Just bought a $250 granite vanity top

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Old 03-30-17, 01:10 PM
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Just bought a $250 granite vanity top

Just bought a granite vanity top a big box store and read that two people had the silicone caulking that they used to fasten it down come through to the top and stain it. Have you ever heard of this happening?

What should I use when I affix it down to the vanity?

I'm also assuming that the old top which is formica sheet and pressed wood would just be glued down to the vanity.

How should I go about getting the old top off? Prybar?
 
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Old 03-30-17, 01:41 PM
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Old Top

The old top is probably screwed from the inside. Look underneath near the corners for crews.
 
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Old 03-30-17, 06:55 PM
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Granite, Corian and Quartz are all adhered with silicone. Don't run a full bead, just blobs about every 6 - 8".
 
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Old 03-30-17, 08:19 PM
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Thanks I will, but from what I can see I don't see any. They may be in the corners though. THanks

Ok guys now I've got a new worry! I'm a 'worry-wart' and now read about granite and radon! Yikes! Should I be really worried about this stuff? I'm 44, do I have to worry about developing lung cancer from the granite?
 
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Old 03-31-17, 04:11 AM
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Most formica tops are over particle board which is pretty good at swallowing up and hiding screws. Take a flashlight or something to give you better lighting under there.

I don't know much about radon but perhaps the sealer used on a granite top along with air ventilation would alleviate any concerns.
 
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Old 03-31-17, 04:33 AM
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Everything gives off radiation. True some granite rediates more radon than others depending where is was quarried. However, it should not be enough to present any health problems. If you are susceptible or have a cancer that can be attributed to radon, then you have radon coming from another source. Most likely the basement. I'm not sure a sealer is good enough as a barrier to radon radiation of a granite top. Check if the place you bought it from has any certification of radon radiation from the granite. Don't know if tyhat type of thing it tracked.
 
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Old 03-31-17, 04:08 PM
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Ok, guys I lifted a corner of the Formica and the counter is nailed down with finish nails it looks like.

Do I just start carefully prying it off?
 
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Old 04-01-17, 01:12 AM
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I've been reading and one site says that even with a 'lifetime' of exposure to radon for a non-smoker (I've never smoked) like myself the chances are 1% I guess. I'm 44 now, so who knows? I may not even make it past 60 lol, who really knows ... It's not like I'm going to be in the bathroom all the time anyways.

So, Like I said it appears that underneath the Formica sheeting (this is most likely from 1971) there is some type of pressed wood and I can see finish nails every 6 inches or so, so I'm guessing the counter is nailed down and then then Formica sheeting is over that. Luckily, the Formica sheets seem to come off really easy. I don't think I'll have to really take the sheeting off though, I think I might be able to just pry it up gently and slowly working my way around the counter.

I haven't even begun the project yet. I'll most likely start it in a week or so. Should I get the pipes and stuff for the faucet and drain pipe before installing it. The sink will shift from a left centered currently to a centered, so I'm going to have to get a drain pipe that will go to the pipe coming from the wall. of course I'll need a p-trap and the water lines also for the hot and cold.

I no nothing about plumbing at all, but hopefully I'll be able to figure it out. Maybe with some pics along the way you guys will be able to help me hook it up.

I have one more question. I'm wondering why the granite top I got was so cheap. I heard that single slab can be expensive, but this one was $250 at 'big box store'. It's called 'desert gold' and is 49 inches. Says that it's made in China. Could that be why it's so cheap lol? It looks nice.

This is also very heavy. I'm wondering if it's reasonable to worry about the added weight that will be put on the floor of the bathroom? On the specs it says 101 lbs. Do you think that's ok?

Thanks
 

Last edited by Brian1900; 04-01-17 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 04-01-17, 03:43 AM
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I'll answer the granite question. It's not too heavy for the cabinet or the floor. Think of your refrigerator and it's weight. Ever hear of a fridge going through the floor? (Wait, I think an episode of the Three Stooges it happened once.)

