sinks and vanities from stone and engineered materials

Opinion: best material for sinks and vanities


When choosing natural stone or any hi-tec material for your bathroom vanity or kitchen sink, it is important to see that it has the lowest possible porosity, which makes it resistant to moisture. Low porosity equals to low absorbency. Your bathroom vanity should be easy to clean and maintain, not causing you headaches with requiring special care. Its surface shouldn't be sensitive to soaps, toothpastes, and chemical agents often used in the bathroom. In other words, a perfect bathroom vanity will be stain-resistant, low maintenance, and practical in wet environment. Of course, it is very important that it has good looks! 


So, a crucial feature of a sink or washbasin material is low porosity. Non-porous sink does not absorb water, so it's not prone to staining, and it doesn't provide a favorable environment for mold and bacteria to grow. You can pour strongly staining liquids into a non-porous sink, and there will be no stains. Such a sink requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking great. The lower the porosity of the material, the better. So, what materials are the most convenient for a bathroom sink? Let's compare a few options.


One of the most practical materials for a bathroom vanity is acrylic solid surface. With solid surface, fabricators can create sinks, basins, or vanities of any shape and size. Moreover, sinks can be seamlessly integrated into solid surface vanity tops. Solid surface allows to seamlessly connect the sink, countertop, and splashwall. Such vanities have no visible joints at the collision sites. The internal corners of the sink are slightly rounded during manufacturing, and no sharp collision lines between the surfaces remain. Such sinks are easy to clean. 


Acrylic solid surface has almost zero porosity, and doesn't allow bacteria and mold to grow even in very damp bathrooms. Bacteria and fungi do not multiply on solid surface because they usually thrive on dirt trapped in microscopic cracks and persistent moisture. Solid surface countertops with integrated sinks are particularly convenient in high traffic public places (e.g., restrooms) with plenty of moisture. Acrylic solid surface sinks are desirable in medical institutions where high requirements for hygiene is the priority. Most acrylic solid surface brands have hygiene certificates. 


Solid surface vanities with integrated sinks are very convenient in irregularly shaped or small bathrooms to compactly fill the space with the countertop's plane, especially if there are curved corners, protruding pipes, or other rounded details. In other words, solid surface can smoothly and practically solve small bathroom problems by optimally utilizing the space. However, acrylic solid surfaceis less scratch-resistant than other artificial stone materials.


Excellent materials for bathroom vanities are engineered quartz, and ceramics and porcelain, whose water absorbency is almost zero, just like that of solid surface. All these materials are used for fabricating sinks. If your vanity is fabricated from engineered quartz, porcelain or ceramics, the seam between the sink and the countertop will be visible. Moisture and dirt will accumulate more in the corners, as they cannot be rounded like when fabricating sinks from solid surface. However, this is not a problem - they can be cleaned with a brush. Quartz, ceramics, and porcelain are resistant to moisture and chemicals, and are easy to maintain.


In the bathroom, an ordinary ready-made white or black ceramic sink will also look great when placed on elegant quartz, ceramic, or porcelain countertop. So it may be enough just to order the fancy quartz vanity top from a stone fabricator, and to place a self-standing sink of your choice on it. A more expensive alternative to engineered quartz, porcelain and ceramic surface is sintered stone, but as you probably won't take advantage of those great sintered stone properties in the bathroom, it is not reasonable pricewise to place it there. It is better not to overpay and choose other equally beautiful materials for your bathroom vanity instead.


Natural stone sinks and vanities look great in the bathroom, but are not very practical if it is used frequently. Natural stone in the bathroom requires more care than artificial stone. All natural stones are porous, so water seeps into them. Wet stone takes a long time to dry out until all the moisture evaporates from the inside. In order to maintain the perfect appearance, natural stone products need to be impregnated periodically and not allowed to stay damp. Otherwise, stone surfaces become stained and mould may appear. Impregnation protects the stone surface from water absorption and the appearance of stains. Once impregnated, water no longer penetrates into the stone, so it becomes less prone to staining. You will need to impregnate natural stone products at least once or twice a year. If you don't mind the care and hassle, natural stone is an excellent choice in all other respects.


The most practical from natural stones in the bathroom are granite or quartzite. Marble, travertine, or onyx vanities will be highly sensitive to moisture and acids found in cleaning agents. If you have sinks and countertops made of these stones in your bathroom, you need to be very careful. Acids corrode marble, onyx, or travertine more than granite or quartzite, and they will change color faster from chemicals. Stone is a highly porous material and absorbs liquids, so natural stone countertops in the bathroom need to be regularly sealed and impregnated. Stone impregnators close the pores of the stone, preventing liquids from entering them. As impregnators wash off or evaporate over time, you will need to reapply them.


The least practical choice in the bathroom is exotic stone countertops. Exotic stone slabs are better suited for decorating walls or furniture surfaces that don't come in contact with water.

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