Asked on Dec 6, 2011

We are looking into updating our hall bath.

LuluJoan GondeckLori Jackson
+26

Answered

I am so confused on vanity tops. I don't want to spend a lot and since it is a kids bathroom I am afraid of it getting scratch and all that. I have been leaning towards laminate but not sure because it is cheap. I just don't want it to look cheap. Anyway, besides not knowing what to go with for the vanity top I am also debating weather I should retile the shower or if I should go with a bath/shower wall insert. They are easier to clean so that is why I was thinking that. I hate it when the grout gets dirty and then is there forever. Oh and I am looking at replaceing the bathtub but it is only 59inches in length. How in the world am I going to find the right size bathtub??
28 answers
  • Angle, I would never suggest laminate for any bathroom be it a powder room or a kids room. It looks cheap and will not last very long. If the vanity is not very big, you could visit a few granite shops in your area and ask them for remnants. You can get a very inexpensive piece for the vanity. Granite is a sold material and own't get scratched very easily. It may get stained and that you can solve be sealing the surface. Once again I would always suggest a tiled bath because to me the shower stall just looks gross. you could use granite tiles and install them close so there are no grout tile. I did this in a kitchen recently and the owner appreciated the idea. A standard bathtub is usually 60" long you may get a 59 3/5" long tub in any local home improvement store.

  • Angel C
    on Dec 6, 2011

    It's 59 inches in length for the vanity. Probably a little more pricey. I am looking at keeping the updates to 2000. I do really like subway tile.

  • What is the type and condition of the tub? Perhaps reglazing can be a good solution here.

  • Angel C
    on Dec 6, 2011

    It is ok. I really wanted to put a new one in because it is the only bath tub in the house and you can't relax in it. It is from the 70's and the back is streight up. So annoying when trying to relax in the tub.

  • Paul M
    on Dec 6, 2011

    Grout shield will solve any grout discoloration you will ever have and cleaning is a breeze. No more stains or dirty grout. I found out about that stuff right here but for some reason many people are still resistant to using it. It is wonderful to not have to worry about stains or cleaning the grout ever again. I can't recommend this stuff highly enough.

  • Melissa A
    on Dec 6, 2011

    Personally, I prefer an enclosure for a shower simply because tile/grout is tough to keep up with after the years in our experience. My husband and I are currently installing subway tiles in our bathroom. Check out my profile to see pics::)

  • Angel C
    on Dec 6, 2011

    I love your bathroom but if you don't like tile why are you installing it?

  • Angel, Look into a cultured-marble top with an integrated sink for your vanity. They came in a vast variety of colors now and are the best value for the money...especially for the kids bathroom. Find a top fabricator in your area that makes them or you can order them from one of the big-box stores.

  • Walsh Tops, Inc.
    on Dec 7, 2011

    Angel, I would have to disagree with Yamini (sorry Yamini) and say that laminate countertops in a bathroom is not a bad idea at all. I know some colors are dated, however, laminate has come a long way and there are hundreds of color and style choices. I do not suggest granite in a bathroom because it is a porous material. Articles have been written about how granite is growing mold in the fissures and cracks and even underneath the top, due to high humidity areas, such as bathrooms. There are alternatives to granite in the bathroom if you do not want laminate, such as engineered stones and solid surfaces such as corian. Granite is beautiful, however, and Yamini is correct that sometimes you can get remnants at a reduced cost. This would be the same with most solid surface manufacturers as well as engineered stones. Because those materials are purchased in sheets/slabs, there are often times leftovers from other jobs. It's a good idea to call around and see what is available. Cultured marble is an option (as Hewitt RS) pointed out and it does offer a wide range of colors now. Some people do not like cultured marble because it can crack (in the bowl) over time. It will depend on how hard your family is on it. As for the laminate scratching, some manufacturer's (Wilsonart) offer a new scratch resistant finish to give you a little more piece of mind. Some finishes hide scratches better than others. I have two small children and I have laminate countertops in their bathroom. It has been in there for 5 years and I don't think there is a scratch on it. I will have to go and double check. Most items we have in our bathrooms (ie, perfume bottles, cologne, etc.) do not have the tendency to cause scratches. Cost being another consideration, laminate is significantly cheaper than granite. If having an undermount sink is a necessity for you, there are even options available for that in a laminate top. Engineered stone and Solid Surface offers another nice look and feel. Engineered stone is going to act similar to granite. It is very hard and scratch resistant. My only concern (for my own family) is that I don't want my children hurting themselves or breaking glasses (or other items) on such a hard surface. I would rather have something that is a little more forgiving. Solid Surface (like Corian) offers an integrated sink option as well as being non-porous and seamless. It will scratch easier than granite or engineered stone, but it is completely repairable. What I tell people all the time is there is no such thing as a perfect countertop and I am not going to convince anyone that one product is better than another. I simply want to make sure that people get good information and then decide what is best for them. I hope this helps. John

