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Water-Resistant Countertop Materials to Consider for Your Bathroom
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Is it time to renovate your bathroom and upgrade to a fancier (and sturdier) bathroom countertop? If so, your timing couldn’t be better: the wide range of options for countertop materials today are seemingly endless, and so many are engineered to be sturdy and long-lasting that it’s really hard to go wrong. However, countertops in a bathroom will inevitably face their fair share of humidity, and will likely come in contact with water on a daily basis. You need to be sure you choose a water-resistant countertop material that will last in your bathroom for the long haul (and look stellar, while you’re at it). Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a water-resistant countertop material for your bathroom:

Not all natural stone countertops are created equal
Natural stone countertops are the height of glamour, and if you’re looking to introduce an elevated sense of luxury in your bathroom space, they very well might be the way to go. Granite is always a safe and reliable bet: granite countertops come in a wide range of styles, colors, and price points at Marble, and granite is undeniably sturdy. It is scratch-resistant and generally stain-resistant, but is it water-resistant? Yes and no: while granite is a natural stone and therefore porous (moisture can seep into its itty-bitty pores), it’s one of the hardier porous stone materials. But it does need to be sealed in order to keep it durable. A sealed granite countertop should last a lifetime in your bathroom; an unsealed granite countertop could spell doom. So by all means, choose granite for your bathroom update with confidence: just make sure to keep the granite sealed.

Quartz is another safe bet and has increased significantly in popularity over the last few years. Like granite, it is incredibly sturdy and fairly water-resistant (when sealed). And because the popularity of quartz has surged so notably of late, it also can be found in quite the range of styles and colors. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you could also consider marble for your bathroom countertop. Marble has been used as a core material in bathrooms for centuries (marble sinks, marble floors, and even marble bathtubs can be found in Roman baths dating all the way back to the Renaissance Era, and prior). The biggest drawback to marble is that it comes with a price tag: purchasing marble countertops can take a toll on your wallet, so make sure you’re prepared for that bill if this is the route you want to take.

Finally, when it comes to natural stone countertops, try your best to avoid stone materials that are ultra-porous. Limestone is one of these: if not sealed regularly (even more so than granite) it absolutely will stain and become damaged over time. Sandstone and slate are similar: these occur in sheets at a molecular level, are highly porous, and can therefore very easily chip (a problem which is exacerbated in high-humidity areas, like a bathroom). For the high-use bathroom, consider forgoing limestone, sandstone, and shale.

The ceramic tile bathroom countertop has been popular for decades… for a reason
I know what you’re thinking: the ceramic tile countertop is so “90s.” But the truth is, ceramic tile has been a popular choice in bathrooms for decades for a reason: it’s water-resistant, and easy. Easy to maintain, easy to afford. And a lot of designers and home buyers remember this today, and they’re beginning to re-embrace the ceramic tile countertop. As a result, you can actually find a pretty incredible array of ceramic tile countertop options at your local home improvement store or tile depot. Maintenance of a ceramic tile countertop is hard to get wrong (as it requires none) and you’d be hard-pressed to find a way to damage or stain your ceramic tile countertop. Lastly (and sometimes most importantly): the ceramic tile countertop is wildly inexpensive relative to some of your other choices. So when you’re thinking about what materials to consider for your bathroom countertop update, don’t shirk it: give the ceramic tile countertop a try.

Laminate can also last
If budget is a concern (and for most of us, it is), there’s an even safer bet than the ceramic tile countertop. Laminate countertops are incredibly affordable, and today, they come in a wide range of styles and colors. You can find a laminate countertop to emulate virtually any natural stone countertop, but you get to avoid the annual maintenance (no sealing needed here), and the unbelievable price tag. And laminate is, for the most part, a water-resistant surface: it’s essentially layers of plastic adhered to a particle-board base. The particle-board interior is not water-resistant, and yes, if you were to dunk your countertop in the pool and leave it for six months, it would come out feeling a little soggy. But for daily use in a bathroom, laminate will hold up just fine, so don’t knock it. If your budget is an issue, give it serious consideration for your next bathroom remodel.

And have fun! There are so many choices available today when it comes to choosing bathroom countertops, it’s really hard to go wrong. Just make sure that if you decide to go full-bore with the natural stone countertops, that you’re prepared to maintain them.

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