There are many materials available today that keep cleaning simple.
Solid surface materials such as Corian™ , Staron™ , and Durallure™ are easy to clean and can almost always be brought back to their original condition if neglected for awhile. They are the same material all the way through, and household abrasive cleansers can be used if needed. Bathroom and kitchen sinks are usually under or top mounted in solid surface countertops, if the optional solid surface integral sink is not chosen.
Swanstone™ is another solid surface material manufactured into shower pans, sheets, moldings, and countertops with integral sinks. It is available in a wide variety of solid and aggregate colors. I've installed Swanstone™ shower walls for some of my clients, and they like the simplicity of the seamless walls.
Cultured Marble, though not a solid surface material, is a favorite of many for vanity tops because of their molded-in sink, which eliminates the seam between the sink and counter. Cultured marble can be sanded at the manufacturers facility to achieve the matte look of solid surface materials. It is very cost effective compared to most other counter materials. Its drawback is that after a few years, the area around the drain loses its finish due to the slight amount of water that remains there.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile are timeless classics that, when correctly installed, last for decades. The principle drawback of tile installations has always been maintenance of the grout. This drawback has been largely eliminated by the recent introduction of epoxy grouts into the residential market.
Epoxy Grout has traditionally been used in hospitals, laboratories, and food production facilities for its hygenic and chemical resistance qualities. Normal non-epoxy grout is made of cement and called cementitious grout. Even when mixed with latex admixtures, cementitious grout is still somewhat porous and requires periodic sealing to protect its color. Epoxy grout, such as SpectraLock™ grout by Laticrete International is a virtually non-porous grout. It's a little more expensive and difficult to work with, but it won't absorb colorants found in shampoos and hair rinses, never needs sealing, and can be cleaned with most household non-abrasive cleansers. If you have your heart set on ceramic or porcelain tile, using epoxy grout is a wise choice for a low maintenance installation.
Rick Anderson- Cell 317.513.3715