Kitchen vs. Bathroom Countertops: Is There a Difference?

Date: January 4, 2020
Author: Jon Smith
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If you are considering some home improvement projects, new countertops are definitely one project that can increase both the beauty and value of your home. What if you find a pattern you love, but it’s displayed as a bathroom countertop in the showroom. Does that mean it’s off-limits for the kitchen?

Is there a difference between a kitchen countertop or a bathroom countertop

The main difference between a kitchen and bathroom countertop can be in its size and thickness and the type of material best resilient to its environment. Yet, this answer may vary depending on your preferences and needs.

Choosing a good countertop material means considering the durability and cost of the material in the given environment. Let’s be honest here; the countertop can be one of the most expensive aspects of your renovation. Your goal should be to find a material that performs best within your budget and maintains durability for the long haul. Let’ cover some information that will help you with that decision.

The Difference Between a Kitchen Countertop and a Bathroom Countertop

The great part about kitchen and bathroom countertops is that each type of material comes with its relevant pros and cons and can be effective in both aesthetically transforming an area and performing well.

So, whether you’re renovating a space or building your dream kitchen and bathroom, there are many options out there that will do the job.

First thing’s first, the type of countertop material can vary on the uses it is meant for and the environment it will be exposed to.

This divides the research into two categories:

  • Deciding on the right size countertop for a kitchen utility or bathroom utility
  • Picking the right surface and stone material for optimum durability

Determining the Size of Bathroom or Kitchen Countertop Needed

Considering the space of the kitchen or the restroom, there are a few things you want to consider when picking the right size. Depth, width, length, and even height of your countertop can vary depending on the space. Let’s start with the kitchen.

Width and Length Considerations for the Kitchen Countertops

  1. Appliances

Not much in the restroom, but in the kitchen, you will need a wide enough countertop space that best matches the ovens and dishwashers in the kitchen. The most common measurements of countertops are approximately 25.5” from the wall to the front edge.

Most appliances are well-designed to fit the standards of kitchen countertop depth and heights. Typical measurements for some appliances are below:

A dishwasher is about 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high.

A stovetop or oven is 30 inches wide, 25 inches deep, and 36 inches high.

You might want to consider the depth of the countertop to be flush with these appliances or give yourself more room if your kitchen space allows the space.

  1. Cabinets

Most common cabinets are approximately 2 feet deep (24”), and therefore you will want your countertops to overhand the cabinet and cabinet doors.

  1. Cooking space

Whether you’re a baker, cook, or both, you are going to need a deep enough counter space. If you are a big fan of the butcher’s block, most of them run between 2 to 2.5’ deep.

  1. Sink

To purchase the best size of the countertop, you might want to consider the best sink size. Depth is one thing, but you will need roughly 2 inches surrounding the sink all around to support the weight.

  1. Islands

Islands in a kitchen can be a bit of a different story. The size will vary depending on the space that you are given in the kitchen and whether or not you want to make it into a breakfast island with an overhang area for seating.

For a breakfast island, you will want to consider a 10 – 20” overhang past the main structure (usually provided by a set of cabinets).

Width and Length Considerations for Your Bathroom Countertop

Bathroom vanity depends heavily on the pre-existing vanity, or for a new bathroom, the given space of the bathroom.

Depending on the functionality of the bathroom, the traffic flow, or the number of sinks can vary.

  1. Sink

As with the kitchen countertop, a sink depth is important to consider, but for bathrooms, there can be more than a single sink on one platform.

Type of vanityStandard size range
Single Sink Cabinet30 to 48 inches
Double vanities60 to 72 inches
  1. Overall Depth

Standard vanities can range from 17 to 24 inches in depth. Most depth will be dependent on the bathroom size. Consider the traffic flow and provide sufficient room for cabinet doors and drawers.

Bonus note: The height of overall countertops can be different for a kitchen and a bathroom. This will depend on the functionality of the kitchen vs. the bathroom.

