01 of 05
DIY Your Bathroom Counter
Not all countertops are created equally. Fabricating and installing your own kitchen counters is a project best left to only the most adventurous DIYers. But bathroom counters are a different matter. Because they are shorter, less expensive, and easily available, this is one countertop project that do-it-yourself homeowners can easily take on.
What's behind this DIY magic that will save you tons of money? Vanity tops: ready-made, cut-to-size countertops. Bathroom vanity tops come in two basic categories--integrated and cut-out--which are also divided into two categories: single and double basin. And there is a third, smaller category of tops for vessel sinks:
Integrated Vanity Tops: Counter and Sink, All In One
Single Bowl: In the 24"-48" range, these vanity tops come with one bowl (or basin) molded into place with the countertop.
Double Bowl: Same as single bowl integrated, except that countertop lengths tend to go higher to accommodate the addition of another, second, basin. Lengths begin around 60" and extend up to 73".
Cut-Out Vanity Tops: Counter With No Sink
Single Bowl: Ranging from 24" to 73", these are bathroom countertops with cut-outs for your own sink bowl. While you do not save much money by going in this direction, the incentive is that you can customize with your own sink bowl.
Double Bowl: Same as the single cut-out but typically in the longer ranges.
Vessel Tops: Base for a Vessel Sink
Usually narrow, these sink tops allow for the mounting of vessel sinks. They have no sinks or sink cutouts: only one hole to allow for the drain and one hole for fixtures.
Definition: A bathroom vanity is a base cabinet. Like its closest cousin, the kitchen sink base, the vanity cabinet is a single unit of furniture that holds the sink and a few drawers. It serves the added purpose of hiding the maze of plumbing supply and drain pipes below the sink.
Vanity Sizes: Bathroom vanities are not long, usually ranging from 24 to 60 inches (though 12" to 73" can be found). They widen in increments of 24", 30", 36", 48", and 60".
Because bathroom vanities stop at the 60" point, they are perfect candidates for single countertop slabs--otherwise known as vanity tops. Kitchen countertops do not work like this, because they require long continuous countertops that extend across multiple base cabinets.
Size makes kitchen counters too difficult for homeowners to handle. But bathroom vanities are a manageable length.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Single-Bowl Integrated Vanity Top
Integrated vanity tops--counter and sink are pre-attached--save installation time because one step of the process is already done for you.
Not only that, sink/counter combinations attached at the factory stand the test of time better than those that are attached by the DIYer. With less chance of leakage, there is another important byproduct: the vanity cabinet itself will last longer.
Integrated tops fall into two types:
Continue to 3 of 5 below.
- Fused: Truly integrated, sink and counter are not only both made of the same material (such as DuPont Corian) but are adhered together to form a smooth, seamless product. Sometimes these are called integral vanity tops.
- Attached: The sink and counter are visibly different elements (as shown here) but have been pre-attached at the factory.
03 of 05
Double Bowl Integrated Bathroom Vanity Top
Buying integrated bath vanity tops can be a great time- and money-saver:
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
- Bowls are built in, so you do not have to install them. They are already installed.
- Bowls are included in the price. So, no extra price for bowls and the few extras that go along with it, like silicone caulk.
- Often backsplashes are molded into the counter, as well.
04 of 05
Single Basin Cut-Out Bathroom Vanity Top
Cut-out vanity tops give you more design flexibility, as this allows 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.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Double Basin Cut-Out Bathroom Vanity Top
Longer vanity tops that have two cut-outs for basins, plus generous counter space, fit base cabinets that stretch as long as 88".