Bathroom and Kitchen Countertop Pros and Cons (2/3)

Which Bathroom or Kitchen Countertop Is Right For You?

In the first installment about bathroom (and kitchen) countertops, we shared pros and cons about laminate, tile, and solid-surface materials. This segment will talk about quartz (aka engineered stone), wood, composite materials (glass, metal, and paper), and glass, with links to all of the manufacturers’ websites. Whatever countertop material you choose for your home depends on its durability for the intended use, and your investment. We’ve covered the range of investments for all countertops in a previous blog, ” Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops — An Overview”.

Materials: Quartz, Wood, Composite, Glass

Quartz, aka “Engineered Stone”:

Popular brands include CaesarStone, Cambria, Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, Avanza, HanStone, Okite, Staron Quartz, Technistone, and Viatera.

Some people confuse quartz with quartzite; the two are not the same. Quartzite is a natural stone; quartz is manmade. Pros: Quartz is a long-lasting material, resistant to scratching, scorching, staining, and resistant to bacteria. It’s available in hundreds of alternative colors and patterns to fit virtually every style. Porcelain, cast iron, and metal sinks can be undermounted, which helps maintenance. Cons: Some people don’t like its “too perfect” appearance, and prefer the look of real stone for the same investment. Although quartz is advertised as a green product, most of the products (except Cambria) have to be shipped to the US by freighter, and then shipped to fabricators all over the US using fossil fuels.


Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops Pros and Cons (1/3)

Which Countertop Is Right For You?

There’s more to selecting bathroom countertops than comparing price. To make an informed decision and guarantee years of satisfaction from your investment, this article details the pros and cons for each material, so you’ll get years of satisfaction for your investment. Part 1 of a 3-part series will discuss laminate, tile, and solid surface, with links to manufacturers’ websites.

Countertop Materials: Laminate, Tile, Solid Surface


Popular brands include Formica, Wilsonart, Nevamar, and Pionite.

Countertops-LaminatePros: Laminate is the least-expensive material for countertops. It includes hundreds of alternative colors and patterns to express personal preference and to blend with every architectural style.

Cons: Laminate is easily damaged by abrasive cleaners, chemical stains, and rough treatment. It requires top-mounted or drop-in sink with extra attention needed when cleaning around the edges of plumbing fixtures. (Photo courtesy of Julie Williams Design)


Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops — An Overview

What’s the Best Bathroom Or Kitchen Countertop For You?

Selecting countertops for your new or remodeled bathroom can be an overwhelming challenge, because there are so many different products available, and your investment in countertops can vary by thousands of dollars. Since my book, “THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling,” was published, new products have been developed using the latest technology. Knowing your options — the pros and cons of each product — will help you make a good decision. The major factor affecting your selection of the right countertop is your budget. In the list of products below, you’ll be able to see the range of your basic investment from lowest to highest. For all of the products, an 8-foot wide by 25-1/2-inch deep countertop with no side edges (i.e., between two walls) has been used to calculate a reliable target budget. The example countertop is 17 square feet. Final price of your countertop may include custom edges, undermount or integral bathroom sinks, or other accessory items. When in doubt, get multiple estimates from local suppliers and fabricators.


Don’t Be Cheated by “Kickbacks” and “Referral Fees”!

Is Making Money with Kickbacks and Referral Fees That Important?

A custom cabinet manufacturer was upset about a designer who, after referring a remodeling project to him, asked for a referral fee. Unfortunately, getting/giving “kick-backs” is not a new practice. Does this practice bother you? Here’s how it impacts your remodeling investment, and what you can do about it. (more…)

Exhaust Fans: The Best 6 For Under $150

Exhaust Fans: So Many Choices!

G-H-Main-Bathroom-Tub+-Exhaust-Fan Exhaust fans are often an after-thought when Homeowners are dreaming about transforming their ho-hum bathroom to have a spa-like experience, or they need to comply with the code that requires an exhaust fan in their new laundry room. It’s easy to get excited about all of the wonderful plumbing products that soothe and pamper. But bathroom ventilation is very important to sustain a healthy environment. The technology has improved to make bathroom exhaust fans more efficient and quieter (detailed technical information is contained in“Why Do You Need a Bathroom Exhaust Fan?”. Still, the selection is overwhelming and comparison is challenging. There are at least 90 different bathroom fans to choose from, from eight major manufacturers. Achieving good bathroom air quality without a lot of noise is possible, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. This article whittles the list down to six great bathroom fans under $150.

Exhaust Fans: The 6 Best For Your Bathroom


Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Why?

A Bathroom Exhaust Fan Is Necessary

To Have a Healthy Environment, and a Healthy You!

New Bathroom With Powerful Exhaust FanA bathroom or laundry room exhaust fan helps you maintain clean air, an important part of an environment that helps to keep you and your family healthy. Stale, moist air, and contaminated air caused by personal-care and bathroom cleaning products is hazardous (see the blog about how to clean bathroom grout). Experts in the remodeling and building industry have been warning homeowners about the effects of mold, mildew, and trapped pollutants that contribute to the sick building syndrome.

Questions To Help You Find The Right Fan

1. How powerful does the exhaust fan have to be to achieve eight air exchanges an hour? 2. How quiet do you want the fan to be? 3. Is a straightforward fan okay, or do you want more features for a higher investment?

> Overhead lighting

> Heater

> Nightlight

> Motion sensor

> Humidity sensor

To select the right bathroom exhaust fan, you need to know how powerful it must be, and how quiet you want it to be, what features you need, and how much you can invest. The final decision in this process, if the installation of a new exhaust fan is a stand-alone project, is your choice to install the fan yourself or hire a contractor to install it.