Counter Tops - What is Solid Surface?


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Solid Surface counter-top products are created from high-performance resin systems like acrylic or unsaturated polyester. There is a very high filler content in these materials, and they lack a gel coat. They are used primarily in counter top applications, but are also popular for wall panel applications.

There are several design benefits to using solid surface materials: The first, is that they have the ability to be machined in the same manner as wood, although there are special fabric procedures and special equipment that are required. They can be cut and bonded precisely in order to fit nearly any shape or surface. The color goes completely through the product, which means that scratches, stains and chips can be easily sanded out when necessary.

Solid Surface materials are available in several different brand names, including but not limited to; Avonite, Fountainhead, Nevamar, Transolid, Surell, Gibraltar and DuPont Corian. Small producers and fabricators also often offer solid surface materials. According to an industry trade magazine, these materials are being used on at least 12-percent of all kitchen construction jobs every year.

Companies like Staron offer their solid surface countertops as low-maintenance, solid acrylic options. They offer solid surface materials in fifty different colors, eleven different edge treatments, and an ever-growing variety of patterns. They say that solid surface materials are anti-bacterial and heat-resident, and can be bent with heat, or thermoformed. They offer the material in high gloss finish, semi-gloss finish and matte finish. Staron sells their solid surface materials in ¼” and ½” sheets, in lengths of 145” and 30”, and promise that seams will disappear completely following installation. Their prices for solid surface materials range from between $35.00 and $55.00 per square foot, depending on which options were chosen.

Solid-surface counter tops are also often available custom-made to the proper length, which also eliminates the possibility of seams. Solid-surface counter tops may be the right choice for you, if you are looking for a specific color or texture that is not available in other counter top materials, as solid-surface materials come in nearly any imaginable color. Solid-surface material is also unique in that you can use the same material to create your sinks, meaning they will integrate perfectly with your counter tops. The best known names for these products are Corian and Swanstone.

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