Bathroom sinks and countertops have come a long way from the standard-issue white porcelain sink dropped into laminate cabinetry that you find in many homes across the country. Need a change? Treat yourself and your bathroom to a gorgeous makeover.
Countertops. The same great high-end surfaces available for kitchen remodels are now available in bathrooms.
- Granite comes in a virtual universe of colors and patterns. It is beautiful and tough, but does need periodic resealing.
- Marble is unsurpassed in beauty and elegance but is expensive. It also can scratch and stain.
Quartz counters are truly gorgeous. They are made of a composite material with eye-catching flecks of color.
- Concrete counters can be formed to any shape. It can be dyed and etched with patterns. It is also tough, resisting scratches and marks from a hot curling iron, but it will need periodic resealing.
- Soapstone offers beauty and toughness. It is impervious to stains and can withstand cleaning with chemicals. A periodic rubdown with mineral oil gives it a rich luster.
- Laminate is great for a budget remodel, thanks to new designs that mimic fine stone. It can be damaged fairly easily, especially by a hot curling iron
Sinks and faucets. The sink is the focal point of any bathroom vanity. Double sinks are a given in master baths and often in larger hall baths. Choose from three basic mounting styles: drop-in, under-mount and vessel. While porcelain is the old standby of materials, the shapes and styles are endless, including ovals, rectangles and canoe-shaped. Want something really different? Metal sinks are gorgeous, with hammered nickel, copper and oiled bronze among your choices.
Faucets. Standard chrome is a timeless look but certainly not the only choice. Brushed nickel and oiled bronze are among the popular trending looks. Three faucet mounts are available. Drop-in sinks will likely have faucet holes that align with matching ones in the counter. With an under-mount sink, the faucet may mount on the counter or from the wall. The same is true with a vessel sink. Bonus feature: Consider a faucet that turns on and off with just a touch.
Cabinets. A popular trend in bathroom cabinetry: the use of a piece of furniture such as a chest mounted to the wall. The faucet is either wall mounted over a sink set on the top of the chest, or else plumbed through the back and top to reach the sink. Another trend is the “floating vanity” with the cabinets bolted securely to the wall with no legs beneath.
Above the vanity. Many of today’s bathrooms have backsplash tile similar to what you might find in kitchens. Mini-tile patterns look terrific here. The mirror can be one unified piece, or side-by-side separates. Light fixtures should span the length of the vanity. Tip: Don’t scrimp on lighting. Cheap lights or fixtures that are too small will cast a shadow over your entire renovation project.