Honest thoughts on cultured marble in a master bath reno??

lauren0319October 16, 2013

Excuse me if I ramble. I'll try not to ;)
We're completely redoing our master bathroom. Not a super tight budget but not endless either. We're pretty much in our forever home and want to do it correctly the first time. That said, I actually like the look and maintenance of cultured marble. Our current vanity countertop is cultured marble. It's about 23 years old and it really has held up well. I love the integrated sinks and ease of keeping it clean. I really have no complaints. In fact, the only reason I'm replacing it is because it's split level and I despise that! Plus, we're extending our vanity a few inches and of course need the counter top to match.
I mentioned this yesterday to a friend whose opinion I respect. She said I should reconsider cultured marble. She lives in a nice home that was built just 5 years ago and already her cultured marble is quite dinged up. (she's very tidy so I was surprised!) She said she would never do cultured marble again. I even went in her home to look and mine, which is quadruple the age, is in MUCH better condition.
So now I wonder, has the quality of cultured marble gone downhill since mine was installed 2 decades ago? Are there different brands and are some better than others? Or should I just bite the bullet, spend the extra $1K and get something else. Did I mention I LOVE the integrated sinks that cultured marble provides?
Wwyd? No one goes into our master bath but us. I've purchased super nice Moen widespread faucets and accessories. The vanity will be pretty- not super high-end but nice. Will I regret the cultured marble? If so, what type of countertop should I consider?

Inspiration pics



Thanks for your thoughts!!

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Cultured marble is a product that 's been used in abundance for many years, and mostly in builders grade houses. If you want to kick it up a notch, use a different product. There are many other 'faux' products that are easy maintenance and visually appealing. Corian, to name just one.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:10PM
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We recently replaced our 16 year old cultured marble (think swirly green) in our master bath but went with a different, but similar product called the onyx collection. A couple years ago we replaced our kids black cultured marble sink with the onyx collection. We used the same product for our walk-in doorless shower and it's a snap to keep clean. I'm not home so can't send a picture but we have a tiramasu deck with coconut "wave style" integrated bowl, similar to your first pinterest link. It looks sleek and modern. In our kids bath we used cappuchino. I just use the Gel Gloss product to wipe it down and it looks great.

We have Corian as our kitchen countertops and I would choose the onyx collection over either the Corian or cultured marble for a bath. I've heard onyx collection customer service is fantastic but haven't had to utilize it.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.onyxcollection.com/

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:24PM
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When we were building our home 2.5 years ago (custom build) I also thought that plain, white, cultured marble would be a great choice for my children's bathrooms. Indestructible, easy to decorate around, easy to clean, and a cost savings! Everyone thought I was nuts...our builder had never even used it. So, concerned I was making some kind of dire faux pas, and damning my house to scorn and derision, :) I managed to find some pretty granite remnants and used them. And honestly, while I do like the Typhoon Bordeaux in ds's bath...I really don't care for the Kashmir White in dd's bath.
It is too strong of a statement in there. The cultured marble would have
looked better, to me. It is your bathroom, and if you like the form and functionality of cm, use it. I would check, like you said, to determine if there are different quality levels. Our first home, which was built in '97 had it, and it held up beautifully.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:38PM
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There are honed finishes now which I think take cultured marble up a notch, making it look less plastic. You didn't say why you like the integrated sinks so much, but doing an undermount also makes it look less like a builder's selection, imo. I don't think cleaning an undermount is a big deal, and I guess I've seen the integral sinks start to go before the counter. Maybe due to abrasive cleaners.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 16:20

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:39PM
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My honest opinion is that it looks a little plasticky and cheap. BUT it isn't my bathroom, it's your bathroom and if you aren't planning to sell any time soon, then get what you like! Your house, your decision!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Like you, I decided to stay with a cultured marble vanity top in our powder room remodel because the old one held up so beautifully in a room prone to abuse (ours is a very male household). The old sink was 25-30 years old and in fine shape -- just a dated style and wrong color. Certainly a low maintenance product.

I'm delighted with the new cultured marble sink after a year. It still looks like new. The cultured marble styling is good too -- more realistic looking, no cheesy swirls of color, and the rectangular design is very contemporary. Design-wise, CM sinks have come a long way from the 70s and 80s.

When doing research, I had read you need to be mindful about temperature extremes to avoid crazing -- neither scalding nor freezing.

So I'd say it's just a matter of do you want something luxurious or not. If you'll be happy with cultured marble, then get it. If you're worried about resale value, new owners can replace a vanity top easily enough with the luxury product of their own choice...and on their dime.

