Tile Versus Granite Bathroom Countertops

granite bathroom counter with double sink
  • 1-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-5,000

Choosing between tile and granite bathroom countertops can be difficult. Both surfaces present unique benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few things to consider before you pick tile or granite for your bathroom countertop.

Tile Bathroom Countertops

When discussing tile for the bathroom, it’s important to distinguish between porcelain tile and ceramic tile. While porcelain tile is technically a type of ceramic tile, it’s widely popular for bathroom counters and floors because it’s virtually 100% waterproof, durable, and harder and denser than ceramic tile.

However, porcelain tile is half again the cost of ceramic tile. It’s also more difficult to work with. Because it is hard and dense it’s more challenging to cut with precision. Ceramic tile may be a better choice for budget and DIY installation reasons, but note it is considerably more porous and will absorb stains.

With a tile countertop, you will be able to achieve a number of different looks. You can do a pattern or a diagonal lay. You can use a number of different sizes and colors, and even place contrasting tiles throughout the design. Tile can be an artistic expression, setting a tone of South American culture, neutral tones, or a colorful statement.

You can also choose between a shiny or matte finish to further designate the look. Tile is also easy to continue as a backsplash up your wall to your desired height.

stone tile bathroom counter and sink

While it looks good, tile isn’t the easiest material to take care of. This is mostly because it is susceptible to stains, especially in the grout lines. For this reason, you’ll want to make the grout line as narrow as possible. Clean it often to try to avoid staining. While regular maintenance will help, you will still need to periodically reseal the grout lines for further protection.

Tile also has the potential to accidentally break. Dropping a hard object on the counter can crack a single tile or multiple tiles. While you can replace a single, or a few tiles, when this happens, it’s not a super simple task.

That being said, tile is a fairly durable finished product. It’s also scratch-resistant and has a slight edge over granite in this regard.

One more characteristic to consider with tile countertops is they don't form a flat surface. This not only encourages the collection of dirt and debris in the cracks, but is something to be aware of when setting items on the surface. A wrong placement might be the difference between red nail polish in the bottle or on the counter.

Granite Bathroom Countertops

granite bathroom countertop

Granite creates a beautiful, solid surface for a bathroom countertop. It’s a natural material that delivers variation in design and comes in myriad colors. You can create different looks with color selections, however, granite doesn’t offer the same level of artistic creativity as individual tiles.

One huge advantage of granite over tiles for your bathroom counter is there will be no grout lines. This erases the need for regular grout cleaning, maintenance, or replacing.

Granite is exceptionally strong--the strongest material on the planet except for diamonds, so it can last a lifetime if you still love the choice you made forty years from now. Granite is very easy to clean, too, and hides debris left behind from many typical daily activities like brushing teeth or applying makeup.

Granite is not, however, maintenance-free. You will need to seal it periodically to achieve the best results.

Cost can be the single deciding factor in the debate between tile and granite. There are few cases where granite is not considerably more expensive than tile. With that in mind, granite will be the better choice for resale if you have any plans to put the home on the market.

Plus, tile installation is a fairly approachable DIY task, while slab granite may be best left up to the professionals.

Tile Granite

Newer to the home material market is tile granite. It’s a less expensive way to have granite countertops and avails to the DIY mindset too. However, it brings with it the challenges associated with grout lines, such as cleaning and sealing. It’s also an uneven surface and doesn’t allow for a lot of creative design.