There are alternatives to paying high prices for granite or quartz countertops, or pinching pennies and going with laminate. The world of countertops is vast and there are options suitable for most budgets and needs. Solid surface countertops were created in 1967 by DuPont, and sold under the name “Corian.” A revolutionary product, Corian was engineered to look like natural stone and granite but was non-porous. By eliminating the particle configurations in naturally occurring materials, DuPont’s man-made countertop was the same composition throughout, from the top to the bottom layer. Today solid surface is available from several manufacturers in a variety of acrylic and polyester combinations.
Accordingly, the advantage of solid surface countertops remains, above all else, their durability. While an expensive natural stone counter looks lovely, its porous structure makes it susceptible to cracks and breaking. Similarly, a wood counter is attractive but hard to clean and inclined to develop a slimy film over time. Ceramic and comparable tile options are non-porous but are held in place with grout, so that the countertop is not one smooth plane. And laminate, the least expensive option, is usually just a thin top layer adhered to a piece of wood.
Additionally, solid surface countertops are seamless. That is, they have no discernable section marks when they are cut and installed properly. They are typically customizable to almost any shape, size, or color and are available in different thicknesses. Polyester options are usually more brilliant in color, but acrylic products hold up better to thermoforming. Since the plastic runs all the way through, solid surface is strong, difficult to stain, and damage-resistant. And even if you do manage to scratch or burn it (it is recommended you do not place a hot pot on solid surface counters), it is generally easy to fix with a little sandpaper.
Be advised this is one project that is not DIY for most people. But this can be considered another advantage to choosing solid surface – select your preferences and leave the rest to a pro installer!
A couple of tips for when you reach the installation step: you can ask for an integral sink to match the counter if you like the look of a truly homogenous countertop, and most installers will also accommodate a request for a cutting board from the leftover material.
Fortunately, caring for solid surface is relatively simple. You can remove dirt, hard water marks, and food prep residue with either soapy water or an ammonia-based cleaner. If there is a stain, buff it out with denatured alcohol or a mild abrasive on a scouring pad. For sinks, run cold water simultaneously if you are pouring boiling water down the drain. Do not place hot pans or pots on your countertop, since they are not heat resistant. Additionally, do not let paint removers, nail polish, or oven cleaning solutions come in contact with the surface. Use a cutting board for preparing food; knives can nick the material.
Solid surface countertops have a deserved reputation for being cost-effective, attractive, and long-lasting. If you are looking for a seamless, easy-to-maintain countertop for your home, consider going solid surface. Responsible Contractors has a number of qualified, verified professionals ready to assist you with installing the right countertop for your home.