Looking for lower cost alternative to granite on bathroom vanity

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Forum topic by floridagramps posted 08-12-2015 08:17 AM 1130 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 3420 days

08-12-2015 08:17 AM

I am contemplating a small bathroom vanity to replace a disaster. The top is what is referred to as a banjo… is 51 inches long and 22 wide at one end and only 17 wide at the other end. I was quoted $400+ for granite plus $100 installation.

My wife really likes the granite look but is put off by the price. Any suggestions. This is for a1 bedroom camp on a Maine lake

-- florida/maine gramps

9 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3890 posts in 1795 days

#1 posted 08-12-2015 02:08 PM

There are some synthetic material that look like marble that should be a bit cheaper.


View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2397 days

#2 posted 08-12-2015 02:57 PM

My honest opinion is to try to sell your wife on the granite. Assuming that price includes cutouts for the sink and faucet, and any edge detail, I think that’s a fair price. You may be able to go back and explain your hesitation and get them to budge a little on the price or the installation. This is something you’re going to be looking at and putting your hands on just about every day you’re at that camp. If you plan on keeping the camp, spoil yourself and you’ll enjoy it for years to come. For such a small piece, are the savings for some other solid-surface material going to be worth it? I could understand if this were a full kitchen and the savings could potentially be in the thousands.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1549 days

#3 posted 08-12-2015 07:25 PM

You might check out concrete as a counter top material.

View MrUnix's profile


6768 posts in 2227 days

#4 posted 08-12-2015 07:28 PM

Do a google for “Faux Granite” and you will find lots of ideas.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 08-13-2015 03:09 AM

Basic plain granite runs about $40 sq.ft. around here.
Your supplier will have to cut your piece from a 2 ft by 5 ft slab so thats 10 sq.ft.
Price seems about right.

An alternate that looks pretty good is to take 12” marble, square edge tile and lay it on the counter top.
Best to make the grout lines as thin as possible and use an “unsanded grout”. Made mine 1/16” and the lines are hardly noticable. This method requires a 3/4” plywood top covered with cement backer board and then the tiles.
Still, the cost of the tiles + grout and thinset + backer and plywood should be less than $150. But, a lot more work to DIY.

Since your top is not rectangular it would probably be best to lay the tiles diagonally.

View NDakota's profile


72 posts in 1574 days

#6 posted 08-13-2015 04:23 AM

+1 on concrete. Its not as hard as people make it sound. You probably have all the tools you will need in the shop already, google it.

View Kelly's profile


2039 posts in 2972 days

#7 posted 08-13-2015 05:55 AM

Granite tile can be done by the homeowner. You can use epoxy grout, darken it to make it hide between the tiles, and. . . .

For the money you save, you can buy the tools and use them again and again (variable speed angle grinder (you have to slow it down), polishing pads, diamond cutting blades).

The money you save will allow you to do the window sill too.

View jtm's profile


230 posts in 1664 days

#8 posted 08-13-2015 06:19 AM

DIY concrete.

Lot’s of work, but much cheaper and looks just as good.

View 01ntrain's profile


255 posts in 1098 days

#9 posted 08-14-2015 08:16 PM

I agree with DIY concrete, but it is pretty labor-intensive and can crack pretty easily if not done properly.

Considering this is a woodworking forum…..why not try a hardwood countertop? 1” thick Sapele is what I had in mind. Much less cost and you could finish it with a good spar urethane.

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