If you think about it, it’s easy to understand why fresh, clean and shining are the most essential notions associated with a bathroom. After all, the bathroom is the place where you make for a fresh start in the morning and shake off your weariness at the end of the day. So, it needs to be pleasing to the senses, comfortable, practical, and easy to keep in excellent condition, a perfect fit for your needs and a perfect reflection of your personal taste and style.
A luxurious, customized bathroom will greatly improve the quality of your life, as well as the value of your home. One easy way to upgrade your bathing space and increase both its practicality and appeal is to install high quality, durable, stylish bathroom countertops.
Whether you’re thinking about remodeling the entire space or only replacing the counters, you can choose from an overwhelming variety of bathroom countertop options for your renovation project. Knowing the latest bathroom countertop trends and becoming aware of the specific pros and cons of modern bathroom ideas will help you select the best material, color, finish, edge and design for your new countertop.
So, let’s see what’s out there!
Bathroom Countertop Materials
You’ll most certainly want your bathroom countertops to be stylish and beautiful, as well as durable, easy to maintain, and water-resistant. Whether or not a counter will meet all these requirements depends primarily on the material it is made of. So, your first step when looking for new bathroom counters is to compare the most popular countertop materials and decide on the one that best suits your particular needs and preferences:
In recent years, engineered quartz has become the hottest trend on the bathroom countertop market. It is a manufactured material, made from about 95% crushed quartz stone and 5% resin. A pigment is added to the mixture to give it the desired color. The resin holds the quartz particles together, making the engineered stone very durable and resistant to corrosion and chipping. The nonporous synthetic surface won’t scratch, stain, or crack and does not require sealing. It is not vulnerable to heat (you can place curling irons and other hair tools directly on the surface without damaging it) and successfully resists mold and mildew. What’s more, quartz countertops are very easy to clean and keep in excellent condition.
In addition to all its other benefits, engineered stone offers a solid, timeless look that is both elegant and sophisticated. The manufacturing process allows for a wide array of colors – from subtle neutral tones to dramatic bright hues, so you will certainly find one that’s a perfect match for your aesthetic taste and your existing bathroom décor. The manufacturing process is controlled, so the coloration is consistent and doesn’t vary throughout the countertop.
Engineered stone countertops often emulate the style and texture of natural stone counters, but this tendency has begun to change in recent years. The clean, bright look of quartz countertops is more and more widely appreciated in contemporary bathrooms.
The average cost of quartz bathroom countertops is about $65 per square foot, but certain luxurious types of quartz (such as onyx, for example) may soar up to $200.
Granite has long been the top choice for elegant bathroom countertops – its rich texture, unique colors, and beautiful veining, specks, and swirls give any room a look of rich luxury and timeless appeal.
Granite is mined straight from the rock, so it has an inherent natural beauty and charm. Granite slabs come in a variety of colors and shades, so you can easily find those that appeal to you and match the rest of your bathroom décor.
Granite countertops remain a prominent bathroom feature not only because of their glamorous look and warm natural feel, but also because of their practicality. Granite is a tough, durable material that cannot be damaged by water or heat. Have in mind though that the surface is naturally porous and can easily absorb spills if not properly sealed. Having your granite bathroom countertop professionally sealed is the only way to make sure that it will successfully resist stains and repel grease (from hair products, for example).
Granite is a practical countertop material that will add beauty and value to your home. However, it’s a little pricier than most of your other options. The average cost of granite bathroom countertops is approximately $100 – $150 per square foot, but many homeowners consider this durable, elegant natural stone well worth the investment.
When it comes to sheer beauty and elegance, marble has no rival even among the most luxurious countertop materials. The grandeur and splendor it gives to the ambience make it one of the most highly prized materials for any luxurious bathroom design. Marble is great for achieving a high-end look – it is soft enough to allow for exquisite designer solutions and comes in a wide array of hues that range from white, yellow, and rose to green, gray and black.
Have in mind, though, that marble is porous, so it scratches and stains easily. That’s why many people prefer to install marble countertops in the bathroom but not in the kitchen where oil, wine and juice can quickly penetrate the porous surface and damage the counter.
To keep your marble bathroom countertop in excellent condition, you need to be very careful when using it (protect the surface from nail polish and makeup removers, do not leave sharp-edged items directly on the marble counter, etc.). Gentle treatment and proper maintenance will allow you to preserve the beauty and allure of your marble countertops for a long time.
To sum it up, marble is stunningly beautiful, resistant to heat, and easy to clean. It brightens a bathroom and adds great value to the home. The renovation project itself won’t be a great burden on your budget – marble countertop costs vary from $50 to $250 dollars per square foot, so you can find quite a reasonably priced solution for your luxury bathroom countertops.
The latest trend in bathroom countertops, recycled glass counters have become so popular partly because of the increased environment awareness in recent years.
