Stone counters aren't just for the kitchen; they also make a striking addition to the bathroom vanity. Choosing the right type of stone depends on both the look you want and what will work best in the climate of the average bathroom.

#1: Granite

This shimmering stone with its quartz and mica inclusions is by far one of the better options in a bathroom. When properly sealed, it rarely experiences water damage. Sealing will also protect it from stains caused by lotions, creams, and other beauty products. Granite also has some bacteria-resistant qualities.

Granite also provides the greatest options when it comes to color. Whether you want clean white, rich earth tones, or a striking black, there are granite options to fit your design. This stone is also easy to clean. Simply wipe it down with a damp rag when needed. If you want to disinfect the surface, spritz it with rubbing alcohol before wiping it.

#2: Soapstone

Soapstone counters only come in second to granite because you are limited to a single color option – gray. Yet when it comes to bathroom use, it can't be beat. Soapstone is naturally heat resistant, so hot hair irons pose no problem. It's also a non-porous stone, so liquids don't soak in and cause stains. This means there is no need to seal soapstone countertops.

Soapstone does require periodic mineral oil applications. You know an application is necessary when the color lightens to a light gray instead of the usual charcoal.

#3: Slate

Slate comes in third because it is a bit more fragile than the other two options. You are also mainly limited to shades of gray or black, although you may be able to find slate with brown blotches. The thin sheets of slate do have an uneven surface, which can give your bathroom counters a unique and organic appearance.

Much like granite, slate requires proper sealing to resist stains. Sealing is also imperative to keep the stone from chipping. Use a cleaner formulated specifically for stone so the slate doesn't become discolored.

You may have noticed that some popular stone choices didn't make the cut, like limestone and marble. Although you can use these high maintenance stones in the bathroom, you would have to learn to see water stains and discolorations as design elements rather than flaws. Due to the moist environment of the typical bathroom, it's generally better to stick with durable stones that are easily sealed against water damage. Visit a local company like State Stone Corporation Inc. to see the options available for your bathroom.