Which Countertop Is Right For You?

There’s more to selecting bathroom countertops than comparing price. To make an informed decision and guarantee years of satisfaction from your investment, this article details the pros and cons for each material, so you’ll get years of satisfaction for your investment. Part 1 of a 3-part series will discuss laminate, tile, and solid surface, with links to manufacturers’ websites.

Countertop Materials: Laminate, Tile, Solid Surface


Popular brands include Formica, Wilsonart, Nevamar, and Pionite.

Countertops-LaminatePros: Laminate is the least-expensive material for countertops. It includes hundreds of alternative colors and patterns to express personal preference and to blend with every architectural style.

Cons: Laminate is easily damaged by abrasive cleaners, chemical stains, and rough treatment. It requires top-mounted or drop-in sink with extra attention needed when cleaning around the edges of plumbing fixtures. (Photo courtesy of Julie Williams Design)


This category includes porcelain, clay, talc, and natural stone. Thousands of worldwide manufacturers.

Countertops-TilePros: Tile is an inexpensive alternative, because it can be a successful DIY project. It is available in hundreds of colors and patterns, and a good selection for historical renovation or “period” remodeling. Bathroom sinks can be undermounted, which aids cleaning.

Cons: Trim tiles are needed to finish all exposed edges; they are usually sold individually, and can be expensive. Grout joints require maintenance, and if not sealed, they can become a nightmare. Handmade tiles can vary in thickness, causing containers to tip over and spill the contents.

Solid Surface:

Popular brands include Corian, Avonite, Hi-Macs, Formica, Swanstone, Wilsonart, Eos, Fama, Hanex, Meganite, and Staron.

Countertops-Solid-SurfacePros: Solid surface is easily repaired with mild solvents and abrasives when it’s scratched, scorched, or stained. It’s available in a multitude of colors and patterns, and it’s resistant to bacteria. Coordinating undermount or integral sinks can be used to create a cohesive color scheme and make the countertop look larger. Solid surface countertops are very easy to maintain.

Cons: This is not a DIY project; fabrication and installation should be done by trained individuals. The appearance and feel doesn’t appeal to everyone, i.e., “too plastic”. Some solid surfaces are more durable than others, depending upon the composition.

Part 2 will feature pros and cons for quartz, wood, composite, and glass countertops. Part 3 will conclude the series with pros and cons for concrete, stone, stainless steel, and lavastone countertops.

“See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”

Armed with all of this information about countertops, it still can be difficult to select the right bathroom or kitchen counter for your needs, lifestyle, and budget — and your decor, of course. D. P. Design will help you with these decisions, and many more, to help you achieve great results. Call Diane today (503-632-8801), or send an e-mail (diane@dp-design.com). We look forward to helping you!

© Copyright 2015 D. P. Design “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”