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How to Choose a Vanity Top for a Bathroom Renovation


So it’s time to discuss vanity tops. A few weeks ago when I shared our marble vanity top I mentioned that I wanted to share about the decision-making process. Choosing a vanity top was a much lengthier and more expensive process than we expected.


If you recall from our original plan, we were saving money in several ways:

  • leaving the existing tub
  • leaving the wall tile surrounding the tub
  • updating our existing mirror {see the finished results here}
  • adding storage with shelves we already owned {see the finished results here}

Therefore, we knew we’d invest our biggest chunk of change in the vanity and vanity top combination. However, when we actually started getting quotes for the vanity top, we experienced some serious sticker shock. Essentially, any material besides cultured marble, fell in the $800-$1100 price range.

Here’s why:

Our vanity was 60″ — which is a standard size — however we wanted two undermount bowls. We found that having two sink bowls quickly limited the standard options. Since one of our main goals in this renovation was to increase from one sink to two sinks, it made no sense to compromise on that. Of course, we could have chosen cultured marble which was the least expensive material. It still was custom {due to the two bowls} which made the total cost around $500; but Mike and I weren’t crazy about the look of cultured marble — and $500 seems like a lot of money to spend on something you don’t really like.

Now — all of this is kind of complicated and wordy. So, I made my first ever infographic to keep this post from turning into a book {and infographics are fun, yo!}.



So, what did we end up choosing? Well, I’m sure you’ve guessed from the photos that we chose marble.

We found a wholesaler in Louisville, Kentucky called Builders Surplus and they gave us a “new” option compared to what we had already seen quoted. We could purchase a minimum 15 sq ft slab and that would come with on-site measurement, full installation, all custom cuts, any edge profile, etc. The problem was that our vanity top was only ~10 sqft plus ~2.5 sqft for the back splash and side splash.

So, we decided to add our downstairs bath into this purchase. Our downstairs bath needs a makeover too {it’s also covered in wallpaper}. Since we had a new vanity top coming, we got to work on updating the vanity, which I’ll share in another post.

I feel weird talking about such big numbers… but I know it’s helpful to me when I see what people actually spent. Also, how much or how little we might spend is based on the long term value to our home and what we have available in the bank — we didn’t finance this project. So here it goes…

The vanities were $1400. If you break it up by sqft, about 60% or $830 went towards the upstairs bath and 40% or $560 went towards the downstairs bath. In other words, approximately $65-70 per sqft.

Also, this included some of our “wish list” details like:

  • rectangle sinks {which are typically only available with a custom vanity top}
  • setting the sink bowls as far apart as possible {leaving more open surface in the center of the vanity top}
  • an eased edge profile {a modern and clean lined edge profile}

Plus, marble is the look that I really loved initially. So, yes we spent more money; but it was better bang for our buck. Now both vanities in our home are complete — in a material that will age beautifully and add value to our home.

Have you ever purchased vanity tops or countertops? Did you experience sticker shock? What materials did you choose and how did you save money?

Joe M

Thursday 6th of January 2022

What sealant did you use to seal up the marble surface? Any sealant that can last for a good few years before resealing is needed? We like marble but maintenance is a headache as we have v hard water hence mineral deposit on surfaces.

Lora Green

Saturday 8th of January 2022

I used Daily Granite by Method as a regular cleaner, which both cleans and protects. We did not have any particular problems with hard water, though. Here is a little more info about care of our vanity top -

Craftivity Designs

Friday 11th of July 2014

thanks :) i'm proud of it ;) lol


Tuesday 24th of June 2014

so pretty! love your infographic :). And, yeah, I think this is definitely a place where it makes sense to spend the money to get what you really want.