Natural Stone refers to slabs or tiles of granite, marble, or other stones. These surfaces are available in a wide variety of beautiful colors and have natural textures with glossy finishes. Granite is water, heat, and scratch resistant, however must be sealed regularly to avoid staining. Natural stone tops are made to accept a separate under mount sink bowl made of porcelain, steel, glass, or cast iron. These bowls are typically fastened to the vanity top by the fabricator. Also, these tops are offered with or without a separate backsplash. Overall, natural stone is the most expensive and popular vanity top option.
Engineered stone is typically made of quartz and silica that are bonded together under high temperature and pressure. It is available in an extensive array of granite, marble, and other stone looks, colors and glossy finishes. Unlike natural stone, engineered does not require sealing, is more durable, less susceptible to cracking, and resists stains, mildew, and bacteria. Many varieties of engineered stone have anti-bacterial treatments built right into the surface. Identical to Natural Stone, engineered tops are also made to accept a separate under mount sink bowl made of porcelain, steel, glass, or cast iron. These bowls are typically fastened to the vanity top by the fabricator. Again, like natural stone, these tops are also offered with or without a separate backsplash. With the beauty of natural stone, engineered is a great maintenance-free alternative at a slightly lower price.
Vanity tops made from composite resins are referred to as Solid Surface Vanity Tops. Because the tops are manufactured, they are available in a huge variety of colors and patterns with a matte finish. The surface is manufactured to be durable, stain-resistant, easy to clean, and, in some cases, repairable. Maintaining a solid surface is easy, stains and scratches can easily be sanded out and there is no sealing that needs to happen. These tops are usually made with a seamless bowl of neutral color or a color-matched bowl. However, solid surface tops can also have other types of bowls attached to them. These tops can be offered with or without a backsplash, either loose or molded as one piece for the easiest cleaning. Overall, these tops are less expensive than Natural or Engineered Stone but more expensive than other options.
Most veneer and solid wood cabinets have been stained or dyed to get the perfect look and tone. Over the years, cultured marble has become the most common vanity top material. It is a synthetic product made by casting polymers into a solid countertop form. It has gained its popularity because most tops are pre-made and available in a range of colors, patterns, and sizes. Many companies are now offering colors that look like a solid surface material with either a glossy or matte finish. These tops frequently have a molded 1-piece sink and backsplash and make for easy cleaning. Overall, these tops are inexpensive but offer limited options.