Friday, April 16, 2010

Powder Room Project.......Countertop Conumdrum

What material do we want to use for our charming custom vanity? How do we decide what will set off our lovely orchid sink (see photo in previous post)? It is one thing to have an idea in my head but another to find what I am looking for. When your counter top is for a small area it is best to find a remnant of marble, granite, quartz or whatever kind of stone you like because these materials usually come in large slabs. If you want to use corian or another surface that is manufactured to size then it does not matter.

For this project we wanted something beautiful, a natural stone product and something that would not only compliment our scheme but also cost efficient. We need a remnant. So how do we find that? First call our fabricator. This is the person who actually cuts the countertop, finishes the edges and installs it. Frequently they have usable pieces of larger slabs left over from other installations. He said there were several options that sounded like they might work for us so off I went.

He was right. He gave me samples of 4 slabs. I was looking for basically a pure white but that does not exist in what did I find? There was white quartz, white quartz with dots of green and beige, green granite, and, if you can believe it, fuchsia quartz! The fuchsia quartz was very close to the color of the orchids in our sink and flowers in our wallpaper. That color on the countertop would make a powerful statement for sure. The white quartz had a yellow cast and that would not work, the green granite was a bit muted while the other colors in our palette are more vibrant so that did not work. Hmmmm

As luck would have it I got an email from another supplier about a new product and a follow up phone call. During this call I asked about remnants. Yes, they did have a few and they would email me photos. There were good possibilities. Hopeful, I drove to their showroom and there I spotted a display with a fabulous granite that I had seen in the photo. It looks like stones cut in half. It is mostly whites but also has a bit of gray and a bit of golden brown. How pretty it looks with the wallpaper and faucet! After showing all the samples to our client this last one was it!

When the vanity base is installed the fabricator will measure or make a template for the top. He will fabricate the top and backsplash and finish the exposed edges in the style we select. Some styles are standard and others are an upgrade....which is code for ...more expensive. So when planning for countertops there is alot to take into consideration. Future posts will have more tips and info on granite/marble selecting.

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