This is Home Depot's St. Paul brand, the color is white quartz. I'm painting the cabinet black right now.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:02PM
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This is our cultured marble top installed 2007. It is supposed to be white on white swirl, but you can barely see the swirls. It has held up well, and we just clean it with Scrubbing Bubbles or Clorox Greenworks. It was not cheap! The original top had an ogee edge that did not work with being next to the wall.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Don't let your dh run hot water while shaving. It ruined his sink in our cultured marble in our old house.

With that being said, I got corian for the same price as cultured marble in my kids baths in this house 8 yrs ago. I only had a couple of colors to choose from, but they were nice neutrals.

I got quartz remnants for 2 vanities that will be going into an office that I am remodeling, at a very reasonable price.

Personally, I would not put cultured marble in a master bath remodel.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:10PM
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lauren, my cultured marble is about 5 years old and still looks great, so I wonder if your friend just got hers from a bad fabricator, or it was a bad batch of stuff.

I've been trying to decide the same thing when I replace the counter in my other bathroom. I've thought about granite or marble to increase sale value, but if we don't sell, I don't want to be stuck with granite or marble.

My dd has granite throughout her house and there is always a puddle of water around the faucet in her guest bathrooms because no one ever wipes the drips (except me). What I love about the cultured marble is the recessed ring around the sink so water drips run back into the sink.

I can't really tell how the Onyx Collection differs from cultured marble. They're both made from a resin.

This post was edited by marti8a on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 17:27

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:22PM
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I put it in about 6 months ago. I love it. It's speckled, looks a lot like corian, I chose a matte finish.

When I clean it, (gently) it looks clean and stays clean for a long time. I've had tile before, hated it, grout is not really practical in a shower. It has come a long way from 20 years ago.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I don't like it because everyone I've had or seen in a house was damaged in some way. Burn marks from curling irons, spider web cracks, etc. Even homes that were cared for. I would do corian or swanstone if that is the type of look you wanted.

We did granite in our master bath for literally just about $25 more than laminate. Never considered cultured marble so could not compare.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:10PM
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You might also want to check out Swanstone.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We used corian in our master bath and we're pleased with it...

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:10PM
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I put it in about 6 months ago. I love it. It's speckled, looks a lot like corian, I chose a matte finish.

When I clean it, (gently) it looks clean and stays clean for a long time. I've had tile before, hated it, grout is not really practical in a shower. It has come a long way from 20 years ago.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:18AM
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You might want to consider Formican's Solid Surface material instead of the cultured marble. Has integrated sinks & if necessary can be repaired.

Here is a link that might be useful: Formica Solid Suface

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Wow! Thank you all for responding. You gave me a lot to think about :)
awm03- your vanity is beautiful!!! I love that!
beverly- is that your bathroom? Gorgeous!!

I also am not fond of the ogee edge, gsciencechick. Yours looks great!

lol- I still don't know what to do! Looks like I need to price it all out.

Another reason I like integrated sinks is bc honestly, that's one less thing to buy, or 2 in my case bc we have a duel vanity. So not only is sold surface more $$$$ but I would need to add on an extra ~$400 for undermount sinks.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Lauren, this is an old picture and not very good. But it is a picture of one of my bathrooms with Corian with integrated sink...all one piece. No extra sink to buy.

Just thought I would throw that out for you.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 2:58PM
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i've had cultured marble with integrated sinks before and it held up well except in my sink where i often ran hot water... hot water can cause crazing and my sink certainly had a good amount of crazing after 6-7 yrs. my kids' sinks and husband's were fine- probably because they only use cold or warm water...

kohler makes cast iron vanity tops with an integrated sink in some great colors which i've seen in showrooms which look really nice, but only in 2 single sink vanity sizes i believe.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Have a pure white culture marble top that came with a Home Depot vanity in my bathroom now for 3 years. I don't mind it- no issues yet. Size was a big factor in my decision since it is only 18"deep and that makes it hard to work in an undermount sink. Anyways no issues with staining, I can see little scratches if the light hits it the right way but that could be the cleanser too. I changed to using a soft rh and mild soap onpretty much everything in my house.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 2:16PM
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We had put in when our home was built...1980. It got scratched up so much with only normal wear and tear.

One more thing - I love the undermount sinks we have now, with granite tops.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 2:47PM
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I have cultured marble in both bathrooms, and I want to get rid of it. It is 20 years old, and in excellent condition. I just don't prefer the look of it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:42PM
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As one poster mentioned, Swanstone is an excellent alternative to cultured marble, and extremely durable. We've also got several new colors, The Altitude Series, that mimic the look and depth of natural stone. Hope this helps you in your quest, Lauren!

Chelsie Hellige
Swan Social Media Coordinator

Here is a link that might be useful: Swanstone

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Chelsie, a big company like swancorp, I would think you would be aware that you need to pay for promotional advertising here.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 1:23PM
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