More recently, bathroom countertop heights are measuring up to 36,” which are claimed to be more comfortable and less back strains.

Determining the Type of Stone Material for Your Kitchen or Bath Countertop

There are various types of materials that are commonly used for countertops, whether it’s for a bathroom or a kitchen. The porosity of the material, the integrity of the material, and for many, the aesthetics are most significant to consider.

Depending on the selection of stone, your home value can change significantly as well. The following list provides a compilation of the most common stone material types available for both kitchen and bathroom countertops.

When choosing the right type of material, you will want to consider the types of materials the countertop will encounter.

Choosing Countertop Materials in the Bathroom

There are chemicals, such as everyday mouthwash, toothpaste, face wash, and hygiene products, the countertops will be exposed to.

There is frequent moisture in bathrooms, as well as susceptibility to plumbing leaks and flooding. Less porous and water-resistant materials are best for bathroom countertops.

Bathrooms with girls will also mean heat appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers.

Choosing Countertop Materials in the Kitchen

More prone to food drops, spills, crumbs, but also to hard scratches from cutlery, silverware, and even hot pots. Kitchen countertops should be durable to scratches and hot materials.

Popular Countertop Materials for the Kitchen and Bath

Now that we’ve talked about considerations for the sizing and usage in both living areas let’s look at the materials themselves.

1) Granite

Granite is one of the most common and preferred stones for both bathroom and kitchen countertops. Their surface is very hard and is resistant to most scratches – even knife blades.

ProsCons
·       Granite is durable to water damage

·       Resistant to scratches

·       Resistant to heat

·       Stained granite is also known to be stain-resistant

 

·       Porous (should be sealed and resealed)

·       Expensive in comparison to most materials

·       Variable in color but limited compared to man-made options.

2) Laminate

On the opposite end of the financial spectrum is laminate. Laminate is man-made by layering pieces of plywood and plastic and coated in a scratch and stain-resistant laminate layer.

ProsCons
·       Various range of color (recently made to look like granite surfaces)

·       Cost-friendly

·       Scratch-resistant

·       Stain-resistant

·       Easy to install

·       Prone to chips

·       Adds minimal value to homes

·       Not heat resistant

3) Wood

Wood countertops can come in solid wood form or a pieced together block such as butcher block.

ProsCons
·       Soft to touch

·       Warm organic feel

·       Cheaper than stone or metal

·       Needs regular oiling

·       Prone to nicks and scratch (must be sanded accordingly)

·       Price can vary depending on the wood

4) Soapstone

Soapstone is what we commonly know from chemical laboratories.

ProsCons
·       Rich color tones

·       Stain resistant

·       Low maintenance

·       Scratch-resistant

·       Mineral oil treatment

·       Professional installation

 

5) Composite Quartz

ProsCons
·       The durability of stone slabs

·       Easy installation (compared to natural slabs)

·       Cheaper than natural stones

·       Non-porous

·       Stain-resistant

·       Prone to chips and cracks

·       Not heat resistant (compared to natural stones like granite)

·       Lesser quality to natural stones

6) Marble

Marble is elegant and well-desired, but for a high price tag.

ProsCons
·       Heat resistant

·       Wide arrange of colors

·       Natural stone

·       One-of-a-kind (marble slabs are all unique)

·       Expensive

·       Must be sealed and resealed

·       Prone to scratches, soiling and chipping

·       etching (from acidic juices and chemicals).

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About Jon - Website Owner

Jon Smith

Hi, my name is Jonathan Smith. I have been in the granite business for many years and have worked my way up from an installer helper to an installer and then a countertop business owner. 

I started my countertop company with very little and grew extremely fast because of my knowledge and helpfulness. I started this countertop resource for 1 main reason. That reason is that there are no countertop websites with all the correct information and none of them are from an industry expert like myself. 

I am still in the trade every single day installing countertops, educating people on the type of material they are using for their homes, and making people's dream kitchens a reality.

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