In many homes, you will find solid surface countertops in the bathrooms and kitchens. These surfaces have been in homes for over 50 years. If you are looking for an excellent countertop material, then you should think about adding a solid surface for your home. It is a unique surface for those who want an upgrade from laminate without breaking the budget. Here are some things that you should know about solid surface countertops.
The Invention of Solid Surfaces
All solid surface materials start with DuPont’s product known as Corian. The company wanted to produce a product that looked like a natural stone but was non-porous. It is also more durable than natural stone. For example, when granite is sliced open, you can see all the particles that form the slab. This natural surface might be beautiful, but it is also susceptible to breaking and cracking.
With a solid surface, the countertop will have a stable base. It does not have the bouncy feel like a laminated countertop mounted on a fiberboard. These countertops allow you to get the same quality of product with every surface. With natural products, no two countertops are exactly alike. That could be a problem for those who need to make a repair in their home.
Why Choose Solid Surface Countertops?
There are many reasons to choose solid surface countertops for your home. These products are nearly non-porous. Quartz, tile, and solid surfaces are some of the most non-porous materials on the market. With low porosity, the solid surface countertops will promote a cleaner surface as they keep away bacteria.
These solid surfaces are homogenous. What does that mean? From the top to the bottom, this solid surface is uniformed. As a result of that, the solid surface countertops are more durable than other materials, such as laminate.
Finally, solid surfaces are easier to repair than other countertops. While all solid surfaces will scratch, you will be able to fix these countertops. You can use fine-grain sandpaper and an orbital sander for most repairs. With those methods, the average homeowner can sand down scratches without breaking the budget.
The Drawbacks of Solid Surface Countertops
While there are many benefits, solid surface countertops do have some drawbacks as well. These surfaces are durable, but you should be careful when using knives and cutting boards. These utensils can still scratch solid surfaces.
Solid surfaces are also susceptible to heat deformation. A solid surface will hold up to the temperature of boiling water at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when the temperature reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the surface can start to deform. You should be careful not to leave hot pans on the countertops. Solid surface countertops lack the depth of real stone, but it is more durable than most materials.
Comparing Solid Surface Countertop Materials to Other Surfaces
When searching for countertops materials, many cooks want to choose durable surfaces. You can find stainless steel in professional kitchens, but those materials are not practical in residential homes. For that reason, many homeowners select solid surfaces for their durability and affordability.
In addition to solid surface countertops, there are other choices for your home. Ceramic tiles and wood surfaces have limitations. When you use several pieces of ceramic tile, the grouted seam can be a breeding ground for germs. Wood surfaces are hard to clean, porous, and can develop a slimy feel. For the most part, the solid surface countertops have a smooth appearance along the entire surface of the countertops.
Marble and granite are popular choices, but they are extremely expensive. These surfaces are also prone to cracking. With natural stone, the countertops can experience body cracks through the entire piece. These repairs will be difficult and expensive to fix.
Finally, laminated surfaces are sandwiched with fabric or paper. Those surfaces are impregnated with resin and glued to the particleboard. As a result of that, laminate countertops lack depth and can chip easily.
Two Types of Solid Surfaces
There are two types of solid surfaces for your countertops: acrylic-based and polyester-based. If you are looking for delicate fabrication work, like thermoforming, you should choose an acrylic-based solid surface. Polyesters do have more vibrant colors than their acrylic counterparts. These surfaces are also cheaper than acrylics. Brands like Staton are made with 100 percent acrylic materials. Formica could consist of either polyester to acrylic.
These solid surfaces are made with 66 percent minerals and 33 percent binding resins. Within those minerals, you will find aluminum trihydrate and bauxite derivatives. The aluminum is a fine powder that helps retain the smooth consistency on the countertop’s surface.
If you compare this to quartz countertops, those surfaces only have 10 percent resin with additional minerals. A quartz’s countertop has materials that include granite industrial waste and marble.
Installing Solid Surface Countertop Tips
If you are looking for some tips for your solid surface countertop, make sure to check out these suggestions, including:
When the installer comes to your home, you will need to have a sink cut-out. With that cut-out piece, you can ask the installers to turn it into a cutting board. You can sand down the edges and top surface for a unique addition to your kitchen.
If you want to resurface the solid surface countertops, it can be quickly grounded down with fine grain sandpaper on an orbital sander. Sandpaper, like #220, works the best with these surfaces.
Solid surface countertops will need to be obtained by an authorized dealer. If you are looking to install the countertops on your own, you can complete some work as a do-it-yourself project.
As you can tell, solid surface countertops are a great way to beautify the look of your kitchen and bathrooms. These countertops are easy to maintain, and they will not break the budget. When you want to upgrade your home, Marble Concepts is ready to help you with your next countertop project.
If you are looking for more information about solid surfaces or any other countertop, make sure to fill out the contact form.