Home Building Articles
Solid Surface Countertops
October 27, 2009
Solid surface countertops were a revolution of sorts when they were first introduced.
Until then most modern countertops were limited to tile or laminate. Solid surface
has come a long way however, available in a vast array of colors and patterns, made
by numerous manufacturers.
The term "solid surface" may seem a bit obvious since all countertops are "solid".
But in the countertop and surfacing trade there is no confusion about what this
material is. Like any other surfacing material used for countertops, there are some
things to be aware of so that you can make informed decisions. Solid surface can
be made from several different types of base ingredients, each with their own attributes
Installation is important too and isn't something the average do-it-yourself handyman
should try. Tools and training are important in getting a good looking and structurally
sound solid surface countertop. Then there's all the different brands to consider
and whether there's any real difference among them.
Solid surface is basically a plastic. It's a petroleum-based product made from the
combination of acrylic or polyester resins and an inert filler material. Its beauty,
aside from pure aesthetics, lies in its ease of workability and repairability.
From an installer's viewpoint solid surface is very similar to wood with regard
to its ability to be cut and joined. Seams are virtually invisible which allows
large expanses of countertop space to be connected with no visible joints. This
nice feature also means that a solid surface sink can be joined to the countertop
for a seamless installation, with no discernible edge between the countertop and
Fabrication - Who Installs it and How It's Installed is Important
Solid surface installation is not for the do-it-yourselfer, at least if you want
a durable, long-lasting countertop. The fabrication and installation of solid surface
countertops requires craftsmen that are trained in the skills necessary to install
them. The process involves cutting, routing and bonding various pieces together
to create the final product.