Bathroom countertop ideas – 10 ways to update your space

These characterful bathroom countertop ideas will define the look of your space

selection of bathroom countertop ideas
(Image credit: Interior Impressions/BC Designs/Mason Du Monde)

Upgrading your bathroom design with one of these bathroom countertop ideas is a great and cost-effective way to breathe new life into your space. Countertops have the power to make or break your room. Despite only taking up a small part of the room’s floorplan, they are eye-catching and define the overall look. 

When choosing the right countertop to incorporate into your bathroom ideas, it is important to consider appearance, durability and the maintenance it requires in equal measure. 

Then, once you've decided which of these bathroom countertop ideas is the right choice for your space, also take some time to discover the best ways for organizing a bathroom countertop as it will help you to keep your necessities to hand without compromising the appearance of your new countertops.

Bathroom countertop ideas

When researching bathroom countertop ideas your first thought should be about whether they can be incorporated into bathroom vanity ideas. These two features work hand in hand. Some vanities will come with in-built bathroom countertops, while others will require you to select separate bathroom countertop ideas.

Next, think about your priorities for the space and the look you want to achieve. If you're looking to create an industrial look then zinc or other metal bathroom countertop ideas are good options, while marble or natural stone lend themselves to high-end aesthetics befitting luxury bathroom ideas. If you're searching for the best countertop to add to your family bathroom ideas then durability will be key – consider granite or quartz.

It is essential that, whichever bathroom countertop you select, it is up to the job. Therefore, it needs to be protected against humidity and water. Stone, wood and concrete will all need sealing, your supplier will be able to advise on specific products. On the other hand, tile, quartz and solid surface materials are all impervious to water without additional treatment. Some materials will need regular re-sealing to maintain their protection.

1. Opt for upcycled bathroom countertop ideas to add character

white bathroom with panelling, double mirrors, vintage vanity unit, white basin, wall lights

(Image credit: BC Designs)

Adding upcycled furniture to your bathroom is a great and sustainable way to add character to what can be a clinical space. Dressers and cabinetry also offer lots of bathroom storage ideas which will help you to keep your bathroom tidy.

Typically, upcycled furniture will be wooden, and therefore need additional protection and sealing to prevent it warping and rotting in the moist and humid bathroom environment.

‘When opting for reclaimed furniture, you need to make sure that the piece you choose is suitable. Opt for furniture that is solid and sturdy, especially if you are going for a heavy basin as it will weigh even more when full of water! If you opt for a piece with a wooden countertop, you’ll also need to apply several coats of marine-grade varnish to give it the protection it needs,’ says Barrie Cutchie, Design Director at BC Designs.

2. Quartz brings durable elegance to your bathroom countertop ideas

granite countertop in bathroom with twin sinks and three mirrors on wall

(Image credit: Interior Impressions)

Made from crushed quartz crystals, quartz is one of the most durable and beautiful countertop materials. Quartz is engineered, so unlike other materials, doesn’t need regular sealing as it's naturally impervious to water. Furthermore, it's also stain and scratch resistant making it a great choice for busy family bathrooms.

‘We love to use quartz because it is one of the most durable and hardworking materials, which is what you want for your bathroom. A high use space like a bathroom that experiences a lot of moisture needs a no-fuss, versatile countertop,’ says Amy Leferink, owner at Interior Impressions.

3. Select marble countertop ideas for added luxury

bathroom with navy panels and marble countertop with basin

(Image credit: Drummonds)

While only taking up a small area of the bathroom, the countertop offers the opportunity to add a touch of luxury to your space. As it is only a small surface, you can afford to splash out on a more high-end material like marble.

‘Marble is a wonderfully versatile material and a classic choice which will stand the test of time’ says James Lentaigne, Creative Director at Drummonds. ‘Available in a whole spectrum of colorways it is elegant and sophisticated and is also incredibly durable if well sealed and regularly maintained.’

Channel ultimate luxury by incorporating multiple marble bathroom ideas into your space and extend the look beyond the bathroom walls and floors.

4. Glass provides minimalist bathroom countertop ideas

glass countertop with ornate patterned basin and taps in wall

(Image credit: London Basin Co)

Offering slim sight-lines and a minimalist appearance, glass is a popular bathroom countertop material for pairing with minimalist bathroom vanities. 

'As well as being beautiful, glass countertops are also a practical solution for small bathrooms as they reflect light and create the illusion of larger space, as there is no obstruction to the eyeline,' says Anna Callis, founder and designer at London Basin Company, 'Glass countertops work particularly well with highly decorative basins; as they provide a soft juxtaposition letting the ornate pattern steal the show.'

Plus since they are waterproof and stain resistant, they are relatively maintenance free save for regular cleaning with a glass cleaner and cloth. 

5. Add natural beauty with stone countertop ideas

bathroom with stone countertop, orante mirror, wall lights and blue paneled wall

(Image credit: Mason Du Monde)

Stone is a timeless bathroom countertop idea for any style of bathroom, bringing with it a natural charm that is impossible to replicate with man-made materials. Natural stone includes a range of different materials including granite, marble and natural quartz. A versatile material, it can look equally stunning as part of sleek modern bathroom ideas as it can in a cute cottage bathroom design

Creating an elegant focal point stone bathroom countertop ideas are a beautiful choice for bathrooms large and small. Aside from needing annual sealing, natural stone worktops are hard-wearing and will last a lifetime. Consider pairing with a stone floor – there are plenty of different stone flooring types to suit every style – to create harmony throughout your space. 

