When it comes to kitchen countertops, natural materials might be the most popular option, but they are certainly not always the most affordable. Enter solid surface countertops like Corian, which have become increasingly popular thanks to their easy-care nature and more affordable price points. Like all other countertop materials, solid surface options might not be the best choice for every homeowner and its best to do some research to determine if it works for you and your lifestyle.
What is a Solid-Surface Material?
Solid surface materials are essentially manufactured from modern plastics. Polymer resins are combined with minerals like bauxite and dyes, creating a durable countertop surface. The material is typically produced in sheets of a standard countertop thickness. These can then be turned into countertops, backsplashes and other surfaces. Solid surface materials also allow for integral sinks for a seamless finish, which not necessarily the case with all other materials. This is particularly true because you can order prefabricated versions that cost less than custom options.
The best-known brand of solid surface countertops is Corian, produced by Dupont. The company invented the material in the 1960s, but since its patent has expired, the manufacturing information is now widely available. Other companies producing solid surface countertop material include Wilsonart, Samsung’s Staron, Swanstone, Livingstone, Avonite and Hanex.
10 Advantages of Solid Surface Countertops
Nonporous — This makes them resistant to stains and easy to keep clean, says Solid Surface Designs Inc.
Very Sanitary — Being non-porous, this type of material does not mold, or mildew, and does not promote bacterial growth. Its easy clean surface does not harbor bacteria, which is why it is popular for not only home kitchens, but also hospitals and laboratories.
It is also Easy Care – Solid surfaces are easy to clean and require no special products or sealing.
It’s Solid — These countertops have the same material through and through. They have not veneer and they are not coated in any way.
Easily repaired — Yes, solid surface countertops can scratch, but any scratches, scuffs, small dents, and light burns can be sanded out.
A seamless look — When glued together tightly and sanded, seams virtually disappear.
Custom options — It is a versatile material that can be carved, sanded, and shaped with heat for form integrated drain boards, curved sink openings, and other features.
Versatile – With the wide range of colors and custom options, solid surface materials are easy to mix with other kitchen materials. It’s a perfect option for tying together the kitchen as the common thread among a variety of their materials.
No fading or wearing – Whereas many natural materials develop a “patina’ from use and wear, solid surface materials do not. They maintain their pristine surface, with no fading or other signs of wear.
Almost endless color and design options
Of all the countertop materials, this is the one that offers the most color choices. There are literally hundreds of choices, including solids, metallics and stone-like patterns. Corian alone offers a portfolio of 118 colors. It’s also one of the few options if you are looking for a perfectly white countertop or a really brightly colored one. Dark colors are available but nicks and scratches are more likely to be visible on dark hued options ad the will likely require more cleaning. For Corian, three types of finishes are available: matte/satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss, says DuPont. Most countertops have a matte/satin finish as do all Corian sinks.
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