Cultured Marble Creates Elegant Bathroom Decor

BY James Dulley TIMEJune 13, 2022 PRINT

Dear James: Our bathroom has ceramic tile walls and floor. When we remodel, we want something more contemporary, yet easy to clean. What do you think of cultured marble? — Gary C.

Dear Gary: There are some very attractive new ceramic tile choices, and ceramic tile is one of the most durable materials for a bathroom. One of the problems with ceramic tile is keeping the grout lines clean and free of mildew. If the surface of the tile gets chipped or scratched, the base color is exposed.

Using cultured marble for your project should meet all of your needs. To keep it clean, you just wipe it down with a damp cloth. As you research it further, you will be surprised at the variety of available textures and colors. For an even more unique and attractive appearance, cultured onyx and granite materials are options.

Cultured marble is made from a mixture of very finely ground true marble combined with a plastic resin. A mold is made of the shape needed, and the mixture is poured into the mold. The two-part resin sets up and is cast to shape. This results in a durable material that is resistant to most chemicals.

The surface of the finished cultured marble piece can handle typical wear and tear from bathroom use. Satin-finished cultured marble is available, but since you are looking for easy cleaning, a glossy gel coat finish is recommended.

Much of the cultured marble material has a relatively even color throughout the surface. This is an advantage because, if it does get scratched, the damaged spot will be less apparent. Another color option is to have colorants swirled through the material before it is cast. This often simulates real marble more accurately.

Most cultured marble products for the bathroom are produced by local fabricators. Many of these are small companies that make high-quality products, so don’t avoid one just because it is small. If you have a problem locating one, contact the International Cast Polymer Alliance, (470)-219-8139, www.theicpa.com.

Cultured marble is relatively easy to install yourself in your bathroom. It is not very heavy, so it is usually installed with just adhesives. One of the easiest adhesives to use is clear silicone caulk. It holds up well in damp environments and is very sticky.

If the walls are square and vertical, installing the vanity and countertop is easy. First, test the assembly to make sure everything fits properly. Remove everything and screw the base cabinets into place. Spread a continuous bead of clear silicone caulk over the cabinets and seat the cultured marble into it.

If something does not fit properly because the wall or cabinets are not square, it is easy to fit cultured marble. Using a scribe, make a line in the cultured marble along the edge that needs to be removed. Use a file for the rough removal and a belt or hand sander for the finish size.

You will likely have to do some fitting of the cultured marble panels on the shower walls. When installing the panels, leave a 1/8-inch gap around the edges. This will be filled with matching silicone caulk.

Epoch Times Photo

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James Dulley
Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244, or visit Dulley.com. To find out more about James Dulley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Creators.com. Copyright 2021 Creators.com
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