Solid surface kitchen countertops are a hard and dense material made from a mix of resin with fillers, color pigments and catalysts. This mixture is then poured into molds and can be easily fabricated into several colors and designs to suit the needs of any consumer. Solid surface kitchen countertops are available in ½” or ¾” pieces and can be equipped with back splashes or without.
Cost of Solid Surface kitchen Countertops
Solid surface kitchen countertops are much pricier than laminate and can start in the US $45-$50 sq ft. range depending on the edges and finishing and can go as high as US $100 sq. ft if you want the higher end aggregate designs. Compared to other durable surfaces like Granite and Engineered stone, Solid surface is definitely considered a more affordable option.
Colors & Designs of Solid Surface kitchen Countertops
The availability of countless colors and designs is one of the greatest selling points of solid surface kitchen countertops. Due to the color pigment being mixed during fabrication, solid surface countertops have color built all the way through. Solid surface countertops are also available in natural stone designs and can easily resemble Granite, Marble or Onyx. Many designer colors are starting to become available and your options are becoming limitless.
Solid surface countertops can be pre-fabricated into numerous shapes and designs. It is not uncommon to see inlaid sinks, cutting boards and drain boards designed to match the countertops in many kitchens. Solid surface is a great designer’s choice because of its versatility to adapt to any area. It can be shaped with basic wood working tools and when pre-fabricated can come with a wide variety of custom edge finishing’s from, rounded, beveled, square or even with brass or metal inlays.
The primary manufacturer of solid surface countertops is www.dupont.com The brand name for their product is “Corian” visit them at www.corian.com There you will find lots of information about some great uses for solid surface. They also have a great color designer program to help you choose the right color and product for you. “Avonite” is another major player in the solid surface market. Visit them at www. avonite.com. as is www.formica.com
Durability of Solid Surface Countertops
In terms of construction and durability, there is not much else out there on the market that can compete with solid surface countertops in the kitchen. They are extremely stain and scratch resistant, because of their solid coloring however they can be marked so it is also possible to sand out those stubborn stains and scratches. You can use either sand paper or a strong household abrasive cleaner.
Solid surface countertops are quite resistant to heat and are non-porous. Warm water, soap and a cloth are about all you’ll need to keep your counters looking great. Solid surface counters are also very hygienic and food safe. They have a class 1 fire rating and are a great choice for families on the go or busy cooks who need an easily maintained kitchen surface.
Construction & Installation of Solid Surface kitchen Countertops
Experienced do it yourself ers can install solid surface countertops should they wish. Some general requirements would be wood working tools, proper measurements and a specialty seam kit to hide those unsightly areas. This kit when properly applied can mask most seams making them nearly invisible.
If you are looking for more options or are not particularly inclined to do the work yourself, we recommend using a professional installer. Using a pro can help create custom options for you allowing for the use of pre-cast sinks and other custom designs. Visit any one of your local hardware or Kitchen & Bath stores to find a list of accredited installers.
Environmental & Health Impact of Solid Surface Countertops
Solid surface countertops uses polymer and acrylic resins with color pigments. There is the option for the green conscious to source recycled content (paper composites). These recycled solid surface countertops are available in a range of recycled materials. These recycled products can resemble Corian and appear very natural. There is also another option where recycled composite is used without the use of any glues.
Solid Surface countertops are yet another fantastically hygienic option as once sealed, they are impervious to water, liquids and are low in VOC emissions.
Solid Surface is definitely hot! With it’s designer colors, ability to be shaped into various designs and compatibility with inlaid sinks and other useful designs, solid surface kitchen countertops are a very sexy option for any hot new or renovated space.
The Martini Factor
Glassware can breathe a sigh of relief. Solid surface kitchen countertops are very hard and dense but relatively friendly to wine glasses when tipped over. Knives will not dull if used on solid surface and the fact that it is non-porous and extremely easy to clean make this a great option for the host in all of us.