By now, my regular readers know that I am not a fan of imported granite. As far as I am concerned, granite has been mistakenly idealized by homeowners as a maintenance-free surface material — a myth that plenty of builders have been more than willing to perpetuate only because granite has become more affordable than ever – thanks in no small part to cheap, overseas labor. Worst of all, some granite peddlers have had the audacity to market granite as an environmentally friendly product simply because it comes from the earth. So does oil, by the way.
All that said, I know that some people simply will not be dissuaded from their love affair with granite. And that being the case, I’d like to offer up a more environmentally responsible option: Scrap.
Why not use a smaller-size piece of granite from the scrap yard of a local countertop fabricator as the top for a bathroom vanity? Better yet, why not pop this scrap piece of granite, which might otherwise be bound for a landfill, atop a used dresser? Perhaps one you find at a yard sale or something collecting dust in your attic?
That’s what I did and I love it.
A Bright (Green) Idea
For my own powder room I chose to use an old chest of drawers as a bathroom cabinet – one that had a peeling wood veneer top, the restoration of which was beyond what either my husband or I was realistically capable.
We didn’t have the need or the space for this piece of family furniture, but it was sentimental to my husband and no amount of nagging would convince him to get rid of it. So when we built the Greenspiration Home, someone (I can’t remember who) had a brainstorm and decided it would make a great vanity for our downstairs powder room.
This was not a big deal — something you will very rarely hear me say when it comes to matters of home construction or renovation. We simply got our countertop contractor to cut a piece of scrap granite to size and then install it on the chest. All they needed was the specifications for the sink that we had chosen so they could cut the appropriate size hole in the granite.
A Little Granite Goes a Long Way
I chose a lovely piece of Rainforest Green granite, which I found in my countertop contractor’s scrap yard. We had the piece cut to fit atop the old chest of drawers, which we painted to avoid the nightmare of stripping. Easy.
Rainforest granite, by the way, is an unbelievably rich looking piece of material. Like a sliver of cheesecake, a little goes a long way. The end result is a lovely powder room vanity that isn’t like anyone else’s in the entire world.
So let’s review:
- I avoided the cost of fabricated or custom cabinetry for my powder room.
- I used an old piece of furniture that was taking up space (and creating marital strife) in my home.
- I got to indulge in a little bit of granite without feeling responsible for the embodied energy that it takes to transport an entire slab across the ocean.
- I have a wonderfully unique looking powder room vanity that gives me pleasure and pride each time I enter the room. Plus, I get tons of compliments on the piece.
Call me crazy, but I think I ‘done good.’
How about you? Have you had great success using scrap granite for a home décor project? I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org