Solid Surface Countertops
Choice of materials
Choosing a solid surface countertop for your kitchen or bathroom is a difficult business. With a huge range in prices, durability, colors, surface quality and difficulty of installation, you could spend months weighing up all the options.
Some of the better-known brands of solid surfacing materials include Avonite, Corian, Formica, Staron and Wilsonart. Solid surface materials for countertops range from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch thick. They usually come with the option of matt, gloss or semi-gloss finishes, depending on the style of your kitchen or bathroom.
Almost all solid surfacing materials for countertops are either laminates or acrylics. This means they are completely sealed and non-porous, which makes them extremely easy to care for and clean. Simply wiping them down regularly with a sponge and soapy water will take care of most marks and stains. However, since solid surface countertops can be damaged by excessive pressure or sharp objects, you should always cut on a chopping board. Solid surface countertops are also easily discolored by heat – so avoid placing hot objects directly on them.
Solid surfacing materials come in a staggering array of colors and patterns. Styles that Imitate other countertop surfaces such as steel, granite, marble and wood are one of the most popular types of solid surfacing materials. The very best of these can look almost identical to the real thing for a mere fraction of the cost, which explains their popularity.
The installation of solid surfaces on countertops should be completed by a professional, since it is a precise job requiring knowledge of adhesives. And, since surfacing material can be expensive, its best not to try out your DIY skills unless you are very confident in your abilities.