Which Is the Best Circular Saw Blade for Various Projects Dear Pat: I plan to do a project that requires power saws, but the blades are old. I went to get new ones, but I do not know how many teeth the saw blades should have. Are the ones with more teeth better? — Abbey T. Dear Abbey: People …Read more. How to Add an Extra Room Over a Garage Dear Pat: I need some additional living space for my family and for an apartment in which my parents will live someday. I was thinking of adding a room above my two-car garage. Is this a feasible project, and how should I design it? — Jen D. …Read more. How to Use Glue and Clamps Properly Dear Pat: I am making some cabinets for my kid's playroom to save a few dollars. I plan to use glue instead of screws to assemble them. What is the best glue to use, and what types of clamps should I get? — Janet W. Dear Janet: For the nicest, …Read more. Install and Align Door Hinges Properly Dear Pat: I just made a new opening in the wall for a door between two bedrooms. I have installed the door framing and door, but it does not close properly. How do I adjust the hinges so it fits better? — Lynne F. Dear Lynne: You already have …Read more.more articles
Build a Master Bath Using Cultured Marble
Dear Pat: I want to add a second full bathroom to my house. I want to use materials that are easy to clean, so I am considering cultured marble instead of tile. Is it durable, and how do I install it? — Sissy G.
Dear Sissy: Ceramic tile is the most commonly used material for bathroom walls, floors, and vanities, but as you mentioned, the grout can be difficult to keep clean. The tile itself is very durable with a hard surface, so it can be cleaned fairly easily. The key to keeping tile clean is washing it often and wiping water off of it as soon as you are done in the bathroom.
Cultured tile is a very attractive alternative material to tile for bathrooms. It is easy to keep clean by just wiping down with a damp rag. 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.
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, (703) 525-0320, icpa-hq.org.
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 it 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.
Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com. To find out more about Pat Logan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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