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So I tried to get webapps for unity to work, and it's being a major pain. I installed the chromium web apps extension. They "work" but whenever I open a webapp it also opens another chromium icon in the dash. So there's one chromium icon that can open chromium windows, and another one that shows up only when a webapp is open. Is this normal?

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling chromium but no luck.

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You will experience the same with Firefox. It's just the way Ubuntu web apps work. With Chromium, you can easily build your own web apps, which will not open a second window: on any website, go to tools -> create desktop application. This will create a .desktop file. Open it with an editor to change it's name, icon, etc. and move it to ~/.local/share/applications. You can now open the web app from the Dash or pin it to your Unity launcer.

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