If not granite, then what?

treasurethedayMay 6, 2012

As I type, I can hear the sounds of our guest bathroom being torn apart so I guess we're really going to do this(!)

I haven't even posted the before and after pics of my year-long masterbath reno. I kept thinking that we'd be finishing the last details any day now...

So, it's on to my teenage son's & guest bathroom. This will be a much simpler project because we're not moving any plumbing, just replacing and upgrading. The look that we all seem to agree on is slate in the copper/brown/blue shades. I'm looking for a porcelain tile that looks as real as possible, Florida Tile's Legend in the Magna color is an HD porcelain and the best I've seen so far. I'd love any other suggestions you may have.

In our master, we chose a beautiful but very busy granite so we kept our tile more subdued. This room will probably be the opposite. I imagine that if we do go with "slate" on the floor and tub surround, we'll need a very quiet countertop. I tend to love granite that has alot of movement so it may be easier to go in a different direction. I'm aware of that there are other options but I don't know much about them. Quartz? Caesarstone? Silestone?

If you have any of these materials, what would you suggest? Tomorrow I'll be looking at tile and granite to see if something speaks to me. Is one of the big box stores the best place to look at alternative counter materials?

Thanks for your help! I have a feeling that even this "simple" bathroom makeover is going to trigger my obsessive tendencies!

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Cesarstone and Silestone are two different brand names of engineered quartz. Cambria is another brand name. I have solid color engineered quartz in both my kitchen and my teenager/guest bath: Caesarstone Blizzard (white) in the kitchen and Cambria "Fieldstone" (dark grey) in the guest bath I posted recently.

Engineered quartz is a great, easy maintenance surface and comes in umpteen different solid colors as well as some designs that are speckeled or patterned, intended to mimic stone. I highly recommend this surface it for the bath and I'm sure you can find colors that go with your scheme. Some stoneyards have engineered quartz as well, where you can view the actual slabs. I would go to a trusted fabricator over the box stores to look at samples otherwise. Make sure the fabricator has a lot of experience with quartz.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cambria design link

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Look at Rondine's Fontana Mystique Black for tile.. It looks very realistic and has a wide range of colors.

For the countertop.. there are lots of options.. wood, concrete, glass, soapstone..

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:01PM
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I used Silestone "Blanco City" for the counter in the kids bath. The counter is easy to maintain and this shade has a lot of browns and grays you can pick up. We used a dark gray on the walls but I think blue, green or beige would look nice, too.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We used caesarstone quartz in our kitchen and we love it, but in the bath we went with corian as it is softer and warmer and I love the seamless sink for ease of cleaning. We used it for the vanity, shower surround and the seat in the shower and we are pleased with our choice.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Your Corian looks beautiful, AnnieDeighnaugh. Corian is a choice that often gets scoffed at on this forum, but we used it in our guest bath and it looks so much softer and warmer than stone. In our master we did quartz. We're happy with both, and both materials come in quiet, pretty shades that would complement your slate.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:06AM
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I used Cambria Sussex in my kitchen because I was using a very busy darker marble for my backsplash. I really like it.

The big box stores do have a nice display of different materials. I think my HD has Silestone, Corian, granite and a few other options.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:03PM
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My first attempt at posting pictures...let's see if it works.

My Cambria Sussex From May 7, 2012 From Judy's New Kitchen

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We talked to a lot of people before we decided. We definitely wanted a seat in the shower and everyone we talked to said granite was really cold on the butt. Especially as we made the shower a steam shower and intended to spend a fair amount of time sitting, we wanted it warmer...corian does that.

But we had to have a special frame made to support the corian as it is not structural by itself.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:28PM
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How about Vetrazzo! Very cool stuff and very pretty. Not cheap. http://www.vetrazzo.com/eng No, I don't sell or install it ;-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Thanks for the great ideas and especially the pictures which are a huge help. After spending yesterday looking at countless tiles and granites, I've decided that the tile selection needs to come first and independent of countertop selection since the tile is proving to be more challenging on this project. Once that is decided, I'm confident that I'll be able to choose an engineered stone to compliment it. I may consider doing a black granite in a honed or leather finish. Any thoughts, concerns or experience with that?

Is it easiest to look at the main manufacturers' websites to get an idea of the engineered quartz colors and patterns? Is it then a matter of calling around to see who has a large enough piece in stock or is it something that you would order? (Sorry if those are dumb questions but I'm used to walking up and down the aisles of the slab warehouses until I found "the one.")

Thanks again for your input!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:46PM
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I have *polished* black granite for the kitchen counter and would not recommend it for a bathroom because of water stains. Also, it absorbs a lot of light.

Leather finish or honed black granite would look great on a floor. Just take a sample of the tile to a big box or quartz distributor / installer and see what looks best for the counter.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:57PM
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We did a concrete countertop in our kids' bathroom when we remodeled it last year. We wanted a more modern feel in there. We all absolutely loved that bathroom...in fact, I kind of wanted to switch bathrooms with the kids!

We're building now, and I didn't spend any money upgrading any of counters in the bathrooms, otherwise I would have definitely used it again.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Now that we've had our concrete sink for a few days, I'm really liking it, so I wanted to echo cbusmomof3's suggestion.

Have you seen Beaglesdoitbetter's wave concrete sink/countertop? If not, pictures are here in this post.

Google searches also turn up a variety of interesting options for concrete sinks and countertops. I really like the ammonites embedded in these.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:22PM
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I've encountered several granite dealers/fabricators that offer AMAZING prices on granite remnants from other projects. Given the price discount, and the fact that a bathroom doesn't have to match as much and is less of a focal point than, say, a kitchen, I was able to find several nice remnants that I liked a lot and would work with my style/size. Go to a granite yard and see if you can find a remnant that catches your fancy and will fit.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:41PM
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With quartz, if you are going for a pattern without alot of movement, it is pretty consistent in color and pattern. My kitchen place has 12"X12" pieces to look at of Cambria so that was enough for something with a sutble pattern and probably even enough for me with more movement.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:59PM
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Does anyone know what color Corian that is in the picture posted by AnnieDeighnaugh on Sun, May 6, 12 at 22:50, above? I really like that, but don't see anything that looks like it on the Corian website.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Never mind, I found it. It's Egyptian Copper, but it's been discontinued. Really pretty color, though.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 1:12PM
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