While the solid surface material hasn’t been around for all that long (only 50 years), it has quickly become a staple in homes around the country. Solid surface is a great choice for remodelers who are looking for an attractive countertop that won’t break the bank.
While solid surface doesn’t have the depth of natural stone or quartz, it comes closer than laminate. After comparing the benefits and drawbacks of many other materials, solid surface is the comfortable middle ground where many buyers end up.
At Marble Unlimited, we’re the experts on all things solid surface. We’re a big fan of this material, and we’re excited to see it rising in popularity.
Before you settle on solid surface countertops, there are some things that every buyer should know:
Solid surface countertops are made of dense acrylic, polyester, or a combo of both. In a solid surface countertop you’ll find mineral particles, bonding resin, and pigments.
If you’re in the market for a matte appearance, you should go with an acrylic-based solid surface countertop. These are known for their durability, and it’s easier to create seamless countertops with an acrylic base because the bonding materials stick to acrylic better than they stick to polyester.
Polyester-based solid surface countertops tend to be more affordable than acrylic-based, but also more brittle. They are glossier in appearance, and are known for their vibrant colors.
You can also choose to combine the two for a solid surface design that is both acrylic- and polyester-based – a combination offered by many manufacturers.
Solid surface is a nonporous material, which means that they’re easy to keep clean. For this reason, they’re popular in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. These countertops do not need to be sealed like natural stone does, either, which is a perk for people who don’t enjoy countertop upkeep.
Extreme heat does not bode well with solid surface because of the acrylic and/or polyester it contains. These countertops can withstand heat to about 212 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature of boiling water), but they are vulnerable to being scorched by the bottom of a hot pan. These scorch marks are easy to fix, but should be avoided if you can help it.
Solid surface countertops scratch much more easily than other materials, but they’re also much easier to fix. You don’t need a professional in order to patch up the surface, you can do it yourself using an orbital sander and fine-grain sandpaper.
It’s important to know the ins and outs of a material before you settle on it. Like anything else, there are upsides and downsides to solid surface.
While no material can be 100% nonporous, solid surface comes about as close as you can get. Its low porosity keeps away germs and bacteria and makes it very easy to clean and keep up.
The material of solid surface is the same all the way through the slab, unlike laminate or ceramic tile. This means that it reacts better to impact compared to those materials.
While the surface will scratch, it’s a simple fix. Even the least handy homeowner can take care of repairs.
You should always use cutting boards on your solid surface countertops, because even knives can scratch its surface.
Hot pots or pans should never be placed on a solid surface countertop, as it is vulnerable to scorching. Always use a hot pad or trivet.
While this material is better than natural stone or quartz for DIY-ers to work with, it’s still not the easiest.
Solid surface countertops are a great choice for homeowners who are looking for an affordable middle ground choice for their remodel. If you’re interested in learning more about this material, give Marble Unlimited a call for a consultation.