The surfaces in the bathroom are exposed to extreme temperatures from steam and from appliances, such as hair dryers, curling irons and other hair appliances. Some of the appliances can even cause marks or burns to appear unsightly and may not be easily removed.

There are natural and man-made surfaces available for a bathroom counter top. Man-made surfaces include laminates and formica. They are often chosen for the low cost and the ease of cleaning surfaces with soap and water. However, laminate or formica can easily be burned by appliances and can come away from the base of the counter when exposed to moisture from a steamy shower.

Natural surfaces include marble, ceramic tile, granite and cement. Ceramic tile can hold up to heat, but may be chipped or cracked when heavy items are dropped on it. It does hold up to extreme temperatures and can look very attractive on the top of a vanity. If it does get damaged, it provides the advantage of requiring replacement of the individual tile, which is very inexpensive. Marble can withstand high temperatures, but can become stained over time. It will then need to be sanded or replaced in extreme circumstances. Under some circumstances, marble can also chip or crack.

Standard bathroom counter top may not stand up to intense heat.

The best materials to withstand the extreme warmth and heat from appliances are granite or cement. Cement can now have color chips added, to make it more attractive and to blend with a room’s decor. If used for a bathroom counter, it must be mixed and poured properly, with the right amount of time to allow it to set up properly. Otherwise, it can also crack over time.

Granite is a great substance to use on any vanity or bathroom surface. It comes in a variety of color shades to coordinate with walls, floors and fixtures. It stands up to both moisture and heat. It cleans easily and lasts a long time. It may cost more than other materials, but can provide a look of elegance that man-made materials may not offer.

While there are many types of materials used for a bathroom counter top, those that are made of natural stone are best able to withstand the elements of the bathroom. Some cheaper materials are easy to care for, but will not offer the durability of natural stone materials. The extra money spent on better materials is worth the cost when the life of the surface is considered.