many people get mixed between Caesarstone® and quartz – aren’t they supposed to be the same thing?
These two are the same albeit with slight differences.
Therefore, the difference between these two is that quartz is purely a natural material while Caesarstone® is partly synthetic/manufactured and partly natural.
- Created from about 90% natural quartz aggregates, enhanced polymer resins, and organic pigments
- Caesarstone® offers a surface with outstanding properties of heat, scratch, stain, and chip resistance.
Bamboo is recognized for its durability and hardness.
Like true wood, is a naturally made composite material with an impressive weight-to-strength ratio.
Another thing – bamboo has high compressive strength compared to wood, concrete, or brick, and a tensile strength close to that of steel.
- Sustainable material
- Incredibly durable
- Fire hazard
“Natural stone” is another way of referring to granite, one of the most durable materials you could have on a vanity top.
So, if you are after attractive colors, durability, and elegance, you can’t look farther than granite vanity tops.
Few natural stones beat the beauty of granite, and this is a plus to its impressive scratch and stain resistance.
- Easy to clean (it just takes a simple wipe with a moist cloth)
- Highly durable
- Attractive looks, great for aesthetics
- One of the most expensive materials for vanity tops you could buy although you can get around this by opting for granite tiles instead of a single slab
- Needs to be sealed at least once every year so that it doesn’t stain
Bathroom vanity tops can be placed in two categories:
- integrated tops
- cut out tops.
There is actually a third small and less known category, the one designed to accommodate vessel sinks designed to sit atop your counter.
Each top style is can be purchased in both double-basin and single-basin substyles.
3. Integrated Tops
The meaning is in the name – when you hear the term integrated being used to refer to any vanity top, it simply means the basin/sink comes already incorporated into that vanity top.
It can be either molded to be part of the countertop material (fused sink, basically) or can be placed beneath the vanity top before they leave the factory.
Most buyers are familiar with old-style sinks (the cultured marble type) which feature a sink basin molded as one unit with the piece of material used to make the rest of the vanity top.
It has come to be the basic design, with more and more modern integrated basins being made from common solid-surface materials like Corian—the sink part and the vanity top are made to be a single piece with no visible seams.
Integrated tops made from quartz and similar materials are made a bit differently – the integrated sink comes as a separate piece that is often attached permanently beneath the countertop.
All types of integrated tops come with one advantage: the fact that you don’t need to buy the sink basin and the top separately.
Single Bowl vs. Double Bowl Integrated Tops
Single-bowl integrated tops are basically integrated tops that support one washing bowl.
The major advantage of integrated tops is that they don’t feature a raised lip or rim on their sinks, something that slightly increases the amount of free space on the countertop.
Double-bowl integrated tops, on another hand, features two basins.
The backsplashes are sometimes fused with the rest of the piece.
Integrated, fused sinks come with the advantage of giving a uniform appearance. They also don’t require caulking. However, you will be compelled to replace the entire unit in the event of cracking.
4. Cut-Out Tops
As the name says, these tops come with a large cutout opening into which you will place a sink basin that you’ll purchase separately.
They will either require sinks designed specifically for drop-in installations (or self-rimming sinks), which sits on the lip that borders the cutout opening (then caulked on it) or an undermount basin/sink that attaches below the lip.
One of the advantages of the cut-out top is that the buyer has a wide variety of options. With integrated vanity tops, options for sinks/basins are limited.
Single Basin vs. Double-Basin Cut-Out Top
One basin cut-out tops come with a one-centered opening meant for a single sink that can be bought separately.
Because cut-out tops tend to be more popular than their integrated counterparts when it comes to single sinks, home centers will stock dozens of these to give you a wide range of options.
With any one-basin cut-out top, you get the advantage of choosing from a variety of designs that accommodate many different sinks. You also will be free to choose between undermount single sinks and top-mounting, self-rimming sinks.
Double basin cut-outs tops, on another hand, are longer and feature two cut-out slots for two sink basins.
And that’s on top of expansive counter space for placing almost any size of bathroom essentials.
They can be custom-made to fit longer base cabinets – can stretch to 88” and beyond.
It can be risky to buy a quartz or natural stone vanity top of this size and style because of two reasons: firstly, natural stone is heavy to transport and install, and secondly, in the event of chipping or cracking, you will watch your entire investment end up in the landfill.
Vessel tops are designed to be used with those high-end trendy and stylish vessel sinks or elevated basins that normally rest over the vanity top.
It is almost standard for them to come with just one tiny hole to fit the drain of the sink basin.
At times you will bump into a vessel top with no drain hole at all, but that’s by design because buyers often drill out their own convenient drain opening whenever they plan to add a specific number of sink basins.
5. Position and Type of Faucet
The faucet hole is probably the most notorious “oh my gosh!” part of the vanity top – you may take the top to your home thinking you’ve landed the product of your plans only to realize that the faucet hole is way too close to the corner contrary to your liking.
Luckily, virtually all tops you will out there have their holes in the middle of one edge of the sink position.
Most tops come with predrilled faucets. Center-sets are almost the default style although widespread is popular as well.
Widespread faucets come with a single spout equipped with two separate handles – one for hot water and the other for cold water.
All pieces look separate. Most of the time, widespread faucets are offered with 6” to 16” holes to support 3-hole predrilled basins.
Center-set faucets (mini-widespread), on another hand, are made for 4” predrilled with 3” installation basins.
They are designed to combine valves and a spout on one base unit.
These faucets may come with 2 handles mounted on one 6” plate or one-handle mixing lever.
6. Length of The Vanity
That’s why you should start by taking the dimensions of your current vanity unit.
There isn’t much to talk about here because vanity cabinets are supplied in a considerably wide range of lengths, from as short as 18” to 84” or longer.
The quality of your top will be mostly determined by the material of construction, but there are a few brands with some of the most favorably reviewed products in the market right now.
- allen + roth
- Scott Living
- Diamond FreshFit
- James Martin Vanities
8. Maintenance and Care
You want a product that will be easier to maintain and care for.
The top of the vanity cabinet demands more care than the rest of the unit because that’s where much of the contact and splashes take place.
Different countertop materials demand unique care and maintenance attention.
Most of them require cleaning supplies capable of removing dirt and soap films without damaging or scratching the finish.
Some tops – mostly the natural stone and composite quartz kind of tops – can be easily cleaned most with simple warm, soapy water and/or neutral cleaning sprays.
Just understand your lifestyle and choose a material that will give you an easy time to care for and maintain them.