Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Powder Room: Creating Marble Cabinet Toppers


In my last post, I shared how we updated our powder room fixtures and storage to create a stylish, yet budget-friendly and functional space.
We solved the powder room's storage issues by re-imagining door-front nightstands (purchased at a moving sale).  Initially, we topped the cabinets with place mats and installed them alongside the pedestal-style sink.  This worked well enough that I forgot about my goal of replacing the pedestal sink and was overall happy with our powder room's functionality.

That was nearly two years ago.  And, after all those months of use, the bamboo place mats are not holding up.  Water marks and toothpaste were mucking up the bamboo surface (Got kids?  I do).  Not only was this hard to clean, but it was also icky to look at.  Time to address the cabinet tops.
Water and toothpaste stains on the bamboo
Marble Cabinet Tops:
I have wanted to incorporate some tile into this powder room forever.  The cabinet tops, which measure about 15" x 15", were an obvious location for tile - especially since we are most likely keeping the pedestal sink.  Two summers ago, we made a tile topper to hide a built in planter box.  I thought we could mimic the design for the cabinets in the powder room.  However, I want nothing to do with cleaning the grout lines.  So, pretty glass mosaic and Travertine were out.  I considered using large-scale porcelain or ceramic tiles.  But, after a trip to the home improvement store, nothing had the right look.
This past week, I finally came up with a solution:  One single tile of Carrera Marble.  This classic material is a natural stone, timeless, and would absolutely enhance the look of the powder room.  Because I did not need much, I hoped the cost would not be a stopper.  It was not!  I stopped in at my local tile outlet store and perused the aisles.  The selection and variety was fabulous - I purchased two 18" x 18" Carrera Bianco Marble tiles and headed home to share my idea with my husband.   We spent our lunch hour making the cabinet toppers.  Here's how we did it:

Materials:



General How To:

  • Measure the surface to which you want to add the topper.
    Note:  Each cabinet top measured 15 1/4" x 15 1/4".
  • Select a tile that is as large or larger than the cabinet top.
    Note:  Any solid surface would work.  I chose the Carrera marble because I love its timeless look.

18" x 18" Carrera Bianco Marble Tile

  • If the tile is larger than the cabinet top, use a tape measure to mark the desired dimensions on the tile.
    Note:  My husband handled this part.


  • Use a T-Square to confirm and mark the cut line.
    Note:   We confirmed that, with marble, you can mark and make your cuts along the finished side of the tile.

Use T-Square to ensure lines are straight and level. 

  • Use a wet saw to trim tile to desired dimensions.

The wet saw makes cutting marble very easy!

  • Repeat with other tile.
    Result:  You created two cabinet tops.
  • Measure two pieces of felt that are slighly smaller than the tile dimensions.
    Note:  I cut two pieces at about 14 3/4" x 14 3/4".

Cut two pieces of felt slightly smaller than the tile.

  • Use spray adhesive to attach the tile squares to the bottom side of each tile cabinet topper.

Spray the tile, place felt and smooth out wrinkles.

  • Repeat with second tile.
    Result:  You completed the cabinet toppers.
  • Place the marble cabinet toppers and check dimensions.
    Note:  We placed the toppers so that the cut edges would face the back and side wall when installed in powder room. 

Completed Cabinet toppers
Once I placed them back into the powder room, I knew I made a great decision.
New cabinet tops installed.
The marble looks great.  Combined, the two tiles cost under $15.00.  The felt was left over from of my daughter's school projects.  And, because no grout was needed, the entire project was completed in under one hour.  Not only are my new marble cabinet tops decorative, but they are also durable enough to stand up to the kids' spills and regular cleaning.


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