Custom Marble Bathroom Countertops for Your Home
Remodeling your bathroom?
- Replacing the old countertop (in Austin that most likely means a cultured marble counter with a sink that is formed as part of the counter)?
- Replacing the entire bathroom vanity, including the cabinets, counters, sinks and faucets?
In either case, you might be surprised that custom marble bathroom countertops might not be any more expensive than the pre-fab ones sold in the big box stores. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.
One thing for sure: you will have a much better selection for the material for the countertops, better personalized service and more control of the finished project if you skip the mass retailers and work with us instead.
Popular Marble Colors for Marble Bathroom Countertops
Some of the most popular marble colors and types we’re seeing in 2012 for bathroom counters are:
Bianco Carrera: this marble is white to pale grey, and the most frequently seen marble in vintage bathrooms and high-end kitchens (especially on huge, fancy kitchen islands). Although Austin is mostly a “3cm market”, meaning most installed stone counters are 3cm thick (1 and 3/16-inches), we have many clients and architects that specify 2cm for Bianco Carrera.
Bianco Carrera marble counters almost always have either a flat-polish edge, an ogee edge, or a built-up (laminated) edge profile (on kitchen counters).
Creme Marfil (Crema Marfil): this marble runs from pale ivory to medium-cream, with subtle veins that are usually a little darker. This is one of the marble counters offered by Restoration Hardware to top gorgeous, vintage (or vintage-styled, old european) cabinets. (The Bianco Carrera is one of the others they feature.)
Diano Reale: this marble is a light-to-medium creamy/sandy color with lovely movement across the face of the stone.
Calacatta Marble: this Italian marble is all the rage this year. Unfortunately, the demand has far outstripped supply, and prices are sky high. A pair of master bathroom counters in Calacatta marble can easily run $4000 to $6000 in this gorgeous stone, but we still get at lot of calls for it.
Emperador Dark Marble: you can best see the coloration in this chocolate brown marble in the pictures along the right-hand side of this page. The deep, complex surface has white veins across it.
Emperador Light Marble: this marble is similar in style to the Emperador Dark, but is a creamier, coffee-with-milk colored stone. We put a lot of these in a few years ago, but not so much in 2011 and 2012. Like any marble, though, Emperador Light is a classic stone that stays lovely and fashionable year after year.
Replacing Old Counters with Custom Marble Bathroom Countertops
If you are replacing an old counter (but keeping the old cabinets), here are the basic steps for the project:
- Measure the current counter from side to side and front to back. Standard bathroom cabinets are 21-inches deep, and the counters are 22.5-inches deep. The new counter will probably be the same size as the old counter, so you can use this measurement to go shopping.
- Give us a call at (512) 317-6722 to chat. We can talk about your plans, your timeline and your preferences for how you want the finished counter to look.
- Come and visit us at our little shop off of North Lamar.
- See if we have marble remnants that will work for your new marble bathroom vanity tops. If not, we can price new material from any of the local stone yards around town.
- Schedule a time for us to come out and make templates. Once we’ve found something that works for your marble bathroom countertops, we will come out and make an exact template for your new counters. The template makes sure that when we make your new marble bathroom vanity tops, they will fit your space perfectly.
It takes about a week to make your new marble bathroom countertops from when we have three things: a final decision on the material, your measurements (the templates) and a 50% deposit.
Other Things To Think About When Planning for Marble Bathroom Vanity Tops
Here are some other decisions you will need to make for your project to update your bathroom with new counters:
Disposal of the existing counters? Are you going to remove the old counters and dispose of them, or do you need someone else to do that for you? We can give you a price for demo and disposal, if you would prefer that we do this part of the job.
Old Mirrors or New Mirrors? When you have an old counter with one of those huge mirrors above it, the mirror often rests right on the top edge of the backsplash of the old countertop. Sometimes the mirrors have almost glued themselves to the backsplash and hang on for dear life when the backsplash is taken out. Sometimes that breaks the mirror.
If you’re planning to keep a mirror, you might want to try to take it down before your counters are taken out, to reduce the chance of it breaking. This might be a good time to update the mirrors as well as the counters – all of the big box stores (Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, etc.) all sell inexpensive framed mirrors for really good prices. Hobby Lobby puts their mirrors on sale about once a month for 50% off!
Undermount sink or Vessel sink? Both are still popular in 2012, but undermount sinks are more common with marble bathroom vanity tops, especially if you’re going for a vintage look. You can find lots of styles on-line, at local plumbing companies, or at big box stores. We also sell a nice but inexpensive line of sinks that often work well with custom marble bathroom vanity tops.
What kind of faucet? This article for choosing kitchen faucets is relevant for choosing bathroom faucets as well. Bathroom faucets come in single-hole, 4-inch widespread and 8-inch widespread. The 8-inch widespread faucets are usually the most expensive.
Most marble bathroom countertops we install are 3cm thick (1 and 3/16 of an inch), so make sure the new faucet can clamp on to the thicker material (read the kitchen faucet article linked above). Make sure that you either get a new drain with the faucet, or that you buy one that matches. Your old drain will get thrown out with the old counter – they are usually pretty yucky. If you’re putting in vessel sinks, make sure the drain is designed to work with the type of vessel sink you’ve selected.
What kind of backsplash? You will need backsplashes on the back of the counter, and where the counter meets the wall on either side. Most marble remnants aren’t big enough to make a backsplash or side splashes in addition to the marble bathroom countertops. Sometimes clients get lucky and find a remnant that will work (especially if the counter is small, like for a powder room).
Tile looks great for backsplashes and sidesplashes when stone splashes aren’t an option. The Tile Guy on Anderson Lane has good prices and great service.
Who will re-connect the plumbing? We will install undermount sinks underneath the marble countertops when we install the counters. This means that the sinks are glued and clipped in to place underneath, and caulked with clear silicon caulk along the inside top edge. (The caulk is white until it dries.)
The next day, after the glue has dried, the plumbing can be hooked back up. Lots of people are able to DIY for installing the new drain, but others are happier if they schedule a plumber. If you decide to use a plumber, they can tell you the parts they will need for you to have ready for when they arrive to do the work (usually: the faucet, the drain, and maybe a new trap). If you have old and yukky shut-off valves, this is a good time to replace them, too!
Replacing the Entire Bathroom Vanity and Top
If you’re ripping out the whole shebang and putting in new cabinets, counters, sinks and faucets, your list will look like the one above PLUS a whole lot more.
Go ahead and give us a call at the beginning (or anytime, really). We can help you understand our part of the project so you know what to expect for how your custom marble bathroom countertops fit into the bigger picture for your bathroom remodel.