  • Melissa A
    on Dec 7, 2011

    We aren't installing a tile shower. I thought thats what you were referring to. We are doing tile floor and wainscotting. We will have a clawfoot tub/shower. If we weren't going with the clawfoot route, i would def. do a surround kit. You can get them now where they are all one piece. No caulking..ever to worry about:)

  • Angel C
    on Dec 7, 2011

    So you must be putting the subway tile on just the walls? We have tile on our walls now. It is kinda nice to have it behind the toilet. Easier to clean having a boy. :) Ok so if I go with a laminate counter. Which we probably will because its cheap and you can actually get some nice looking laminate now. Would it look odd if we tiled the floor? Oh and if we end up with a bath insert. You know, mixing nice with cheap. LOL! Who knows, I may end up going tile on floor and shower/tub walls with a laminate counter. I gotta tell ya, can't be worse then what is in there. Right now it is this fake marble looking counter. Not pretty.

    • Lori Jackson
      on Jul 21, 2014

      @Angel C Laminate has come a long, long way. To dismiss it as cheap looking suggests not looking much. Get yourself a beveled edge and go with a bit higher end laminate if budget is an issue. We are redoing our kitchen and laminate is what we are going with. Resisted the idea, thinking of our current hideous counters and the counters I have known, but once we really started looking...it is not my mother's laminate these days!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 7, 2011

    you can pick up a basic granite top with a sink pre-installed for just a couple hundred bucks... http://www.homedepot.com/Bath-Bathroom-Vanities-Sinks-Cabinets-Bathroom-Vanities-Vanity-Tops-Side-Splashes-Vanity-Tops/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbzbq/R-100466239/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&superSkuId=202960159 Add a bit more for a new base cabinet and your bath is hafl way there. For me I prefer a nice tiled shower. And Subway tiles are gaining favor in may colors. In this project I did one in a grey color. http://www.hometalk.com/Kevin/project/2547

  • Melissa A
    on Dec 7, 2011

    Yes subway tiles on the walls only:) having a laminate vanity and tile on the floors wouldnt look odd at all!!:)

  • Melissa A
    on Dec 7, 2011

    just be sure your tile coordinates well with the counter top:)

  • Bernice H
    on Dec 7, 2011

    I put in laminate countertops in the bathrooms years ago, and also on the kitchen countertop., one bathroom has black marble looking formed to fit laminate, still looks beautiful..the other, hubs bathroom,has a green, which i could change out if it mattered, it is so small. The kitchen is 15 years old and I am gearing up to lobby for new black marble looking laminate, preformed. But the laminates still look so good. yes this is a mobile home dbl wide ..so cost is considered, however the laminates look so good any more. But I would definitely consider your home style, and are you going to sell in a few years....BTW>>>One major mistake I made years ago when I had a house, I had a matte laminate put in the kitchen..wow! what a monster. Everything showed, it never looked clean like a glossy top does, every streak, hand print! Noone told me! I love the new laminates!