Apart from that, glass countertops are very attractive, durable, and functional. They are made from 85% recycled glass materials – the glass is crushed into small fragments and then mixed into cement, embedded in clear resin, or melted to form a new sheet of solid glass. Glass colors for each recycled glass countertop are chosen in such a way that they blend perfectly and work well together. What’s more, the glass countertops can be back-painted to add color to a neutral bathroom and brighten it up. Pebbles, seashells, stones or other objects can be embedded into glass counters to create interesting accents. If you are looking for a bright and unique bathroom countertop, recycled glass is your best choice.
Glass countertops are not only charming and eco-friendly, but also durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. They are a perfect fit for a contemporary bathroom but similarly to other green options around the home, recycled glass counters won’t be very easy on your budget (they come at an average cost of about $90 per square foot).
Surprising as it may seem at first, practical, low-cost laminate countertops have become a hot trend in bathroom remodeling over the last few years. There is a good reason why such a simple material as laminate has become a rival to much more luxurious ones – due to considerable improvements in the manufacturing process, the look of laminate counters has greatly evolved to successfully mimic marble, granite, onyx, and other natural stones. Laminates come in a wide range of colors and patterns, so they can easily satisfy any demands and aesthetic tastes.
In addition to their great looks and feel, laminate countertops are easy to clean and stain- and water-resistant. Have in mind, though, that you need to be very careful when using hot objects near the counter as laminate can be easily damaged by heat.
Laminate countertops are engineered to look like much costlier counters, but are available at a fraction of the price (their average cost is just $30 per square foot), which makes them your best choice for a budget bathroom remodel.
Other trendy bathroom countertop materials include wood, soapstone, stainless steel, concrete, porcelain and ceramic tiles – anything light, bright, natural-looking, and easy to maintain will do for your modern bathroom design.
To have modern bathroom countertops, however, you need not only a popular material, but a fresh, clean, and seamless design as well.
Trendy Bathroom Countertop Colors
Despite the recent trends for bold accents and dramatic effects, neutral tones and shades, as well as the traditional white, beige, gray and black, remain the top colors for bathroom countertops:
- Black has a timeless and classy appearance and makes a sharp contrast with a predominantly white bathroom for a dramatic contemporary look;
- White countertops offer a clean and crisp appearance and brighten up the space. If you pair them with dark cabinets and polished chrome fixtures, you will achieve the trendiest bathroom look as of the present moment;
- The neutral hues of beige and gray look great in a bathroom as they perfectly complement the silvery tones of faucets and mirrors;
- Brown is a preferred color for a bathroom because it conceals dirt well and makes heavier countertops, such as granite, appear lighter.
When reviewing your color options, have in mind that your bathroom countertop should be a complementary color to the surrounding walls.
Good to know: It’s always a good idea to opt for a color that allows for maximum adaptability (such as white, black, or gray), as flexibility is key in modern design and in our busy contemporary lifestyle.
There is no doubt about it – glossy finishes work better in bathrooms than matte finishes.
Matte finished countertops are the more practical choice for a kitchen, where you need the surface to be appropriate for food preparation and to look well next to the various colors and shapes in the room.
In a bathroom, however, you need the countertop to reflect as much light as possible. A glossy countertop will brighten up the bathroom and help you highlight one of the few beautiful features in the room (after all, a small bathroom has little else than a shower, a vanity, and a mirror, so your shining countertop will definitely catch the eye).
The backsplash is one of the features in a bathroom that allow for great creativity and personalization – bold designer ideas and unique décor visions are quite welcome when it comes to the backsplash. It adds to the overall appeal of the countertop and creates a beautiful accent in your bathroom.
Full-size mirrors and decorative tiles have been the norm for many years, but the recent trends require the backsplash to be connected to the countertop or at least – to be made from the same material. You can simply run the countertop material up onto the wall to act as a backsplash. This is very practical (you can use leftovers from the large slabs of countertop material you have already purchased for your renovation project) and looks great in a contemporary bathroom.
Modern Bathroom Countertop Designs
Most bathroom counters and surfaces come with a standard edge, but you have several more stylish options to choose from as well. Some of the most popular edge finishes in recent years include rounded (bullnose), angled (bevel), S-shaped (ogee) and decorative edges (primarily used for customizing a bathroom). As a rule of thumb, rounded and decorative edges are considered appropriate for traditional, elegant bathrooms; angled edges make for a clean, contemporary look; and ogees are perfect for more unconventional, artistic bathrooms.
Apart from the shapes and edges of your new bathroom countertops, you may want to consider some trendy installation possibilities, as well – you can opt for a wall-hung counter with slim drawers instead of the traditional cabinetry, for example.
Take the time to consider all the relevant factors when looking for a new bathroom countertop – suitable materials, trendy colors, styles, and designs, appropriate size and height of the counter, ease of maintenance, durability and aesthetic appeal. It will pay off in the long run as you will feel confident that you’ve chosen a surface that is practical, fashionable, long-lasting and a perfect match for your personal taste and artistic preferences.
Each of the latest trends in bathroom countertops has its own advantages and unique appeal. There is no wrong or right choice – it all depends on what type of countertop you will enjoy having in your bathroom.