6. Evoke country charm with wooden bathroom countertop ideas

bathroom storage vanity with wooden countertop and ceramic basin

(Image credit: Neptune)

Wood brings with it a softer look to the bathroom, adding warmth and character in equal measure. 'Natural elements, like wicker baskets, wood countertops, or even the inclusion of a house plant, is also a great way to create a peaceful space,’ says George Miller, home designer at Neptune. Due to its natural charm, it is also a great choice for adding to country bathroom ideas or cottage bathroom ideas

However, wood is naturally a porous material and as such needs regular sealing in order for it to withstand the humidity and moisture in the bathroom. Typically, purpose made bathroom furniture will have already been treated, though repurposed pieces of hallway or living room furniture will need additional treatment. Opt for a deep basin alongside your countertop to limit splashing.

7. Select concrete bathroom countertop ideas to imbue your space with a modern look

concrete basin and countertop in bathroom with white metro tiles on wall

(Image credit: Kast)

A more modern choice of bathroom countertop, concrete is becoming increasingly popular. Extremely hard wearing and versatile, it ‘combines the characteristics of natural stone with the ability to be cast into any shape,’ says Amy Bartlett, product designer at Kast Concrete Basins

Often crafted into a piece with a seamlessly integrated sink, they are loved for their textural variation and uniqueness. ‘These idiosyncrasies add character and depth to create a distinctive aesthetic that can transform the look and feel of any space,’ continues Amy. Naturally porous, concrete countertops will need sealing, however many companies will ensure their product is completely sealed before installation.

Pair with subway bathroom tile ideas to embody modern bathroom design and create a functional yet on-trend space that's brimming with character.

8. Embrace industrial style with zinc bathroom countertop ideas 

butler sink style basin on zinc countertop

(Image credit: Shaws of Darwen)

If you’re looking to channel an industrial look in your bathroom then zinc is a great choice of countertop material. Naturally anti-bacterial and non-porous, it is a great choice for the bathroom. 

With natural character, zinc ages over time bringing with it an ever-changing patina which instantly adds character. Zinc cabinetry can be repurposed to create a characterful washstand, alternatively, zinc sheeting can be moulded and installed as a separate countertop. 

9. Consider solid surface for affordable bathroom countertop ideas

solid surface countertop with marble look and inbuilt basin

(Image credit: Britton)

While the materials for other bathroom countertop ideas are fairly self-explanatory, solid surface is a little more complicated. Solid surface bathroom countertop ideas are comprise of mineral dust, mostly marble, which has been combined with resins and pigments to create a hardwearing surface.

'Considered superior to other affordable worktop options, such as laminate, as it is strong, hardwearing, and repairable. A solid surface worktop is also highly stain and scratch resistant, and a great choice for the style-conscious, as it can mimic expensive worktop alternatives, such as marble and concrete,' says Richard Ticehurst, brand expert at Crosswater.

In addition to its durability, solid surface bathroom countertop ideas are also low-maintenance and easy to clean. 'However, it isn’t resistant to extreme heat, so it’s important to protect it when using straighteners or curling irons,' explains Richard.

10. Add a pop of color with tiled bathroom countertop ideas

green tiled countertop with freestanding basin and art deco wallpaper

(Image credit: Tile Mountain)

While bathrooms and tiles go hand in hand, it is slightly more unusual to find them used as part of bathroom countertop ideas. However, it is a great way to add contrasting colour and character to your bathroom ideas. ‘Tiles are very hard wearing and straightforward to keep clean. If using a ceramic or porcelain tile, these generally do not require any sealing and are very easy to maintain,’ says Colin Lincoln-Evans, head of buying at Tile Mountain.

Having decided on tiles for your bathroom countertop ideas, your next step is to choose the right bathroom tile ideas for your space. Whether you're looking for subway bathroom tile ideas or small bathroom tile ideas, there are plenty of designs for every space and taste.

‘We would recommend using a grout that is both water repellent and mould resistant, and if light in color, we would recommend applying a grout protector to this to help fend off any discoloring from soaps or dirt that may come into contact with it,’ advices Colin.

Can a new countertop give a vanity a new look?

Replacing your bathroom countertop is a great way to refresh an old bathroom vanity. Worn surfaces will quickly age a bathroom vanity, so updating it is a great way to breathe new life into your bathroom furniture. Plus, it is also a fairly cost-effective way to reinvigorate your space and will cost a fraction of the amount of replacing the whole vanity unit.

What is the best thing for cleaning countertops?

A non-abrasive household cleaner or a mild dish soap and a standard cleaning cloth are the best things for cleaning countertops. If correctly sealed, then all surfaces should be relatively easy to maintain. Of course, some materials such as marble and stone will require a specialist cleaning product as these materials can react with traditional cleaning products. 

Holly Reaney
Holly Reaney

Having graduated with a first class degree in English Literature four years ago, Holly started her career as a features writer and sub-editor at Period Living magazine, Homes & Gardens' sister title. Working on Period Living brought with it insight into the complexities of owning and caring for period homes, from interior decorating through to choosing the right windows and the challenges of extending. This has led to a passion for traditional interiors, particularly the country-look. Writing for the Homes & Gardens website as a content editor, alongside regular features for Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors magazines, has enabled her to broaden her writing to incorporate her interests in gardening, wildlife and nature.