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Various Bathroom Remodeling Materials

Updated on January 3, 2015

Before you begin remodeling your bathroom, you will need to consider the types of materials to use for your counter-tops and flooring.

Counter-tops

Granite or marble counter-tops

In a master bathroom, it is usually cost-effective to install granite or marble counter-tops. The materials will give your vanity a sleek and luxurious look along with durability. Granite doesn't have to be very expensive. There are many affordable grades of granite, though the average will cost around $100 to $225 per square foot. Many discount stores can offer pre-measured and cut granite tile sets for around $50. Marble counter-tops generally cost between $125 and $250 per square foot.

The benefits of granite or marble are the ability to handle heat and regular wear. Also note that marble can stain easily, while granite is relatively harder to stain. Both marble and granite should be sealed with grease-repelling sealants to prevent staining from hair-products etc.

Solid quartzite counter-tops

Solid quartzite materials are incredible low-maintenance and durable, and can stand up to more use than granite in some cases. They are also available in a greater variety of colors than granite. While they may not be able to match the raw beauty of granite, solid counter-tops can handle high heat and scratches can simply be buffed out with sandpaper. Solid counter-tops cost around $100 to $185 per square foot, comparable with granite or marble.

Laminate counter-tops

Laminate counter-tops are less expensive than granite, and they are available in a wide range of finishes. Laminate is popular with many homeowners for bathroom renovation because it is versatile, and can also be found in finishes that look like granite or quartzite materials. Laminate can cost anywhere between $10 per square foot to $80 per square foot. While laminate is relatively stain-resistant and stands up to water well, the downside is that it can burn, dent and dull.

Tile counter-tops

Porcelain tiles are also a popular choice for counter-tops among designers. Porcelain tiles that look like natural stone can be found for as low as $5 per square foot. The grout lines are usually a problem, making these tiles more high maintenance than other types of counter-tops. Grout lines can trap dirt and grease. But this problem can be overcome by using larger tiles. Also, these tiles can be laid out in a variety of patterns, and come in natural as well as ceramic finishes. The affordability and variety of porcelain tiles makes it a worthy counter-top surface material for consideration.


Wood counter-tops

Wood is also an option for vanity counter-tops but it can be high maintenance. Wood is porous and the surface must be sealed to prevent water damage and rotting. This is especially an issue where faucet fixtures and sinks are installed. At the same time, wood offers a warm, organic and inviting feel, especially if a butcher block type surface is used. Butcher-block counter-tops are typically $35 to $200 per square foot.


Recycled Glass

Another option is recycled glass, which can make for colorful and eco-friendly vanity top and backsplash. While recycled glass is not expensive, the process and the creativity that goes into creating a vanity top or backsplash artwork may be. As a result, costs vary between $50 and $125 per square foot.

Flooring and Wall Tiles

Porcelain or natural stone tiles: Porcelain tiles for the master bathroom’s surfaces are a popular choice for bathroom remodeling projects. These may be ceramic tiles that look like stone or natural stone tiles.

Ceramic tile floors will generally have more texture than wall tiles, to prevent slippage. Natural stone tiles are also honed (ground flat, not polished) to prevent slippage when the floor is wet. It is also possible to sandblast natural stone tiles. Ceramic tiles can cost as low as 75 cents per square foot.

Hardwood flooring: Warm and cozy hardwood flooring can range from standard oak to more exotic tigerwood. Solid hardwood floors can add value to a home, and some surfaces have variations that hide wear and tear. Costs can range from $2.30 to $10 per square foot depending on the grade.


Cork tiles: Natural cork tiles for flooring are eco-friendly, economical, heat retaining, shock-absorbing and are also sound-proof, which makes it good for walls. These tiles can be arranged in mosaic shapes and other decorative patterns besides the typical tan speckles. However, the flooring must be properly sealed to protect it from standing water or seepage. Costs can range from $3 to $6 per square foot.


Laminate flooring: Laminate floors made from compressed wood chips can offer the beauty of hardwood at a fraction of the cost. It is resistant to scratches, dents and stains and quite durable. It is also water-resistant unlike hardwood and easy to maintain. This makes it a good option for flooring in damp areas. Costs may range between $1.45 and $3.99 per square foot.

There are other cheaper flooring materials like linoleum and vinyl that stand up to wear and tear. Choosing counter-top and tile materials for the bathroom should be done with careful consideration of your budget, installation costs and the expected wear and tear. All the materials should be purchased only after proper planning, to avoid running over your bathroom remodeling budget.

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