  • Angel C
    on Dec 7, 2011

    I have seen those granite tops at lowes and home depot. The problem is we have a 59inch vanity. Stupid odd size. Same with the bath tub. That should be fun to find a replacement for. I went and got a few sample things of custom laminate. Probably will go with that. Oh and I LOVE grey tile! Maybe when we save up to do the master I will do that. Go for easy and cheaper in the kids and safe the rest of the money for the master. We just moved in a year ago. Not planning on moving for many years. Maybe not ever. Depends.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 8, 2011

    Unless the vanity has walls to the right and left...you can step down a size with a 48" unit

  • Angel C
    on Dec 8, 2011

    It has walls. :(

  • Melissa A
    on Dec 8, 2011

    oh you just keep stabbing at me huh? I guess our subway tiles weren't THAT expensive but i certainly don't feel it's a "cheaper" alternative:) I think it gives it a classic rich look:) i'm proud of our tile choices for our main bathroom:)

  • Angel C
    on Dec 8, 2011

    Oh goodness! You are kidding right? I did not mean anything by what I wrote. Really! I love subway tile. Some is more than others and I just ment if I'm going to put my blood, sweat and tears (J/k) into tile why not save it for the master bath since the kids bath will probably need another update when my kids are in highschool because of how hard kids are on things.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 9, 2011

    Angel...... I googled up 59" vanities and got a good number of hits most of them are the free standing style but some came up as cabinet type that could be used in a wall to wall type setting. There are also a good number of ones slightly smaller that could be used with some filler strips or some minor wall mods. http://www.homelivingstyle.com/Zoey_Double_Bathroom_Vanity_Set_p/flo-btr-001-gm008.htm

  • Melissa A
    on Dec 10, 2011

    No i am only joking with you:)

  • Angel C
    on Dec 11, 2011

    That's good. It is hard to tell with just words on a page. :) I guess I should have got it from the smiley faces. Oh well. I'm a little slow. :) Still have not decided what to do. We may end up with tile. I just don't know! I love the look of tile. That and I have decided that we are gong to have to do this in stages. Bathtub first and then the rest of the room. That way I can get what I want. Gotta save up the pennies for the rest of the room.

  • Diane S
    on Dec 23, 2011

    We are updating our kitchen and part of the project is removing the old laminate and installing granite. If you go to a granite business and ask them when is a good time to stop by for the granite "scraps." By scraps, I mean the cut out portions from kitchen sinks, drop in stoves, etc. I was told by the granite company that we worked with that contractors come by in the early morning hours and pick over the newest selection of "scraps" and use them for small projects like vanity tops. That way you can have a very, very nice granite top with very little cost.

  • Nip Tuck Remodeling
    on Dec 24, 2011

    Angel, to address the tub, most tubs will measure about 59" when you measure from wall to wall "inside" the tub. The actual tub is still a standard 60" x (probably 30 or 32"). You might look into the people at Miracle Method to see if your tub/tile walls are a good candidate for refinishing. The tub/shower unit I suggest to clients can be obtained from your local Home Depot for about $600. It is a Sterling Accord or the Sterling Ensemble. It is one of the most durable I've found and a great choice for a kids bathroom. I agree with others, that laminate can be a decent choice or you can opt to do 12x12 granite tiles.

  • Lori Jackson
    on Jul 21, 2014

    I would never go with an insert after having dealt with cleaning one. We have pretty hard water and the build up is unbelievable. I would love to say it may be an issue of a lesser quality insert (it came with the house), but my sister has three in her home--supposedly high end--and they look like hell. Personally, I would love tile, but would go with larger tiles. Keep those grout lines sealed and the tile will look gorgeous.

  • Joan Gondeck
    on Jul 21, 2014

    When we updated our bathroom, I didn't want to pay for a new vanity so painted our double vanity a deep brown and had a new laminated top and vessel sink installed. It wasn't cheap but I went for the 3D laminate, bought the vessel sink from Overstock.com. It is beautiful. That was almost four years ago and still looks like new.

  • Lulu
    on Jan 24, 2016

    Angel,if you have kids,its best to expect scratches+cracks. It's the nature of the beasties,LOL However,you can get scores of good quality cheap tiles from your nearest Habitat for Humanity resale store. You can also get lots of other business donated stuff. Get the kids to help you so they may respect the work that goes into it.

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