In bathrooms, vanity tops are short runs of a countertop, often with an attached sink. Vanity tops help make bathroom remodeling easier, faster, and less expensive. Vanity tops are usually small enough for DIYers to install themselves.
Most vanity top styles are available in a variety of stock sizes and configurations, which means you can find what you need without waiting weeks for it to be fabricated, delivered, and installed. A few stock vanity top and base cabinet configurations are available at most home centers.
What a Bathroom Vanity Top Is
A bathroom vanity top is a pre-fabricated countertop sized to the specifications of a base cabinet. The top might have a pre-cut hole for a sink or the sink might be integrated with the countertop material.
Vanity tops are sized to match the typical stock sizes of bathroom vanity base cabinets, with a slight overhang at the front and sides. Bathroom vanity base cabinets typically range in size from 24 inches to 60 inches, and in front-to-back depths of about 17 inches for small rooms, or 23 inches for standard-sized bathrooms.
Vanity tops are available to match all these stock vanity cabinet sizes, which means that they can be single slabs that are relatively easy for a DIYer to install. Even granite or quartz vanity tops, although quite heavy, can usually be managed by a DIYer who has a helper or two.
Bathroom vanity tops can be made from a variety of countertop materials, though the most common type of material is a synthetic product called engineered stone. The engineered stone used in vanity tops is similar to solid surface (Corian brand is a popular solid surface product from DuPont) or quartz countertop material.
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Bathroom vanity tops come in two basic categories—integrated and cut-out. Integrated, in reference to a vanity top, means the sink basin is already incorporated into the vanity top—either because it is molded into the countertop material itself (known as a fused sink), or is attached below the vanity top at the factory.
Some integrated vanity tops are a single unit with the same piece of material forming both the sink and the countertop. There is no ridge or seam between the sink and the counter. Bathroom cleaning is easier with this type of integrated sink since water can be pushed directly into the sink.
With quartz and some other materials, the integrated sink is a second piece that is permanently attached below the countertop at the factory.
The advantage of any type of integrated sink is that you do not need to buy a separate sink basin—it's already part of the vanity top.
Another advantage of integrated vanity tops is that there is no raised rim or lip on the sink. Sink rims take up valuable countertop space. By eliminating the sink rim, you get more countertop.
Some homeowners don't like the hidden seam under the counter (where the sink and counter meet), finding it harder to clean.
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Cut-out vanity tops have pre-cut openings into which a separately purchased sink basin can be inserted. They require either a sink designed for drop-in installation (called self-rimming), which rests on the lip of the cutout opening and is caulked into place or an undermount sink that is attached below the lip of the cut-out.
One advantage of a cut-out vanity is that you're able to purchase any sink you like, as long as it fits the available space. You're not limited to the sink integrated into the countertop.
Cut-out vanities are easier to store and handle than integrated units. They're lighter weight and flatter.
For DIY installations, undermounting the sink to the countertop can be tricky. Self-rimming sinks are usually easier to install.
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Vessel vanity tops are designed for use with stylish vessel sinks: elevated basins that rest on top of the vanity top.
These usually come with only a very small hole for the sink basin's drain fitting. Sometimes they have no drain opening at all, with the expectation that you will drill out the drain opening wherever you plan to mount the sink basin.
Vanity tops with vessel sinks are eye-catching and unique.
The vessel sink trend peaked in the early 2000s and all but flatlined by 2020. Today, vessel sinks are officially out as a trend.
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Single-Bowl Integrated Vanity Top
A single bowl integrated vanity top has one sink that's either fused with the countertop or is undermounted. The basin is usually placed in the center.
Single-basin vanities are compact and flexible for a wide variety of bathroom configurations.
With the basin placed in the center, the user gets two fairly small pieces of countertop on each side.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Double Bowl Integrated Vanity Top
A double bowl integrated vanity top has two basins that are fused with the countertop. Integrated backsplashes may also be fused to the countertop.
Integrated, fused sinks have the advantage of offering a uniform appearance and they never require caulking.
For any bathroom that is shared between two or more people, double basin sinks are a bonus. They allow two people to be at the sink together.
Larger vanity countertops require more space, which can be a challenge in many bathrooms.
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Single Basin Cut-Out Vanity Top
A single basin cut-out vanity top has one opening at the center that's intended for a sink purchased separately. Cut-out vanity tops are widely available. Home centers tend to have a few single basin vanity cut-outs available since they stack flat and don't take up a lot of room.
Cut-out vanity tops offer the advantage of more design flexibility since they allow you to choose your own sink. You can choose either a top-mount self-rimming sink or, to give you a bit more counter space, an undermount sink.
If you're installing the sink by yourself and want to save time, a cut-out vanity top will add more steps to the process, especially if it's an undermount sink.
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Double Basin Cut-Out Vanity Top
Longer vanity tops that have two cut-outs for sink basins, plus generous counter space, can be custom-ordered to fit base cabinets that stretch as long as 88 inches.
A double basin cut-out vanity top affords the bathroom user the most amount of countertop space coupled with the flexibility of having two working sinks.
A countertop of this length in natural stone or quartz can be very heavy, so it's best to have an assistant help with installation. There's also a danger of breakage. So, be sure to keep the center of the vanity top well-supported until it is in contact with the base cabinet.