Purchasing a Vanity with Countertop vs. Without a Countertop

05 Aug.,2022

 

800mm freestanding vanity unit

If you’re undertaking a bathroom renovation or building an entirely new space, there are many decisions to be made, including whether it makes more sense to purchase a vanity that comes with a pre-fabricated countertop of or if it’s better to buy a vanity separate from a custom made countertop. While many reputable online retailers, such as Wayfair, offer a multitude of vanities that come with pre-made countertops, there are a few drawbacks with this option to consider early on in your bathroom project.

Should you purchase a Wayfair bathroom vanity with or without a countertop?

The vanity is the centerpiece of your bathroom. When selecting your new bathroom countertops, it’s important to explore your options.

The Pros of Purchasing a Bathroom Vanity that Comes with a Countertop 

Convenience

Wayfair allows you to select everything you need for your bathroom project in moments without leaving the comfort of your home. It also lets you to easily compare prices and design styles such as farmhouse living, modern, coastal and traditional, to make it easy for users to narrow down their options. For the homeowner that has limited time or wants the convenience of a one-stop-shop, Wayfair is a solid option for selecting materials for a bathroom project.

Pre-selected design options

Some people are overwhelmed with too many choices. For this reason, some homeowners enjoy Wayfair’s options of vanities that come with set countertop options. By purchasing a vanity with a countertop, a lot of decisions are already made for you – sink shape, faucet configuration and countertop material, color, finish and edging.
Return policy
Wayfair is known for having a stellar return policy. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you’re able to return the item within 30 days of the delivery. Note that special orders may affect return policies. Be sure to carefully review each item’s return policy, available warranties, and protection plans.

The Cons of Purchasing a

 

Bathroom Vanity with Countertop from Wayfair

Measurements are up to you

Are you confident of your ability to accurately measure your space? When you purchase a vanity with an included countertop, measurements must be precise: a quarter-inch error may jeopardize the installation of your vanity, especially if you are installing it between two walls. And if you’re surprised upon arrival, those surprises can easily add more time to the completion of your project as you figure out how to make your countertop fit the space. For free standing vanities, this is not so much an issue.

When ordering a custom vanity top, measurements are left to the professional. Current fabrication technology allows qualified pros to take digital measurements of your project area, ensuring the highest degree of accuracy – leaving you with no surprises.

Limited design options

Yes, this is a pro and a con. Some people are intimidated by too many choices, while others are discerning and particular. Unlike a vanity that comes with a pre-fabricated countertop, when going the route of a custom countertop, the world is your oyster!

If you’re searching for a bathroom vanity that will last a lifetime, it’s important to know the countertop material you are purchasing. For example, a common pre-made vanity countertop material is Carrara marble; even though this stone is popular for its versatility and timelessness, it is not known for durability. Marble is not a recommended stone material for bathroom applications. It is a soft stone that can be easily etched and damaged compared to other natural stones, like granite. Online retailers may want to appease to a large audience by offering beautiful White Carrara marble, but it is not a great option for a bathroom when it comes to durability.

So, by going the custom countertop route, not only are you opening yourself up to a larger selection of natural stone and engineered surfaces for selection, but you also have the liberty to choose your faucet configuration, sink shape and size.

Additional stone elements to match the rest of your bathroom can also be created. If you would like matching countertops, backsplashes, shower shelves or thresholds that match your vanity, a custom fabricator can cut those pieces for you as well to match your countertop selection.

Craftsmanship takes a back seat 

When viewing different vanity options on Wayfair, you’ll notice that there are a lot of vague terms when it comes to material. For example, many product descriptions state that the vanity countertop is made of ‘stone’ without any other detail. This begs the questions, what is this stone made of and is it suitable for a bathroom application that’s prone to dampness, cosmetics and harsh cleaning products? How hard or durable is it? Will it need sealing over its lifetime (like marble and granite)?

Stone colors vary

No natural stone slab is ever the same — each slab contains unique veins, texture and color that will slightly vary.  This natural variation is no problem for homeowners or professionals purchasing a custom vanity countertop from a fabricator because they can select their unique slab before making a purchase.

However, when purchasing a vanity countertop from an online retailer, you won’t really know what color and/or variations your prefabricated vanity countertop includes until it arrives. If you’re okay with some subtleties, this may be acceptable to you. However, if you have the perfect vision in your head of what your new vanity countertop will look like, you may want to reconsider making an online purchase.

Countertops can be damaged in transit

A lot can happen on the way to your home; cracks, scratches and scuffs can occur that can set your project timeline back. Even worse, unnoticed hairline cracks could split countertops during installation. If this happens, we hope that your return policy is still effective, and it has not passed 30 days from the time of delivery. Even though businesses like Wayfair offer free returns, this process will only add more time on to your project.

On the flip side, when you partner with a reputable stone fabricator, they will stand by their products and services. They will also be the professionals installing the countertops and will make sure the finished product lives up to high standards and hopefully, quickly address any issues that arise with your final product moving forward.

In short, if time is of the essence and you would prefer to make fewer decisions when it comes to your bathroom vanity, you can find a good option on Wayfair to support your budget and aesthetic. But for a truly custom look in your bathroom that gives you the flexibility to make decisions specific to your design and requirements, we recommend skipping the pre-fabricated countertop option and seeking the assistance of a custom countertop provider to complement your vanity.

Need help with your next countertop project?

At Academy Marble & Granite, countertops are our specialty. If you have any questions regarding custom countertops for your home, please do not hesitate to contact us.