Bathroom Remodels: Avoid Laminates When Natural Stone Such As Marble Or Granite Must Be Used
Because bathrooms are prone to such high and excessive humidity, certain materials used for bathroom remodeling will not give the best long-term results. A good example of a bad application would be installing laminate vanities or a laminate countertop. Although they are commonly installed in bathrooms, these materials are not the best option.
The downside to laminate cabinets and countertops is that they are layered. Within a short period of a few years, laminates can and most likely will delaminate (peel). As humidity levels and temperatures rise and fall during the bath and shower cycle, laminated wood is constantly expanding and contracting. These frequent changes greatly speed up the separation of the laminate from the compressed board subsurface to which it is glued. Instead of getting 10-15 years or more out of a perfect looking bathroom, the homeowner is likely to experience warping and bubbles on the laminate vanity top or the laminate vanity itself, leading to chips and cracks.
A bathroom remodel is the perfect time to not only replace the existing vanity top with the same lower laminate material, but also upgrade to much more durable and beautiful natural materials like granite, soapstone or limestone. Marble and onyx are also favorites with custom builders and homeowners. Natural stone countertops and even flooring can create a warm and serene atmosphere in an efficient antiseptic environment depending on the color and stone down to the custom edge profile of the countertop.
Very few building materials are as versatile or as desirable as natural stone. In the hands of skilled craftsmen and machinists, the range of applications and forms is almost limitless. Looking back at Mediterranean cultures bygone and what their artisans were able to create with marble, which is more delicate than granite, is amazing. Today stone makers have the benefit of machines to speed up results with even more precision.
However, all this potential beauty doesn’t come cheap. There is a trade off of higher cost for higher quality and material. Even though stone makers have additional hardware to assist them, which the ancients did not, it is still a very difficult and expensive medium to work with and the main reason for a higher price compared to inferior materials.