Different bathroom countertops

I hope I can give you some ideas that will help make your bathroom unique and elegant.

Here are some suggestions:

Marbles: There are some options that work in bathrooms, but they are not a good idea for a kitchen. These are cultured marbles (very inexpensive, but usually pre-cast in standard sizes and may not fit your circumstances); onyx (very pretty); and marble. Marble looks elegant, is functional, and comes in a wide range of colors.

These materials would not hold up to the level of use associated with a kitchen, but would hold up well in bathrooms. Onyx is translucent so light coming from one side will make it appear to glow on the other side. This could work well as a window sill or shelf near a window where it catches the light. Another way to use the translucent quality of onyx is to create a small box with a night light inside.

Wood – Most experts will tell you NOT to put wood in your bathroom, as moisture can damage it. Well, if you really want wood in your bathroom, keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule. Remember, in the 1800’s they used to make boats out of wood.

You just need to know what wood to use. Teak, rosewood, and Brazilian epi are extremely dense and oily (and expensive) woods that will hold up very well. Even some of the harder common woods (such as oak and hard maple) will work if you treat them with a coat of marine varnish.

Watch out for Epi. I’ve seen guys try to hammer nails and have the nail bounce off their chest because the wood is so dense. Predrill the holes and use screws. This material is also very good for outdoor furniture.

Another alternative is Bamboo (although it is technically a grass, not a wood). Bamboo is very fibrous and prone to shedding small splinters. But it is very pretty (if you like that look), so make sure you sand it down well and cover it with varnish after you put it on. I prefer “satin” varnish to “gloss”. Just a personal preference.

Laminates – Many people have plastic laminate bathroom countertops, but (like kitchens) they are not pretty once moisture gets between the layers, causing expansion and separation.

So if your budget dictates that you use a laminate, make sure you use an undermount sink and caulk properly. They will also show scratches. Keep sharp things away from children.

Glass – Most people think of something clear and thin when they hear someone mention glass. The glass is available in various thicknesses, up to 1″. It can be given a rounded edge, can be cut to any shape, can be cut for a sink, and is available in a variety of tinted shades as well as milky white. Also you can layer multiple pieces to create unique colors and edge details.

Glass can be a very interesting element in a bathroom. If you are seriously considering a glass countertop for your bathroom, you should first make a template so you can see what the piece will look like before you cut it.

This will also make the supplier feel more comfortable knowing that they have approved the size and shape before cutting the glass. Make sure the provider “moderates” you. That way your glass will be shatter-resistant (but not unbreakable).

Granite (and simulated stone): You have no maintenance issues with either of these. And you will have more edges to choose from than with laminates. If you’re in this financial ball park, your decision will be based on “seeing” more than anything else.

What distinguishes granite from simulated or composite surfaces is the grain and veining often seen in natural stone. The makers of the other tops may say they look like the real thing, but the uniformity of the pattern makes that claim a pipe dream.

Cleaning these covers – Any of these covers can be cleaned with a mild liquid detergent mixed with water. Corian (and other solid surface) tops usually come with a kit so if they get scratched or stained, you can restore them with the kit’s compound and a “scotch-bright” pad.

Never use anything abrasive on tops other than solid surface tops. I can’t think of anything else to tell you, but that doesn’t mean I’ve thought of everything. The best idea is to do extensive shopping before you buy.

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