Small pieces of granite can be relatively cheap as compared to a, say a kitchen counter slab. That's because most bathroom counter tops are small and are the scraps left over from the larger pieces. If you went to a counter top shop who specialize in stone, they would show you pieces cut from larger slabs that are discounted due to size. Most of these can be used as bathroom tops. If you had gone to a countertop shop, I would've recommended you have them install it. As it was told to me by the shop I bought mine "Why take the risk? For a small fee (at the time $50 additional) we take take all the risk of injury and damage that might occur and we guarantee installation with the right glue and tools. We will also make sure it fits and make small adjustments on things like the backsplash". On both major remodels I did in kitchen and bath, the only thing I did not do is counter top instal.
 
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Old 04-01-17, 05:17 AM
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I see mine says "manufactured in China". Does that mean it's Chinese granite? I also heard Chinese granite has more radiation or something. No way to confirm any of this?
 
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Old 04-01-17, 06:16 AM
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Hard to say where the granite came from. Are you sure you aren't confusing Chinese granite with Chinese drywall?
 
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Old 04-01-17, 08:27 AM
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Another problem now. I measured my vanity and it's 22 inches wide and my countertop (the current old one on there) is 23inches. The new granite says fits 48 by 21 inch vanities.
 
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Old 04-01-17, 09:18 AM
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I think you are saying the vanity is 22" deep and the new counter is probably about 21-3/4 to 22"??? (21 deep plus front overhang).
The new top probably won't work, you won't have an overhang at the front. You could take the cabinet apart and cut the depth back.
 
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Old 04-01-17, 12:27 PM
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I suppose you could gain a little by installing a backsplash first but then you are relying on caulk to keep water out of the joint
 
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Old 04-01-17, 02:48 PM
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I think you are saying the vanity is 22" deep and the new counter is probably about 21-3/4 to 22"??? (21 deep plus front overhang).
The new top probably won't work, you won't have an overhang at the front. You could take the cabinet apart and cut the depth back.
Yes. Do they make countertops 23 inches wide?

Is all hope lost ..... Maybe just put new Formica and take off the old sheet, new sink, etc??!
 
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Old 04-01-17, 06:54 PM
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A standard vanity depth is 21", your new top was designed for a 21" deep vanity plus the front overhang.
The only way I know to fix this is to cut back the cabinet or purchase a custom top.
I haven't searched for pre-fab tops 23" deep, they might be out there.
It's not too hard to take the cabinet apart and rebuild it after cutting the sides and bottom.
If you don't want to take the cabinet apart you can remove it and cut the back sides and bottom.
By cutting the back, you don't need to disassemble the entire cabinet, only the back panel and the nailing rail.
 
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Old 04-01-17, 08:17 PM
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How much do you guys think a custom solid top would go for about $? Solid Surface I guess.

Is laminate ok for the bathroom? Those laminate premade tops? I don't even know if those are deep enough either. Looks like custom may be the way to go.
 
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Old 04-01-17, 09:35 PM
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Have you considered ceramic tile?
 
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Old 04-01-17, 09:54 PM
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Have you considered ceramic tile?
Do you mean I could take the Formica off and put down tile??! I never thought of that!
 
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Old 04-01-17, 11:09 PM
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Might be easier to just take the whole top off and put on a new one. " plywood and " cement backer board would be one way. The tile guys may have an easier way.
 
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Old 04-02-17, 08:53 AM
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I lifted a corner of the Formica sheet and it's really easy to get off. Would it be feasible to change the Formica sheeting to another color/style , put in new sink, faucet, etc?

PS: I don't really wanna spend $300-400 on a new counter ... or more! YIKES!

Are solid surface out in that case? I'm thinking of just re-sheeting maybe or even a premade lamitate top, but I don't know if those would be deep enough either.

It looks like re-sheeting the Formica might be the way to go. It would still look retro, which I kind of like in a strange way.

