The design of a vanity not only creates a unique-looking sink, it also allows for easy cleanups.

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Q: We are installing a new vanity and want to have a vanity top instead of a separate countertop and sink. The choice is a little complicated due to all the new styles out there. Can you please give us some vanity top tips?

A: Vanity tops are a good choice in general, since the sink and countertop are one self-supporting unit. Design-wise, this allows for a sleek look since the sink is a seamless depression in the top itself. The design not only can create a unique-looking sink, it also allows for easy cleanups.

The big choice will be picking out the material. Here are four popular materials that I like for vanity tops:

Glass. Thick cast glass tops can provide a contemporary look, especially if you install back lighting.

Vitreous china. Traditional beauty in an affordable package.

Solid surface. This strong manmade composite material is available in many different sizes.

Enameled cast iron. Elegant and strong, cast iron is also a green material, making it a top choice for a vanity top.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. For more information, visit eddelgrande.com.