Granite Finish

Solid Surface Countertops: 5 Important Things You Need To Know

Investing in the right kitchen countertop material can be stressful. When researching the perfect material for your kitchen countertop, you may have come across a solid surface countertop.

Unlike natural stone, a solid surface countertop is easy to repair, clean, and potentially seamless. It is a solid alternative to quartz and granite. Besides that, the price is an extremely affordable alternative to pricier natural stone.

But what do you know about solid surface countertops? If you are still deciding whether to get solid surface countertops for your kitchen, you’ll want to know a few things before you invest in this affordable material. Let’s read on and get to know more about this material.

Video Credit: HBoss Synthetic Countertops

What Is Solid Surface Countertops?

Solid Surface Countertop
Image Credit: Solid Surface Design

Unlike granite and marble, solid surface countertops are manufactured from mineral particles, added pigments, and bonding resins. They are made from a solid piece of material and are considered superior to other affordable countertops.

Materials such as laminate have multiple layers of materials fused, but solid surface countertops use the same consistent material throughout the process.

Resins used in solid surface countertops are either polyester, acrylic, or a combination of both. Both resins have unique qualities, and it differs from one another. A solid surface countertop with only polyester resins will perform differently from one with acrylic resins. The looks of the countertop will also look different.

The original solid surface countertop was created by DuPont in 1967 and branded Corian. As the patent expired, several competitors entered the market after that.

1. Solid surface counters use dense acrylic, polyester, or a combination of both.

Solid Surface Countertop
Image Credit: Recommend.my

As mentioned above, solid surface countertops are made up of three elements: bonding resin, mineral particles, and added pigments. The most common natural mineral that is used is alumina trihydrate (ATH). The resins are made up of either acrylic, polyester, or a combination of both.

  • Acrylic-based solid surface materials are durable. It also has a matte appearance. Creating countertops that appear seamless when using acrylic-based solid surface materials is easier because it will be easier to bond the materials stick to acrylic.
  • Polyester-based solid surface countertops are more affordable. But it is more brittle than acrylic countertops. They look slightly glossier. It also perform best when trying to recreate vibrant colors. Polyester is UV-resistant, so this countertop style is unlikely to fade under the sun. 
  • Acrylic- and polyester-based solid surface designs combine the attributes of both materials. Many manufacturers use it. 

When choosing a solid surface material, you may not be sure the product is made using polyester or acrylic. To ensure the material can meet your needs, check with the professional and seek out the product’s technical specifications before you make a decision.

2. Solid surface countertops are easy to clean.

Solid Surface Countertop

Solid surface materials are nonporous, which makes them easy to clean. Because of their nonporous qualities, hospitals and other healthcare facilities often use solid surface materials around sinks and on walls, which can prevent them from harboring potentially harmful bacteria. Besides that, you do not have to seal your solid surface countertops because their resins ensure that they are inherently nonporous.

The only material that performs similarly to solid surface countertops is quartz, which is equally nonporous. Wood butcher block countertops are tricky to sanitize, and ceramic tile counters are similarly hard to clean.

3. Avoid heat on solid surface countertops

Solid Surface Countertop

Many countertop materials resist heat but will still damage the material if exposed to extremely high temperatures. This is a disadvantage of solid surface material, as it is intolerant to high heat.

While solid surface countertops can tolerate the temperature of boiling water, they will likely be scorched by the bottom of a hot pan. But if a scorch or burn does occur, it is easy to resurface the affected area.

4. Solid surface countertops are easy to repair.

Solid Surface Countertop
Image Credit: Formica Corporation

The soft materials make the solid surface countertop, which makes them easily scratch. Knives and other utensils can do the damage. The scratches will normally appear in white, so it may be best to use a solid white surface countertop in your kitchen.

But even if scratches happen, it is extremely easy to repair. Unlike many other materials, which professionals can only repair, you can use a random orbital and fine-grain sandpaper to sand down the solid surfaces. You can use the same process for burn marks.

5. The solid surface countertop can appear seamless

Solid Surface Countertop
Image Credit: Accent Countertops

Compared with quartz, granite, and marble, solid surface countertops have a matte appearance that allows them to have a modern look. It is possible to give the solid surface a higher gloss, but it is not recommended because it shows scratches more easily.

When a solid surface countertop is installed correctly, the seams of the countertops are nearly invisible. It can be visually appealing for large continuous sections of the countertop. 

The right countertop material is different for everyone, as each of us has our requirements and living style. This article on solid surface countertops will help you to decide if it suits your need. Make sure you research before getting the right one for your kitchen. 

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Joanna Tee

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