Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cultured marble countertops

Cultured marble countertops are beautiful. They look like genuine marble, but are a man-made resin that costs a lot less than real marble.

Some neat things to know about cultured marble (cultured onyx and cultured granite too):

  • They are a shed polymer product. The man-made resin is watery and the material poured into a mold to form your top/and or sink.

  • It is a nonporous surface, so it resists stains and mildew.

  • Generally come in a gloss finish, but these tops can be ordered with a flat end to mimic solid surface materials like Corian, at a part of the cost.

  • They can be ordered with sinks built (or formed) right in. These types of sinks care called essential (vs. drop-in sinks or self-rimming sinks).

  • If you have a belt-sander and are handy, you can fit cultured marble countertops yourself.

  • Are easy to stay clean (but be sure to never use an abrasive cleaner on them).

  • Come in a wide variety of colors and marbling (although the exact color and marble - or veining - pattern cannot be certain because each top is independently made).

  • Come in several styles and patterns. The veining in cultured marble countertops is always varied, but your top doesn't have to even be patterned. Tops can be a solid color, two-toned, onyx, or granite looking.

  • Get a cultured marble vanity top with a different colored integral bowl for a theatrical effect.

  • Cultured marble countertops cost more than cover tops, but if you get an integral bowl, they aren't much more than a laminate top with a drop-in sink.
These tops look great in the bathroom, but they are not often used in a kitchen area. They will scratch, scuff, and chip simply under normal kitchen use. The bathroom typically doesn't get as much wear and tear as the kitchen, and using cultured marble countertops in the bath can really "dress-up" the bathroom.

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