Here's what it look like now: I'm thinking of painting the vanity white , new handles, etc

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Last edited by Brian1900; 04-02-17 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 04-02-17, 09:30 AM
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Never worked with it but there is also Corian solid counter top material. https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...home+workshop+
 
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Old 04-02-17, 02:51 PM
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Ok, I went to HD and got one of those premade lamiates 48 inches long to try out. It was $69. Got it home and it's TOO WIDE for the 22 inch vanity, which if anything I thought it would be too small.

It did fit the kitchen countertop though which the cabinet is 24 inches from front to back.

Do they make custom laminate counters to size?
 
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Old 04-02-17, 07:16 PM
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You know another thing I'm thinking ? That countertop MAY have fit. I took it back already and darn it's HEAVY, but I've been looking at pictures of vanities online and they don't all have an overhang in front - some are flush or pretty close to the edge of the vanity.

What do you think?
 
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Old 04-02-17, 07:25 PM
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This is a matter of what looks right to you.
 
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Old 04-02-17, 07:28 PM
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This is a matter of what looks right to you.
Yeah. One more idea! What if I put some type of 'spacer' piece behind the counter about the size of the backsplash and then put the backsplash on that? That would say maybe push the counter out a little over the edge (if it's flush) and then on the side where the spacer is I could improvise something to hide the 1/2 inch or so of the spacer that you'd see from the left side of the vanity, if it really bothered anyone.

You can see from the pic below that the current top is maybe 1/2 inch past the edge of the vanity ... maybe and inch I'm not sure.
 
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Old 04-05-17, 09:42 PM
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Ok guys I think I know what I'm going to do. Laying new Formica looks like a pain, plus it would be cheap looking I think. I can't really afford a new vanity.

Someone suggested that I cut an inch off the width of the vanity and I was looking at it tonight and it looks like something that I can do.

What kind of saw could I use? Could I use some type of hand saw and then sand it down and put it back together, paint, etc?

Looks like what I have to do when I do it will be to take the top off and then the front and then the piece against the right on the wall and cut an inch off both sides and the bottom and then put it all back together. I think I can do it!

I'll cut it to 21 inches deep and then I can install one of my favorite counter sink combos. What do you think?

By the way I was wondering. I have a 3 door vanity. Is there a way to install a drawer or two where one of the doors is?

Would just 1 look funny?
 
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Old 04-06-17, 05:25 AM
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To cut down the width of the cabinet you need to uninstall it first. You want to remove the excess from the back. If your cut isn't perfect either caulking to the wall or small trim will hide the discrepancy. Depending on how/where the sink is plumbed, installing drawers in place of one of the doors might be doable. The main thing is having drawer fronts that match or compliment the doors.

I'd use a skil saw to cut it down, maybe a saber saw if needed. I only use handsaws as last resort
 
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Old 04-06-17, 05:32 AM
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Cutting granite is a skill that must be practiced to get good results. I suggest you do not attempt. Have it done professionally. Besides the cut edge will need to be polished. I had to have this done when my refrigerator would not fit the cubby hole provided. The counter top had to be removed, cut, polished and re-fitted. Although I did the full demo and remodel of the kitchen, I could not and would not attempt the counter top install or re-cut. Just say'n.
 
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Old 04-06-17, 05:34 AM
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Unless I'm mistaken he wants to cut the cabinet down to fit the top, not the other way around
 
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Old 04-06-17, 05:47 AM
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Oops. Your correct. I mis-read.

As Rosannadanna use to say, Never mind!
 
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Old 04-06-17, 09:53 PM
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why cant i remove from front instead?
 
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Old 04-07-17, 04:13 AM
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It is easier to remove the back. Shortening the front requires more precise cuts in order for it to go back together nicely. An uneven cut is less likely to show at the back. Narrowing up the cabinet is not something you can do with it still installed.
 
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Old 04-07-17, 09:42 AM
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It is easier to remove the back. Shortening the front requires more precise cuts in order for it to go back together nicely. An uneven cut is less likely to show at the back. Narrowing up the cabinet is not something you can do with it still installed
The problem that I'll run into with shortening the back will be that consequently the bottom of the vanity is going to come backwards and inch messing up where the old tile meets the vanity and exposing plywood I would guess.

