how to repair or inexpensively replace vanity top?

weedyacresMarch 2, 2014

We're in the midst of a super-low-budget DIY whole-house remodel. In our $2500 bathroom, our 24" vanity has a "granite" top that we got from CL for $75. Seemed like the perfect solution.

However, it got a couple scratches very early on, and last weekend acquired a chip in the corner. I was working the in bathroom, but recall no traumatic dropping event that would have chipped a piece of rock. So I'm thinking that it's not real stone. Here's a close-up that shows the chip and the 2 scratches.

I've been
1. Watching CL for replacement options (none yet)
2. Called a granite place to inquire about remnants ($300 for fabrication!!)
3. Checked big box options. There's a $129 24" option from Menards, but it's 22" deep and 4" centerset, and I need 10" deep and widespread faucets.

If there's a way to repair this, I'm game. But given its relative fragility, I'm more inclined to replace it, especially before I do the backsplash. I'm not wedded to a natural stone, so open to other classic-looking options for our 1920 house if there's a budget option.

It also doesn't have to be black. Anything in the grayish to black range will work.

Help!

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Trebruchet

You could give this a shot:

Here is a link that might be useful: UV repair

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:55AM
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gmp3

Call several granite places, I had luck at a fabricator who had extra remnants hanging around, and let him complete when he was not busy. However prices varied wildly, and the smaller places were willing to make a deal.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:09PM
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jrueter

Have you looked for a soapstone remnant? You can DIY the fabrication.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 7:36PM
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weedyacres

Thanks. I'll do some more shopping around, and check into soapstone as well.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:10PM
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weedyacres

Update: I called a few more granite places and they were still wanting $50-60/sf for fabricated remnants.

But, I traveled to San Antonio from my small-town midwestern habitat, and so I called around places along the route shopping for soapstone remnants. A place in Dallas had an irregular chunk sufficient to make my vanity top and it cost me just $80. Woo hoo!!!

I hauled it home in the truck, and am looking forward to honing my skills (pun intended) on this hunk of rock in the next few weeks, as soon as I finish the kitchen cabinets I'm in the middle of.

I've read up a bit on how to cut it, but I'm worried about the round cut for the sink and how to do that well.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:50PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

Would one of the rectangular shaped sinks be easier to use? Cutting a rectangle versus a oval seems easier.

If not could you clamp or affix somehow a jig of hose/tubing to help cut an oval?

Or would one of the smaller fabricators cut the opening for a minimal price?

This post was edited by rnmomof2 on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 21:24

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:22PM
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scpalmetto

Around here the cost of fabricating includes a visit to the house to template and measure for the sink and faucet holes. If you were willing to gamble and template yourself and haul your piece of stone to a fabricator they might make the cuts for a more reasonable price. be prepared to live with the results though in case you didn't measure correctly.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:21PM
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enduring

Is your soapstone soft? If it is you can try using a jigsaw to cut around the hole, or a carbide router bite, once you have a hole drilled. It the stone is a harder variety, it might be too much for you. I have done soft soapstone (can scratch with your fingernail) with good luck, but the hard soapstone, (the kind that doesn't scratch with your fingernail) you probably wont be happy with the results. But that has been my luck. The straight cuts should do well with either, but the curves and the finishing are different. I had a plan to make my second sink for the current remodel and couldn't finish the surface with my tools, I would have needed stone sanding tools. So I scraped the plan. My first sink and counters turned out fabulous, but it was very easy to file and sand by hand. I have such a rough grit on the surface that I don't ever see any scratches.

I love this, and they are all remnant no larger than 12" wide, except for the base of the sink:

A link that you may have seen, or maybe not.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Soapstone People Show Your Counters !

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:54PM
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weedyacres

enduring: I've seen that thread and your impressive handiwork. But I had no clue that there was soft and hard soapstone. I'll have to scratch it and see. Am I screwed if it's hard? Or is the hard stone still easy enough to do straight cuts on?

My concern is that a jigsaw cut won't likely be perfect...is sanding sufficient to make up for the imperfection? I was thinking a router would be the way to go, but I need something in the exact shape, like a plywood template, to run the bearing against and keep it perfect, and I don't know that I could make a perfect plywood template with a jigsaw either, though it would certainly be easier than the soapstone.

The square/rectangular sink is a brilliant idea. I'm going to look into that.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:01PM
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