The fun continues here at The White Elephant!  Trade Mark Interiors and teams are rounding the corner to the finish line on this pool bath remodel project.  Our fabulous cabinet was installed immediately following the tile install and we are over the moon with excitement!  The beautiful mauve cabinet with the reeded doors is just EVERYTHING we dreamed about!  Naturally, the next step is the countertop for this One Room Challenge!!  

Countertop Selection Tips

There are many things to consider when selecting countertops for any space.  Function, maintenance, aesthetics, and of course, cost.  The go-to for TMI in a small bathroom (or any small space for that matter) is often a remnant.  What is a remnant?  Typically a homeowner has to purchase the entire slab of material for their project and often it isn’t always used, so the leftover pieces are resold by the dealer at discounted prices.  It is a very important consideration when selecting countertops – how much do you need and the price per foot?  

We try to lay out larger projects to maximize the use of the material and reduce the amount of waste per project.  Something like the size of a bathroom vanity only needs a very small piece, we know we can find a remnant to help with the budget.  Sometimes, the goal isn’t necessarily the budget, but finding a very rare/exotic stone to make a small space pop.

In the case of The White Elephant pool bath, the function was key in the selection of materials.  With this being a pool bathroom and a guest room suite, it was important to have a very low-maintenance product on hand so that we wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.

Countertop Material Comparison

A few other options I considered and broken down below:

Marble:  while this natural stone has stunning veining and the most beautiful coloring, the maintenance can be too much for some to handle!  This material is absorbent and not considered to be maintenance-free.  Drinking red wine?  Please don’t spill it!  This is a soft stone that can scratch and stain easily, but the timeless beauty outweighs the downside in some cases!

Porcelain:  a newcomer in this realm and growing in popularity.  The patterns, colors, and design styles are vast as are the price points.  While this material is easy to maintain, hard-wearing, and low maintenance it is prone to chipping and cracking.  

Wood:  often thought of as butcher-block tops these hardwood counters are often made of maple or similar wood with other strips of wood bonded together.  A very cool look depending on your design style and is also very durable.  It will show some wear and tear over time, but that is considered part of the charm or character.  However, the monthly maintenance of cleaning and sealing is too much for a high-use space in this instance.  

Granite:  a variety of colors and patterns with that beautiful natural allure will fit in many styles.  However, the popularity of granite has decreased over the years with quartz taking center stage.  Granite is very durable, hard, scratch & stain resistant, but it does require sealing.  A high-low price range for this product keeps homeowners coming back for more!

Quartz:  The hands-down winner for this project!  It checks all the boxes with beauty, color, pattern, price, and durability yet low maintenance.  This is named for its primary ingredient, quartz, and then manufactured with polymer resins to create reproducible patterns and colors.  Although it does often replicate natural stone with distinct veining, every slab of the same color/pattern is exactly the same.  

And The Winner Is…

That being said, I went with a quartz material by Cambria called Travella.  I LOVE IT!  The white base gives the pool bath the lightness and neutrality it deserves while the bold veining of the countertop creates the continued visual interest and pattern play the pool bath design required.  Our guests will never have to worry about spilling their red wine here!  

Stay tuned, the One Room Challenge final reveal is coming your way soon!