Yes, I'll eventually be replacing the tile, but I'm not sure when in the future.

The front of the vanity has a bottom that goes all the way to the floor and then comes outward to the edge. In other words the vanity front recesses at the bottom so many inches and then continues to the floor as some vanities do.

I would assume with some patience and a good small blade handsaw and then some sanding that I could cut the inch off of the front on both sides and the bottom. I even would assume that I could make the cut by just taking off the old countertop. Of course the right side I would have to remove from the wall in order to cut.

By the way, what do you think is holding the vanity together? Is it most likely glue or small nails?
 
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Old 04-07-17, 10:08 AM
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Since the cabinet will be painted, I think you can cut the front.
Remove the top and use a hammer to carefully tap the face frame off. It should only have finish nails and a little glue. Get the frame off in one piece. It could also be remade easily.

The cleanest cut on the left side would be a router with an edge guide. You could get by with a jig saw and a multi-tool.
To hide any cuts on the left side you could add a 1/4" or 1/8" panel. The face frame would be shifted to the left 1/2" to hide the front edge of the panel.
 
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Old 04-07-17, 07:41 PM
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Since the cabinet will be painted, I think you can cut the front.
Remove the top and use a hammer to carefully tap the face frame off. It should only have finish nails and a little glue. Get the frame off in one piece. It could also be remade easily.

The cleanest cut on the left side would be a router with an edge guide. You could get by with a jig saw and a multi-tool.
To hide any cuts on the left side you could add a 1/4" or 1/8" panel. The face frame would be shifted to the left 1/2" to hide the front edge of the panel.
Couldn't I just draw a line a make a really nice straight cut and then sand it nice? Then if there any little gaps here and there I could just use wood filler, then sand and then paint?

Maybe Home Depot or somewhere could cut the wood for me? ..... or maybe not ...

Hey another idea. What about if after I wanna get a little fancy and add some decorative trims and things? I might also change the basic builder grade doors to something nicer.
 
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Old 04-07-17, 08:22 PM
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Couldn't I just draw a line a make a really nice straight cut and then sand it nice?
Yes, that's the whole idea, either make a perfect cut or hide a bad cut with a side panel or fill with bondo and paint.
I would recommend you get the top and face frame off first. Post some pics and then you will get more advice on how to cut.

You can also hide a bad cut with dados in the face frame. The face frame will "cap" the side panels and the bottom deck. A face frame typically has 1/2" wide x 1/4" deep dados/grooves at the side stiles and bottom rail to accept the side and bottom panels. You would need a table saw to do that.

Look up a Kreg jig and the possibilities are endless. It's an inexpensive and very valuable tool.
 
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Old 04-10-17, 10:13 AM
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Ok. I think this old cabinet is made of plywood, which is pretty strong. Would it be a bad move to replace it with a mdf or particle-board cabinet (48x21) that may LOOK better and more UP TO DATE, but maybe not be of as "good of quality"?

Is plywood better than mdf/particle board even if the front of the cabinet is wood? I was looking at some cabinets on HD site for under $500.

Would it be better to just keep the old plywood one and cut it back an inch? Even though mine is plain-Jane and old fashioned?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-10-17, 11:00 AM
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I see no problem with MDF sides and bottom. That's if you want to save some money.
The cabinet will look much better than what you have. The face frame and doors are probably Maple or Oak and that's nice wood. Hardware's probably nice also.

I'd recommend a full size rubber mat for the bottom deck or I've seen self-stick tiles used.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 06:50 AM
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I see no problem with MDF sides and bottom. That's if you want to save some money.
The cabinet will look much better than what you have. The face frame and doors are probably Maple or Oak and that's nice wood. Hardware's probably nice also.

I'd recommend a full size rubber mat for the bottom deck or I've seen self-stick tiles used.
Thanks, I think I narrowed it down to this Brinkhill vanity in cream for $449

http://http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ho...1-CR/205400733
 
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