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?
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 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:
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.
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.
Most common cabinets are approximately 2 feet deep (24”), and therefore you will want your countertops to overhand the cabinet and cabinet doors.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 vanity
|Standard size range
|Single Sink Cabinet
|30 to 48 inches
|60 to 72 inches
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now that we’ve talked about considerations for the sizing and usage in both living areas let’s look at the materials themselves.
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.
|· 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.
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.
|· Various range of color (recently made to look like granite surfaces)
· Easy to install
|· Prone to chips
· Adds minimal value to homes
· Not heat resistant
Wood countertops can come in solid wood form or a pieced together block such as butcher block.
|· 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
Soapstone is what we commonly know from chemical laboratories.
|· Rich color tones
· Stain resistant
· Low maintenance
|· Mineral oil treatment
· Professional installation
|· The durability of stone slabs
· Easy installation (compared to natural slabs)
· Cheaper than natural stones
· Prone to chips and cracks
|· Not heat resistant (compared to natural stones like granite)
· Lesser quality to natural stones
Marble is elegant and well-desired, but for a high price tag.
|· Heat resistant
· Wide arrange of colors
· Natural stone
· One-of-a-kind (marble slabs are all unique)
· Must be sealed and resealed
· Prone to scratches, soiling and chipping
· etching (from acidic juices and chemicals).