Quartz, Granite, and Marble in your Bathroom Remodel

    Beautifully veined/courtesy of Vitoria International

    The ideal bathroom remodel is a winning combination of beauty and practicality. Natural stone adds both qualities. We recently interviewed Adriene Araujo, co-owner of Vitoria International – a family-owned wholesale stone supplier, with warehouses in Savannah GA and Charleston SC. Find out what this expert has to share about quartz vs granite vs marble in the bathroom.   

    What’s your background in working with stone?

    I’ve been in this business 18 years. We supply stone for bathroom vanities and tub surrounds, as well as kitchen countertops, laundry room counters, and fireplaces.

    My husband, Fabio, and I are from Brazil, where people use stone a lot in their houses because it’s so hot. And we happen to share a passion for natural stone. Each slab is a piece of art.

    Stone slabs at the warehouse/courtesy of Vitoria International

    Could you tell us the pros and cons of quartz vs granite vs marble in the bathroom?

    The beauty of natural stone, such as granite or marble, lies in its uniqueness. No two slabs are alike, in terms of color, shade, or veining, because you’re dealing with Mother Nature.

    However, if you personally want a more standard appearance, go with quartz, which is a uniform, manmade product. Also, I recommend quartz for kids’ bathrooms, rentals, and laundry rooms, because it doesn’t require maintenance at all.

    No material is totally bulletproof for bathroom countertop installation, but quartz and natural stone are very hard and very heat resistant, compared to alternatives like cultured marble or laminate.

    Some homeowners are concerned about etching and staining. If that's true for you, avoid marble, which is more porous, and go for harder materials like granite or quartzite. Diamond tools are needed to cut granite – that shows you how hard the stone is.

    If you choose marble countertops, we usually recommend a honed finish so that any etching will not be as visible. I’m really a marble person myself; marble gives a special kind of patina, a vintage look. Just think of historical buildings – old hotels, banks, and galleries -- everything was marble. White Carrara marble, for example, has been used for hundreds of years.

    Waterfall edge countertop/courtesy of Vitoria International

    Can you add curb appeal with stone in the bathroom?

    Sure. When you’re trying to sell your house, the bathroom is second only to the kitchen in terms of curb appeal. Buyers walk into a nice master bathroom and that’s definitely a selling point. But if the bathroom’s out of date – even if the rest of the house has been renovated, their reaction is: “What the heck? What were those people thinking?”

    I just redid my own bathroom; previously, I had a tile surround, but all that grout is a turnoff. To replace it, I installed a natural stone tub surround, all out of one slab rather than a lot of little cuts, so there’s no seam whatsoever and no grout. It looks VERY nice.

    Seamless stone tub surround/courtesy of Vitoria International

    What’s trending now in terms of stone colors and styles?

    Marble is the look everybody’s after, white and gray, with varying amounts of graining -- if not actual marble, then quartzite or quartz that will give a marble look. Come to our warehouse and you’ll see!

    A trendy bathroom feature is the floating vanity. Wall-mounted vanities are super cool done in marble; when you match the veining, it looks like you have this 12” piece of rock on your wall.

    Floating vanity/courtesy of Vitoria International

    Any insider tips to share with our readers?

    Go to the warehouse and look at the full slab. Often when you go to a dealer, they have little 5x5 samples for you to choose from. Those give you an idea of color, but not the full picture. You cannot really see all the detail in that small square but when you see the full slabs, the veining will blow you away. And then your choice is obvious.

    You’re already spending money on your bathroom remodel, so why not spend a little extra time to handpick the slab that you like best?

    Quartz double sink vanity top/courtesy of Vitoria International

    Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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