If you’ve been looking into new bathroom surfaces for your home, you’ve undoubtedly looked into different options based on how they look and feel. But did you ever stop to consider what kind of maintenance they might need and how they’ll hold up over the long term?

There are some materials out there that look gorgeous in the store but need to be re-sealed every six months, setting you up for a twice-a-year project whether you want one or not.

So the first question you should ask in the store is: Does this product need to be sealed regularly? If it does and you fail to perform this maintenance, in a couple of years your beautiful new countertops or shower could become pitted and discolored.
If you’re not into spending extra time scrubbing & maintaining your bathroom surfaces, you may want to look into a material that requires minimal regular maintenance.

An example of this is the cultured marble offered by Sand and Swirl, which custom-makes countertops, sinks, backsplashes, showers, windowsills and baseboards at its facility in Ogden.

Another question to ask is how effective the material is at keeping out water damage and mold. Traditional materials like tile, while they can be quite pretty, tend to be less effective at this.

In fact, I’ve had a contractor tell me they’ve never pulled out tile and not found mold behind it. People can have little voids in their grout and not even know it.

Cultured marble, which has the look of marble & stone but is made with a combination of natural and synthetic materials – is sealed & designed to be easy to clean and maintain.

Proper installation is done with high grade mildew-resistant silicone in the joints, and a good installation will insure the longevity of the finished product.

The main thing to remember in terms of maintenance is to avoid using abrasive cleaners and rough cloths.
Norwex products are recommended for cleaning, but regular household cleaners can be used with a soft cloth. The best way to determine whether a cleaner will be safe for cultured marble is to rub it between your fingers; if you feel any grit, then don’t use it.
If you’re feeling really motivated, waxing those surfaces once in a while can give them a new shine – just like waxing your car. But of course that isn’t necessary to maintain them.

Also, you should keep in mind bathroom surfaces are typically made of a material that’s softer than kitchen countertops, so it’s important to avoid using sharp objects or toys on the surface in a manner that could scratch it. Also, use a hot pad under things that generate heat, such as curling irons, and avoid scalding water temperatures over 140 degrees.

If you do get a scratch in the gel coat of a cultured marble surface, it can be buffed out using an electric buffer.

For low-maintenance bathroom surfaces, cultured marble is the way to go.