As the name implies, solid surface countertops are, well, solid. The main advantage the material has over other kitchen products is that the color and pattern are solid throughout. If the counter gets scratched, you can sand and polish the damage away.
You may know these products by a company name (Corian, Formica, etc.). Its nonporous, extremely hard and is a more forgiving material than natural stone or ceramic tile if you accidentally set something really hot down. Solid surface can be made in a number of shapes to create round islands and curves that you simply can’t achieve with other materials.
Made of solid, thick synthetic sheets formed by mixing a mineral compound with polyester or some sort of resins (even Earth friendly resins). You can get the look of stone without the seams and there are no color variations like there is with stone and natural products.
Do It Yourselfers have have been frustrated by the fact that its only been available to professional installers in the past. That’s changing, however, and now even the homeowners can design, buy and install solid surface materials. Its really nearly as easy as other types of countertops and, with a little help and information, can be installed by two people in a day.
Of course you can have one of these countertops professionally installed (starting at $60 to $90/sq. ft), but you’ll miss the fun and challenge!
Pros & Cons:
• Allows repairs caused by chips, dents and scratches
• Wide range of colors, textures and finishes
• Forms decorative shapes
• Can be molded into a seamless piece
• Cleans with soapy water or cleaner
• Can be buffed to its original luster
• May crack if it heats and cools too fast
• Will stain, but stains can be scrubbed clean
• Could become discolored if a hit too hard
• Requires two people to handle and install
• May scratch easily with sharp object
If you believe you’d like to pursue this yourself, get to a big box retailer and ask questions. But first, search solid surface countertop or solid surface using the Bing Custom Search over there on the right.
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